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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

"The A13 Was Fast But Under-Armoured And Mechanically Unreliable."

"The Cruiser Mark III equipped units in the 1st Armoured Division, but most were lost."

These three 10mm metal British cruiser tanks were bought together in a single clamshell from “Pendraken Miniatures” at Salute 50 and were simply labelled as Crusader III (armoured vehicles). I had originally intended to add them to the ever-expanding winter-based, snow-flocked Battle of The Bulge campaign. But having conducted a bit of research post-purchase I disappointingly discovered that the Crusader III only saw active service in France, Greece and Libya.

Luckily, having encountered a similar situation with the half-dozen Crusader II tanks I also bought at the ExCel Centre-based show, I decided to simply add them to my (fictious) Early Second World War project - Operation Sea Lion. Resultantly, all three quite considerably-sized models were individually super-glued onto plastic 40mm x 60mm rectangular stands and undercoated using "Vallejo" Leather Brown primer.

"Pendraken Miniatures" WIPs - The tanks were primed, base-coated & shaded before being dry-brushed

They were then layered with a double-helping of "Vallejo" Russian Uniform WW2, before being doused in "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade, and later dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Russian Uniform WW2. I also 'picked out' their predominantly covered tank tracks using a combination of "Vallejo" Gunmetal and "Citadel" Abaddon Black, before later returning to the hull for a little 'nip' and 'tidy up' using a smidgeon extra of "Vallejo" Russian Uniform WW2.

As a final touch I was going to also add some Union Jack decals to both sides of their hulls to proudly proclaim them as being British. I've taken this rather historically inaccurate step with all my earlier incarnations of the cruiser tank, as well as some Matilda II and Vickers VI armoured vehicles. However, I'm currently out of the small flag transfers, and am impatiently waiting for "Pendraken Miniatures" to get some more BR-127 - Union Jack, St George and St Andrew Flags by "Decal Details" back in stock.

"Warlord Games" WIPs - These Confederate soldiers are at various stages of completion

Alongside my latest Allied contingent I have been working on a few more 15mm plastic pieces from "Warlord Games" Epic Battles Black Powder American Civil War range. Some of these miniatures have been inspired by my desire to ultimately field a fully-painted 'legal' Confederate Army consisting of four three-stand infantry regiments, a three-stand artillery battery, and a single mounted commander. Whilst the fourth officer I'm currently pigmenting is to stand upon my planned vignette representing General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

To see whether it makes it easier for my brush-tip to reach some of the ensemble's harder-to-reach areas, I'm currently painting my two remaining cannon crews in three separate pieces. Once the four artillerymen are finished I then plan to glue the great gun in between them on their rectangular stand and carefully give it a lick of "Vallejo" Brass and "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. As a complete aside I have disconcertingly discovered that I didn't use "Vallejo" Heavy Grey on the wooden carriage and wheels (as I recorded in my notes), and despite a few attempts don't appear to be able to match the colour of the original 'test piece' I completed a couple of weeks ago...

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