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, June 14, 2018

BB is for Nonsense!

The big disappointment with Oxford's die-cast range is the fact that they seem to have decided to pander to the worst of the combat-wombat fantasists usually found at Beltring or Wheels and Tracks at What's-it Hop Farm by providing a totally fictional series of Berlin Brigade urban camouflage schemes for various models in their Land Rover family.

They. Did. Not. Get. Urban. Camouflage. Ever! Bit of a rant today!

Worse, I think all three of the ones I'm looking at here weren't even service-vehicles in the brigade, so they are doubly fictional.

It's a long time ago. But I don't remember 1-Ton's in Berlin, at all. The Wombat platoon had old stripped-down series threes with a false floor to stow the Wombat's ramps, while the mortar platoon had series threes (replaced by defenders in 1986, maybe '87) with trailers for the base-plates. There was a Milan platoon, but I seem to recall they man-packed everywhere, broken down to one tube per infantry company? They ('Milan') had had Forward Control's in Tidworth though . . . I think!

The other uses for One-ton FC's was as 105mm Gun-tractors - we didn't have 105's in Berlin - and as ambulances, but in Berlin we had the old 'camper-van' overhanging-bodied' 3-series (as modelled by Corgi!), or - uniquely in the British Army - Unimogs.

So this vehicle wasn't in Berlin, and if it had been, it wouldn't have got the urban camouflage, which was confined to the larger AFV's - The Chieftains had it (for summer 1986?), the FV432 and 432B (Raden turret)'s had it first (they were wearing it for the Royal Hampshire's 'trooping of the colours' as senior battalion on parade for the Queen's Birthday Parade (QBP), so '84'ish?) and the Armoured squadron's Chieftain ARV's, Ferrets and FV438RE's had it, but our Fox's (bigger than a Ferret and armoured) were green and black.

This example also has far too much grey and not enough chocolate and white for the BB urban camouflage scheme's ratios which were closer to 40/30/30, but that’s going to be the obvious trouble with an invented paint-job!

This is comical, not only were 'lightweights' not service vehicles in Berlin Brigade, the camouflage on this has been copied from a combat-wombat's own civilianised Q-plate vehicle (Q568 GFV) which can be found on the internet; his mate had the most ridiculous aerials on a series-3 LWB and they spent their time worrying sheep between petrol-head events like those mentioned at the start!

Lightweights were considered 'special' vehicles, and while I seem to recall one FFR per company-HQ in Tidworth, it just wasn't a vehicle that the Berlin Brigade ever qualified for, there being no air-portability requirement for units written-off the strength of NATO, due to their low survivability 'forecast' in the event of the shit really hitting the fan!

Again, Land Rovers didn't get urban scheme, again; too much grey, not enough of the other two colours, but also, the series-3 safari's we had tended to window bodies with heavy, full-length (over-hanging) roof-racks (the CO had one I think), and while we did take delivery of the new 110 Defenders while I was there (ahead of both UKLF and BAOR), they were all green and black, and the hard-tops were fibre-glass pull-on's, windowed and all-green. But time's a bitch; and of the three, this is the one I'm not so sure of - as a service vehicle - and it could have arrived in the brigade after I left, but it didn't have the camouflage.

Again there's a combat-wombat one (soft-top Series-3) wearing military plates at shows (85 KB 80), but he's got both colours wrong, the chocolate being instead a camel-shit orange and the dark-grey; a pale ducks-egg colour!

He uses the scheme on the original experimental vehicle (01 GF 98?)'s scheme (from 1982?) which was placed on an old series-3 long before my time in the city, and which was only cleared for use with colour modifications, on the larger AFV's.

The thing is, the AFV's had a war-function of providing fire-support as rolling or emplaced 'bunkers' for ad-hoc battle-groups carrying out whatever task/s they had been given, within (holding actions) or through (breakout-infiltration-harassment) what was to be assumed would be a shattered or damaged city - if they had survived whatever indicated the beginning of hostilities! As such, they were painted to effectively disappear into the rubble.

Minutes 2.18 and 3.10 - 432's only, 1984 or '85

The soft-skins (and Fox) were primarily tasked with normal, day-to-day, 'peace-time' transport, patrolling the wire (foxes) and regular exercising 'down the zone' and therefore carried the standard NATO/UKLF scheme of broad black regions over an mid-olive drab-green (called 'Deep Bronze Green). The Fox'es were eventually painted 'urban' as well, but not until '88 or later.

They were not expected to survive the opening of hostilities, or be much use in the confines of rubble-strewn city streets, and would have been unlikely to have had time to be covered in a non-existing series of schemes. There was supposed to be a secondary function of the schemes - which were 'identikit' for each vehicle type - that of confusing the Russians into the exact numbers of armoured vehicles we had.

1987 - Chieftains now done - minute 13.30 - Striped-down brand-new
Defenders still NATO standard. 
Foxes (briefly visible extreme right at one point)
still NATO too - I'm in there somewhere!

However - given that A) each vehicle had a unique number-plate clearly visible, B) 'Soxmis' (the Soviet Military Mission) were allowed to roam freely over our sector; looking and counting, and C) the Russians knew exactly how many of what AFV-types had gone up and down the 'corridor' rail-lines over the previous 30-odd years - it was an excuse for playing with paint; which only the ruperts at MOD could come-up with!

And why don't the model manufacturers produce Bedford's or other larger soft-skins in the BB scheme? It's lazy, easy, pandering to vicarious combat-wombats! And if you've bought one - give it to your 'Nottingham' space-marines, for that is where it belongs . . . La-la Land!

La-la Land Rover's!


Terranova47 said...

CORRECTION TO: non-powered Treble-O trains from Triang as a kid.

The die-cast Treblo-O trains were Lone Star (DCMT)

Hugh Walter said...

Duplicate? I think Blogger are playing with coding!