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A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

Archer Self Propelled 17 pdr Valentine Mk I - case report

      I always liked the low, stylish and aggressive lines of this tank destroyer: the Archer Self Propelled Gun 17 pdr Valentine Mk I. 

Archer Self Propelled 17 pdr Valentine Mk I
      Nowadays, it is very easy to build one of these beasts: just buy the excellent kit of Bronco and have fun.
Bronco´s Archer kit (#35074)
      But when I built this project (2005), the only economically viable option for my possessions was an obscure kit from Maquette, that I bought pretty cheap on eBay. Oh my God .... As I regretted it !!!
Maquette kit (#3552): horrible!!!
      I'll show to you guys a project that almost border the madness and the insanity. IMHO, the Maquette kit that I used was the worst kit ever made!!! Let's laugh (and suffer ...) a bit!! But, first of all, a little of history, as usual.

      The Archer Self Propelled 17pdr, Valentine, Mk I, was a British self propelled anti-tank gun of the Second World War based on the Valentine infantry tank chassis fitted with an Ordnance QF 17 pounder anti-tank gun.
Valentine infantry tank
Ordnance QF 17 pounder AT gun.
      The Archer was the second in a series of self-propelled guns produced on the Valentine chassis. The first design produced was the Ordnance QF 25-pdr on Carrier Valentine 25-pdr Mk 1, better known as the “Bishop”. The second design was the Self Propelled 17pdr, Valentine, Mk I “Archer”. The Archer is not quite the expedient hack job that the Bishop is nor is it nearly as bad as the hack job of adding a 6-pdr gun and gunshield to the top of the Valentine in place of a turret. The Archer was reasonably well thought out.
Bishop SPG 25 pdr.
      Rather than develop a new vehicle from scratch, one of the cheapest, lowest and more reliable chassis was chosen, from the Valentine infantry tank. On this base, to avoid the gun clogging in every obstacles encountered, Vickers engineers chose to place the gun in a reverse configuration. The gun was pointing backwards, contrary to the direction of vehicle travel.
      In other words, Archer moves with the gun pointing back. When approaching your shooting position, she turns around and stands on his sniper position using the reverse gear.
       Once done the shot, if there is a need to escape, she is already directed towards to escape route, running from the shooting point without turning or reversing.
   This way, the only possible tactical use of the Archers was for defensive or ambush purposes. Look the picture below:  The direction of displacement of the vehicle is the yellow arrow Notice the faces of the crew: they are looking to forward, except the man sitting on the gun, looking back at the camera.
Archer 17-pdr SPG of 102nd Anti-Tank Regiment
15th (Scottish) Division, Celle, 12 April 1945.
      The driver and commander were seated in the front part of the casemate, which had a hinged armored flap and vision slit. The casemate was open-top, multi-faceted, sloped at the front, sides and rear. The rear part was open, in order to allow the gun shield some traverse (11°) and elevation (-7.5 to +15°).
Archer of 15th(Scottish) Division during the attack on Goch, 19 February 1945
Notice the gun angle and the amount of ammo in the ground:
Archer is acting as fire support gun.
      The 17 pounder anti-tank gun was a very powerful gun but also very large, heavy, and could only be moved about the battlefield by a vehicle, which made the gun more effective in defence than in the attack.
17 pdr. AT gun firing in the desert. This gun was very effective...
      A version of the Churchill tank had been tested as a self-propelled gun: the "3-inch Gun Carrier" and the US was expected to be able to provide the M10 GMC Wolverine through Lend-lease.
Churchill 3inch gun carrier
M10 GMC Wolverine
       Other projects were considered using obsolete tank chassis. Possible vehicles included the Valentine, for its reliability and low profile, and the Crusader, for its good power-to-weight ratio.
     In development were tank designs using the 17-pdr, which led to the A-30 Cruiser Mark VIII Challenger tank (and its post-war variant the Avenger), derived from the Cromwell cruiser tank, and the Sherman Firefly conversion of the Sherman tank.
A-30 Cruiser Mark VIII Challenger
Sherman Firefly
      The Valentine chassis was soon chosen, as it was in production but obsolescent as a tank in British use, and was also one of the few chassis that could accommodate such a large gun. The engine in the Archer had a higher power rating than in the Valentine. Since the Valentine had a small hull and it was not possible to use a turret, the gun was mounted in a simple, low, open-topped armoured box, very much like the early Panzerjäger German self-propelled guns in appearance, with the gun facing to the rear, which kept the length of the Archer short. The mounting allowed for 11 degrees of traverse to either side, with elevation from -7.5 to +15 degrees.
Archer acting as sniper -  Nutterden, 9 February 1945
      On firing, the gun breech recoiled into the driver's position. So, he actually had to leave his seat when the gun fired. He still could stay in the tank, but had to place himself left or right of the breech.
The recoil of  17pdr gun in the Archer
      Because of this, the Archer couldn't fire while moving. But after shooting, the return of the driver to his position was immediate. And the fact that the vehicle already fired from it's back allowed the Archer to evade its ambush position immediately without turning around. The rear mounting gun combined with its low silhouette made the Archer an excellent ambush weapon.
Archer firing...Notice the breech advancing on the driver's seat
      The first prototype was completed in 1943, with firing trials carried out in April 1943. Vickers were given orders for 800 vehicles.
Archer of 3rd Canadian Inf Div drives onto/off a raft
near Kranenburg in Germany, 23 February 1945.
Notice the driver standing on his station
and the amount of exhaust gases...
    Production started in mid-1943 and the Archer entered service in October 1944. It was used in North-West Europe and (in 1945) in Italy. By the end of the war, 655 of them had been produced. The Archer was classified as a self-propelled anti-tank gun and was operated during the war by the Royal Artillery (RA) rather than by Royal Armoured Corps units, as too were the British 3in SP, Wolverine and 17pdr SP. Achilles.
M10 Wolverine 3 inch. SPG
Achilles 17 pdr. SPG
      Post war the  Archer served with the Egyptian Army. Surviving vehicles are preserved at the Yad La-Shiryon museum in Latrun, National War and Resistance Museum, Overloon in the Netherlands, and the The Tank Museum in the UK. The Archer served with some units of the Royal Armoured Corps in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) in the early 1950s.
Archer 17 pdr. SPG at National War and Resistance Museum, Overloon - Netherlands, 

