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Builds Smegger's VE Day build (Morris Commercial C4 Mk II, Bedford QLR and other bits)

Smeggers

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Ok, the VE Day build is upon us, so what to do? I've always had an idea about a British Commcen involving 2/3 vehicles somewhere on the approaches to Berlin and have decided that will be my theme. This also gives me an excuse to use a lot which has been loitering in my stash for a good few years, Lead-Sled's 1/35 Morris-Commercial C4 No I'M with the metal-skinned Wireless body. The C4 was the successor to the CS8 & CDSW range, featuring a quieter, more economical engine, better crew accommodation and 2x4 configuration instead of the rugged 4x6 of the CDSW. The C4 Mk II improved the marque further by removing the aero-screen windscreen and installing a full width windscreen. The canvas doors were also exchanged for steel doors, giving better weather protection. After the Bedford MW series, the Morris-Commercial C4 was the next most produced vehicle in the under 30cwt class.

Lead Sled's model is a fairly accurate representation of the real McCoy. Cast in resin and white metal and a small fret of PE brass, there are a fair few pieces to this kit. The kit instructions are pretty abysmal, which is a shame as it is a nice kit to build! The instructions comprise of three A4 pages of sketches with vague references to their placement. I had to search through the internet and my library to find out where the external steering box was supposed to go! (I actually thought it was a piece of scrap metal!) If you chose to buy this kit, ensure you have plenty of reference material. Some of the diagrams do not even resemble the actual kit parts!

Grumbles over, part one of the build is the cab, chassis and drive train. Most of this is fairly self-explanatory. The manufacturers have even thoughtfully labelled the front axle L and R to ensure alignment is correct. It is certainly recommended to test for pieces prior to glueing. Also make sure you cut the items from their sprues as they are more likely to break if you try to snap them off.
The radiator for the C4 should be a chequered pattern but the one on the kit is completely featureless! Luckily, a few months ago I bought some patterned brass sheet, about fag paper thick. One of these had the right pattern and was superglue onto the existing piece. It definitely makes a difference!
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Etched brass plate on the radiator. A definite improvement! The blob to the left as you look at it is the external steering box!

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The running board shown here below the nearside seat and above the driver's seat, look nothing like this on the instructions.

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The underside, showing how crowded it is. The mixture of colours on the resin is nothing to do with my painting and a lot to do with kit parts being supplied in different colours.


Part one is now complete and awaiting priming while I make a start on the box body tomorrow. More later.
 

Slime

LE
The rear axle on the model seems really far forward.
 

Smeggers

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Thanks for that. Having checked various resources, both models are correct. The version I am building has the 'C' type body, which required an elongated chassis. Having dry-fitted the body to the chassis, there is no way it would fit without the extended chassis. There is also the question of the kit supplied prop shaft. With the wheelbase shorter, the prop shaft would be too long by about 1cm! Either that or Lead-Sled have got creative with their designs.
 

Smeggers

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Further to my reply above: the following excerpt is taken from Mike Conniford's excellent book "British Light Military Trucks 1939-1945" ( Bellona publishing ISBN 0 85242 447 7)and Reviewed by a sauve and sophisticated young Moderator...
"One major problem of the House Type Wireless body when mounted on the Morris CS8 and C4 Mk I chassis was weight distribution due to the short wheelbase and the resultant overhang at the rear of the vehicle. This problem was overcome by the introduction of the C4 Mk II chassis, 9 inches bigger between axles; however a new House Type Wireless body known as the No. 1 Mk III then had to be built.
The new body was all steel instead of timbee, an additional map table was provided on the offside front of the structure and the exhaust pipe from the generating set compartment arranged to exhaust above the roof of the body".
Overall dimensions:
CS8 & C4 Mk IC4 Mk II
LENGTH14' 0"14' 9"
WIDTH 6' 8.5" 6' 9"
HEIGHT 7' 4" ( internal 4' 8" ) 8' 9" ( internal 5' 6" )
 
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Smeggers

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Only a couple of hours spent modelling tonight as the Leader of the Opposition, aka Mrs Smeg, decided we would go shopping this evening. Happily, it was over quickly enough and things progressed. The assembly of the box body has begun with a few false starts. Oh for some decent instructions! Once things were assembled in the right way, it went quite well. A fair amount of filler will be required for the joins on each side. The fitting of the internal cabinet is a bit hit and miss, but I think I've got it right.
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Research has shown two possible colours for the interior, the Light Sand (above) or a light grey used by the RAF.

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The brush bar and mudguards have been fitted, again without any adequate instructions! The circular bridge plate fits onto the offside mudguard, while the solitary war time headlight is mounted on the mudguards mounting bar.

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model shown with an excellent photo of the real thing in Mike Conniford's book ©1944.


