Sunday, January 8

Up-gunned & up-armoured - the British B-type Armoured Lorry from Miniart

MiniArt's B-Type Lorry fans have been crying out for this. The improvised armoured truck of Charles  Samson's "Motor Bandits" of WWI. We see what's been added and how the truck came to be in our preview...
Up-gunned & up-armoured - the British B-type Armoured Lorry from Miniart

British B-type Armoured Lorry
From MiniArt
Kit No #39006
1/35th Scale 
The Subject: The Armoured Lorry of the "Motor Bandits"
In September of 1914 the Eastchurch squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service under the command of Commander Charles Rumney Samson. His unit was sent to Dunkirk from where it carried out attacks on German airship bases. Samson was somewhat of a fire eater and always ready to take offensive action. He had already made a name for himself in 1912 by being the first man to fly an aircraft off a ship. He was later to be a pioneer in the use of torpedo bombers. The squadron was equipped with a number of tenders, cars, and lorries. One of these used by Felix Samson (the Commander's brother) was armed with a machine gun. From the nucleus grew a collection of armoured vehicles as various officers touring cars and parts of the squadron's transport pool were clad with armour plate and had machine guns mounted on them. This was not always successful; at least one car had a habit of shedding parts of its armour when hit bumps in the road. Nevertheless, the armoured cars were used for raids into the fluid, German lines in Belgium. It was soon found that the armour fitted was inadequate, a heavier vehicle was required. 

Portrait photograph of Wing Commander Charles Rumney Samson RN DSO from Army and Navy.
Part of the squadron's transport consisted of commandeered London type B buses. Two of these were adapted and became armoured lorries. The cab was covered with armour plate and the main bodywork was replaced with what was effectively an open topped armoured box with sloping sides over which a squad of Royal Marine riflemen could fire. These vehicles were intended to act as armoured personnel carriers, allowing infantry to support the operations of the lighter armoured cars. Unfortunately, the weight of armour made the vehicles too slow to keep up with the armoured cars and the armoured lorries were mainly used as mobile blockhouses guarding cross roads.

The only photo of this truck that we could find...
As the German advance through Belgium progressed this improvised armoured force was thrown into Antwerp to provide cover for the evacuation of a force of Royal Marines based in the port. In the course of these operations German light field guns were encountered and it became evident that an armoured vehicle mounting an artillery piece was needed to support the lighter armoured cars. One of the B-type bus (or lorries) was fitted with 3 pounder naval gun. 

The kit from MiniArt:
Miniart has adapted its B-Type Lorry to make this unique but very interesting version of the WWI Armoured truck. The sprues are pretty similar, but of course the truck cab and tray are omitted, and added are the armoured sides.

These CADs tell us a lot more about the make up of this model and its features
Plastic parts of this kit:
Clear Plastic Parts Included
Photo-etched Parts Included & Decal Sheet Included
The colour choice supplied in this kit
The truck in real life, from the "Motor Bandits" of the RNAS improvised by Charles Sampson and which served in the Dunkirk - antwerpen regions in the early First World War in 1914...

This new kit is now up to see on MiniArt's Distributors Worldwide.