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Valentine Tank engineer build
6stringer
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Posted: Monday, August 20, 2018 - 10:28 AM UTC

This is my great uncle John.
He was an engineer with the 46th RTR from 1939-44.
He is pictured alongside his trusty Valentine which accompanied him in North Africa and Italy.
I'd like to build a 1/35 scale model pretty much as this recently colorised picture shows.
Any advice on which make of models available?
I know there are so many variations of the valentine available, just unsure as to which one to go for
any help and advice would be great before I embark on the build.
Judging by the foliage behind it looks like this was taken in Italy(?)
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Monday, August 20, 2018 - 08:38 PM UTC
Maybe the chances of good replies would be better if this was posted in the Armor/AFV forum instead.
Let me know if you want it moved.
/ Robin

Larger image

6stringer
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England - North West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, August 20, 2018 - 11:21 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Maybe the chances of good replies would be better if this was posted in the Armor/AFV forum instead.
Let me know if you want it moved.
/ Robin

Larger image



Apologies.
Yes please Robin.
Grateful if you could.
many thanks
Steve
d6mst0
#453
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 02:09 AM UTC
I like the Tamiya kit, easy to build and there were no issues with fit.
iowabrit
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Iowa, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 02:12 AM UTC
The new Tamiya 1/35 kit is great and builds really easily but unfortunately does not have the external fuel tank you need. AFV Club 35185 would be your best bet as it comes with the fuel tank and there is a track set available to replace the kit rubber band tracks. It is also a very good kit.
If you decide to go the Tamiya route I'm pretty sure I still have the external fuel tank and mounting brackets from my AFV Club kit in my spares box and you are welcome to have them for free.

Update.
Steve, I have an external fuel tank from the Bronco Models Bishop kit. That way, you can get the much easier to build Tamiya kit.


Its yours for free if you PM me your address.
6stringer
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Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 08:40 AM UTC
Thanks for your feedback guys and I really appreciate the offer for the side fuel tanks Steve J.
One thing I have noticed is that on the photo there are no skirts where-as most of the models have them.
Do you think this would indicate a more precise idea as to his location at the time of the photo?
Plus, of course, his engineers uniform looks more winter than summer?
The skirts would have more benefit across desert sands would it not?

I'm unsure as to whether to build it with Italy or Africa as a base.

Also, the decals which come with the Tamiya don't have the number 52 along with the RTR badge
Are there shops/sites that have these spare?
Littorio
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Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 09:08 AM UTC
Hi Steve,

Firstly it would appear that it's a Valentine III although I'm no expert but only going by the 2pdr although the I - VII all had 2pdr's but the IV-V-VI-VII and VIIA were all Mk.III's but with changes to the engine/transmission or built in Canada.

Accurate Armour in Scotland stock British Armoured Division markings item code DE11 they also have a few upgrade sets for the Tamiya Valetine.

Most British armour you can do with just a set of generic Division and Arm of service (AOS) markings but you will need to find if there was any name on the tank and it's WD reg number.
barkingdigger
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ARMORAMA
#013
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Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 10:02 AM UTC
Hi Steve,

If you need some "52" on red squares I can sort a couple (one each front & rear) if you PM me your postal address. But even though I know some BW film reproduces red as black, that square really does look like it was black to me - anyone want to chime in?

The census number in white looks like it might be "T12579" but it's pretty grainy and I'm squinting pretty hard to see it. The grey circle to the right is presumably a bridge-classification plate (maybe a "3" but that seems too light for a tank) and I can't see any formation sign in that pic.

Sand shields are a great idea in theory, but in practice they get bent and torn easily under field conditions, so I'm not surprised the tank doesn't have any. Plus they trap mud and hinder maintenance!
Littorio
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Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 12:08 PM UTC
Tom yep '52' would be on a Red square, the other marking could be a Corp, Division or AOS marking as from what I've seen most Valentines didn't have a bridge class displayed (believe this would be 16 if displayed)

46th RTR formed part of 23rd Armoured Brigade.

