I just thought I'd share a blast from the past. This is the first APC I bought and painted to play Sci Fi tabletop battles inspired by Traveller Book 4: Mercenary. It's a Roco Minitanks 1/87th scale U.S. Army M114, Command and Reconnaissance APC.
This M114 was purchased around 1979-80 at The Harrow Model Shop, my childhood Mecca way back then. At that time was located in Station Road, an old fashioned modelshop that was more bazaar than store. There was nothing else to speak of on the market in the way of 15mm Sci Fi AFVs outside of TTG's Laserburn APC. So the M114, a couple of Minitanks 1/87th Heer Racketenjagdpanzer (Jaguar1) with SS11 missiles and a Roskopf eight wheeled Spahpanzer Luchs, came together as my Sci Fi armour.
The camo scheme? It's based on the 1970's US Army MERDC pattern. The brown base colour is an Airfix Paints 'Earth', which was the best earth tone I have ever found. I was in the 6th form at school when I painted this - 30 years ago now! Unvarnished and never re-touched. They knew how to make paints back then!
Googling Rocco Minitanks for this blog entry, I found that the M114 and Racketenjagdzpanzer SS11 & TOW versions) have been re-released through Herpa and are still available from On Tracks in the UK.
I'm delighted to find these in the UK at a reasonable price. Not only can I replace the Racketenjagdpanzers, but I had previously wanted some of the Minitanks 1/87th Heer airportable Wiesals for use in Sci Fi games and can now fulfill that desire as Herpa produces both the 20mm cannon and TOW ATGW versions amongst others from the Wiesal family.
So, why buy these when there are so many great Sci Fi AFV's available in 2009? Well, nostalgia plays a key part of course, but these models are also sufficiently different that they are not instantly recognisable as Cold War hardware. I also feel they have a retro-Sci Fi style that makes them a great alternative choice for Mid-Tech AFV's. And c'mon, the Wiesals will provide perfect support for the wonderfully gritty RAFM ex-citadel Traveller/Striker Mid-tech Infantry Pack No.2.
Whilst on the subject of 1/87th AFV's, here's a lucky charity shop find I picked up ostensibly for AK47 games. It's a diecast 1/87th Soviet BRDM1 Light Wheeled Amphibious Reconnaissance Vehicle. I thought it was Eastern European in origin but just found that it's possibly made by Fidelis Models in the US. Takes away some of it's charm.... nevertheless, once again you can see it has that retro-Sci Fi look about it. In a side by side comparison, it easily compliments Old Crow's wheeled Outrider Scout Car. Comparing dimensions between the two models there's actually little in it, with the BRDM being slightly longer and only 4mm wider.
Some spare parts from GZG, such as V15-ACC4: Sensors and Radars, a futuristic camo scheme and it will look superb as a Mid-tech command or recce vehicle.