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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

"The Crusader Tank Would Not See Active Service Beyond Africa."

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

"But the chassis of the tank was modified to create anti-aircraft, fire support, and recovery vehicle variants."

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 II (armoured vehicles). Owing to my naivety as to the British forces which participated in the Battle Of The Bulge, I had originally intended to simply add them to my ever-expanding winter-based, snow-flocked Allied contingent. However, having done a bit of research post-purchase I disappointingly discovered that the Crusader II was actually 'confined' to the North Africa campaign.

Fortunately, having encountered a similar situation with some Matilda II infantry tanks I recently recovered from my lead mountain, I have now started a non-winter Early Second World War project - which these Nuffield-designed vehicles should fit into rather nicely. Indeed, having searched through my loot from Salute 50, I have discovered that I inadvertently bought a second Crusader II 'blister' (as well as one containing a trio of Crusader III tanks), so clearly now have the makings of a sizeable British company to field on a future tabletop.

"Pendraken Miniatures" WIPs - Three Panzer II tanks being primed, shaded and dry-brushed

Due to their quite considerable size, all three models were individually super-glued to plastic 40mm x 60mm rectangular stands and undercoated using "Vallejo" Leather Brown primer. 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.

Lastly, I carefully applied a smidgeon of "Citadel" Abaddon Black to their rather delicate Besa machine guns and slapped a Union Jack decal on both sides of each hull to proudly proclaim them as being British. This step is far from historically accurate, as they seem to have worn no markings signifying their country of origin whilst in service. However, I wanted to have them stand out from their American allies with something a bit more obvious than a simple 'greener' palette scheme.

"Wizkids" WIPs - The Mighty Thor Groot is slowly having all its details 'picked out'

With a small mixture of Matilda II and Crusader II tanks now ready for the battlefield, I have turned my attention to pigmenting some opposition using some "Pendraken Miniatures" I found in the loft. To be honest these armoured vehicles are the leftovers from some Winter War army lists I compiled for an old version of the rule-set "Blitzkrieg Commander", so I'm just pleased that they're finally going to get some love and attention - as opposed to assembling a competitive Axis army.

In addition, I have been very mindful that I have yet to finish any of the models I set aside at the start of the month for the annual Monster Mayhem Challenge over on the Angry Piper's blog "Dead Dick's Tavern And Temporary Lodging". With this in mind I've scooped up the first figure which came to hand from that selection - a sizeable "Heroclix" miniature of The Mighty Thor Groot by "Wizkids" and been feverishly applying my brush-tip to him...

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