Matthew Davies talks us through how he constructed his converted German captured Universal Carrier:
The Universal Carrier was true to its name, and found itself in a ‘universal’ role, in several armies during World War Two. As well as a transport, it was also used for logistics, reconnaissance, and some were used as support weapons platforms. Germany managed to grab a few for themselves, and did similar things with them. One such variant was the Fahrgestell Bren (e). This saw the British UC mated with the German 37mm Pak 36, AKA the ‘Door Knocker’. This creation was mainly used by training units, secondary-line forces and patrol units in France.
In terms of Bolt Action games, this conversion makes for an ideal alternative model for the 250/10 armoured car. Both this and the 250/10 have a forward facing light anti-tank gun, are open topped, and lightly armoured. The model is ideal for people wanting to make a secondary line or occupational force styled army list, as these converted carriers were rarely issued to front-line units. ￼
-1x Universal Carrier kit
-1x Pak 36 gun, mounting plate, ammo crates and crew from the 251/10 Pak 36 Hanomag set
-Two German Helmets or heads
-Vehicle accessories (optional)
-Beads or small diameter plastic rod
-Craft knife, clippers, drills, glues etc.
Build the base Universal Carrier as shown in the kit’s instructions (parts one and two), with the following alterations:
– Do not glue the machine gun to the hull gunner.
– Do not attach any of the heads from the kit to your crew. Use the heads from the German range (either now or later, doesn’t matter too much)
– Do not add either of the rear passengers (I tried using the British crew in the back, but changed my mind later on).
– When moving onto the optional sections, do not glue the rear MMG mount to the vehicle￼
Shave/file the small central area behind the driver and forward gunner, leaving the rounded bar behind the crews’ heads intact. Trim a few millimetres from the raised central bar behind this as shown.
￼￼Next, get your Pak 36 mounting plate. Trim off the sides and front section as shown. Glue this centrally on the area previously smoothed.
Such a gun needs ammunition. Get one of your ammo/bench parts from the Pak 36 Hanomag. I chose to attach one set, as any more would make the vehicle very cramped for its crew! Cut off three of the ammo canisters and clean the part up. Glue these to the inside of the Carrier.￼
Next, break out your Pak 36. Attach it to the modified Hanomag mount.
The gunners are next. You might be better off gluing these to the vehicle after painting them. The gunner’s arms will not reach the Pak 36 without serious modification, so for simplicity, you can just glue him in the right-side compartment, resting his arm on the Carrier. The soldier reloading can just about squeeze into the left-hand side, next to the ammo. Here he has just been glued crouching on the bench, but more intrepid modellers may wish to cut his legs and reposition or sculpt them so he is sitting down.
Because such vehicles were rushed and unplanned creations, feel free to choose your own style of gun-shield. You can use the one from your Pak 36 parts, make a custom one, or if your crew are particularly brave, don’t use one at all. The one shown above was made with plasticard, with a few tiny beads (from a nail art set) acting as rivets. I styled it on the carriage-mounted Pak 36. I’ve only tacked this on at this stage, so I can paint the internal compartments.￼
Add the German helmets if you haven’t done so already, and a select few accessories to make your driver and passenger look like German soldiers. Feel free to add parts from the Germany vehicles accessories set to the vehicle. I’ve added some extra tarps and fuel cans for those long-distance scouting missions.￼
Since the majority of converted Universal Carriers were one-off creations, you can either make it a Mark I or Mark II. I decided to go with a mark II, without the added steps.
And here is the finished vehicle, reading to scout out and take the fight to the enemy. This example has been painted in an early-war scheme, with plenty of icons to remind the Germans who’s side it is on!
You can buy the conversion kit from our webstore.