This week I have something to show that I’m really rather enthused about. I have for the past few weeks been working towards creating a Platoon of Norwegians circa 1940 fighting in the defence of Oslo and/or Narvik against the dastardly Nazi warmachine.
Norway, having not found itself in any sort of conflict for over a century, had little in the way of modern weapons, training or tactical doctrine, yet by little more than determination managed to hold out longer than any other conquered European nation.
I have really rather enjoyed looking into this stage of the World War, a part of the war that I had largely overlooked up till now, and amongst my other research I came across something that I just had to put onto the gaming table as soon as possible – The National Tank.
The Landsverk L-120 was acquired by Norway in 1937 and became there first and only tank from then until the outbreak of war. The tank started its life as a test chassis in Sweden. After testing it was purchased by Norway, as being only used test chassis it fell into the price bracket of the Norwegian military. After purchase and transport to Norway it was given a domestically produced turret armed with a 8mm Colt Maxim gun, and in order to save money further still, was also given domestically produced running systems (breaks, steering, ect.) as well as cheaptastic iron armour (the hardened steel armour used on just about every other tank in the world was too expensive). The result was Norway’s first and only tank. The tank, and its accompanying armoured lorries, never saw action in the war. In the immediate build up to the German invasion the Norwegian Armoured Corps (1 ‘tank’ and 2 lorries with metal on) were sent to Oslo to be refitted and readied for action against the Germans, but were still in pieces when they were abandoned by their unit and subsequently captured by the Germans.
The tank was so unique that I just had to have a model of it. So I did. No model exists for it, so I cobbled one together. The model is from ‘Frontline Wargaming’. It is the chassis and running gear of a Pz.38(t) with a Vickers 6-ton(export) turret. The folks at Frontline were more than happy to help me out and were interested in this little project. The model turned up promptly and was cast absolutely fine. I did a fair bit of chopping and changing and added a maxim gun that a friend gave to me to the turret and added a piece of flash as the drivers hatch on the front. I couldn’t find any colour pictures of the tank and the ‘turn black and white pictures to colour’ program that I tried using failed me horridly, so I painted it in a typical interwar colour scheme.
A few links;
I’ve also painted my armoured car that I knocked together last week. I’m not all too happy with it so will probably play with the paint work before next week.