Friday, 24 June 2022

20mm WW2 1st Armoured Div

We've not seen much of my 20mm collection for a while. This is my British 1st Armoured Div, based for Megablitz. It is a generic later war armoured division, and although the specific unit designations are for 1st AD in Italy, I've just used it as a variety of Divisions in a number of games.

It is quite a compact formation and fits nicely in an A4 box file.

The Armoured Brigade. Three regiments of Shermans and a motor rifle battalion in M3 halftracks. These were all Bring and Buy purchases, it is amazing how little you can buy old plastic vehicles for, I picked these up for a couple of quid each.

A venerable Airfix Sherman, with some rear deck stowage.

Another Airfix Sherman. Plainer this time but with some applique armour.

The good old Matchbox Firefly. This produced howls of complaint from the professional Germans at my school wargames club back in the 1970s. Blimey, something which can knock out their wall-wall Roco Tiger IIs.... It is missing its mantlet cover, but looks OK. I didn't notice at the time, I suppose I should make a cover up at some point.

Airfix M3 halftrack, with the rain cover thingy. Halftracks were fairly ubiquitous in late war motor rifle battalions, even if one division (11th Armoured?) thought they were more trouble than they were worth.

The Armoured Recce regiment. This is a Revell Cromwell, with cullin hedge cutter attached. I am very glad that someone else had stuck all the track links together....

Royal Artillery anti-tank and anti-aircraft regiments.

This is a fairly rare beast, the SP 40mm Bofors on a Crusader chassis. This example is a Frontline resin one (the hull is clearly mastered off the overlong Airfix offering). It looks very smart however, and is far easier than sticking together an Airfix Bofors and tractor. It takes up less space in the box too.

The AT Regiment is an Armorfast M10. It certainly went together easily, but being 1/72nd scale it slightly dwarfs the Airfix Shermans. It is a shame the cast detail on the hull isn't raised more, although the running gear is nice and crisp.

The turret interior is also very empty. I filled it up with a couple of spare Airfix 25pdr gunners, who were fairly easy to chop up a bit to make them fit.

The divisional artillery. Self propelled guns and logistic element in attendance. Really there should be a 25pdr Regiment as well, but I just roll all the guns up together into a single unit. I've got a spare 25pdr Regiment in my Corps HQ box, should I need one.

The firing element is a Revell Priest. I suppose someone makes a 20mm Sexton, but it was for sale in the local model shop and is close enough. It was a nice, if fiddly, model to put together. Like the M10, crewed with Airfix 25pdr gunners.

The ammo column is a Frontline resin model. The Frontline lorries are a real blessing for 20mm gamers. I did this one in Mickey Mouse camo as it is a scheme I like. The canvas tilts have a good rough finish, so drybrush up nicely and actually look like heavy canvas.

The lorried infantry brigade. Three infantry battalions and a lorry!

I really like these figures, they are from the Revell/ESCI 8th Army set, and beautifully modelled in greatcoats and with slung rifles. Having enough figures to do all the bases identically was a bonus.

The brigade transport is another Frontline lorry.

The Royal Engineers. A Frontline 15cwt truck and an Airfix British Infantry figure (second edition set) with a shovel and grenade.

Divisional HQ. Royal Signals and Tac HQ.

The signallers and Div staff are also Airfix British infantry. An officer and a bloke with a radio. The Morris 15cwt radio truck is an exquisite piece from Frontline. Beautiful moulding.

TAC HQ. A rather ropey Frontline resin jeep, but hey, they do jeeps along with everything else. The officer with map is from the Emhar WW1 British infantry set, he is the staff officer in shorts(!) trimmed down to fit.

Divisional logistics column.

The RASC lorry column is another Frontline lorry. This time in SCC2 with black disruptive.

The RASC fuel column is the good old Airfix RAF refuelling lorry. I did think about leaving the fuel arms off, but they are sooo cool and mean you can fuel up two tanks at once! 

What a lovely model, and the basis for endless lorry conversions. Unless you just buy your Bedfords in resin. This is also in SCC2 and black.

So, there we go, another one of my Megablitz divisions, and one which has seen a surprising amount of action in a number of guises. Like all British divisions it is fairly modular, and I have enough spare infantry and 25pdr bases to turn it into an infantry division instead, just re-using the appropriate divisional assets.


  1. Lovely! And some inspiration to get my fairly large but woefully disorganized WW2 collection into some kind of useful order so I can get some of these operational-level games played.

    1. Thanks, although I have to be completely honest and say that these haven't been out of their box for quite a few years. The largest scale toys I've been using for remote games have been 15mm, but 20mm stuff does have a lot of character.