Last time I asked one of my regular gaming group what he fancied playing next time we got together, he said that he'd very much like to do an amphibious assault in the Pacific. That, at the time, was a bit of a "no can do, amigo", so we ended up getting as close to it as I could with the Gela game that you can read about here.
The request, however, stuck with me. I had Americans, I had Japanese...all I needed was an island and some of the specialist landing equipment that the Marines used.
As is so often the case, that great supermarket that is Salute provided all. I picked up a beachfront gaming mat and, at incredibly cheap prices, the Gator's Amtracks boxset and a box of another three American landing craft. With the promised game looming (next week) it was time to build and paint up the Amtracks.
When I first opened the box set, I was, to put it blankly, deeply impressed. The box contains seven hulls, and fourteen top decks, allowing you to build either the LVT A(1) version with the Stuart turret (37mm gun) or the LVT A(4) version with the HWC M8 turret (75mm gun)...with the two top decks being interchangeable meaning that you could field one to seven of each vehicle in any particular game. Now that, I thought, is a well thought out, good value offering: jolly well done Battlefront.
I still think that, but unfortunately have to give Battlefront full marks for the intention but a much, much lower score for the execution :(
Now I'm not a brilliant modeler, but I can build most 15mm kits, and can even drill and pin large walkers together so that they stand up unassisted. I have built a thousand tanks, quite a few buildings, a handful of aircraft, loads of sci-fi stuff...you name it...and I've built kits based on resin, metal, plastic, wood...you get the picture.
Could I get the top decks of these Amtracks to fit into the hulls? Could I bollocks, if you'll excuse the expression.
They just don't bloody fit.
As I don't have some kind of rotary grinder thing (how careless of me!) I had to file and carve, and carve and file, and eventually just goddamn-well hammer the decks into place, with resultant cracked hulls, damaged tracks etc.
They just don't bloody fit, I say again!
I ended up abandoning my happy thoughts of having fourteen decks interchangeable on seven hulls, and knock together a platoon of three A(1)s, a platoon of three A(4)s and a command A(1). No interchanging: all firmly hammered/glued/green-stuffed into place.
Okay, so they look good, and I still have seven cracking vehicles, but I haven't got what I was offered, and I'm miffed. Anyway, buy at your own peril, and here's my finished tanks:
Command LVT A(1)
Platoon of three LVT A(1)
Platoon of three LVT A(4)
Oh, and the box doesn't come with any decals either: I had to find them all from spares...but I'm just being narky now!
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a not-for-profit website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.