British Light Tanks 1927–1945 Marks I–VI by David Fletcher, illustrated by Henry Morshead.
This is number 217 in Osprey’s New Vanguard series. As is typical for Osprey, it includes some excellent colour drawings.
The text is interesting and written in a way that makes it easy to read. It tells the story of the Vickers light tank series from the Mark I to the Mark VIC.
I’ve long found inter-war and early WWII armour interesting. In terms of sheer numbers at least, the Vickers light tanks were an important part of the British Army during the early years of the war.
Between the wars, they served a useful purpose in colonial policing roles. Facing an enemy with armour and anti-tank weapons, however, they were hopelessly outclassed. The .50″ Vickers machine gun was considered an anti-tank gun when it was introduced on the Mark V, but by 1939 it was useless against enemy armour. If nothing else, this illustrates the rapid advances in armour development between the two world wars.
The book covers some variants that I was unaware of, such as AA tanks and a proposed airborne tank, armed with a single machine gun in a very small turret. It even discusses some individual vehicles that were used to evaluate concepts and ideas. One intriguing example is a Mark VI fitted with a two-pounder anti-tank gun in an open-topped turret.
Overall, it’s an interesting read. My only complaint is that it’s not always obvious when the various marks entered service. This is a minor complaint, though, and I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in inter-war or early war armour.
The box includes parts to make three tanks, each of which can be built as an original T-55, T-55A, or T-55AM. Since there are enough parts to make all three in any version, there will always be spare parts left over for the bits box.
The kits are quick and easy to build. The tracks, for instance, are a single casting on each side, with wheels and track all in one piece.
They lack some details. The coaxial machine gun and sight are missing from the turret, for instance. Still the finished model is unmistakably a T-55. They are sturdy, so should handle being played with on a regular basis.
Given the number of armies that the T-55 have seen service with, this is a very useful kit for any post-war 20mm gamer. I believe S&S Models have plans for conversions, which will make these kits even more useful.
In this pack you get a ready built resin Kubel, with white metal wind-screen, tilt and two crew figures.
The Kubel is smashing, though there were a few holes which had to be filled, the white metal tilt shows nice “cloth” detail, there was a little flash. The two crewmen – driver in side cap and passenger in helmet with MP40 as tidy enough and fit well into the vehicles cramped interior.
First saw this on their Facebook page, but may have bought it via their Ebay store – waylander.2012
You get a very neat 2-piece resin casting – the vehicle basically cut in two. Obviously this makes for a very quick build as all you need to do is match up the two halves, check the fit (mine needed some light sanding) and glue. There were some holes in the resin and a little flash to be cleaned away (wheel arches and among the stowage in the rear), nothing too drastic and when done the finished piece looked excellent.
This vehicle would make a great addition to your desert forces, I think you could also use it in France 1940 also.