The 1st Royal Marine Armoured Support Group (RMASG) landed at approximately 0730hrs on King Red, the most eastern sector of Gold and the centre beach of Operation Overlord.
The battle was a tough one as German resistance was stiffer in this area than at Sword or Juno.
Armed with a 95mm Tank Howitzer, their Centaur tanks were originally intended to provide supporting fire for the infantry elements of the operation from landing ships offshore. However, common sense prevailed and they were re-fitted with engines and landed along with the rest of the invasion force.
The white compass degree markings painted on their turrets were unique to this unit, these allowed an observer (via a Nr 19 telephone at the rear of the turret) to give the tank commander coordinates on the target.
As for the model itself, all was well until I got to the ABER photo-etch.
Half of it I could'nt use and I had to make the 'bashed-in' rear fenders myself. The latches for the side tool bins were a real nerve tester but the worst part was the loaders box-like cupola, it
had to be cut and soldered so it would not collide with the antenna base.
Unfortunately, very few photo's exist of this particular 'Band of Brothers' and so the few examples (Achilles, Assegai, Hood,Hunter and Vidette) have been done over and over again in the Dio world.
I've never fancied copying, so I'd thought I'd give my version a mythical name ... a bit like the Centaur himself !
All tanks of this outfit were named after Royal Navy vessels- so I could'nt help but grin when I found THIS on the internet.
I've built a few 'stories' into this Dio. I decided to make liberal use of some Phaeophyceae - after reading that a Centaur commander had to 'pilot-in' his driver because seaweed had obscured the latters periscopes.
There also seems to be a lot of reports of vehicles being stuck or struggling in soft sand on Gold, so I've depicted the 'Aberdare' digging-in a little on the starboard side.
The RMASG Centaurs were all towing an armoured sled called a Porpoise. I've decided to 'submerge' mine here, not because I'm lazy but because I wanted a waterline scene, and the thing itself is...well...a bit flat. I feel that if I had included it it would have elongated the base and (excuse me) 'watered down' the effect.
As this unit were without R.E.M.E. (or any other) support, I've added a large amount of stowage on the rear hull.
A 'warning' against 'friendly-fire' has been chalked on the wading stack. This came about after reading the 'tempted fate' of a DD Sherman and her crew. Apparently the commander had daubed a
target symbol on his turret with the inscription-'AIM HERE'. An order that a German p.a.k gunner took literaly.
Another story, is that of a DD Sherman crewman on Gold, who witnessed a Churchill AVRE being blown to smithereens by enemy fire. Apparently there was nothing left but bits of sprocket and track. With it's cargo of blockbusting ammo being detonated the words "being hoisted by one's own Petard" does cast a macabre shadow over my beach of gold.
The main title...well, taking in the name of the beach, the hard fight for it, my battles with the brass photo etch parts and modelling the 'H2O' I'd say "All That Glitters ... fits perfectly.
Oh, almost forgot ...
Another reason is THIS PLACE . It used to be called: " The Pearl of the Valleys ".
Well ... I guess everybody has to be born somewhere.