Modelling British WWII Armoured Vehicles...


...a new book from The Crowood Press


Title: Modelling British WWII Armoured Vehicles

Author: Tom Cole

Publisher: The Crowood Press

ISBN: 978-1-78500-547-3

New from Crowood Press is another Modelling title, this time featuring British Armoured Vehicles of WW2, written by long time MAFVA member Tom Cole. A 190-page soft-cover book that is a marvellous guide for the small scale military vehicle modeller. Tom gives us a history of the early plastic AFV models, which started off with Airfix back in the early 1960s. This opening look at the wider topic of military vehicle modelling also considers the changes in the hobby that have been taking place between then and now.  We see the change in fashion from 1/76 scale kits to the more common scale these days of 1/72. Not a lot in it, but there is a noticeable change in size for models in the alternative scales. There is also the appearance of models in both resin and metal, as well as the more common injection moulded plastic kit.

Chapter 2 starts us into the journey of model building itself, with notes about tools, glues and how to use them, along with tips on conversions and building up your own 'spares box'. This also includes a short 'how to' in creating heat-stretched sprue, such a valuable little material in itself. Then it moves on to Building Armoured Fighting Vehicles, and uses the subject of the Grant tank to explain the basic techniques, building kits by Mirage, Hasegawa and Airfix. These are all plastic kits but it does go on to tips with building resin models as well. This also includes how to cast your own resin turret as a replacement for the under-size one that comes in the old Airfix kit. The next step is covered in chapter 4, with Detailing and Converting models, which also features the use of scale drawings to check things are right. This skill has been somewhat neglected in recent years as various manufacturers have released new models and conversion sets to do much of the work for you. However, a valuable skill to have and Tom shows us what we can do with a mix of different armoured vehicles. That leaves chapter 5 to cover Painting & Weathering your models, and the materials available to use.

In chapter 6 the topic moves on to deal with Building, Detailing and Painting Soft-Skin Vehicles., before chapter 7 considers Building and Detailing Artillery and this includes both plastic and resin models. A vital addition to any model vehicle is the inclusion of associated figures (drivers, crew etc) and these are explained in a very helpful guide in chapter 8.

The final element to put things into a context is the construction of a diorama, the provision of a scenic base to display your models in a themed setting. This is extended even further in the last chapter, with the construction of a large diorama of the Weybourne Camp in Norfolk, home of the Muckleburgh Collection. This tells the story of the design and build of this large display which is now on show at the museum, and built by a team of modellers from the Cambridge branch of MAFVA, of which Tom is a member.

An excellent reference for the small scale military vehicle modeller and useful for both beginners and experienced modeller alike.