Tuesday, June 16, 2015

28mm Armoured Recovery Vehicles

For my upcoming "Hell's Highway" game it will be critical for the British to have access to armoured recovery vehicles (for pushing destroyed tanks out of the way for the column).  There is only one problem with this --- where can you get 28mm armoured recovery vehicles for WW2?

Not only did I want at least 1 (if not 2) ARVs for the British - I also wanted one for the Germans.  The good news is I found the solution - two options for British and two for Germans (and one for the US).  Let's take a closer look at these options below ...

My three new 28mm ARVs - Cromwell ARV (left),
BergPanther ARV (center) & Sherman ARV (right).

Cromwell ARV

S and S Models sells a 1/56th Italeri Cromwell & ARV conversion kit.  This kit not only includes the conversion bits but also the plastic tank from Italeri (note this is exactly the same as the plastic Warlord Games Cromwell kit so you can use those interchangeably).  Essentially you build out the Cromwell plastic kit - everything *except* for the turret.  Then you can follow the pictures on the S and S Models site to get all the bits in the right place.  Below are pictures of my assembled Cromwell ARV (waiting for painting).

Sherman ARV

S and S Models sells a 1/56th Italeri Sherman & ARV conversion kit.  This kit also includes both the conversion bits and the plastic tank from Italeri (again, same as the Warlord Games plastic kit).  Build out the plastic Sherman kit except for the turret and then follow the pictures on the S and S Models site to glue the bits onto the right places.  Below are pictures of my assembled Sherman ARV (waiting for painting).

BergPanzer 3 ARV

S and S Models sells a 1/56th BergPanzer 3 conversion kit.  This kit goes well on a Rubicon Panzer III plastic kit and can also easily fit Warlord Games Panzer III models.

Picture of the BergPanzer III ARV conversion kit on
a Rubicon Panzer III kit (image: S and S Models).

BergPanther ARV

Last but certainly not least is the BergPanther ARV.  Bad news folks - there is no conversion kit for this model.  However, that being said, I ordered the BergPanzer III ARV conversion kit from S and S models to use as the basis for my own conversion of a Warlord (Italeri) plastic Panther kit into a BergPanther ARV.  Primarily I wanted the resin "box" bit and the crane polls (the other bits are also handy).  I used jerry cans and spare tire bits from other Warlord German kits that I had assembled before (Sd. Kfz. 251 half-tracks for example).

I Google searched pictures of the BergPanther to plan out how I wanted mine to turn out.  There are many good images to be found.  For example the image below represents the majority of what I wanted to see out of my conversion.

I was missing one of the side polls from the crane so I had to use plastic tub to make my own - this also allowed me to make sure it fit into the larger back area of the Panther kit.  

I started by assembling the main hull of the Panther kit from Warlord Games.  Once that was done I cut out the "rounded rectangle" that constitutes the front driver and MG hatches.  I then went about gluing on the bits that came with the BergPanzer III conversion kit.  This got me a good ways there and I would say nothing really complicated has had to be done just yet.

I was unhappy with the chain/which parts for the crane so I used "razor wire" to redo the chain (this is more flexible and less likely to break on me since the crane is hanging over the side).  Once I had that all in place I ended up with what you see below.

I used the MG that would mount to the turret hatch ring for the MG at the "front cut out" rectangle.  My last hurdle is the hardest.  The rear dozer blade would have to be scratch built.  I purchased some thin plasti-card from my local game store and went about building it.  Pictures below of that process - which involved making the blade, arms and anchor points.

There you have it --- three ARVs added to my pile of vehicles for Bolt Action.  Now on to painting them.  I hope you've all found this somewhat useful.


  1. Looking very good, nice work!

  2. Great work!
    I'll have to keep the link to S&S for my WWII British. Many thanks for the hint.

    1. You are most welcome --- very handy those S&S conversion kits ... saved me a crap load of scratch building :-)

  3. I stumbled across your blog by accident and I am really glad I did. That S&S link is gold dust! Thank you very much.

    1. Excellent, glad you where able to find it :-)