I would say that the photo must be from North Africa or Sicily as the following photo shows a 46th RTR Sherman III knocked out in Anzio.



Extract from: The Valentine in North Africa 1942-1943, by Bryan Perrett.

Subsequent History of 23rd Armoured Brigade

The following is an extract from a Brief History of 23rd Armoured Brigade, a small pamphlet long since out of print, and, to my knowledge, the only complete record of this famous formation’s operations.


Sicily July 10,1943

Whilst the success of the British forces in AFRICA was still echoing round the world, General Montgomery, with his 8th Army, struck again on July 10, 1943, landing in SICILY. The 23rd Armoured Brigade was in the forefront. This time 50th RTR with a squadron of 46th RTR supported 51st Highland Division in the assault landing. Regimental headquarters and the remaining squadrons of 46th RTR joined the Brigade as soon as transport was available to SICILY, and these two armoured regiments proceeded to take their full part in the difficult and bitter fighting in SICILY.

At the end of the Sicilian Campaign, Brigadier G. W. Richards handed over the Brigade to Brigadier R. Η. B. Arkwright, who commanded until the end of the war.


Salerno Sept. 9,1943

40th RTR at this period, were concentrating in NORTH AFRICA, retraining and re-fitting with Sherman tanks in preparation for the SALERNO landing. On the 9th September, 23rd Armoured Brigade, which then consisted of 40th RTR and the “Greys”, took part in the assault on the mainland of ITALY at SALERNO. These two regiments supported 46th Division, 56th Division and 201 Guards Brigade. In the meantime, 46th and 50th RTR had temporarily joined 4th Armoured Brigade and with the 8th Army they had crossed the MESSINA STRAITS and landed in ITALY, They continued to advance with the 8th Army and were engaged in fighting at SAN SALVO with 78th Division in November, and they continued Northwards until reaching the SANGRO River where 50th RTR were engaged in some very bitter and heavy fighting in that area, their Commanding Officer being killed.


Naples Oct. 1,1943

To return to the west coast of ITALY, the 23rd Armoured Brigade fought with the Infantry in the break-out from the SALERNO bridgehead and in the forcing of the VIETRI Gap. They also carried out the advance on to the NAPLES plain and the capture of the SORRENTO Peninsular which was effected by the “Greys” with Americans. The 23rd Armoured Brigade, (40th RTR) plus Americans were first into NAPLES and they continued throughout that extremely wet and cold winter fighting in the mountains and on the banks of the VOLTURNO. The crossing of the river followed, which, at that period the Italians considered to be an insuperable obstacle. They continued to advance along the famous APPIAN WAY towards ROME. During this period 46th and 50th RTR rejoined the Brigade from the 8th Army and the “Greys” left us, much to our regret. They were a fine fighting regiment.


That Autumn (1943) consisted of mountain climbing in tanks, to assist 46th Division, 56th Division, 210 Guards Brigade and 5th Division. The GARAGLIANO River was crossed by the 40th RTR about January 19, 1944, in support of 56th Division, 46th Division and 5th Division. The fighting was bitter and the Infantry suffered very severe casualties which prevented them from joining up with the British 1st Division at ANZIO where 46th RTR had landed. It is not necessary here to describe the ficrcc fighting that took place at ANZIO.


Rome June 4, 1944

The Brigade, when the break-out finally came was well represented, 46th RTR being the first tanks over the TIBER River and that regiment was actually in ROME on June 4,1944.


Return to M.E.F.

Shortly after this, 23rd Armoured Brigade was withdrawn to the MIDDLE EAST to recuperate and re-train, exactly two years after they had arrived in EGYPT. It would appear safe to say that no Armoured formation, even in the 8th Army, had been more constantly engaged, or had fought with more Infantry Divisions during that period.

Fighting with Infantry is very exacting as it means that the tanks are always in the forward areas getting little rest by day and mostly moving by night.


