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...I say Whippet....Whippet good...

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Hi everyone, I posted a few pics of my finished Whippet in “Ready for Inspection” and suggested that I might be able to offer a bit of retrospective WIP action, so strap into the time machine, and pretend this hasn’t happened yet…..


I'll break this into a few chapters.


I started with some plans sourced from the excellent landships card model website. http://www.landships.info/landships/models.html#

They have a large number of card model pdfs of some pretty obscure WWI tanks and armoured cars that are perfect for translating onto plastic sheets. I took one of the whippet sets and scaled them up to A3. I’d planned on 1/35, but it seems I made a bit of a boob of it and ended up at around 1/30 – doh! Shame, because I’d bought a whole bunch of figures and horses for a diorama (to be entitled “out with the old, in with the new”). I only found out as I was about to apply the paint…. Arrgh!


I had to allow for the thickness of the plastic card (0.5mm); adjusting some of the panels as I went. All pretty easy really. Drilling and fitting all the rivets was also relatively easy, albeit tedious.

Top-tip for this sort of thing – surgical scissors – they can be had on ebay for a few quid (I think I paid £6), and although these aren’t of the quality of some (you can spend up to £800 apparently!) they are really handy for trimming over-long rivet heads.


Here’s the “turret” taking shape…




I decided I couldn’t face scratchbuilding all of the track links, so made my first foray into resin casting. I got a starter kit that included latex and resin, and knocked up masters for 4 track links, a couple of the rhomboid plates on the track sponsons, some wooden track pads, machine gun gimbal mounts, engine vents and return wheels. These aren’t really visible on the final model, but I had space in the mould, so in they went.




For my first effort, I used hairspray as a mould release agent for both the latex and then the resin. Don’t bother with this – it wasn’t necessary and softened the detail. I made a second mould, but ended up using both to get enough track links. The softer ones went on the bottom of the vehicle. At the end of each modelling session, I cast a set. Success rates varied; the track links were pretty good, but the more complex bits less so. I just kept casting until I had enough track (about 120) and that gave me enough of the rest to choose the best from. These are the early, soft examples....






....only 117 to go!



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part 2.....


Once I’d got the majority of the bodywork done, I fitted out the interior. From what I could see from photos, the inside was pretty simple. A set of ammunition “filing cabinets” and a driver’s seat was about it. I planned to have the door and roof hatch open, so I’d need something, but even at large scale on this deceptively large tank, not too much of the driver’s area can be seen, so I kept it fairly simple and a bit fanciful. My coffee habit fed the floor….




Rear stowage boxes also came courtesy of Costa…




The interior got a coat of watery white enamel followed by watercolour and oil washes. The trimmed down internal rivet heads got a clean coat of white to pick them out in the gloom…






The top of the “turret” got buttoned up using Tamiya extra-thin, and the resin bits started going on using Loctite super glue. The exhausts were wrapped in cotton thread which was sealed with watered down PVA.






At this time I started sketching out a diorama. The idea was to have a dejected and exhausted horse and rider making their way back from the front, passing by the Whippet, making preparations to enter the fray. “Out with the old, in with the new”. I mocked it up and started to become aware of the size of the Whippet… medium tank? …looked huge to me! A few check dimensions revealed that I’d printed it too large – about 1/30 – damn! Ahh well, I’ll just have to build something else to make use of the figures (ICM) and horses (Historex) I’d bought.




paint next...


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...part 3


Time for paint. I live on a narrowboat, but for the lockdown, I decided that the privations of canal life, and my compromised ability to work from home would need me to move into my girlfriend’s flat for a while. As a result, I’ve no airbrush. I’d usually pre-shade and spray some lightened coats on upper surfaces etc. but wielding the hairy stick, I had to content myself with a basic dark, mid and light paintjob without much in the way of blending. Luckily, the slab-sides of the Whippet make this reasonably practical. I usually use humbrol enamels and thankfully they brush pretty nicely if well-thinned. For the white and red nose stripes, I wanted a rough, badly brushed, field-applied effect which I achieved by badly brushing!




I applied a few blotches of random green, brown and buff oils to various panels and blended them in to get a bit of variation and then sealed the whole lot in a couple of well-watered down (50/50) brushed coats of Klear. Minimal decals from the spares box went on, and then a series of raw umber, Vandyke brown and black oil paint slosh and pin washes were applied along with a bit of dark grey sponge applied chipping (humbrol 67 – may all-time favourite).

I dry-brushed with lightened base enamel (I still love dry-brushing, I don’t know why it’s fallen from favour) and then applied mud and dust. The bottom of the mud-chute plates where they attach to the outside sponson plating had resulted in a gap when I stuck them together. I’d given up on the idea of filling them successfully and planned to apply a bit of mud to hide the join. I cut up some tea bags to use as blankets/tarps and stuck the tea leaves into/onto the gap with diluted PVA. I’ve never used weathering powders or pigments; I just rub some rusty brown, black and yellow pastels on emery paper to get a suitable earth colour as and when I need it. This got dabbed on and sealed in with white spirit.


The wooden boxes got a series of watercolour and then oil washes, tying to pick out each plank in a slightly different colour/tone, and I added the engine cover handles from re-purposed paper clips.

I made up some stores for the stowage boxes – a bucket from stiff wine bottle foil, tarps from the aforementioned teabags soaked in diluted PVA, some coiled cable, a couple of “flimsy’s”, spanners etc. and made up the machine guns from 0.8mm brass tube wrapped in thin brass wire and scraps of plastic rod.




A few last dribbles of rust with very thin oils and a touch of graphite on the guns and tracks and she’s ready!








So I’m ready for the next one….at 1/35 scale this time!



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Thanks for that, I found it very interesting. And I've already had a look at which paper model might possibly help with my next project.  

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9 minutes ago, Model Mate said:

good stuff! what are you going for? I'm considering the Wolseley armoured car or a Renault FT....

Not sure yet, there's lots of excellent stuff to choose from. Alex Smith's Garford 5 ton truck looks tempting, but It'll be a while yet as I'm currently building this:


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Nice to see a Whippet opened up, from my own experience we almost never shut the hatches unless we were forced to!



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Nice work!

Thanks for posting  that. I was unaware of that landships website but can see me making use of it in future. 


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There. Now you've gone and given Gorby ideas. What have you got to say for yourself.


Great work by the way

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