But they were a bargain!

Having publicly stated yesterday that I intend to prune my wargame collections, today I went and bought some items to add to one of my collections!

Sue and I were fed up watching the rain pour down outside (it is August Bank Holiday Monday after all!) and at around midday we decided to go somewhere where the weather was supposed to be better. After a quick check on the Internet, we discovered that the area around Chatham was predicted to be rain-free for most of the afternoon. As there is an undercover outlet centre there, we decided to pay it a visit.

We set off down the A2 towards the Medway and the rain was torrential until we reached the Chatham turn-off. By the time we drove into the outlet centre car park, however, the sky had darkened, and by the time we had parked it was pouring with rain. (So much for the accuracy of Internet weather forecasts!) We made our way across the car park as quickly as possible, and once inside we had lunch in a branch of Fratelli’s café/snack bar. Once that was over we set off to indulge in some retail therapy.

One of the shops that I visited was a branch of ‘The Works’, where I found a number of pre-painted 1:72nd and 1:48th-scale model military vehicle on sale. The former were £2.00 each and the latter £10.00. Having resisted the temptation to buy all the 1:72nd-scale models (they were nice but was I ever going to use them?), I did buy two … a pair of model Russian FAI light armoured cars. (I couldn’t resist them … they were just too good a bargain to miss!)

These will fit in very nicely with my existing World War II collection, and I can foresee using them as reconnaissance units in battles fought using Martin Rapier‘s hexed-based variant of the World War II rules in Neil Thomas’s ONE-HOUR WARGAMES book.


20 Comments on “But they were a bargain!”

  1. Was the outlet “The Works” by any chance? The 1/72 models are from a Russian part-work covering the history of Russian – Soviet Armour. The range even includes a WWI Mark V in Bolshevik colours. The selection on offer is limited and distribution is uneven – here in Essex there were enough JS-IIs on offer to model an entire Soviet heavy tank regiment on a one-to-one basis!They turned up here in our local “Works” Essex last week and I was able to get the armoured car you purchased, some lease-lend Matildas and Lees and some modern Soviet stuff – at £2.00 each a temptation unable to be resisted!

  2. David Bradley,

    It was 'The Works' and the packaging was in Russian.

    The branch I visited had a couple of IS-II, three T-34/85s, a Matilda, a Grant/Lee, and six or so modern light tanks plus the FAI armoured cars. At £2.00 each they were a steal! If there had been some early war tanks in the bin, I would have bought them.

    I will now be on the lookout for more next time I visit a branch of 'The Works'!

    All the best,


  3. Beat me to it – visited The Works in King's Lynn yesterday and got 4 JS2 plus a GAZ. Excellent bargain!

  4. Xaltotun of Python,

    It's some time since I visited the King's Lynn branch of 'The Works', but it sounds as if it is still as good as I remember it being.

    The GAZ sounds interesting. What do you intend to use your GAZ and JS2s for?

    All the best,


  5. The GAZ is a Tigr, so haven't a clue. I already have loads of 1/72nd tanks anyway (and 100/th) including some JS2s – one of my first conversions back in the sixties/seventies was a JS3 to JS2 following a (Doyle?) article in Airfix magazine. So they will find a use.

  6. Pete. says:

    They are a great buy imo- kind of went over board with them myself. Though if you can find them the T28s and T35s are great – a few pics on my blog btw.



  7. Xaltotun of Python,

    As far as I know, the Tigr is the Russian equivalent of the Humvee. Useful for small-scale modern actions.

    I wondered if you intended to use the JS2s for a specific project. The models were very impressive, but a bit big for my requirements.

    I loved the Airfix Magazine conversion articles, and well remember converting Bren Carriers into Pzkpfw Is!

    All the best,


  8. Pete.,

    I thought that these models were excellent value.

    What I am looking out for is Russian armour from the late 1930s/early 1940s … and I will certainly give serious consideration to buying any T-28s and T-35s if I see them.

    All I he best,


  9. I am jealous. There are no outlets like this anywhere near one, where one can just browse and find jems like this.

  10. It is things like that that make me half-regret that my great-grandfather left Essex in 1873… Try and get a pre-painted mint-condition model like that in this country for 2 quid (4 bucks). But it's only half regret. I have plenty of reasons for being glad to live in the Antipodes, however shaky the Islands. Great pieces of kit to have, Bob!

  11. Steven Briddon,

    'The Works' is a discount book/craft/toy shop, and if they have it in stock, they have it. When the stock has gone, there won't be any more.

    Don't you have similar stores where you live, or are we just lucky?

    All the best,


  12. Archduke Piccolo,

    Going from Essex to New Zealand in the 1870s was some journey … and your great grandfather must have been Very brave and intrepid to have done that.

    I don't know how or why 'The Works' got hold of these pre-painted models, as they have not stocked similar items before. If the postage was not so high, I might have volunteered to get you some, but I fear that sending them to New Zealand would make them less of a bargain than they are.

    All the best,


  13. Nigel Drury,

    I had not realised that these models were even mentioned on the website! Thanks very much for the link; it will prove very helpful.

    All the best,


  14. There is nothing like this. I live up in Vancouver, WA these days, and the dearth of places that sell even remotely useful things like this are non existent. Two weeks from anywhere. We have the big box stores and everything is standardized to the lowest boring denominator. All food and work as my mum says.

  15. Stephen Briddon,

    I had not realised that there were two Vancouvers until you made your comment … and having looked at the information on the Internet about Vancouver WA, I can see what you mean about it being rather out of the way.

    All the best,


    PS. Sorry about mis-spelling your first name in my previous reply; I didn't check what I was typing before publishing it.

  16. I was in our local “The Works” here in Essex this morning, on a non-wargaming related matter, and noticed that in the last few days the branch had received a big restock of Fabbri ready-made 1/72 Russian/Soviet AFV models. Although many were familiar (Lee, Matilda, T-80 and JS-II) I was able to pick-up a pre-war T-28 and T-35, a wartime SU-76 and DUKW and post-war T-55, BTR-70 and BTR-90. I don't know if other branches have received similar deliveries but, for those still wishing to lay their hands on more of these models (still priced at £2.00), it might be worth checking our their local “The Works” once more.

  17. David Bradley,

    This is good news … and thanks for sharing it with me and the other regular blog readers. With luck I will be able to visit a branch or two of 'The Works' over the next few days to see if I can pick up a few more of these models.

    All the best,


  18. A pleasure – best of luck n your search!

  19. David Bradley,

    Thanks very much.

    All the best,


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