After his success at the weekend, Phil is ready to go with the next project, which is something that’s been ongoing for 25 years. Back then model kits were not always the most accurate rendition of the tank they purported to be. German WW2 tanks were especially bereft of information but the model companies cobbled together what they could with the scarce information they had (and a few-as it turned out wrong- guesses), and Phil did what he could with what there was, including scratchbuilding parts that the company got wrong. One of those model kits is known as a Grille (which is German for cricket (the insect not the game) Maggot, or strangely, Spleen. In this case we’re going with Cricket as another tank was named Bumblebee so it kinda fits. A Grille is a self propelled 15cm howitzer, basically a big gun on wheels with a driver, loader, shooter, and a bossman.
In 1994 Phil purchased this kit from a company called Dragon (who went on to make top notch tanks eventually) built it, scratchbuilt parts for it, altered what they got wrong, and painted it. Then in 1995 new information became apparent which showed up where it had all gone wrong with the model, so he stripped it down, fixed the flaws, and painted it again. Then, in 2002, a complete WW2 Grille was found out in the boonies somewhere and it was apparent that the model was still not right. So in 2017 Phil stripped it all down again, sorted it all out and then.. put it on the shelf and moved on with other things.
And here we are in 2019, the Grill is back on the bench, and I’m looking forward to seeing this when it’s finished. How amazing is it to be so dedicated to historical accuracy? He could have just bought a now perfect kit of the same model, it would be so much simpler, or even just let it go, I mean who cares? and there’s plenty more tanks in the seas. I’m sure people think these (usually) older (usually) chaps with their model tanks and planes and cars etc, are bonkers, geeks maybe. But I admire the dedication that goes into making just one model, let alone the hundreds going on around the world, the intricacy and artistry it involves to make it look right, the striving for perfection. Phil is at the top of his game at this malarky, and well respected in the modelling world too. Tenacity, my blokes got it in spades!