Airfix QLD & QLT Review

The choice

I first noticed this truck set by Airfix while picking up some paint at my local hobby shop. At first glance I had images of old Airfix models that I had built in my childhood and that have been in production for many years. Typically I only buy Airfix kits for soft skin vehicles that are not made by other manufacturers. In other words, in my armies they are generally a cheaper fill in to complete a unit. Let’s face it, an armoured division has to be mobile right? Yes but at what cost? A transport and resupply truck isn’t exactly the star of the battlefield. Last year I purchased several of the IBG Models QLDs, QLTs and other trucks made in Poland. These are great kits in huge, virtually empty boxes at a price that leaves your wallet gasping for air. With this in mind I looked at a few internet sites that have more details of the Airfix Kit and thought I would take a chance.

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Note the two large IBG boxes in the back each with one vehicle versus the Airfix box with two vehicles inside.

Inside the box

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The first thing you notice about the Airfix kit is the quantity of parts and level of detail. There is very little flash and the parts fit together very well. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. It only took me about 3 hours to make each of the two trucks in the kit. They were a pleasure to build without too many fiddly parts like the IBG models.

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Airfix (on the left) IBG (on the right)

Summary

Although the Airfix trucks are slightly smaller, being 1/76 scale versus the IBG trucks at 1/72, the size difference it is not significant enough to outweigh the cost and detail of the Airfix versions. The size difference would be only noticeable if you mix both IBG and Airfix in the same unit. Overall the Airfix set is a welcome addition to the soft skin vehicles in 20mm and at least a viable option to the more expensive IBG trucks. Now when is someone going to come out with a Bedford MWD GS 4×2 15cwt truck in 1/72 or 1/76?

AWI British

1st company of Hatmen of the 10th Regiment of Foot. These are a combination of Perry Miniature British Plastic and Wargame Foundry. The 1st company has 1 Capt., 1 LT, 1 drummer, 3 Sgts and 42 men.

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Imperial Rome

HMS Titan stern

I have just added the stern onto the Titan. The next step is to mount the half and full cannons on the gun deck. Once I have mounted the 26 guns on the gun deck I will add the main deck.

28mm Napoleonics a step up or down?

Most of my 40 years in wargamming and miniature collection has been dedicated to 1/72 scale models.  I have collected and still have Napoleonic in 1/72 and 15mm but always eyed with envy the 25 to 28mm lineup. When Victrix and Perry Miniatures came out with their new plastic Napoleonic I couldn’t resist any longer.  There are many advantages and disadvantages to a 28mm collection. Let’s start with some of the pros and cons of a larger scale.

Scale of Battles – one may say that even 1/72 scale is still too big of a scale to get the true feel of a division matching on the field. This may be true but on a 12 x 6 foot table there is ample room to focus in on attacking an enemy’s flank without having the center involved. In 1/72 I usually build an army based on a company represents a battalion. This gives a really good impression that there are actually troops in the battalion and allows for it to take actual casualties without an instant morale check. For example I can easily fit my 1200 civil war soldiers on the table with room to manoeuvre.

Once you migrate to a 28mm army you may have to downsize your army from division to brigade level or downsize your actual unit. I understand and appreciate why wargammers make their units smaller and smaller but really; a battalion with 20 to 25 (1:30 ratio)figures? In my humble opinion, 20 – 25 soldiers around a set of colours looks like the colour guard! I find that even a 1:20 ratio looks a little thin but it does give you more tactical options. Based on my preferences, I have decided to stick to my company equals battalion standard. So for example, my British Peninsular army that equals anywhere between 40 and 100 men in a company. Why the variation you may ask? Well manpower replenishment was difficult in the Peninsular so through battle casualties, disease and desertion regiments were generally under strength. My 3rd Buffs regt. has 75 men including officers and NCOs. This really equates to a 1:10 ratio. I am willing to sacrifice large-scale divisional operations for bigger units. So my choice of scale will lead me to very large-scale skirmishes or small brigade level battles.

Painting and Detail – no doubt that the reason I went to 28mm for the Napoleonics is the detail. The uniforms and colours are amazing. I don’t mind that my WWII soldiers have a minimum amount of painting detail. I am not going to spend hours painting eyes on a soldier so small that you will never see it on the table. It is the combination of tanks, soldiers and other weapons that make the impression on the field not the individual detail of one soldier. 28mm on the other hand, lends itself to the detail of the individual soldier. To me, once I paint eyes on a soldier that soldier becomes a personality. I have even researched the officers names of the 3rd Buffs and have named mine accordingly. Again these preferences will lead me or constrain me to skirmishes or small brigade level battles.

I am looking forward to hear from other wargamers as to your opinion on the subject.

HMS Titan 32 gun frigate

 

This is my first 28mm scale ship. I started last summer by carving the base hull out of solid wood and then building up the gundeck using balsa wood. The ship will carry 26 x 12lb  guns on the gun deck and 6 x 6 lb guns on the main deck.

 

DKM Bismark

American Infantry

250 men

B Coy, 51st Arm Infantry Batt. 4th Arm. Div. Unit complete with 250 men and 29 vehicles.  A Coy is 95% complete and will be posted once the HQ support section is complete.

B Coy HQ

1st Platoon

2nd Platoon

3rd Platoon

A/T Platoon

Coy HQ Platoon

French 8th Line Infantry

First battalion, 8th infantry Regiment de Ligne

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Sgt. 95th Regt Foot