mercredi 2 septembre 2020

French 2eme DB - GMC Bofors 40mm - Part.01

 I present to you my new project: a GMC Bofors belonging to the 2nd DB.

GMC Bofors are attached to Tactical Group but the unit was 22eme FTA.

This unit passed through Mayenne department before going up to Alençon then taking the road to Paris.

I have 2 photos of GMC Bofors in the city of Chateau-Gontier.

First one in protection of a bridge :

Source :

For the first, the part comes from the second battery because the logbook would indicate that it is this battery which remained in protection of the bridges of this city.
From the known photos of this unit, we can already say that this GMC is not the LUCIFER because it has storage boxes at the back and that it is neither the FLOREAL nor the BRUMAIRE because they have a winch at the front, not at Chateau Gontier.

So there are still possible candidates:
1st section: Abbadon (417332), Démon (417455), Beelzebuth (415920)
2nd section: Pluviôse, Messidor

The second one, running thru this city :

Source : Courrier de La Mayenne, 1984, édition spéciale 40ème anniversaire la Libération

For this second GMC, the registration is 417348 but unfortunately for the moment, no name is associated with this number yet. It's a gear with a winch (not everyone had it) and there seems to be an extra rack in the back.

I had bought long time ago the model of the GMC Bofors from Alby, the only one existing in Braille Scale.

Alas, the chassis of this mockup is completely twisted and twisted and despite hair dryer sessions and hot water baths, I never managed to put it back right.

So I decided to use a GMC Heller chassis. Additionally, this chassis has the winch (which the Alby mockup does not) and is much more detailed.

But now, it's too simple to be easy !

I don't know which chassis Alby came from but it doesn't quite match Heller's (yet fair in dimensions according to reviews, like this one on OnTheWay website).

So here I am with a Heller chassis that is 3.5mm longer than Alby's. So I have to make up for this gap by modifying and slightly lengthening the Alby pieces.

And how I tried to make up for it :

vendredi 7 août 2020

French SAS Jeep - La Guêpe

This is my new model, a french SAS jeep called “LA GUEPE” (The wasp).

My nickname in modelers world.

A great story for such a small model!


From what I was able to reconstruct, "La Guêpe" was one of the first jeep parachuted in June 1944. One of the four who participated in the Battle of the Maquis of St Marcel, although she was not yet baptized at this time.

On the night of June 5 to June 6, 1944 will be parachuted the first stick of French SAS for, mainly, operations Dingson (South Brittany) and Samwest (North Brittany).

Around June 7th, the first French SAS of the Digson operation will start to regroup at Sérent, near St Marcel on the drop zone with the code "Baleine” (Whale).

Almost every night there is a drop of equipment and new french SAS.

At the same time FFI and Resistance begin to rally the area and equip themselves with weapons and ammunition. Other SAS, whose actions are completed, including those of the Samwest operation as well as those of the "Cooney parties", other actions commandos scattered in Brittany, will join them later.

It will be nearly 2500 men surrounded, advised and supervised by about 200 French SAS who will be present on June 17, on the eve of this battle. In the same night, 4 jeeps will also be dropped on zone, a world first in operation.

On June 18, the Germans will launch an attack on this area of 800 hectares.

The 4 jeeps will serve as mobile fire support. Support however limited because Vickers containers crashed on the ground and they are no longer in a state of service. It will be Bren that will be mounted on the jeeps but the rate of fire will be reduced.

On the evening of June 18, the maquis dispersed. The balance sheet results in the loss of thirty dead, sixty wounded and 15 prisoners, these figures being random according to sources. Opposite the Germans will have suffered much more losses with figures between 300 and 600 soldiers killed and wounded. The following days, the Germans will exercise a real manhunt with many abuses committed, including the civilian population suspected of assisting the SAS.

The SAS will not stop their special actions as well as the training and supervision of the FFIs. And this until the complete liberation of Brittany.

At the beginning of August, the SAS began to regroup little by little on Vannes and collect their equipment and their vehicles (Jeeps and Bedford trucks). They will also reform, train and see their numbers increase by the arrival of volunteers FFI bretons. Now motorized, each combat platoon is made up of 3 super-armed jeeps. All garages in the area were requisitioned to transform the jeep received, which also explains their great diversity of "clothing", each tinkering in his corner.

So back to our sheep, or rather to my wasp!

In a garage near Vannes therefore, it will be refurbished (and probably baptized) before the Spencer operation, which will begin late August with the aim of going along the Loire to hinder by rapid action and harassment while withdrawing German troops from south-west to northeastern France and cause them maximum damage.

Source website FFLSAS :

Men of the Wasp during Operation Spencer, photo taken in Nevers

From left to right, Patrick de Foucher, Henry Hirsh, Denys Cochin and René Dessablon


A reconstituted copy of the Jeep "The Wasp" is present at the Breton Resistance Museum in St Marcel but I found some elements too differents from SAS jeep photos that I found on the web.

I preferred to trust the reconstruction made by Henri Pilon and published in the magazine "Classic Military Vehicle". The SAS jeeps of this era are still an intermediate version between an airborne model jeep and the SAS Europe jeep with their armor and their tanks at the rear. This reconstruction also seems more faithful to the picture above.

So I started from a mix of Jeep SAS Europe from Dragon Models (for SAS specific equipment) and that of S-Model, for me the most beautiful at 1/72. Scratch, and some parts of that of Heller (pretty too!) Complete the set.

Like Mr. Pilon on his re-enactment, I will make the same changes to my basic S-Model Jeep:

- Cut-out front grille,

- Bumper shortened in the manner of airborne jeeps,

- Black headlight left,

- Removable flywheel type "airborne",

- Back basket,

- Bren support left side,

- Jerrycan holder right side,

- Vikers paired with search beacon and passenger side support,

- Vikers and back support,

- Extra tank under the passenger seat,

- Modification of the exhaust in "Deep Mud" version induced by the installation of the second tank

- Basket on right wing for bag / first aid kit

- Spare wheel on bonnet and handle

Sorry, in french :


I made the figurine which will take place next to it.
Originally, it was a TQD Casting of a British paratrooper that shot Vikers.
I liked the position of his hands because by tinkering a little I will place him like a letter that he would be reading, little break before hitting the road and fighting.
I carefully selected an expressive Preiser head and made a beret leaning to the left in the French style with plastic melted in liquid glue.

So I present to you S / Lt Denys Cochin, head of  La Guêpe" :
Then, after hanging bags on the back I moved to the primer :

First paintjob :

Decals from friend Clément from Braille Strike :

Weathering and detailling works :

mardi 4 août 2020

Tank Destroyer M10 "L'Audacieux" - Part.11

L'Audacieux is now finished.
I still have to make a small diorama to highlight it and paint a figure.