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Builds Group Build - The War in the Desert 1941 - 1943

I was on the lookout for something that may help you there Si, and found these....
View attachment 540788
Just wondered if the jerkins could be elongated and sleeves built up. May not be quite as bad as a total sculpt. Hope it helps and it was just a thought.

Ta. I think I'm going to try a total sculpt. Should be 'interesting' and hopefully the outputs wont look like someone with learning difficulties has had a crack at them. There are some really good videos out there on construction
 
It's not something you can just "do" mate, so many factors need to be learned from anatomy to drapery. Just take it slow.

My half was through 'A' level Art wont help then.........
 
Nicked from a sad bastard site

View attachment 540782

From left to right:
1) P1888 Bayonet, issued with Long Lee Enfields and Long Lee Metfords.
2) P1903 Bayonet, issued with the SMLE MkI, and as a substitute standard with the MkIII
3) P1907 Bayonet, issued with the SMLE MkIII, MkIII*, Con'd IV, and MkI**IP. Early examples are sometimes found with a hooked quilion (expensive and rare)
4) P1907MkII*, issued in WW2, eastern theatre, with Indian forces. Also found with a rounded pommel like that on the P1907 bayonet (the MkII no *, both fullered and unfullered). Most were destroyed or stamped "DP" after the war.
5) The typical No.4MkII bayonet, issued with the No.4MkI and MkI*. Also encounteres is the identical looking MkII*, differing only in method of attachment of the rod/blade.
6) WW2 No.4MkIII bayonet, intended to be issued as a substitute standard with the No.4MkI and MkI*, though most were never issued.
7) No.9 bayonet, issued with the No.4Mk2.

If that helps :)
The SMLE Mklll, was used by the British in the Far East and with Indian Australian New Zealand and South African Forces through out the War. Got a feeling that the Aussies were still using the Mklll as late as Korea.
 

NSP

LE
Third photo caught my eye after noticing airborne helmet (Google suggests 1st Parachute Brigade, Tunisia, Nov 42 - Apr 43).
Can an SMLE head confirm whether the spike bayonet was only used on the No. 4? - I can understand why Airborne forces may have been the exception to my above comment re No. 4 in N. Africa though.
Well, I'm no authority but I do know that the Mk3 and No.4 had entirely different endcaps, muzzles and, consequently, bayonet fixings.

Socket-based spike for the No.4, Pattern 1907 sword for the Mk3/3* with no interchangeability (at least, not as issued) to the best of my knowledge.

Edited to add: Daz's post now seen.
 
Last edited:

NSP

LE
Mate of mine used to have an open grate with real fire, his poker was SMLE MkIII bayonet - 3rd in above pic.
I remember militaria shows in the 80s & 90's where buckets of those sorts of things were on sale - about a fiver a pop for some of them. Why oh why didn't I bother.
I "inherited" my grandfather's issued 1907 pattern when he karked it. Apparently made it through his entire service from 1935 to 1947, including N. Africa for almost the entire duration, with just the one - no replacements due to loss or - ahem - bartering with the locals.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Gentlemen if you go to Imperial War Museum, Photo Archive. You’ll find all the stuff you need. Such as these. It looks like our boys in Nth Africa used the No4 SMLE.
They certainly used the Lee Enfield No1 Mk3 (SMLE) widely throughout Africa and Italian campaigns, and there was limited use of the Lee Enfield No 4 in Africa, almost entirely in the 1st Army rather than the 8th Army as far as I'm aware. No4 Rifles were more widely used in the Italian campaign.

Picture of Paras training in Tunisia prior to invasion of Sicily with No4 rifles:

1611168637177.png
 
Nicked from a sad bastard site

View attachment 540782

From left to right:
1) P1888 Bayonet, issued with Long Lee Enfields and Long Lee Metfords.
2) P1903 Bayonet, issued with the SMLE MkI, and as a substitute standard with the MkIII
3) P1907 Bayonet, issued with the SMLE MkIII, MkIII*, Con'd IV, and MkI**IP. Early examples are sometimes found with a hooked quilion (expensive and rare)
4) P1907MkII*, issued in WW2, eastern theatre, with Indian forces. Also found with a rounded pommel like that on the P1907 bayonet (the MkII no *, both fullered and unfullered). Most were destroyed or stamped "DP" after the war.
5) The typical No.4MkII bayonet, issued with the No.4MkI and MkI*. Also encounteres is the identical looking MkII*, differing only in method of attachment of the rod/blade.
6) WW2 No.4MkIII bayonet, intended to be issued as a substitute standard with the No.4MkI and MkI*, though most were never issued.
7) No.9 bayonet, issued with the No.4Mk2.

If that helps :)
It's sadder I actually owned three of those (3, 4 and 5).
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
For avoidance of doubt, with bayonets:

No1Mk3 SMLE
1611218720588.png


No4
1611218757676.png


No5

1611218883654.png
 

ches

LE
Old man was with the desmonds in Malaya in 57/58 & used the Nr5, didn't like it, massive kick with it being lightweight compared to the Nr4
 
Old man was with the desmonds in Malaya in 57/58 & used the Nr5, didn't like it, massive kick with it being lightweight compared to the Nr4
I’d read something along those lines, that the No5 was also nowhere as accurate. Something to do with the barrel flexing, shorter furniture and less bands around the barrel and furniture.
 

ches

LE
I’d read something along those lines, that the No5 was also nowhere as accurate. Something to do with the barrel flexing, shorter furniture and less bands around the barrel and furniture.

