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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Saturday 3 February 2018

French WW2 armour

Limited time for painting at present, not helped by a bout of the flu. However, my Bolt Action early war French now have some armoured support.

First up is the AMD Panhard 178 armoured car. It was designed as a long-range reconnaissance vehicle for the French cavalry, although it also served in motorised infantry divisions. It looks a fairly modern design, somewhat ahead of its time. In practice it was quite small, under-armoured and gunned (25mm) for the envisaged strategic role.

Early production was slow, but 219 were delivered at the outbreak of war. This rose to 370 by the time the Germans invaded in May 1940. The Germans used around 190 of them in their own units during the invasion of Russia. They also adapted 43 of them as railway protection vehicles, able to drive on tracks.

Next is the Renault R40, light tank. This was a development of the R35 and officially known as the R35/40, even though they look quite different. The R40 had a 37mm gun which was decent enough for the period and was the first French tank to have a radio as standard. However, like most French tanks of the period it was too slow. Around 130 were produced and served in 4th DCR as well as a reformed Polish cavalry brigade.

Both models are Warlord resin kits. Construction is pretty straightforward and, unusually for Warlord, some thought has been given to lugs for assembly. Although the parts needed a fair amount of work to get them to fit together. Why, oh why, they can't provide a decent connection for the guns on their models, I really do not know. Many expletives and superglued hands later, I eventually managed it!

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