Piper L-4 Grasshopper - French 64th Artillery Reigment - Italy 1944

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Tim R-T-C
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Piper L-4 Grasshopper - French 64th Artillery Reigment - Italy 1944

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Italy 1944 - the long, slow push of Allied forces through the mainland of Italy comes to the small town of Venafro in Isernia, liberated after a short fight.

The crew of a Piper L-4 allocated to the 64e Regiment d'Artillery d'Afrique take a break while awaiting orders and refuelling. They are passed by a column of surrendered German soldiers, who are rather taken aback to see that the spotter plane that had been bothering them for the past week was actually French - a force they thought had been defeated four years earlier!

Meanwhile a local farm boy takes advantage of the end of fighting to come out of hiding and take the family donkey to blag essential supplies from the allied soldiers.

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The model dates back to my 12 Builds of Christmas project from late 2022 when I tried to build 12 aircraft during the Christmas period - six succeeded, the other six were unceremoniously cast adrift until I decided to try and get some of them finally finished.

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The kit is from Mark 1 Models - a 2022 release, but one that looks to be a generation older, full of flash and very brittle, difficult plastic. A real shame as I had been looking forward to this kit for a long time.

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It took a lot of work to actually get it together.

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The size was delightful though.

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Finally complete, not without some colourful language no doubt.

I did paint it up in olive drab, but then left it for 15 months before decalling...

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The decal scheme was from the box and a slight change of plan as the Grasshopper was originally going to be in a South Pacific setting, but I had an idea for a different scene instead when I found a lovely figure set from ebay seller 3djson - this depicts PoWs being marched by a jeep with Montgomery sat in it - which lead to this scene.

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The scene as originally laid out on my trademark 10x10cm canvas boards.

Since then, I had a change of format, moving up to 13x13cm wooden boards instead. This was particularly beneficial for this scene, giving much more space for it to breathe.

This lead to some extra space behind the plane which first held a grazing donkey (a 3d print from Panzer-Shop.nl) then on my wife's suggestion (that an unclaimed donkey near the battlefield would have been pressed into service (or eaten)) I added a boy (Preiser) leading the animal and some jerry cans (Brengun) to its back, perhaps parafin for the farm's generator.

With the addition of a name board from nameitplates.co.uk and some antenna wire, the scene was complete.

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