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Friday, April 12, 2019

Horace & Helen: A Kind of Love Story (Part 1 of 2)

This is Horace ...
... and this is Helen.

They were both Daimler 'Dingo' MkII Scout Cars belonging to the Canadian Calgary tank regiment whose crews defiantly took to White Beach on the shores of Dieppe in 1942. They also happen to be the subjects of my first 1/72nd or 20mm scale builds for my future Rapid Fire re-fight.
The other shot of Helen abandoned at Dieppe.
Horace hit the beach out of LCT 145 with the Regiment's 'Chief', 'Company' and 'Calgary' Churchill tanks. Helen arrived with Churchills 'Burns', 'Bolster' and 'Backer' out of LCT 126. After these two models the tanks will be next but in the meantime I had to source my scout cars and crew.
The S Model Mk Ia variant was the only example I could find so I knew I had a conversion or two ahead of me. The kit comes with what I can only describe as an additional mystery sprue with no explanation of what the parts are or where to put them. Only the shovel is attributed and apart from the tin hat and a rifle the rest is, well ... a mystery. But the essential components and instructions are well provided for.

 

First job was to sand back the sloping rear face which included the details of the Mk Ia engine vent/grille. Then I elected to sand back the top edge to provide for the perpendicular sloping face into which the Mk II vent would go.
I then started scratching my head to figure how I would approach constructing the vent/grille. I ended up inserting a central support and built it strand-by-strand; first fixing one side to the centre and allowing it to set before warping it to the other side.
I cut each strip from a sheet of Evergreen Scale Models sheet styrene and being no model-maker (and unsophisticated) I did it all with Humbrol Poly Cement. After all, these are wargaming toys - not oooh-ahhh display models. I'm sure there are several better approaches to this construction but it worked in the end.
At least I think they will pass muster if no expert looks too closely. I am using AB miniatures for all Canadian infantry and crew and so clumsily glued two poly strips into the base of each vehicle to support my driver and gunner/observer.
I also had to cut away the receiving lugs for the roof piece to squeeze in the crew figures. They also took a bit of filing. The early variants of the Dingo were supplied with a folding steel roof. This model came with the roof section in one piece, all buttoned up. I cut the roof, folding the front section back over the rear - well, glued the completely separate piece onto the rear section to simulate it folded back.
The gunner doesn't align overly well with the fixed Bren Gun. In fact the sculpt of this seated figure is posed for a larger, twin grip machine gun rather than the pistol grip of the Bren. The girder sections fixed to the rear were trimmed narrower after this shot. I don't know what their purpose was but I knew I needed them all the same.
The kit comes with brass etched forward grips, the Bren stand and the rear support. I noted from the photos that a special exhaust was fitted so reached for my trusty container of odd & sods and hey-presto ... some white metal rods from an old spear or something came into play. Easily manipulated and the end drilled for a pipe effect, they were drilled and glued into place.
If it weren't for the kit-bashing required these two models would have been supremely easy constructions. The designers behind this model really knew what they were doing. It fits together just superbly. Now all that's left is basing and painting for Part 2.


 




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