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Matilda II

Matilda II

Manufacturer: Battlefront
Genre: 15mm (1/100th) WWII

Comments: This vehicle is painted as if for service with the BEF in France in 1940, though in fact there are several details of the model that are incorrect for those Matildas. Those early tanks with the BEF had a prominent armoured shroud protruding from the mantlet, protecting a turret-mounted Vickers machine-gun. They also sported an extension to the rear hull which was intended to aid in trench-crossing and which turned out to be entirely redundant, and had only one exhaust on the rear hull deck, not two. Still, for wargaming purposes this model will do just fine.

I've replaced the kit barrel with one turned down from brass rod, in an attempt to replicate the early 2-pounders with the semi-stepped barrel. In close-up I see that the base of the barrel is still too thick, but it doesn't look too bad in real life at arm's length, so I think I'll leave it as it is.

In the hunt for suitable paints to represent the BEF's Bronze Greens (light, middle and deep) I've settled on three or four from the Vallejo range that serve well enough without the need for any extra mixing:

The yellow-green splotch on the hull in front of the driver is anti-gas paint; it was supposed to change colour in the presence of mustard gas and alert the driver. The white squares were the standard BEF recognition symbol, and made an excellent aiming mark for anti-tank guns. Fortunately for the crews of the Matilda, they were impervious to almost anything the Germans had to throw at them, until they brought their 88mm flak gun into anti-tank service.

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