Monday, February 22, 2010

"Armoured cars and tanks and guns..Came to take away our sons..."

"Armoured cars and tanks and guns
Came to take away our sons
But every man must stand behind
The men behind the wire"

- The Wolfe Tones, "The Men Behind the Wire"

Well, I am back after a long dry spell. First off, much apologies to the Wolfe Tones for stealing their lyrics for the title of this posting. As the title sort of infers to is what I have been working on for my 20mm Northern Ireland Ambush Alley game...armored vehicles for the Crown forces. They are not complete, but far enough along that I feel that I am getting somewhere.

First up is the iconic symbol of the British Army policing during 'The Troubles," the Humber FV 1611 MK II. But it is more commonly referred to as the "Pig." This is a 1/76 scale white metal casting kit by BW Models. As you can see, I still have to fix the front ram as one side broke off while trying to cut it loose from the casting. After I reviewed the photos, I see a few other things I want to correct as well.

The next vehicle is the Royal Ulster Constabulary's Shorland Armoured Patrol Car. Sixteen of these served with the RUC from June of 1966 to January of 1970. They served in the RUC's Reserve Force Platoons, an organization carried out normal police duties, and in addition to handling crowd or riot control, as well as military / para-military operations. When the RUC was instructed to stand down their armored vehicles, these vehicles went to mothballs for a short period and then turned over to the Ulster Defence Force. This specific model is painted up to be Fleet number 273, from the No. 3 Platoon (Glenravel Street), Belfast, RUC. I am not happy with the color of the tires, so I will touching those up later. I plan to get another one and paint it up for the UDR. Again, this is model from BW Models.

Now, the following is the Shorland SB301 armored personnel carrier. Three of these served with the RUC, (and where commonly referred to as "The Three Amigos'.) The SB301 entered service in August of 1975 and were withdrawn from operational service in 1979. There were still used as part of the reserve fleet until late 1990. Since all of my military vehicles will be green and most of my RUC vehicles will be grey, I thought that it would be different to paint this one up when the SB301's were painted blue. This specific vehicle is painted to be Fleet number 3131 and was attached to the explosives escort unit at Carrickfergus, County Antrim, in 1976. Again, this is a model from BW Models.

Finally, I am putting this up as sort of a warning to anyone who is considering of buying a 1/72 plastic kit from the Ukranian modelling company, ACE. The are a pain to assemble; there are no pins to hold the parts together and you can see the Grand Canyon size holes that need to be putty filled. This will be (if I can ever finish it) a Panhard M3 APC with a TL-2i turret for the Irish Defence Force. It (might) will show up with a section of Irish infantry that will be patrolling the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland and trying to stop the flow of weapons for the IRA from the Republic of Ireland and supporting British operations...or are they preparing for 'Doomsday' scenario of crossing over the border and taking military action to support the IRA and drive the British out!