Wednesday 15 May 2024

Finished: 15mm Royal Artillery tracked 40mm Bofors

Hi folks,

I'm still catching up in painting multiple things simultaneously, hence a lack of recently completed models. Chances are in a week or so there'll be a whole load done at once. 

This small unit is one I initially threw together for the Gold Beach game, using existing painted models. I combined a 40mm Bofors platform from my truck-mounted guns with a painted 20mm AA Crusader tank hull (and some blue-tack) to represent the 40mm AA tanks deployed during the landings. Post game I picked up some plastic Battlefront Crusader sprues and plastic 40mm Bofors sprues to build these models properly. 

I added some of the spare metal Bofors crew I had from the various limbered AA guns I'd previously built. I also added some stowage. 

I've decalled these models up as part of 114 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. This regiment was part of 80th Anti-Aircraft Brigade, Royal Artillery. This Brigade was assigned to provide AA protection to the Juno beaches - with the first guns/vehicles arriving very quickly after the initial landings. 

Images of this unit are pretty hard to come by, and as a result I had to take a guess with the markings. I'm not capable of neatly painting the AoS number of '252' on the red and blue Royal Artillery marking, so instead went for a vague squiggle heavily weathered. I attempted to add the 'army' diagonal white stripe. Again, I couldn't find any clear reference to what formation sign would have been used, settling with the 2nd Army marking (although the brigade was under command of 1st Corps and 21st Army Group). The 80th AA Brigade also may have had its own marking. 

The Crusader mounted 40mm Bofors used by this unit are different from the Crusader III, 40mm AA Mk I/Mk III commonly seen sold as model kits. 

The Royal Artillery had identified a need for a tracked AA vehicle, capable of crossing an unimproved beach in the early stages of the landings. So they converted a bunch of Crusader tanks themselves. These vehicles landed very quickly after the assault waves, towing limbered 40mm guns.

The two new additions shown next to one of my much earlier finished models, a resin and metal 20mm AA Crusader, also from Battlefront. 

In game terms, I would use these as proxy SP 40mm Bofors. 

Still more AA tanks to finish, but I'm making progress. I've also added a Cromwell OP tank to the queue. 

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