Monday, 14 September 2015

Sonderwagen 3 Von der Bundesgrenzschutze

Or Alvis Saladin in the service of the Federal German Border Guards, if you prefer!

After the unmitigated disaster that was the Sheridan, I decided to try and calm myself down by building something a bit more straight-forward (and with a far simpler paint scheme...)

On raiding the stash, my eyes lighted on a long-forgotten JB Models Saladin armoured car. Bought yonks ago for about three quid, I'd intended on doing a diorama feauring this, a Saracen APC, a Diamond-T and a civvy motor having a Mexican stand-off at a T-junction somewhere in Wales in the 50s... However, having accepted that that's never ever going to get done, I decided it would make an ideal addition to the 1970s US force in the guise of a Sonderwagen 3 of the BGS, and so I set about throwing it together.

The JB kits (now Airfix) are very simple little kits (to the point of crudity in the case of some of the earlier ones, such as this one!) but with a little care and thought, they can be made into pretty convincing little items. I the case of the Saladin, the most obvious omission are the tie-downs surrounding the turret. I fabricated some out of stretched sprue; they're horrendously over scale, but they give the impression nicely. Next up, I drilled out the barrels of the smoke dischargers (madness, but improves the look to no end) and the main armament, and added a canvas sleeve to same. The co-ax .30 was replaced with an S&S piece, and the AA .30 (which is just downright offensive) was similarly skipped and replaced with a Sgts Mess item. Intending to leave the hatched open, I duffed up some basic hatch interiors from stock and more stretched sprue, and with the addition of some stowage from various sources, I was left with this-

A nice coat of what Humbrol had sold me claiming to bronze green soon followed, (nothing like bronze green, but perfect for this scheme!), and it was starting to come together...

Some WWII panzer crewmen in field caps were sourced from Foundry (conveniently also featuring winter parkas on some of the sculpts. Might see about doing another one of these!) Some git came up with the great idea of doing Sumpfmuster in 20mm...

Et viola. One finished BGS Sonderwagen 3. Looks totally out of place in it's bright green paint scheme against the snowbound base, but suitably eye-catching on the table...! The registration plate came out far too large, despite careful measuring. This will probably be replaced at some point, but will be left in place for now.


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