Thursday, January 04, 2018

Blue Witch asked a good question about why I model tanks and I gave a brief response about childhood hobbies / obsessions in the comments. But, I really had never given any real thought as to why tanks and military vehicles. I had collected and painted metal English Civil War figures also and I haven't returned to them. I might do because as BW pointed out space is becoming an issue. I intend to find a second hand glass fronted cabinet for the collection and to protect them from dust and the moggies so I will be scouring second hand shops locally and further afield. There is also the possibility of finding models for sale as Mrs C. pointed out!

     A11 Matilda 1 completed and ready for base coat painting as shown in the second photo.

I lost or did not receive the machine gun for the model so I scratch built one out of sprue and a paperclip. It does the job and so far I am pleased with my first resin build. It is tiny and having to use superglue plus tiny parts was frustrating at times. I have learnt a lot from this one small kit and the next stage is further layers of paint and camouflage plus some light weathering. There are no decals so the numbers, etc...will be interesting. A fellow modeller and I had a discussion about this particular tank and how the 1/35 scale model retails at approximately £70. Hence I opted for the very much cheaper and smaller scale. We also discussed the main battle the Matilda 1 and 2 participated in during the Blitzkrieg, The Battle of Arras in May 1940. When you consider these were primarily small, light, slow tanks crewed by two men and carrying machine guns only it is astonishing how successful they were in this one battle despite eventually having to retreat. That is in part an answer to why I build model tanks. The history, the stories from why and how they were built (Cheap!) to how they were used or sadly, in the case of both the BEF and French forces, how they were misused and the opportunities lost by poor and often inadequate leadership during the French and Belgian campaigns of 1940. It's a long time since I read the campaigns and I have ordered a couple of second hand books about it from evil bay. A further answer is that I can relate to machinery and vehicles but I opted for tanks instead of formula 1 (boring) or the latest supercars. No.1 son and LE both enjoy formula 1 but I don't get it. In the same way that others apart from fellow enthusiasts don't get my liking for tanks. I also like steam engines, old motorcycles and old cars but I have no interest in trains although I saw a model of an old Fordson tractor that piqued my interest. I learnt to drive one aged 12 years so seeing a close facsimile of one will inevitably result in me buying the kit one day!



Anonymous Blue Witch said...


Yes, I can see the interest in the social history of the subject. I guess there aren't too many people left who manned tanks now.

9:09 am  
Blogger delcatto said...

I met one chap many years ago who had crewed a Cromwell tank from Normandy through to Germany. He said very little other than it was tough at times.

8:50 pm  

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