More to come as progress is made
 

Smeggers

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What a lovely looking wee thing. I've got a permanent semi-on for British early war soft skin stuff.
It is my "thang". I have books manuals, magazines and plenty of other softskins porn. The finest achievement so far is a cast bonnet ornament from a Guy truck...
Guy-lorry-mascotIndian-head-hood-ornamentvehicle-mascotcar-mascot.jpg
Fecking ace or what?
 

Smeggers

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Tonight was spent fitting various pieces of communications equipment into the body. I have used American radio sets as part of the cross-communication between US, Canadian and British forces. To have simply installed Number 19 sets would have been to miss an opportunity to highlight the comms problems that existed between the three major nations advancing towards Berlin.
A number 19 set will rear it's ugly head in one of the other vehicles featured in the diorama. I am waiting on cable reels and generator from a major supplier, hopefully not too long.
I have sourced most of the add-ons for the QLR, just got to decide on some suitable decals, (Not 15 Inf Div this time, they've had their turn). I'll probably go with 50th Infantry Division as I seem to be over-subscribed with their decals!
 

Smeggers

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Vehicle one nearly complete. Spent the evening faffing with detail etc. I tend to want to chuck everything but the kitchen sink at a model, then reality sets in and I look at what I'm doing from my own experiences. I make a mental note of what should be there, add on a few nice-to-haves and then start thinking about the "really's?". I was going to cable out all the various pieces of equipment, but then thought, "why?" We all know the stuff was connected!
The first coat of Olive Drab has been applied plus Violet-Brown for the canvas can roof and sides. Despite it's description, Vallejo Violet-Brown is nearer a light shade of Khaki Olive and works well for canvas rolls, tilts and other sort coverings.
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Front view shot, showing the cab roof in situ.

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Read view showing the cluttered work bench and stowage, plus the obligatory brews!

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Side view showing more interior and the antennae storage on the off side.


Doors, windscreen and glazing to do tomorrow and then, hopefully, make a start on the Bedford QLR. I've changed my mind on the decals now. Having discovered that 50th Infantry Division was pulled out of the line in Autumn 1944 to return to the UK, I've decided to use 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division as they rather fit the bill for my build.
 

Daz

LE
Vehicle one nearly complete. Spent the evening faffing with detail etc. I tend to want to chuck everything but the kitchen sink at a model, then reality sets in and I look at what I'm doing from my own experiences. I make a mental note of what should be there, add on a few nice-to-haves and then start thinking about the "really's?". I was going to cable out all the various pieces of equipment, but then thought, "why?" We all know the stuff was connected!
The first coat of Olive Drab has been applied plus Violet-Brown for the canvas can roof and sides. Despite it's description, Vallejo Violet-Brown is nearer a light shade of Khaki Olive and works well for canvas rolls, tilts and other sort coverings.
View attachment 473139
Front view shot, showing the cab roof in situ.

View attachment 473141
Read view showing the cluttered work bench and stowage, plus the obligatory brews!

View attachment 473142View attachment 473142
Side view showing more interior and the antennae storage on the off side.


Doors, windscreen and glazing to do tomorrow and then, hopefully, make a start on the Bedford QLR. I've changed my mind on the decals now. Having discovered that 50th Infantry Division was pulled out of the line in Autumn 1944 to return to the UK, I've decided to use 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division as they rather fit the bill for my build.
Trying to work out what was missing, then it came to me.....the bacon buttie :)

Cracking job BTW
 

Smeggers

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Thanks @daz, doing me best. Surely it would be a Spam or Bully-Beef butty?
 

Daz

LE

Smeggers

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A nice, bright & shiny C4 Mk II mit usual accessories. I say nice, bright & shiny only because I will weather and battle scar it when I have completed the other parts of the diorama. As promised, she's marked up as 43 (Wessex) Infantry Division Signals. Just waiting on some registration and other decals to finish it's livery.
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Front view - showing AOS mark (Royal Signals), Class 5 bridge plate and 43 Inf Div Wyvern.

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offside view showing antenna storage and side windows.


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Nearside view showing chain storage by passenger door and fold down map table (below side window).

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Rear view, showing toilet facilitating equipment. There should be an instruction attached to the door saying, "Replace after use".


So that's part one of my VE Day build, what d'you think guys?
 

Daz

LE
A nice, bright & shiny C4 Mk II mit usual accessories. I say nice, bright & shiny only because I will weather and battle scar it when I have completed the other parts of the diorama. As promised, she's marked up as 43 (Wessex) Infantry Division Signals. Just waiting on some registration and other decals to finish it's livery.
View attachment 473478
Front view - showing AOS mark (Royal Signals), Class 5 bridge plate and 43 Inf Div Wyvern.

View attachment 473479
offside view showing antenna storage and side windows.


View attachment 473482
Nearside view showing chain storage by passenger door and fold down map table (below side window).

View attachment 473483
Rear view, showing toilet facilitating equipment. There should be an instruction attached to the door saying, "Replace after use".


