Thunder Model has released the 7.2 inch howitser in two different markings:
51 Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery, as used in France in 1944 and
52 Bedfordshire Heavy Regiment, NW Europe, 1945
The tractor should be a Scammell Pioneer R100.
I have build the gun, some time before I purchased the R100. The gun is painted in countershading pattern.
Now, one should expect that Thunder Models would, at least, add decals, which would fit to the guns’ unit.
However, this was a wrong assumption.
Now I have tried to find the correct markings and camouflage pattern for the tractors of the 51st Heavy Regiment. I found some of them, however none used by the 51.
Can anybody, please, tell me:
Which camo pattern was used (I have the 4 books from Mr. Dick Taylor as a reference)?
Did they use the RA system for the designation of the units?
Did the tractors carry the 1 Corps formation marking, a red diamond with a white spear head.
Thanks upfront for your support.
Can’t help you a whole lot, but can tell you that HGW Models does do a decal set for the R100 which includes markings for the 51st Regiment in North Africa. Perhaps some of the unit markings were still applicable in France and could be used?
Paul, this is my take. Markings first. The Heavy Regiments (by the time of NW Europe) were a mix of 7.2" and the US 155mm Guns (you may well already know this). And “Yes” they would use the RA system of markings, so I believe it would go down like this.
51st were part of the 4th AGRA (Army Group Royal Artillery) and were assigned to 2nd Army. Whilst they were tasked to work with 1st British Corps, they were under command of 2nd Army. So marking-wise looking at the front of the tractor you would see (left to right):
a. Red over Blue square (the usual RA sign) with a white number “186” superimposed. At the bottom of the square would be a thick white bar denoting Army troops (that is the AGRA under control of 2nd Army. On top of this would be a smaller square in blue with a red square as a quadrant of the blue. As I understand it the first 2 batteries were equipped with the 7.2" so you can either put the red at the top right hand position, (1st Battery) or the bottom right hand position (2nd Battery); as you’ve alluded to the “RA system” you probably know what I’m trying to explain here
b. Depending on the configuration of the vehicle and I haven’t anything in front of me, there would be a circular bridge classification plate in yellow with 2 weights on it in black; this would be the individual tractor’s weight and the combined weight separated by a black line.
c. On the far right there would be the sword and shield insignia of 2nd Army.
These would be repeated on the rear.
The vehicle serial number would be on the cab doors or possibly along the sides of the bonnet and for Tractors would be prefixed by an “H” followed by half a dozen (possibly more) digits. This would also be on the rear of the vehicle.
Somewhere, most likely on the bonnet (hood if you like) would be a patch of gas detection paint in a yellowy-green colour. On the roof or even the canvas top would be the Allied white star in a circle.
I’m not an expert on colours but I seem to recall these were finished in a Khaki Drab with black patches/bands; the roof of the vehicle being entirely in this colour, but some of the more knowledgeable WW2 guys on the site will chime in here I’m sure, or Dick Taylor’s books should help.
'Just had a glimpse at the box art of the model and note that the bridge plate is attached to the side of the bonnet so that’s cleared up then.
'Hope this helps.
Reference my last: I now understand that the Scammel tractor had an all metal roof so ignore my mention of “canvas”(!)
Top notch answer, Brian.
Thanks a lot for your input.
Now I can continue.
Best regards, Paul
Paul, sorry just checked back - I gave the wrong unit serial number for 51st, it should be “187”. Hopefully you haven’t just started applying decals - which reminds me - I think Archer do some of the higher formation RA markings.