Archer SP 17pdr, Valentine  Mk I
TypeSelf-propelled artillery anti-tank gun
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In serviceSeptember 1944 - ? (UK)
Used byUnited Kingdom, Egypt
WarsWorld War II, Suez Crisis
Production history
ProducedMarch 1943 - May 1945
Number built655
Weight15 long tons (15 tonnes)
Length6.7 m
Width2.76 m
Height2.25 m
Crew4 (Commander, gunner, loader, driver)

Armour14 - 60 mm 
QF 17 pounder (76.2 mm) gun
39 rounds
.303 Bren light machine gun
EngineGMC 6-71 6-cylinder diesel
192 bhp
Power/weight10.1 hp/t
Suspensioncoil spring bogie
Fuel capacity230 L
230 km on roads
Speedon road: 32 km/h
off road: 13 km/h

The kit:
      First, I would like to warn readers that the following images are crude and impactful. Modelers with heart problems and children must be careful. Warning done, come on ...
      The kit box:
The worst kit in the World; Maquette Archer Mk I  (#3552)
      And the box contents: a mixture of injected (Valentine) and resin parts that awake desperation and horror screams :

      Sorry about the poor quality of the pics: This kit was built in 2005 and digital cameras at the time were quite rudimentary ...
The Maquette kit: Valentine (badly) injected and resin (awful) parts
Maquette's 17 pdr. gun barrel: warped!!!
Thank the gods, I had a metal barrel...
Resin parts were indescribable ...

Trying to use the useless...

Believe it: This is the sight of the gun...

The cradle of the gun ...amazing...
      Now, you might be asking:
1- Why waste time with such trash ???
2- And why post that ???

1- I NEEDED have an Archer in my collection ...
2- I wanted to show how happy we are now, with so many choices of (excellent) kits and manufacturers...

      Continuing with the agony:

Gunner's seat
Rear part of the 17 pdr. gun...
trying to turn waste into kit ....
       Now, the best part: the Archer's the superstructure. Cutting instructions of upper hull kit were highly descriptive ....
Oh my God !!! Simple, right ???
Starting the surgery....