Ranges in close jungle were down to feet apparently. There was a local acquiring of shotguns (made by Savage if i remember what he told me) which did the job when carried by the point man.

Back OT, wonder how the blokes felt handing in their No1 for No4s for Italy. Fired the No4 with cadets back in the 70's & had a blat with a No1 on a range day up at Altcar (I think...may have been the moors up above Bury...Holcombe Brooke?) with a shooting club. Always wanted a deac since.
 
It's sadder I actually owned three of those (3, 4 and 5).
I've also got one of the long ones, I inherited it with what turned out to be a Turkish Mauser bayonet of WW! vintage . No one alive in the family knows anything about them, but it seems I have a relative who was at Gallipoli (or nicked them )
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
I’d read something along those lines, that the No5 was also nowhere as accurate. Something to do with the barrel flexing, shorter furniture and less bands around the barrel and furniture.
A lot of old wives' tales abound about the No5, especially about "wandering zero". Accuracy was never an issue, less than the No4 but still pretty damn good. The No5 was popular with troops who used it in the war (you carry a rifle far more than you use it, and it's lighter and handier), although the recoil was more noticeable than the No4. The designers knew this and as a result fitted a rubber butt pad, (unfortunately with a smaller cross section than the butt, actually making the problem worse especially as the rifles got older and the rubber hardened). As to wandering zero, when you speak with owners, it always seems that they've "got one of the good ones" with no problem, but the stories still circulate of zeroed rifles being put away and the next time on the range being miles off.

I don't own one but it's on my wish list. Having fired a few over the years, they tend to be fairly pleasant to fire, and a recoil absorbing boot over the butt pas works a treat.

Until I do get my hands on one, I will just have to make do with my BSA 1915 Smellie:

1611224105166.png


:)
 
Ranges in close jungle were down to feet apparently. There was a local acquiring of shotguns (made by Savage if i remember what he told me) which did the job when carried by the point man.

Back OT, wonder how the blokes felt handing in their No1 for No4s for Italy. Fired the No4 with cadets back in the 70's & had a blat with a No1 on a range day up at Altcar (I think...may have been the moors up above Bury...Holcombe Brooke?) with a shooting club. Always wanted a deac since.
Holcombe Moor camp, still in use. Are we from the same part of the world, N. Manchester?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
A lot of old wives' tales abound about the No5, especially about "wandering zero". Accuracy was never an issue, less than the No4 but still pretty damn good. The No5 was popular with troops who used it in the war (you carry a rifle far more than you use it, and it's lighter and handier), although the recoil was more noticeable than the No4. The designers knew this and as a result fitted a rubber butt pad, (unfortunately with a smaller cross section than the butt, actually making the problem worse especially as the rifles got older and the rubber hardened). As to wandering zero, when you speak with owners, it always seems that they've "got one of the good ones" with no problem, but the stories still circulate of zeroed rifles being put away and the next time on the range being miles off.

I don't own one but it's on my wish list. Having fired a few over the years, they tend to be fairly pleasant to fire, and a recoil absorbing boot over the butt pas works a treat.

Until I do get my hands on one, I will just have to make do with my BSA 1915 Smellie:

View attachment 541442

:)
1915 and still going strong - and yet a few years ago the MOD was trying to get rid of the L129A1s because they were going time-expired.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
1915 and still going strong - and yet a few years ago the MOD was trying to get rid of the L129A1s because they were going time-expired.
Apart from the obvious fact that the Lee Enfield service rifle was designed by genii and manufactured by stout-hearted yeomen who the Creator had blessed with skills and talents beyond the ken of mere mortals, you should remember that Victorian engineering safety factors tended to be "Think of a number, double it, then make it out of high quality steel and put a brass plate on it", and the rifles were designed to last. Whereas today's designs are pared much closer to the limits of the materials (reducing weight and cost), and there is a far greater understanding of a specific component's life.

Added to that the L129 is basically an overpowered Armalite, and I'm sure the manufacturer would be very happy to replace them periodically which might just have been factored into the expected life...
 

ches

LE
Holcombe Moor camp, still in use. Are we from the same part of the world, N. Manchester?

No mate sorry, grew up just outside that shitehole Warrington & was in Air Cadets there for about 4 years. We'd get range days in cadets all over the place inc Holcombe Moor once.....didn't it have a brick built range hut on top of the hill looking down across the town, painted cream?
I joined our local Rifle & Pistol Shooting Club as junior cos my bezzies Dad was a long term member. As i got older we were able to get out with the grown ups on the club range days, Holcombe was always a regular one - at least 3 times a year.
 

Chef

LE
No mate sorry, grew up just outside that shitehole Warrington & was in Air Cadets there for about 4 years. We'd get range days in cadets all over the place inc Holcombe Moor once.....didn't it have a brick built range hut on top of the hill looking down across the town, painted cream?
I joined our local Rifle & Pistol Shooting Club as junior cos my bezzies Dad was a long term member. As i got older we were able to get out with the grown ups on the club range days, Holcombe was always a regular one - at least 3 times a year.
Back in the 70s my CCF unit did a couple of camps there. The TV show 'The Krypton factor' had their assault course up there. They used our dining facilities which meant we dined well or at least differently for a few days while they were filming.
 

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