Thursday 23 April 2015

Once More Unto The Breach...

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger. . . .

Henry The Fifth Act 3, scene 1, 1–6

M1 Abrams tank with mine plough, and M-58 MICLIC on a M-200 tracked trailer.

 One of the gaps in my collection of models is a lack of modern engineering equipment capable of breaching minefields. Recently I have started to address this gap by  a combination of purchasing model kits and diecasts of suitable equipment, and to scratch building some items for immediate use.

Scratch built M-58 MICLIC on a M-200 tracked trailer.

The first item I built was a M-58 Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC), on a M-200 trailer.I  built this as a result of being shown a picture of one being towed by a LAV. Unfortunately, while I could find photo references on the internet, I couldn't find anything that gave dimensions, so the model is probably quite out of scale.

Undercoating - I should of taken a phoito  of it unpainted!
 I built the model out of plastic card and stuff from my bits box. The wheels came from a plastic 1/72 scale trailer and I believe the track is from the Matchbox Churchill kit. The chassis of the trailer came from a plastic Hong Kong toy rocket trailer I was given by Ion.

Another view. This is before I added in the DAS to represent the line charge in the trailer tray.
I doubt I'll make another of these on a tracked trailer - in fact if I was to make more MICLICs I would make something simple and quite generic that would be simple to make.

And finished
 Of course once a breach has been made in a minefield, it needs to be confirmed by a mine plough or roller. Or you can use a mine plough to make the breach, but then you don't get to have the massive explosion from the line charge!

A toy Ertl diecast Abrams tank.
Since I have a shortage of 1/72 scale Abrams tanks, I used this Ertl diecast as the tank that on would put my plough on. While it is the right size, the running gear is extremely toy like, and the roof mounted commander's HMG is very cartoonish.

The underside showing the Ertl brand.
 I decided to base the model in order to protect the mine plough, and because I felt it might act to draw attention away from the running gear.

Based and ready to paint.
 The plough was made up from bits of plastic card and is loosely based on pictures from the internet. I have ordered the Trumpeter Abrams with Mine Plough kit, and will take comparison pictures once it arrives and I make it up.

Close up of the plough.

Undercoated and waiting the finial paint job and ink wash.
By building these models I hope to be able to add some variety to my games and potentially have them used as teaching aids. I now need to make up some minefield templates that can act as visual cues as to what they are, and blend into the tabletop. I have some ideas on how to achieve this, but I will need to do some reading first.

And painted!

I hope to make up some more modern engineering assets, so that I can have a similar range of equipment for this period as I do for WW2 games. I suspect that I might paint up some of the remaining Roco vehicles that I have to fill some of these roles, but I would prefer to use 1/72 scale models.


  1. Nice modelling, Brian. As for the Shakespearian passage, I could not forebear to listen to the Muse...
    "Once more away from the breach, mes amis, once more;
    Lest they close the wall up with our Frankish dead.
    In war there's none so little becomes a man
    As immodest boast and humiliation;
    So when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the hare..."
    Sorry about that (not really).

    1. Thanks Ion!
      I look forward to the rest of your Henri V!

  2. Excellent bodging Brian. The trailer looks great.

    1. Thanks Paul!
      I'm seriously thinking of making up some more to a different pattern using parts from old krupp boxer kits!

  3. Great trailer I'll have to try making one for my WW3. Super plough on the M1 looks factory made. Keep up the great post. Grey

    1. Thanks Grey! I recently picked up a 1/72 Trumpeter Abrams with a mine plough on Amazon, and I'm thinking of using small magnets (like the Flames of War and 40K guys do with their stuff for swapping out weapons, etc) so I can swap out the plough and use it as a straight gun tank. Good luck with your gaming and take care:)