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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

"With Its Heavy Armour, The Matilda II Was An Excellent Infantry Support Tank..."

"...But with somewhat limited speed and armament."

These two 10mm metal British infantry tanks are sold by “Pendraken Miniatures” as Code BRV2 - Matilda II, and were discovered amidst a pile of other armoured vehicles produced by the Middlesbrough-based manufacturer whilst I was searching through some partially-forgotten plastic containers. Originally, I had hoped to simply use them as the beginnings of a British World War Two Winter collection - which is how all my 10mm armoured vehicles have been based to date. But after some rudimentary research into their history it was clear that the A12 was best known for its exploits in North Africa.

Furthermore, I also momentarily dithered around pigmenting them to use as Russian tanks, due to the Soviets deploying them during the Battle of Moscow. However, as the "crews often complained that snow and dirt were accumulating behind the skirt panels", and I still own a large amount of unpainted Russian models, I decided to simply use the Matilda II's as the motivator for starting a new 10mm (non-Winter) World War Two project instead.

"Pendraken Miniatures" WIPs - This Crusader II Tank has been primed, base coated and shaded

I therefore applied a couple of coats of "Vallejo" Russian Uniform over the miniatures and subsequently drenched them with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. The tanks were then enthusiastically dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Russian Uniform WW2 before I finished their tracks off using a combination of "Vallejo" Gunmetal and "Citadel" Abaddon Black. In addition, I added a couple of Union Jacks to their turrets - which whilst wholly inaccurate, make the Matilda IIs stand out as being distinctly British, as to opposed to being just another armoured vehicle in the Allies' arsenal.

Sticking with both "Pendraken Miniatures" and armoured vehicles, I have made some good progress on three Crusader II tanks I bought from the company's super-busy stall at Salute 50. To be honest this purchase fairly typified my naïve disorientation as to which British fighting vehicles I needed for my Battle Of The Bulge project, as the "cruiser" actually served in North Africa, not Bastogne - Albeit I did read that the Crusader was later relegated "to secondary duties, such as anti-aircraft mounts", so may have seen a little use in North West Europe..?

"Battlefront Miniatures" WIPs - This Panzer II is slowly having its details 'picked out'

To make matters worse, I also somehow stuck two identical blisters in my little shopping basket, along with a trio of Crusader III models too - so now the bulk of my British (non-Winter) World War Two project will invariably have to be Crusaders - at least for the time being. This isn't ideal, as similar to my Winter War project, I wanted to field a large variety of the tanks (and other guns) which were involved in the various battles. But at least once finished I'll have a strong contingent for any Allied operations in Tunisia, and the vehicle was additionally used for training back in the United Kingdom during 1942, so could be fielded for some Operation Sea Lion scenarios.

Finally, I have almost finished one of the five "Flames Of War" Panzer II tanks by "Battlefront Miniatures" I also picked up whilst at Salute 50. I picked up this old 15mm resin and metal boxed set as the new "Berlin: German" campaign book mentions that you can field them as part of a Tank Training Company, and whilst I really like the current plastic kits, I got my quintet a lot cheaper than the pre-order price I've seen for just three of the latest Panzer II sprues...

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