More Desert Kit and Equipment from Scratch

These two Pound Store jeeps have been converted into Jeep ‘Trucks’ for my desert raiding Force. Extra stowage, fuel tanks, winches and spare (button) tyres came from what was to hand in the scraps box, in keeping with their pound store origins.

The old tiny version 1 Airfix as crew do look a little undersized – probably less so with version 2 Airfix which are slightly larger – but if you think of them as desert trucks like the old LRDG Chevrolets, it kind of works.

Jeep trucks, windscreens trimmed – with LMG crew in place in game and without, with crew.

Monday Update: Responding to comments (below), trimming the windscreen does work to rescale it. It was not easily possible to remove the whole windscreen thing.

Goggles and tiny windscreens on this LRDG Matchbox kit.

They started life in the pound store, a Christmas gift from a charity shop, the usual mismatch mixture of scales.

This shows how the jeeps started off. The Airfix Centurion China copy tanks would be in scale for the vintage OO HO Airfix figures.

Improvised oil tanks from toothpaste lids – reused, not recycled!

I wanted to mock up fast a desert storage facility at a railway yard / airfield. Something for Airfix Commandos to blow up. These party popper storage tanks (first conversion attempts) are a bit wonky, as cutting off the necks and inserting this down into the flimsy body did not work as cleanly as I wanted.

The mysterious tarpaulin covered or camouflaged shapes are offcut blocks of wood, wrapped in some light brown serviette tissues I found in a cafe and glued with PVA wood glue.

A few additional figures that might prove useful, so I have painted and rebased some useful figures.

Desert Arabs from the early Airfix set, painted about 40 years ago and rebased.

A few Airfix Luftwaffe ground crew make good train staff, aircraft mechanics and oil tanks staff.

A handy antitank gun from the Airfix ready made solid plastic vehicle range, the gun that accompanied the halftrack. A little surprise or an extra bit of protection for the facilities at Wadi Yu Min.

These all add some potential for these desert raid scenarios.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 12 January 2020.

14 thoughts on “More Desert Kit and Equipment from Scratch”

  1. Damn the minor scale difference, looks good to me. A nice, effective conversion and as you suggest, the vehicles have that robust, heavy-duty look about them – very necessary for desert track work.

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    1. As a “game token”, it works. As a military model, it only works in spirit. As a chunky bit of cheap scrap modelling, it is completely free. In a desert raid, “Wot larx” we shall have with these two, nicknamed Ragtag and Bobtail!

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  2. Like the scratch build terrain, especially the blocks covered with a tarpaulin. I may well make a few myself and add them to my dockyard terrain. As for the jeeps if you lose the windscreen the scale will not be as obvious and considered to be a truck converted by the LRDG.

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    1. I think with a little fine thread wrapped round them they will work well enough for a dockyard, railhead ammunition dump or nasty camouflaged surprises …
      The windscreen I’d exactly want distorts scale, so I may cut it down as they did with the Chevy and jeeps to little windscreens. Easier to fire the HMGs LMGs over. Goggles did the rest.
      The idea is that the lying down LMG team can lie on top of the truck during the game phases.
      I look forward to seeing how the dockyard works out in a game. Looks magnificent.

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  3. You have been working hard. The jeeps have scrubbed up really well with the addition of items from the spares box and certainly look the part. I do like the serviette covered block which oozes mystery and intrigue. The oil tanks are just the ticket. It is nice to see the pictures of the Centurion tanks which Ihad forgotten about not to mention the splendid Arabs which look the part. Looking forward to seeing the game.

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    1. I did consider trying to “blockify” or “glacisfy” the turret and shorten the barrel on the Centurions to make a sort of generic early War desert Cruiser and Desert Panzer tank.
      Tanks will probably change the sort of WW2 era games I want to play anyway. Skirmish, raid, platoon level infantry action, not tank battles …

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    1. Thanks John. I have now clipped the windscreens and it works even better. Photos updated in the blog post.
      I’m sure you could do this at 54mm with suitable Pound Store plastic big jeeps.

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    1. Thanks – another movie to add to my desert island movie list of Ice Cold in Alex, The Desert Fox, The English Patient …
      According to IMDB / Wikipedia, The 1971 war film Raid on Rommel starring Richard Burtonmade extensive use of combat footage from Tobruk! and also featured a very similar story-line about a British commando force infiltrating enemy lines and raiding the Afrika Korps supply bases.

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