Thursday, 6 April 2017

Magnetic Tows

Most GHQ guns - artillery and anti-tank guns - come packed in a standard way. There are two guns modeled in firing position, two in towing mode and two towing vehicles. This makes sense, but it has always left me with a problem of how to base everything. I want to have the vehicle towing the guns for transit mode, but also have them available alongside or near the guns when firing.
My recent discovery of small cheap powerful magnets has given me an idea which I have put into action with some Italian guns - 75mm Cannone (artillery) and 45mm anti-tank guns. I painted up the guns and tows, but before doing so I glued a magnet under each of the vehicles. One type was wide enough that the magnets are entirely out of sight, with a little drilling to make a recess underneath. On the other vehicle the magnet is visible, but it's not a problem for me - they are not very prominent, and could easily be taken for a spare wheel under the chassis.
Once painted I based the guns - on steel bases, as are all my 6mm models. The firing models were on landscaped bases with crews as normal, though I tried to make sure there was a bit of flat space available. The guns in towed format I put on longer thinner bases, landscaped as rough tracks, and the guns were glued on their wheels, so that the towhooks are at the height of the towbars on the vehicles. I left plenty of space ahead of the guns for the vehicles to sit in place.
The magnets hold the tows very securely on the bases - I can easily pick up the whole thing by lifting the vehicle, though it comes off simply enough when you need to separate them. So now I put the towing vehicle on the transit base while the guns are moving around in my battle. When they un-limber I substitute the firing base, and I can pop to vehicle on there as well if I wish, to show it is available to move the gun again if needed. In practie I probably wouldn't do that with the ATGs, as it looks odd to have a truck so close to a gun which is presumably about to come into action against enemy armour, or is supposed to be hidden in ambush.
The pictures should give the idea - four images for each gun. First in traveling mode, and then a shot with the tow removed to show how the gun is glued to the base. Then the gun in action, and finally the same but with the tow on the base as if about to hitch up.

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