Greece 1944

After intensive training in the MIDDLE EAST, the 23rd Armoured Brigade sailed for GREECE in October, 1944 and in the early days of the Greek Civil War it bore the brunt and horrors of that unpleasant period alone.

I hope this helps.
tankmodeler
#417
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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 06:47 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Firstly it would appear that it's a Valentine III although I'm no expert but only going by the 2pdr although the I - VII all had 2pdr's but the IV-V-VI-VII and VIIA were all Mk.III's but with changes to the engine/transmission or built in Canada.


No, I'm afraid it's not a Valentine Mk III. The Mk III and Mk V both were fitted for 3-man turrets and, as such, had the gun mount pushed further forward with a very different mantlet arrangement.
https://goo.gl/images/oJvQCW

It's most likely that this is a Mk II or a Mk IV. Mks VI,VII and VIIA were Canadian made and all went to Russia (except 30 retained in Canada). It's very unlikely that it is a Mk I.
barkingdigger
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#013
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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 08:05 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Tom yep '52' would be on a Red square, the other marking could be a Corp, Division or AOS marking as from what I've seen most Valentines didn't have a bridge class displayed (believe this would be 16 if displayed)



Hi Luciano,

I agree there should be a formation badge where that circle is, but when I zoom in on it it doesn't look like any badge I know. But it does look like a bridge plate, which as you say is a rarity. Hence my confusion! Any thoughts on what that circle really is?
6stringer
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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 08:07 AM UTC
Fantastic knowledge from you all, thank you.

I've had a read over copies of my uncle's army notes and he received the Africa Star for services 41-43, then received the Italian Star after battle of Solerno.
He was injured three months after landing.
Speaking to older relatives, he manned this one tank right through all the battles he engaged in. crazy !
So as a tribute and something to pass on to my growing family why not build a scale model of this striking picture.
Very Interesting that it could be different shape to MKIII Paul.
The regiment he was in, 46th, consisted mainly of Scousers and lads from North Wales.

Brilliant link for the decals, thanks.
Cheers for the heads up on the red square decals Tom.
The badge on the right I was lead to believe would have been the Liver Bird?
6stringer
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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 08:44 AM UTC
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 10:08 AM UTC




If you click on the little icon to the right of the thumb-nail link that you posted, icon looks like a few chain links, the gallery page will show links to the full size image.
Compare this:
https://gallery3.kitmaker.net/data/500/Brit-Italy-markings-09.jpg
with this:
https://gallery3.kitmaker.net/data/500/thumbs/Brit-Italy-markings-09.jpg
The difference is between "500/" and "Brit-Italy", the "thumbs" in the middle ruins it

/ Robin
Das_Abteilung
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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 12:40 PM UTC
Isn't the circular marking the black on green "Go" badge of 8th Armd Div? The green circle wasn't always in a black square.

8AD went to the desert in May '42 but only effectively functioned as 23 Armd Bde and was disbanded after the retreat to Alamein. 46 RTR was part of 23 Armd Bde at that time but was detached from that formation between Dec 42 and June 43. 23 was almost entirely equipped with Valentines, plus a few CS Matildas - there being no CS Valentines. My money would be on mostly or all MkIIs.

46 RTR was the 2nd senior regiment in the Brigade, so the AOS marking should have been 86 on red in N Africa. 52 on red (not black) suggests that the photo was taken in the UK pre-deployment, which might also explain the very temperate uniform. It also implies that the vehicles were desert-prepared and painted before departure, not on arrival. That looks more like Light Stone than SCC2 or G3.

A black AOS as mentioned above would be for the second Armd Bde in an Armd Div in the Desert, which 8AD didn't have. But it would still have been 86, not 52
Bravo1102
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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 08:26 PM UTC
In the larger image, if you look very close you can see the "GO" in the green circle.

I've seen other pictures of Valentines in light stone driving through very English country side. There's one in the ancient "British Tank Markings and Names"