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Posted on Feb 17, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Armchair General – Behind the Scenes

By Simon Delaney


Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at an Armchair General Shoot? Here’s the story of a four day location shoot we did in the spring at the Tank Museum at Bovington, in Devon, England.

I strike a pose whilst Seimon Pugh-Jones,
ACG’s Staff Photographer makes
faces behind me

The Museum, with whom ACG have a very good relationship, kindly agreed to lend us some vehicles for the few days we were there, so we took full advantage of this superb opportunity and filmed several scenarios for the magazine, some of which you will have already seen, and others which are yet to be published, so here’s a sneak preview of what’s to come, and how we achieved the realism that you see in our reconstruction articles. 


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A nice day to be stood around in battledress

The first section of the team met up on the afternoon before the day of the shoot to reconnoitre the area, make contact with David Willy, who’s in charge of the Museum and set up a campsite. Camping? Yup, there’s no money spent on hotels when we can camp on the site, as this gives us the opportunity to film at any hour of the day – and believe me, we did! Our intention was to film from early morning to make the most of the light, and also to produce night-time scenarios as well. 

With our tents set up and a barbeque underway, we built up four ‘dragon’s teeth’ tank traps to simulate German defences for one of the next day’s scenes. These had to be skimmed with fresh plaster once they were erected and suitably distressed with mud, sand and painted tones. That took us until about 2.00am and we were up for breakfast by 6.30 the next morning! Raring to go? You bet! It was a beautiful morning, the Museum staff were driving a Churchill AVRE and Daimler Dingo armoured car into position and we could see them working on the Tiger 1 in the tank sheds from where we cooked breakfast. Hard to beat really.

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Preparing the Dragons’ Teeth

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The Churchill is readied for action

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1 Comment

  1. Hi i just look at your web page i see you are making dragons teeth i would like to no if i can get the measurement so i build sum for my
    re-enacting group if help me out

    yours david smith