Monday, 13 March 2017

From LeeH - Desert Raiders! (72 points)

This week I have been trying to get the remainder of my North Africa vehicles painted to clear the final week for one last project on something a bit different. So today I have two Desert Raider units to enter; an LRDG Patrol and an SAS Jeep Squadron.

I have painted LRDG vehicles before but last time I went all colourful, using a camouflage pattern of pale blue and salmon pink. It sounds garish (and it is) but its also a pretty effective disruption pattern for dawn and dusk raids. This time I have gone a little more traditional and chosen a simple desert sand colour for the trucks. This was probably the most common colour scheme with only occasional patrols being painted differently, and maybe only then for particular missions.

From early 1942 standard vehicle of choice for the LRDG was the Chevrolet 30 cwt truck. These were commercial vehicles stripped down and converted for use deep behind enemy lines. The Chevy was a tough vehicle but was also a relatively easy one to repair and maintain in the field. It was only two wheel drive but its extra low ratio gears and 6 cylinder engine (which used less fuel) made it ideal for use by LRDG. Amazingly one original Chevy was found largely intact in the Egyptian desert in 1980 and is now displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Each vehicle would typically carry a crew of two or three including a driver, gunner and commander. These models, while highly detailed in every other respect, only include a driver so I converted several infantry figures and mounted them in the rear of the trucks to represent other crew.

While I was rummaging through my model box I also found a couple of Morris 15cwt Trucks and decided I could add these to this LRDG patrol as supply vehicles. It would have been a crime to leave such gorgeously detailed models in the box so I had to add them to this patrol. The LRDG used all sorts of vehicles, especially in the early days when most of their equipment was 'borrowed' from other commonwealth units.

Following on from the LRDG Patrol I also finished a full squadron of SAS jeeps. The Special Air Service's first parachute drop behind enemy lines was an unmitigated disaster. Many of those that were not captured were picked up by the LRDG and David Stirling was so impressed with these hard bitten desert troops that he teamed up with Bagnolds LRDG for a series of joint operations. The LRDG became in effect a taxi service for the SAS, carrying small teams out to ops, dropping them off and then picking them up on the way home.

Later the SAS acquired their own vehicles and quickly settled on the jeep as its favoured transport. Bristling with machine guns and loaded with supplies small squadrons would penetrate deep into the desert far behind enemy lines to strike at airfields, supply dumps and transport columns.

These models are by GHQ and like all their stuff are exceptionally detailed for this scale. The only downside to such detailing is the absolutely minuscule machine guns that have to be glued into position. Superglue will do the job but only if used liberally and in conjunction with an accelerator to get an instant bond. Fine tipped tweezers and infinite patience are also useful!

I opted to paint these in a plain sand colour. Some black and white photo's hint at a camouflage scheme on some vehicles but it is very hard to discern and I don't think it was in common usage. Most of these vehicles are covered in stowage items anyway so very little of the jeep itself can be seen. The vehicles are modelled with a driver and I painted them in typical SAS desert headdress.

All in all a pretty productive week. Six Chevy's and two Morris Trucks, plus 12 LRDG crew should earn a modest but non the less welcome 22 points while twenty jeeps and crew nets another 50 points. A weekly total of 72 Points isn't much of a points bomb, but I'm pretty happy with it. As I said earlier these are the last desert/6mm entry to this challenge. I'm not quite completely done yet, but I think my final entry later this week will be a little different to anything I have presented before. Lets just say that if you like your miniatures purely 'historical' you may want to look away...

MilesR: What a grans way to conclude you 6mm Western Desert foray.  The pink trucks, tiny jeeps all make a grand special - nicely done!


  1. Tremendous work Lee, representing a skirmishing type force in 6mm, outstanding stuff.

  2. I have loved following these .. great job again Lee

  3. Dust clouds on the horizon indeed! Brilliant force Lee!

  4. Holy smokes, these are just stupendous Lee! Wonderful work. Love the attention to detail.

  5. Very cool indeed Lee, they look great!

  6. I've liked all these posts but this one is the best! Love the detail you've achieved at such a small scale, brilliant!
    Best Iain

  7. I do love your 6mm Desert stuff Lee it's fantastic, some nice new units there

  8. Amazing work again. It's been a real pleasure to see this force grow and grow. Possibly my favorite bunch of submissions. Great stuff Lee. Cheers mate

  9. Wow I just love this project Lee. Great stuff once again.

  10. Great stuff, I'd love to game these raids sometime.

  11. From dust plumes, to stowage, to the bases and name plates...this is outstanding Lee! You have a spectacular collection!