One of the really cool things about choosing the Polish 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade (10BK otherwise known as The Black Brigade) to game with is that it has the most variety of weapons and equipment of any of the Polish formations that you can field for Flames of War, assuming of course you are using Alex's Poland In Flames unofficial expansion (Because if you are just using the Blitzkreig book to play Poland you will probably starve for a creative outlet) which goes into some serious detail about the formations that were battling over the gateway to the east or west (depending on your direction of march). This expansion, written and edited by Alexander Kawczynski (his blog is Anatoli's Gameroom), is a serious labour of love that deserves real credit.
|A modern rebuild of a 1934 Furgon without the spare wheels and soft top.|
|The genereal utility version of the Furgon with its soft top on.|
Once I put the softskin on the back it should prove to be one of the easiest to cast and reproduce as there are very few awkward areas that will tear a resin mold.
This is what I managed to knock up:
Now onto something a whole lot more enigmatic:
The TKS-D tank destroyer
The TKS-D was a further development of the TKS tankettes that initially had led to the TKD self propelled gun. The development of this little beauty was atypical of normal armoured vehicle development as it was originally conceived as an artillery tractor designed to pull the wz.36 Bofors 37mm anti tank gun and an ammunition caisson.
|The TKS-D without the top skirt armour showing its caisson at the proving grounds in Barycz|
It was conceived that the actual weapon itself could be dismounted from its carriage and mounted on the vehicle itself to be put back onto its carriage when setting up for anti tank duties.
Photographic evidence suggests that whilst even towing the carriage and caisson the TKS-D was only ever used with the gun mounted and by virtue of this fact became, in point of fact, the worlds first tank destroyer.
|Fording a river in 1938 and showing the cannon dismounted from its carriage and placed into the vehicle mount.|
One area of massive advantage in this role was its very low silhouette which potentially made it a particularly difficult target to hit.
The TKS-D was developed from a modified TKS tankette chassis, just as the C2P artillery tractor was. There were differences however, for example in the TKS-D side clutches were used in the transmission and bigger idler wheels, set closer to the ground as extra road wheels were used in order to increase the stability of the firing platform and provide better traction.
The main designers were J. Lupuszewski and H. Lipko who worked under the auspice of R. Gundlach who completed two prototypes in 1937 using chassis TKS nr.8897 and TKS-B nr.1510, with the TKS-B chassis already having been retrofitted with new running gear.
The TKS-D's had a new extended hull, most of which was taken up with the open topped crew compartment. Each of the prototypes had differences in hull shapes with one of them having a higher circuit wall, enclosing the entire circumference of the crew compartment and that sloped inwards at the top whilst the other only had the top sloped extensions on the frontal third of the vehicle.
|The 'other' TKS-D showing the all round armour skirt|
Each of the prototypes was also equipped with a two wheeled ammunition caisson that carried a further 80 rounds of AT ammunition.
|Climbing a bank and giving a good view of the caisson and the gun carriage sans gun!|
|Being displayed for King Carol II of Romania in 1938|
Modelling the TKS-D
So this little beauty may be a tiny piece of cordite packing loveliness but make no mistake this was one bitch to put together. Its so small and so intricate with an open interior that I was frequently having to re-cut things, trim them down, redesign and redo parts.
Of all the vehicles I have done, this is the one that has taken me the longest to do.
|The schematics of the TKS-D that I found to work off of|
I already had wheels with mudguards prepared for my Fiats and thought these could do double duty as the wheels for the caisson. Finally I realised I had no track sections that I could use.
However having an over abundance of TKS' I decided to rip the track sections off of one of these to use for some home casting to provide the track sections for the other TKS-D I need to build and the TKD's.... the rest is all me baby...
At this point I now have another one of these to build as well as two TKD models. Given all of the Half Track conversions that I have ahead of me as well as actually learning how to cast models I have to say that I may very well have bitten off more than I can chew this year so to speak.... however when has that ever stopped me eh?
You just dig in and kick on. See how far you get! :D