The Armored Car stemmed from a 1914 report that Belgian soldiers were using an armor-plated Minerva sedan car to raid the German Army. Inspired by this knowledge, Rolls-Royce quickly armored an assortment of Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts donated by private citizens. The cars were shielded with 3/8” thick armor plate, fitted with dual rear axles and two machine guns, with 3,000 rounds of ammunition. They carried a crew of three and despite their crudeness (and four ton weight), could reliably maintain 60 mph on dirt roads, thanks to the seven-liter, six-cylinder engine.
This particular subject is truly nothing more than a
“weekend fun project” What makes this interesting (for me) is the personal touches that I was able to bring to the project. But first, let’s explain the project.
As some of you might know I have am fortunate to be able to work in the scale modeling industry. My beginnings as a magazine contributor brought me to the attention of Miguel Jimenez who (at the time) was the principal force behind MIG Productions. For 3 years (2009 – 2012) I worked with MIG Productions as the product distributor for the US and Canada. During those years, Mig left MIG Productions and moved onto new interest which later became a new company, AK Interactive. In the summer of 2012 I agreed to join the staff of AK Interactive. It wasn’t too long after joining AK that a box of sample products show up at my door – time to get acquainted with the new products.
In the 3-ton (or medium) of transport trucks the major and most successful design was the Opel Blitz. This was a 1938 design from Opel (the German subsidiary then, as now, of General Motors) and was quite conventional in layout. The Opel Model S3.6-36, to give its maker’s designation, was a 4×2 vehicle with pressed steel cab and bonnet. Suspension was by conventional leaf springs. During its war production run, there were many special purpose variants produced; over 100 different types were recorded.
Ah, the enjoyment of receiving a package from the Boys in Brown, especially when I know that it contains a Stu.Pz.IV “Brummbar”. During the course of one of our frequent email conversations, MMiR editorial assistant, modeler, and all around nice guy Jeff Kleinhenz mentioned that he was feeling short on time asked if I would be interested in doing the finish work on the Brummbar that he was working on. Let me get this straight; I get to jump ahead to the fun parts? No construction, just painting and weathering? Well, this is a nice change of pace. Oh yes, there was one thing, I would need to apply the Zimmerit.
There are few American weapons built during the Second World War which did not serve with the US Armed Forces in some way, shape or form. Even the P-63 Kingcobra had a number of aircraft serve as gunnery trainers. (There are others, such as the Martin Maryland and Baltimore, but those were designed for overseas sales and little used by the USAAF.)
The Staghound armored car is one of the few that was built and accepted for service with the US Army, but never used or wanted by them and thus nearly 100% of its considerable production run went to the Commonwealth for use as a heavy armored car. The US Army instead opted for the lighter M8 6 x 6 Armored Car and its companion M20 6 x 6 Armored Utility Car as they fit the US Army model for cavalry scouting vehicles. The US Army considered reconnaissance more important than combat, whereas the Commonwealth doctrine saw heavy armored cars used to engage light targets and provide infantry support.
The following article is one of my earlier works published; I was extremely pleased to be not only published by Fine Scale Modeler Magazine – 2009, but the Marder III was featured on the front cover. As I go about rebuilding my site and reading these older posts I am struck by how my style has changed over the years – both in writing and modeling. The topic of conversation is the “new” Modulation Style of painting – those familiar in the modeling world have seen and experienced the varied opinions of the technique as it has been used and developed over the subsequent years.