Saturday, 8 January 2011

Stoat armoured car

Here is my latest toy car re-paint - a Matchbox Rollamatic "Stoat" armoured scout car.

The Stoat was one of a number of fictional armoured vehicles that Matchbox released in the 1970s/80s. All the "Rollamatics" had moving parts which rotated as they travelled along - see also my "Badger" command vehicle.

All the vehicles had that very '50s/'60s Cold War sort of look like so many of the UK or Russian vehicles of that time. Silver headlights and red brakelights added by my Dad when I was a small boy!

The "Rollamatic" feature was that the little man on the top would rotate as the wheels turned. After disassembly, you can see how it all worked.

The little man did have a head and a pair of binoculars at one time, but lost them many years ago when I tried to remove him with a pair of pliers so that some of my 1/72 scale toy soldiers could stand inside. All I managed to do was cause him horrendous injury, but the remains of his body stayed firmly wedged in place! My other toy soldiers had to continue fighting on foot...

After paint stripping the body shell, it received an undercoat of £ shop grey primer. I didn't try to strip the chassis as the axle was fixed in place, and I'd have melted the wheels off!

There is so much detail cast onto the vehicle that I decided not to add anything extra, though at some stage I might drill out the aerial mount next to the hatch and insert an antenna made from a guitar string.

The Stoat received a pretty standard modern UK colour scheme; Humbrol 75 matt bronze green, drybrushed with Humbrol 86 light olive green to bring out the detail. Camo stripes are black, and the whole vehicle received a light drybrush of Matt 93 desert yellow to give it a suitably used look. I find that the desert yellow looks pretty good on most vehicles, it gives a nice road-dusty effect but without looking too harsh.

Headlights were painted in with GW mithril silver and the vision blocks are Humbrol 104 oxford blue with a Humbrol 25 blue highlight. The tyres were touched up with matt black to cover any rogue patches of the grey undercoat or the green from the hubcaps.

I like the stowage! Pioneer tools have Matt 29 dark earth handles with matt 61 light grey blades, with a hint of GW chainmail around the working points where wear would occur. The fire extinguisher is very old GW woodland green (I've had it for about 20 years!) with a GW chainmail end. The hinges for all the various hatches had a few dabs of chainmail where the paint will have rubbed off as they are opened.

Although the Stoat may seem slightly oversized when placed alongside 15mm GZG NAC marines, it fits in very well with my DLD Kamodo AFVs, as you can see below. Review of the DLD vehicles (+ more photographs) to follow next time!


  1. Nicely done, I used to have that one too!

  2. I'm glad that I was able to rewards its years of faithful toy service with a re-fit to provide a new lease of life for gaming!

  3. Thank you very much!
    Finding your blog entry really eased my mind!
    After obtaining this "Stoat" vehicle through an ebay auction I was really desperately searching for some information about the "real" thing. Now I know, it is purely fictional.

    BTW, I think Lesney/Matchbox did a great job supplying children around the world with cheap toys and you did a great job making this model looking even more real with your improvements.

    R.-G. Bruns

  4. Although fictional, the Stoat does appear in an episode of the "Invasion" series from 2000AD - Matchbox were obviously a handy reference source for comic strip artists too!

  5. My childhood memory and obsession with 1/72nd (and H.O. scale) toys and soldiers made me Google "Stoat" and it brought me to your blog. I had a fleet of them (5 or 6) that as a kid I pried that useless (read "unarmed") man out of the coupla and replaced him with scratch parts (usually half a torso of an extra Airfix aviator/polit and left over extra MG's). Geez I haven't thought of these things for 30+ years! Thanks for reigniting some childhood military nostalgia!

  6. I've just got a Stoat cost £1 at a boot sale. I want to repaint it but I have one question. If I drill out the rivets like you did in order to trip it down completely, how do you re-assemble it? You can't re-rivet it (can you)?

    1. Because this is just going to be used for gaming rather than general play use, I just stick them back together with epoxy resin. A good blob around the rivets plus a thinner layer around the other parts that make contact (front grille, sides, along the back edge). I use epoxy resin rather than superglue because I can get a nice big blob of it to make a really strong bond. Superglue might do better around the edges now I'm thinking about it - if you apply it afterwards, capillary action will draw it into the joins and avoid any unsightly blobs.

      You don't need to drill out all the rivets, just the bigger ones at each end. The inner ones are only there to hold the plastic plate in place to stop the wheels falling off, and it doesn't seem to stick back very easily!

  7. I would also like to thank you for reigniting some childhood military nostalgia! Reminds me when I read Wargaming by Don Featherstone for the first time

  8. I really like that :)

    Great for my Brits :)