Sunday, 24 May 2009

The ‘lost’ wargames armies of my youth

My recent entry about 20th Century imagi-nations seems to have struck a cord with some of my readers, and whilst gardening this afternoon (those of you who know me will know that this is not one of my hobbies, and that I only do what is absolutely necessary under duress!) I had time to muse on the ‘lost’ wargames armies of my youth.

I have already mentioned the continual state of war that existed between Opeland and Upsland, and the armies that I built for both sides. Whilst I was emptying the troughs and pots of their unwanted plants and time-expired compost, I began to remember some of the ‘conversions’ that I made from existing models. Most were based on AIFIX and ROCO military vehicles and included:
  • A squadron of tanks that combined the body and tracks of ROCO cast armour Sherman tanks with HVSS suspension (No.101) and ROCO Sheridan light tank (No.254) turrets armed with AIRFIX Tiger gun barrels in place of the Shillelagh gun/missile system
  • A battery of self-propelled 25pdr guns on AIRFIX Bren Gun Carrier chassis (very overloaded!)
  • A squadron of tanks that combined the body and turret of AIRFIX Sherman tanks with the HVSS suspension from a ROCO 155mm self-propelled gun (No.104); the turrets had large stowage boxes added to the back and were armed with cut-down 155mm gun barrels from the self-propelled gun – the result looked vaguely like the Israeli Isherman
  • Numerous AIRFIX half-tracks armed with different weapons (e.g. the quadruple 20mm gun from the ROCO Armoured Half-tack (No.128) or the 6pdr anti-tank gun from the AIFIX Bren Gun Carrier set)
  • Infantry guns that used the short 75mm gun from the AIRFIX StuG on a cut-down version of the AIRFIX 6pdr anti-tank gun carriage
Thinking about these old and now ‘lost’ armies almost makes me want to raid the large collection of unmade models and spares box that are in my shed and start again from new but … well, perhaps one day, but not today … unless I can be persuaded otherwise!

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