Some scratch-built/modified model vehicles

I recently wrote a review of MINIATURE WARGAMES WITH BATTLEGAMES ISSUE 393 in which I stated that Richard Marsh’s article about John Sandars’ wargames was the ‘stand out’ article in that particular issue. I also wrote that ‘it is because of him that I built quite a few dodgy-looking World War II-era vehicles based on various ROCO Minitanks and Airfix kits, none of which would stand too much scrutiny as to their accuracy nowadays.’

When I wrote that I thought that I no longer had any of the models that John Sandars’ had inspired me to build … but I was wrong. Whilst looking for something else, I came across three of those ‘forgotten’ models.

The two trucks started out as broken ROCO Minitank SdKfz 7 half-tracks. The front ends and the chassis of the models were kept, but the original rear bodies were replaced by scratch-built bodies made from Plasticard sheet and the side panels from the body of a couple of Airfix Matador kits. The wheels also came from the Airfix Matador kits as did the main part of the tilt on one of the lorries. The rest of the pieces came from my spares box or were made from Plasticard sheet. The finished models were supposed to resemble the sort of 3-tonne 6 x 6 or 6 x 4 trucks used by the Wehrmacht … and I think that they past muster when seen on the tabletop.

The 15cm sIG 33 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II (Sf) began life as the chassis and tracks from a broken ROCO Pzkpfw III. The original wheels were carefully cut away from the tracks and replaced by the wheels from an Airfix StuG III that had been turned so that the backs rather than the fronts of the wheels were visible. The rest of the body – with the exception of the front glacis plate and driver’s compartment – was scratch-built from Plasticard sheet, tubing, and girders or using pieces from my spares box. I was pleased with the result, which looks reasonably accurate from a distance.


12 Comments on “Some scratch-built/modified model vehicles”

  1. Jan Ferris says:

    Beautiful! It is nice to see someone plying the field of kit-bashing and scratch building yet.

  2. Will McNally says:

    Nice work with the conversions

  3. These days I have taken the view that if it looks more like what it is supposed to be than anything else it is not supposed to be, it will do. One can have too much perfectionism on the table top.

    My reason – and this might become a blog posting, has to do with some of the backlog of kits I have assembled in the last 4 or 5 weeks. Quite a few were without tracks, which I supplied using carton strapping, cut to width and over-long, and stapled before slipping over the sprockets, road wheels and idlers. A JagdPzIV, a Tiger I and a SU85 all got this treatment.

    I have occasionally seen John Sandars's scratchbuilding work, and find that they add more than a little to the character of his vehicles and the armies to which they belong.

    Bob, those scratchbuilt/kitbashed vehicles of yours do not deserve to lie idle and forgotten in the back of some drawer.

  4. Jan Ferris,

    There is something very pleasing about producing something that looks convincing on the tabletop from what would otherwise be junked.

    All the best,


  5. Will McNally,

    Cheers! I must admit that the end results looked quite reasonable to me.

    All the best,


  6. Archduke Piccolo,

    I would be interested to see your home-made tracks on a model. It sounds like an interesting way to solve a problem and needs to be shared with a wider audience.

    Nowadays some wargamers get very hung-up about 'accuracy'; like you, if I can recognise what a model is supposed to represent, it will usually be good enough.

    All the best,


  7. Steven Page says:

    A casual glance, and I thought “Wow! Two FAMO's and a Bison!”, not realizing that they were not kits. Good work!

  8. Conrad Kinch says:

    Bravo Bob. There's a lot to be said for “rolling your own” – we they be seeing action? K

  9. Steven Page,

    Thank you! I had hoped that they would look fairly convincing, and I am pleased that you think that they are!

    All the best,


  10. Conrad Kinch,

    Soon, I hope.

    All the best,


  11. Chris Kemp says:

    Luvverly! Never knew that you had a SiG 33, Bob.

    Regards, Chris.

  12. Chris Kemp,

    Thanks. It was probably my best ever scratch-build/kit-bash, and I doubt that I have the patience these days to build another.

    All the best,


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