About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

T is for Terrific Trio

A quick look at three vaguely HO-gauge compatible die-cast AFV's today, each from a different company and none of them actually that close to HO...but all useful none-the-less, especially for old-school war gaming where the counters are everything and the need for historical accuracy is minimal!

I'm thinking Kenya, Suez or that 'Heart of Darkness'; the Belgian Congo...

Britains Lilliput Austin Champ utility vehicle with Blue Box German for size, closer to 25mm than HO's nominal 18mm, but still sitting pretty against/with the other two vehicles in this post.

I think I've mentioned before that my mother worked on these when she was in the FANY, they were a bugger to work on apparently; with sealed Rolls Royce units - the theory was fine - taken from tanks - lift out the expired engine and drop a new one in, but it was a lot of faffing about for such a small vehicle, designed to be employed in large numbers, so the concept was flawed and - along with the unit cost - led to its rapid replacement by the lightweight, cheaper and easier to maintain Land Rover, after that vehicle was trialed against the Champ and Austin Gypsy (a Land Rover in looks, but ferrous-metal and prone to rust).

Because they were still bloody good vehicles they were mothballed (for possible use in WW III), in stacked crates at the huge Donnington RAOC depot, where they were mostly destroyed in the big fire back in the mid-1980's, around the time I was in depot training or shortly after I joined battalion I think, so '84/'85? There are one or two in private hands and they are impressive at shows...being closer to a Dodge 'Beep' in classification, than a Jeep or Lannie.

The Benbros Daimler 'Dingo' inaccurately called a Ferret on Planet Diecast, this was the standard lightly armoured Scout-car and recce-vehicle for most of the Second World War and continued in service long after it, particularly in Armoured/RTC formations, where it was replaced by Ferrets over time. I think it was also the favoured steed of Forward Observers and A-echelon (immediately behind the lines) signals guys?

The vehicle is actually slightly larger than HO (although closer to one of the US HO's which can be 1:64th), yet smaller scaled than other Benbros vehicles, but the little blob of a crew figure is barely even HO!

Finally from Kemlows comes this Saracen APC from their 'Sentry Box' range, almost identical to the Lesney/Matchbox one (so smaller than HO), this differs in having a less frangible MG in the turret, and a different construction when viewed from the underside.

Commonly green with a silver-painted convoy-hatch and radiator grill not highlighted on the M'box one, it was also issued all green, and while this one has a blue/yellow formation sign (service corps?), others have a blue/red (artillery) one, and indeed - some were issued with an anachronistic gun and limber...more here: Robert Newson's Sentry Box.


Jan Ferris said...


You always have something interesting to report on.My hat comes off to you. Although, you do have salivating again.


Hugh Walter said...

Thanks Jan...this post is really some odds and ends which just happened to go togther!