We see all kinds of minis at Wargames Illustrated, made for various genres, periods, scales, and levels of hobbyist; this means there’s usually someone on staff who has a special interest in each thing we get. But it’s rare that person is Ian.
He’s hands on with all the models – he builds and primers the ones we review – but that’s often where his interaction ends as he’s just not much of a wargamer. However, these 1/144 scale, metal-cast, WW2 vehicles from Arrowhead Miniatures had him passionately enthusiastic.
Why? Well, lets take a look at the CMP C60 Water Tanker Type 11 Cab and find out.
Made in large numbers and in numerous variants during WW II, these were used by the British and Commonwealth Allies. They’re an important but (at least in terms of battlefield impact) unspectacular military vehicle, yet Arrowhead Miniatures have created a little kit with an absurd level of detail, accuracy, and quality here that makes a humble Water Tanker exciting.
As you can see in the build photos that Ian took, once the wheels and steering wheel are split apart this a 15 part kit – a fairly outrageous number of parts for a model that is barely larger than a 50 pence coin when built. It costs £5.99 (almost $8 US) which is at the pricier end of things for a model this small, but conversely it’s extremely cheap for this many parts.
It’s not just that there are a lot of parts either, they’re impressively detailed parts that fit together extremely well. Ian was gleeful in his description of the build time, even though it took longer and was far fiddlier than most models he builds (due to the small scale rather than any actual build problems). Only Arrowhead Miniatures’ most complex kits come with instructions – they’re a small company working on a shoestring budget – and this didn’t have them, which made things a little trickier. With reference to images on their website he enjoyed the experience.
Ian’s a petrolhead; his hobby is one that makes wargaming seem cheap in comparison – he’s an amateur racer. His current cravings for tinkering with cars (lockdown means there are no race meets, so nothing to be done to his own racer) were covered by this build for a little while.
He even pointed out that there’s a bit of a poor fit between the propshaft to differentials. An extremely small issue that nobody else at Wi would have picked out, and one that is hidden beneath the model, but that was really his only criticism.
When looking at how these will fit into your wargames, well, you really couldn’t want for more. ‘Civilian’ type (we should probably say non-combat) vehicles are always great to have, to add story, realism and character to the battle’s you fight, or add detail to the environments they are in.
British and German tanks
The tanks also get Ian’s approval and were similarly easy to build, coming with less parts. The Panzer III Ausf L is a nine part kit, costing £5.25 ($7 US) and it includes the option of open or closed hatch. This later war Panzer III variant is mounted with the more powerful 50mm weapon and has applique armour on the turret and hull.
Should you want other variants Arrowhead Miniatures has you covered with six Panzer III variants, a Panzer I, Panzer II, four Panzer IV variants, and three Panzer V variants. Phew!
Then there’s the British Valentine III – a six part kit that is £4.99 (about $7 US) and once again goes together easily. This tank accounted for almost a quarter of British tank production and had many marks and variants – maybe with time more will come to Arrowhead Miniatures, for now the only other option is the Valentine IX.
We are mightily impressed by these small-scale vehicles; the Arrowhead Miniatures range has a lot more, with other nationalities for WW2, some WW1 and Modern options, and a WW1 naval warships range – Grandfleet Miniatures – which is at 1/1200 scale.