Sunday, 8 January 2017

LRDG Diorama Part 1.


This new project has been begging to be built for quite some time now and I am delighted to have eventually broke sprue on the wonderful 1/35 Tamiya British LRDG Command Car.

As regular readers will know, I have always been fascinated with desert warfare especially that of the British Long Range Desert Group. This unit was the origin of the British Special Forces and their tactics and guile are still taught today in the modern army. 

The LRDG were small squadrons of heavily armed and self sufficient raiding parties that would drive across the desert far behind enemy lines in order to attack enemy positions and cause as much havoc to them as possible. 

Their main mode of transport were modified Chevrolet trucks and Willys Jeeps. The men who operated in them were volunteers selected from every section from the British Army and of course their exploits are now the stuff of special forces legend. 

This kit was a gift from a good friend who knows of my interest in LRDG and he could not have chosen a better kit! 

What we find in the box is the 1/35 Tamiya Chevy truck with the addition of weapons, figures and stowage from the original issue of the kit, plus the welcome addition of some very well sculpted Master Box figures and equipment. 
Essentially, what we have here is a diorama in a box. What's not to like? 

So, lets get into this build and see what's what.

The build begins with the chassis assembly, this is the frame, engine, transmission and wheels. The only point to pick up on at this stage is that Tamiya's original instructions printed an incorrect diagram of the brake drum/axle rotation. Make sure you dry fit this step first!  One other thing-This kit's tyres are moulded in rubber with a superb tyre tread but a very annoying seam. I found scraping the seam away with a scalpel was the most effective way to remove it.

Next follows the forward body which allows us to attach the seat, stowed rifles and other accessories. The curved headlight casings need to be fitted carefully in order not to leave any gaps.  

 The rear cargo area can be assembled with the radio hatch open or closed. I have chosen the open position as the instrument panel has raised detail that I will be able to dry brush later on in the build. 
 Here we have all three sub assemblies fitted together. It beginning to look the part now!
 While the chevy's glue was drying I set about building a display base for my diorama. This is a wooden base with filler and scenic material mixed up to make a textured ground surface. When dry, the groundwork was airbrushed with my own mix of sand paint and the plinth was sprayed gloss black. I think this makes for a visually interesting contrast. 

My next job was to begin painting the vehicle in its desert scheme. For this model I wanted to try out the sand and blue camouflage used in North Africa.
I mixed my own sand shade from Tamiya acrylics desert yellow/flat yellow/flat white.
The blue was straight from Tamiya's light blue which is just a touch darker than RLM 76. I airbrushed the blue camo freehand without masks. 

As the paint cures, I will begin work on the figures and stowage for the vehicle.
This will take some time.......