Monday, 31 January 2011

A history of Airfix HO/OO AFV kits - part 6 - 1964

The year of 1964 saw four new releases - a number never repeated. 
The first of these was the Tiger - a basic kit which nonetheless makes up into a very decent representation.  I have owned loads of them over the years and currently have half a dozen 'on fleet', together with a few of their younger counterparts from Fujimi and Dragon.
This Tiger (with added MMS crew) is attached to 10 Panzer Division.
Next came the 'Bren Carrier & 6 Pounder gun'.  This is in fact a Universal Carrier and they infest my boxfiles in a variety of guises. 
This very standard Carrier currently serves the Motor Battalion of Guards Armoured Division.

This is the 6-pdr AT gun as made up straight from the box/bag/pack (depending on the age of the kit!).  As with the 25 pdr kit, the crew figures aren't great by modern standards,  These guys are metal figures by FAA, and the gun serves as the AT Regiment of 15 Scottish Division.

Another Carrier - this one, together with the Dixon figures, is the RE Detachment of 7 Armoured Division.

Carriers were supplied in considerable numbers to the Russians.  This one has been lightly modified with the addition of a Russian HMG from the Matchbox T-34 kit.

Captured Carrier!  This one provides the transport for a Panzergrenadier battalion of 2 SS Panzer Division 'Das Reich'.

Carrier variants were numerous.  This line layer was based on a photo and the conversion was carried out sometime in the 1970s - this is one of my oldest models.  It now serves on the staff of 6 SS Gebirgsjager Division 'Nord'.

Just to show that it's not only the Germans who capture stuff.  This Carrier is now part of the Trieste Motorised Division.
A further release was the 'Armoured Car 234'.  As is now well known, the sides (or mudguards) on this kit were actually based on the earlier Sdkfz 231 cars, and many have been converted into other versions of the 231/234 series.
The original style of packaging.  Later this kit came in 'blister' packs and finally boxes.

Finding one of these made up as per the instructions wasn't easy.  This example from 11 Panzer Division may look standard, but I have in fact replaced the PAK 40 gun with the rather better one which comes as part of the Airfix Opel Blitz kit.

Sdkfz 234/4. This is a typical conversion (not by me), showing the correct pattern sides made up from plastic sheet.

Sdkfz 233.  This version with the short 75mm gun was built by Chris Kemp.  Despite the 21PD insignia, it is destined to join 9 Panzer Division which is currently 'forming' in a suitably labelled boxfile.

Sdkfz 231 Radio Car - this conversion is the staff company of 11 Panzer Division

Sdkfz 234/1 with 20mm cannon in a new turret.  Part of the Aufkl Abt of Das Reich.

Crude but good - JR's old conversion using parts from the M3 halftrack kit.  Now part of 3 Panzer Division.
The final release in this year was the Centurion Tank.  This iconic postwar British tank kit offered many conversion possibilities, but being primarily a WW2 gamer, at least in this scale, I never bothered with it much.  I did build one in the late 1970s but as is so often the case, it's fate is unknown.
A 1970s- style kit box.

The only 'standard' Centurion I can offer a photo of is this overpainted monstrosity I picked up a couple of years ago.  When I get round to dealing with it the side skirts will be coming off - they are covered in enough paint to stop a 125mm round, never mind an RPG!

This is rather nicer.  I picked up this beautiful conversion on a MkI Centurion a few years ago. 
The turret is completely different to the kit offering.

The spares box contains quite a lot of Centurion bits.  If I can source some suitable wheels (T-34 or Comet perhaps?),
 I think there are the makings of a complete tank here!


Paul said...

Best post for 2011! Lots of infomation and eye candy.

Great post!

Al said...

Cool post!

Tim Gow said...

And to think it's only January! I know how much you like to drool over photos of toys.

Tim Gow said...

Thanks - and plenty more where they came from.

Paul´s Bods said...

You truly are a man after my own heart!!! Tell you do the vehicles, I´ll do the figures and we´ll find someone to cover the online Airfix Museum...
Great post mate.

Don M said...

I'm enjoying this trip down memory lane...However this is the real story,the captured Italian carrier was actually captured by the Germans and turned over to their allies out of pity...;-)

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


The Airfix Bren Carrier and 6-pounder AT Gun featured very prominently in my early imagi-nation wargames in the 1960s.

The carrier provided the basis of my very first Pzkpfw Is, and the 6-pounder ... if the barrel was turned over and reduced in length ... could be converted into a passable Czech 47mm AT Gun. Ideal for an late 1930s/early 1940s army.

It is a model that I will always buy 'for stock' if I see it, along with the 25-pounder and Quad.

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

Paul ('s Bods)
That actually sounds like a good plan!

Tim Gow said...

Shame on you! My Italians captured it all by themselves. They also have a number of British lorries in use. There'll be no national stereotyping on this blog. Well, not in every post....

Tim Gow said...

So did you build a Panzerjager I? I had a go at such a thing in the '70s.

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


I did build a Panzerjager I ... although the chassis was the PzkpfwIa as I could not manage to build the Pzkpfw Ib one (not enough spare Carrier wheels at the time, I seem to remember).

Not quite correct ... but good enough for me.

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

At least you made an effort with the running gear - as I recall I just used the carrier tracks as per the kit.

Don M said...

Ok so they came upon some broke down, out of fuel, or otherwise abandoned British kit....Besides
I thought I was using Historical
stereotyping...) One more point,
loved JR's old conversion using parts from the M3...don't know why
but I just like it.

Tim Gow said...

OK - you're forgiven - you can stop looking over your shoulder for angry 20mm Italians. As to JR's '231 - I know what you mean - It's very wrong, but somehow very right!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

The two 234's I own are targets for future conversions into 232's

Great post

Tim Gow said...

I look forward to seeing them.

Chris Kemp said...

I would love to claim credit for the Sd Kfz 233 Tim, but in fact I inherited it from Chris Willey, who I believe converted it.

Regards, Chris

Rob Young said...

Did a lot of conversions in the 60s - mainly from articles in Airfix magazine. Centurions tended to get converted into Cromwells using Churchill turrets.