A day at Bovington Tank Museum and model show, September 2021.

A fraction of the models on display at the show. The standard was amazing and puts some of my dioramas to shame! Never mind, it was an inspiring experience and great tonic to be among the modelling fraternity.
To enter the museum, you first had to get past the Daleks on guard
Great LRDG Chevrolet and diorama
Sherman Firefly-the real one not a model! One of the many tanks on my to do wish list.
This is my good friend and companion Richard at the show who is also now a keen modeller. Not sure if he is texting his mistress or trying to find out how Exeter City are doing.
Wide variety of FWW models. Nice to see an often neglected area of modelling.
I was very impressed by some of the smaller scale models such as these 1/72. I started out modelling in 1/72 and seeing the amazing detail of these am tempted to go back to it!
Yours truly with a French Renault FT-17 which stars in my gas attack diorama!
Another favourite the French Somua from WW2
No visit to the museum is complete without seeing the Tiger
And the beautiful Panther also has to get a look in
To balance things up, I had to include a Soviet T-34, although this is a captured trophy tank or what the Germans called a ‘Beutepanzer’, at least that’s how it’s been depicted. The Germans used captured Soviet tanks and other AFVs to augment their own forces on the eastern front and to gain insight into Soviet technical skills.
Showing the crude welding around the hatches-useful for when I get round to building a model of one!
There was a gantry so I had a chance to take a rare view of the top of the tank
The wide tracks necessary for travelling in snow and mud
And another view you don’t often see, the rear, but very useful for modellers like me!
The tiny German Pzkpfw 1 light tank, hard to believe it was still in use at the start of WW2. However, experience of using this tank in the Spanish Civil War helped the Germans in the invasion of Poland, France and the Soviet Union. Later the chassis would be used for assault guns and tank destroyers (such as the Marder model I have displayed on this site).
Richard surveying some Allied armour models. The displays were very well done and there were also lots of stalls selling models. Modellers’ heaven!
Crossley Chevrolet armoured car which was used in India. A lot of the exhibits I had not seen before and I believe must have been recently acquired and restored.
Lanchester armoured car. I have a soft spot for old armoured cars.
This modeller had a passion for the Romanian Air Force and why not their aircraft are very colourful. I was particularly impressed by the big Trumpeter 1/32 scale Mig21 taking off
This was an amazing display. Believe it not, all these models are made from card from instructions freely downloaded off the internet!
As close as I will ever get to firing an RPG unless I join the Taliban!
Next to Apollo Saturn launcher. Branson and Bezos eat your hearts out!

A great day out and inevitably Richard and I ended up buying a few more model kits for our ever growing stashes! Thanks to Richard again for successfully and safely navigating us there and back.

Grumman Hellcat F6F-3 1/48 by Eduard. Pacific Theatre of Operations WW2.

The business end of the brute showing the aircraft’s wonderful lines. Hellcats were very robust and needed to be as they flew off carriers. They could take a lot of punishment and carried bombs, rockets and machine guns. It was a follow on from the Grumman Wildcat.

This is the second 1/48 scale Hellcat model I have made. The first, by Hasegawa, was very fine as you would expect from the Japanese manufacturer. It was only let down by the decals which were not opaque enough. Unfortunately, while attempting to airbrush over them, a slight mishap occurred-a load of model boxes from my stash fell on top of it and put paid to her glorious career!

This Hellcat is by Czech manufacturer Eduard. At first glance it seemed an excellent kit for a reasonable price. However, during construction, I found the fit was slightly out in the wings and fuselage and the instructions are a little unclear in places, especially with the incredibly complicated undercarriage structure. Nevertheless, I persevered only to find at the end the decals were incredibly thin and curled very easily. Still, I managed to get most of them on ok but I left off most of the tiny stencils which were barely visible. Overall, despite the great surface detail, Eduard kits in my opinion leave a lot to be desired, although you can’t really complain about the price of their cheaper ‘Weekend’ offerings.

This aircraft with the striking shark mouth markings was part of VF-27 on board the carrier USS Princeton (CV-23). The Hellcats wreaked havoc everywhere they operated in the Pacific. I have given mine quite a weather beaten appearance. Overall, they accounted for some 200 enemy aircraft.
This Hellcat has the uncommon ‘F11’ markings and with two kill markings in the form of small Japanese flags below the cockpit
More weathering underneath
I really like the three colour camouflage scheme of these American Pacific theatre aircraft. You can really go to town on the weathering too, although I tried not to get carried away! I think subtlety can be far more effective.
I tried to achieve a subtle feathering between the main colours with my airbrush and despite using a 0.3mm needle, it turned out not too badly, if I say so myself!
Box art
Fascinating documentary about the ‘brute’ by the American and British pilots who flew them.
For those of you with an engineering bent, how the Hellcat was built! I never imagined a film about a production line process could be that fascinating till I saw this! This film gives a glimpse in the power of American manufacturing during WW2 and just confirms how insane the Japanese were to take on the USA!