So that's part one of my VE Day build, what d'you think guys?
I like it :)
 

ches

LE
43rd Wessex were supposed to be flown into Deelen once Op Market Garden had succeeded. I assume this wee fella would have been in the tail going up the corridor via XXX Corps.
 

Smeggers

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Bedford QLR

At the outbreak of WW II, Bedford was contracted by the British War Office to produce a 3 ton 4×4 general service truck. A pilot model was ready in February 1940 and quantity production started in March 1941.The Bedford QL was in production from 1941 to 1945 and was Bedford's first vehicle series built for the military.

Variants

.
QLD. Preserved RAF QL refuelling tanker at IWM Duxford

QLB Bofors gun tractor - Approximately 5,500 QLBs were built.
QLC Fire engine, Signals vehicle, Petrol tanker.
QLD General service cargo truck and was the most numerous version in the series. Also used for Machinery.Kitchen.Battery storage.
QLR Signals vehicle. Originally mounted on the QLC chassis/cab, special QLR chassis were soon put into production, which differed from the standard type in having special electrical equipment, radio suppression, fitment of a 660 W auxiliary generator driven by the transfer case power-take-off and, like the QLT, two 16 gallon petrol tanks instead of one behind the cab. The interior furniture, partitioning and radio equipment varied from the different functions. On vehicles installed for the wireless role, a tent could be erected at the rear. Between cab and man body were lockers for aerial masts and other equipment. Beneath the body were further lockers and racks for cable drums, batteries, tyre chains, 20 gallon drinking water tank, rectifier box, tools, fuel tank for the auxiliary engine, jerrycans and other items. The basic body shells were produced by Duple, Lagonda, Mulliner, Tickford and others. A revised body was introduced during 1944 for the Command High and Low Power and Wireless High Power roles. This body had an improved "L"-shaped tent which could be erected alongside the left-hand side and rear of the body.
QLT Troop carrier. From August 1941 and until the end of WW II more than 3,300 QLTs were produced.
QLW Air portable tipper.

This is the IBJ 1/35 scale model I reviewed a year or so ago. I had started making the model about then and then circumstances forced a half to production. All of the chassis and cab were completed, so I've made a start on equipping the body out. Radios, telephones and switchboard all came from various Plus Model kits. The remaining items were scratchbuild from odds and ends lurking in or around the spare parts box. I have sourced one of two figures to add some reality to the model and they will be added later.
I have got a plan in my head with this build, and things are progressing well. My intention is to have several Signals vehicles grouped in a Commcen, with a despatch rider thrown in because I like motorbikes. The QLR build so far.
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Looking in from above and rear, with the spare wheel carrier and cab


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off-side view showing the engine and antenna storage, both side and top


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near-side view showing more internal detail.
 

Smeggers

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Been a few days since I included anymore detail to the thread. I've been working on the diorama base and set my brain to think mode. I want my diorama to depict the last few weeks of the war in Europe. For this reason, I chose Operation Veritable. 43rd Wessex Infantry Division (although starting the operation as XXX Corps reserve) were heavily involved in Veritable (also known as the Battle of the Reichswald); the northern part of an Allied pincer movement that took place between 8 February and 11 March 1945 during the final stages of the Second World War.
The operation started with XXX Corps advancing through the Reichswald (German: Imperial Forest) while the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, in amphibious vehicles, cleared German positions in the flooded Rhine plain. The Allied advance proceeded more slowly than expected and at greater cost. This delayed the US offensive Operation Grenade, the southern pincer and at the same time allowed German forces under local German commander, Alfred Schlemm to be concentrated against the Commonwealth advance.

The fighting was hard, but the Allied advance continued. On 22 February, once clear of the Reichswald, and with the towns of Kleve and Goch in their control, the offensive was renewed as Operation Blockbuster and linked up with the U.S. Ninth Army near Geldern on 4 March after the execution of Operation Grenade. Fighting continued as the enemy sought to retain a bridgehead on the west bank of the Rhine at Wesel and evacuate as many men and equipment as possible. Finally, on 10 March, the German withdrawal ended and the last bridges were destroyed.I

The Reichswald is a dense deciduous forest with vehicle trails running through it. Most of these trails are just compacted earth which turn treacherous when wet; rather like a muddy quagmire. To this end, my base has a flattish aspect to it and will have a good number of trees in it. Most of us cold-war warriors will remember the exercise areas chosen for their forest locations; in fact I don't ever remember an exercise anywhere else! Strange, that when we got deployed it was either urban, desert or heath!

Anyway, I have a good supply of forest scatter in xstock, plus a decent supply of trees. The ground colour will be a replica of the dark earth of the Reichswald area. There were few buildings in the forest at the time of the operation and I have chosen not to include any in the build. I'll put a few photos up once it looks a bit more interesting than a piece of timber with a pile of plaster on it.
 

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