Adding resin parts: notice the perfect setting ...@#X!!*#
      Now the icing on the cake: the sides of the armor in resin were so bad that I decided to do everything in scratch ...I've never seen a casting so bad ...
Armor - right side...Notice the casting failure and bubbles...
Armor - left side...again,  the casting failure and bubbles...
bubbles and depression in the resin part
       Making the armor in plasticard...

cannibalized part of kit, in resin...
Using injected, resin and plasticard parts...The gun barrel was Eduard.
The Archer is growing...
weld seams with stretched sprues...
Internal details...

rectifying the wheels...
my old "lathe"...
Notice the quality of plastic injection ...Before and after...

building the telephonic wire roll ...

adding the wire. Do not power the Dremmel ... use manual rotation ....

cooper wire for many details...
aluminiun foil   (beer can)
sight aperture

almost done...
The resin (crap) parts....
And the magic moment to throw the leftovers in the garbage !!!
      Now, the best part: Markings. My ungrateful girl will use Canadian clothing. After a good research, I found this photo of a Archer fighting in italy. What caught my attention was the Wizard doll (perhaps the mascot of the vehicle) on the front shield of the vehicle. Bingo !!!
Urban fight at Cesena, Italy, 20 October 1944.
Crossing the street under enemy fire a soldier of The Carleton and York Regiment.
The Archer 17 pdr. SPG belongs the 7th Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment
1st Canadian Corps. Notice the Wizard doll in the Archer's nose...
Markings and details...
 Archer 17 pdr. SPG  - 7th Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment
1st Canadian Corps - italy, 1944
At that time there was no Value Gear...
Let's make a bed-roll with styrofoam
carving the styrofoam with a hot spatula...
The how-to...
coating the styrofoam with tracing-paper...
tracing-paper softened with water and PVA glue.
using a hairdryer....
another bag made with the same technic...
ready for painting...
...and in place !!!
Notice the wrong exhaust...

Now, it's time of the Wizard !!!
cooper wire as skeleton...
skeleton done...
epoxy paste for sculpture...
My skills as a sculptor are lousy ...
Gandalf, the Black !!!
painting the gun cammo....
In my old big workbench....Good times !!!

steel cables...
       And the Girl was done: Archer 17 pdr. SPG Valentine Mk I from 7th Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment, 1st Canadian Corps. Cesena, Italy. October - 1944.
Archer 17 pdr. SPG Valentine Mk I - left side
Archer 17 pdr. SPG Valentine Mk I - rear left view
Archer 17 pdr. SPG Valentine Mk I - rear right view
Archer 17 pdr. SPG Valentine Mk I - right side
The gun warped is a photo efect...(old digital camera)
Archer 17 pdr. SPG Valentine Mk I - front right side
Archer 17 pdr. SPG Valentine Mk I - front view.
Notice the Gandalf, the black!!!

Kojak was jealous of Gandalf and did not show up.
But he'll be back ...
Archer 17 pdr. SPG Valentine Mk I from 7th Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment,
1st Canadian Corps. Cesena, Italy. October - 1944.
      Well, Gentlemen .... Sorry show this old and strange thing, but I badly wanted an Archer in my collection. I already bought the new Bronco's kit and soon will build it and photograph next to this relic. I'm really very proud of this pretty Canadian girl !!!!

See you soon !!!

9 comentários:

  1. Fala mestre, que trampo esse heim deu até medo das resinas.
    Gostei do pacote que você fez com o isopor.



  2. É de fazer chorar os mais fortes!!! Mas ficou ótimo, para variar... congrats Doc!

  3. Very rare model
    1:35 scale only
    Great work, which looks to ready very nice,
    and when you look this, you have a good mind...

  4. @Kogyro: Nem todos os kits resinas são assim, Kogiro...A imensa maioria são ótimos de construir...Pode encarar os resinosos sem problemas...um abraço !!!

    @Sidney: Exato, Sherife...Por diversas vezes fiquei com uma tentação enorme de jogar a coisa toda na parede...Mas valeu à pena !!!!

    @Motorhead. Valeu, Marcão...Obrigado pela visita !!! A casa é sua...Um abraço...

    @Maximex: Thanks, my finn friend...Indeed, the building of this kit was a real challenge ...But it was cute ....Hugs, Maximex...take care !

  5. Thanks, Yereverluvinunclebert...all the best!!!

  6. Congratulations! A wonderful presentation!