Sunday, 9 March 2014

15mm Sherman Hybrids WiP (Part 3)

Another of my projects that's turning into a never ending story!

In my last blog entry, I mentioned that I had decided to sort the decals on some of my vehicles. Some of my early vehicles has suffered from having 'silvering', and I had been loath to go back and do them. However, as I had decided to re-badge my Shermans as being part of 'C' Squadron, 144th Regiment, RAC I had gone ahead and fixed many of my Universal Carriers as well.

The Shermans were all changed during this process from having 'B' Squadron markings to 'C' Squadron markings.

Now, I caused myself a bit of a headache with this, as in my heart I had wanted to model 'C' Squadron from the start. The reason for this was that I know, by a process of elimination, that my Grandfather was either in the HQ Squadron or 'C' Squadron. The Regiments war dairy indicates that these were the only two units that were ones based in the part of Scotland that my Grandmother lived! However, I could not remember why I had chosen NOT to use the 'C' squadron markings origionally, and to use 'B' Squadron markings instead...

After I had swapped the decals over, I remembered.

My research has indicated that 144th Regiment, RAC had used Turret numbers - and it seems like many books seem to say these should be red. Remember the only pictures that exist are in black and white!

However, there has been some research done which indicates that the turret numbers color did not match the color of the AoS badge on the rear fender. This is known to be a red square with white numbers, without any doubt. The tone of the turret numbers in these black and white pictures does not match the red - nor does it match the white. The consensus is then, that as the second senior regiment (at the time of Totalise) the colour of the squadron markings would be yellow - and that the turret numbers were also yellow.

Sooooo.... where am I getting with this! I could not find any decals that had yellow numbers (of the correct size) and that would allow me to number the tanks as per 'C' Squadron. The only numbers I could find in Yellow were German ones from Doms Decals, and they would not allow me to do 'C' Squadron. A lot of digging the other night, however, turned up something that I think will work (fingers crossed!).

Some historical Info:

33rd AB Units 13/6/44 to 13/8/44:
Headquarters (172) - White squadron markings
1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry (173) - Red squadron markings
144th RAC (174) - Yellow squadron markings
148th RAC (175) - Blue squadron markings

Units 16/8/44 to 18/1/45
Headquarters (151) - White squadron markings
1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry (152) - Red squadron markings
East Riding Yeomanry (153) - Yellow squadron markings
144th RAC (154) - Blue squadron markings

Interestingly, many books have 144th Regiment, RAC leaving 33rd Armored Brigade in  August 1944, when in fact they just changed seniority from 2nd to 3rd regiment in the brigade.

Within the regiment the Squadrons had their own markings:

HQ Squadron - diamond

A Squadron - triangle
B Squadron - square
C Squadron - circle

And the 144th Regiment, RAC used the following turret marking range:

Recon Troop (M3A1 Stuarts) 1 to 11
AA Troop(AA Crusaders) 12 to 17
Regt. HQ.(Sherman I's) 20 to 23
A Sqnd. (Shermans I's) 30 to 49
B Sqnd. ( Ditto. ) 50 to 69
C Sqnd. ( Ditto. ) 70 to 89
Allocated for spares 18 to 19 and 24 to 29.

And finally, some pics of the 4 tanks awaiting turret numbers and a matt varnish.

Sherman I closest to the camera, with the three converted Hybrids further away.
Sherman I Hybrids - note the AoS says 124 - this will be altered to be 174
One of the things I would have liked to change was that the Hybrids all came with turret hatches that seemed to be part of the turret casting. One of these will be a Squadron HQ tank, but will only have the 2 aerials to distinguish it.
Sherman I - soon to be one of the Squadron HQ models (hatch open).
Sherman I Hybrids bearing 'C' Squadron markings

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