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Vehicle Recovery and Field Repairs - Part 1

One of my passions in this hobby is finding unloved toys and reconditioning them for tabletop gaming use.

Inevitably, this mostly involves my 28mm World War 2 collection, simply because that's the kind of toys I like to rescue, but it's always fun (and sometimes a challenge) to get them up and running.

Plus - being toys - they have working wheels, so I get to push them round the scenery with a "Vroom!"

For years I've been converting unloved Lledo 'Days Gone' Ford Mack trucks and Matchbox Jeeps for use as transports for my WW2 forces as they scale pretty well and can often be found for next-to-nothing at markets or online auction sites, and last year I rescued and repainted a Dinky Quad FAT as a 25pdr tow for the desert too. Recently, I've branched out again - they're works-in-progress only at this stage, but the finished products will follow!

Here's part of the most recent batch - an unloved job-lot from an online auction site sold "for spares":

Here you'll find three Jeeps (two with massive plastic recoilless AT guns), a Schwimmwagen, a Kubelwagen and a pale Daimler Dingo. The black Daimler Dingo, bottom-left, is a 1/56 scale resin model, for scale.

First, let's deal with the Jeeps. The two recoilless guns were removed using pliers then the 'pedestal' tidied up; similarly, the paper Allied star sticker on the bonnet was removed before priming and spraying US olive drab to transport my US Buffalo Soldiers. This is what they look like in-progress at the moment, with the well-fitting canvas tilts added from two Rubicon Models Jeep kits I finished earlier this year (gotta love Rubicon spare bitz, right?!):

Not perfect, maybe, but great for little battlefield runarounds.

Next, theĀ other Jeep - bottom-right in the group picture above. I've converted one of these Jeeps before, so I was confident it'd go alright, but whereas before I had to replace the ghastly plastic windscreen with one scratch-built as folded-down and covered, this time I had - yet again - a spare (and a steering wheel) from one of the Rubicon kits. Again, it fitted perfectly to this kit, and as I wasn't using a tilt for this one, I filled the back with some recently acquired Rubicon stowage. Obviously, still a work-in-progress, with the colours just starting to be blocked-out:

All the Jeeps being processed:

Finally for this installment, I've got the Kubelwagen and the Schwimmwagen - neither of which I already have in my collection for the purposes of scaling, but which look about right, size-wise:

No conversion work has started on these yet, other than some cleaning up, re-gluing the Schwimmwagen's front bumper (previously held in place by ancient, yellowing sticky tape), and priming then basecoating in a nice Dunkelgelb, but I'm looking forward to giving these a bit of character soon.

In Part 2 of this blog, I'll introduce the Daimler Dingo conversions I've been working on from the lot above, as well as the similarly rescued Daimler Armoured Car.

In the meantime, though, here are some of the other curios I received with the online auction job-lot - there are some vehicles that I'm not able to find a use forĀ quite yet...:

In case you're wondering, as they're pushed forward, both the commander of the scout car and the radar dish on the red vehicle rotate; also the barrel of the SPG, below, 'fires' by jerking back. Great fun.

- Chris.

6 thoughts on “Vehicle Recovery and Field Repairs - Part 1”

  • Nicholas

    Wow, I had that radar vehicle and hover-boat when I was a kid! Fun seeing them again!

    • Chris King

      Thanks for swinging by, Nicholas. They are actually rather groovy - my daughters had a wee play with them!

  • Jean-Pierre Ollivier
    Jean-Pierre Ollivier June 2, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Nifty article Chris. I have a number of old Dinky Toys and Solido from the 1960-70 period. I would be happy to send them over to you for repurposing, then they would have a nice home with you :-)! Drop me a line by e-mail.


    • Chris King

      Thank you, JP - that's a most kind gesture.

      I shall be in touch: with luck I can pay some kindness forward too...

  • Jon Yuengling
    Jon Yuengling June 3, 2021 at 5:53 am

    These look great Chris, I am wondering what is out there for my 15mm troops?

    • Chris King

      Thanks, Jon - excellent question! The simple response is that I don't know, but I'm certainly going to keep my eyes open when I'm next trawling the unloved toys at the market!

      I promise that if I find anything,our readers here will be the first to know...

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