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Whippin' Up a Whippet - Finished! (Stopped, more like.)


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First go at a WIP and I have to make it a bit of a blitz! (I'd like to get this one done before the Phantom GB starts in a mere couple of weeks.) My gear is all over the place, I don't yet have a proper bench, there are certain issues with the kit, my camera handbook remains unread, there's 106 miles to Chicago, I've got a full tank of gas, it's dark out, and I'm wearing sunglasses.

 

Hit it!

 

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This is the Meng 1/35 British Army (but see below...) WWI Medium Tank Whippet Mk.A. It's goint to be strictly an out of the box high speed build and then a slower and more considered painting session. I'm pretty sure I can do all of the building and then all of the painting, which is pretty well unique strategy. That's the way we used to work when we were kids, no? There's no interior detail, and it's one colour all over, apart from the tracks which I will paint before I clip them on. Clip, not glue so that hardly counts as building to my way of thinking. Suddenly, I'm more confident that I can do it in the time allowed. One update per day, promise. Probably in the morning while the dog is sleeping off her breakfast and our big walk of the day. But I digress...

 

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The kit came slowly on a boat from China which saved me some money but may have given me some grief. It was reasonably packed and I've never had any problems before but look at the box. I wonder where in its thousands of miles of travel, some idiot stood on it? My local sorting office? On the last sampan out of nowhere? Whatever, it didn't look too bad until I noticed this...

 

 

My apologies, the photo has gone! And so has the box, so I can't retake it! 2/8/21

 

"The box is bent outward, like it exploded from inside." Let's hope its not something that will give me indigestion after my stir-fry.

 

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"They musta broke the mould after they made this piece!" Otherwise, how did they get it out? Yes, I know, everyone is doing slide moulding these days but I'm still impressed with this large lump. It's detailed nicely all over and will simplify my build and keep everything on the square and level. I have astigmatism which makes it difficult to judge angles visually so that's a great help to me. The rivets are huge and crude just like the real thing. The plates have a subtle rolled steel texture. Perhaps too subtle (boring). So I might add a few dings and dents to add a bit of interest.

 

Another photo evaporated. Probs my error, sorry.

 

The back door. Upside down, I now realise.

 

 

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Side plate detail. Look at those 'U' bolts. They will look smashing under paint.

 

 

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And this is the piece that was driven through the roof of the box. It's tiny and by rights, should be flattened entirely. I was lucky. The other side of this idler wheel has deep holes to take the other ends of the broken bars so they will be easy to locate and repair. 

 

 

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AS far as I can tell, this is the only other transit damage. I was very lucky but Meng helped by putting it all in a very stout box which sacrificed itself for its plastic contents. That gun's a beauty.

 

 

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I wont be spending days making the track as its a snap together system, similar to the Takom type which I used on a couple of MkIVs last year. An hour tops on assembly and paint it afterwards. Great.

 

 

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This is a mystery. The box art says three schemes are included but doesn't say what. The instructions don't mention any. There's a colour profile page which details two schemes, both British. And the decals have four, including a German Beutepanzer and a Russian version. No worries, I'm doing a British one anyway. I rapidly found the other two online and they are no more exciting than the British one. (This could be a good kit for the 'In the Wrong Hands GB??)

 

 

So there I have it. I'll shut the laptop and make a start. See you in the morning.

 

p.s. Please feel free to advise me what works well, or not, for you as readers. Are the pictures ok (new camera with the unread instructions and inadequate lighting). Too few or too many photos? Do I ramble on too much? And do please take the thread wherever you want to go, digress, talk to each other, take the mick, have some fun! 

 

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Whats not to like, A Whippet and a Blues Brothers mention!

 

Got this on in the stash so will watch with interest.

 

George

 

 

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1 hour ago, Geo1966 said:

Whats not to like, A Whippet and a Blues Brothers mention!

 

Got this on in the stash so will watch with interest.

 

George

 

 

 

Did you find the other movie reference?

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1 hour ago, Stef N. said:

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21st of August. Can he do it. No pressure.😀👍

 

Good luck on your build.

 

That 'slapping the table' thing. That's how I look when I'm building like this!

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Posted (edited)

It was good to walk into the living room this morning to the smells of glue and plastic. I'm back on the bench!

Well, back on the dining table to be candid. I didn't have much more than an hour to spare last night so I made

best use of it.

 

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I was delighted that the hull was a single piece, unfortunately, the weird varimultipolygonal shape of the fighting

compartment meant I'd have to do some sticking. Piece A9 even has to be folded before use; origami in plastic!

This was one of those situations where timing is everything. Letting each join set hard before attaching the

next piece risked little errors accumulating and eventually a big gap when I came back around to my first part.

Going too fast risked the whole thing falling into bits in my hands. The joints needed to be tough but flexible,

like a dancer's knees, so I could force everything together. 

 

 

 

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The process was almost impossible to photograph as I needed all of my fingers, and sometimes more, to hold

this house of cards together. At times I was holding it with one hand while preparing the next part with the

other two. The picture above was taken at one of the rare times that I was breathing normally.

 

 

 

 

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This is how it looks this morning. The fighting compartment isn't glued to the hull yet; I used the hull as a jig

to hold the slightly floppy thing overnight and avoid it sagging out of shape. There are gaps evident and that's

because on the Whippet these are thick flat steel plates riveted to an angle iron framework - there were gaps!

Possibly not as big as these, so we will move swiftly on, pausing only to offer up congratulations to the

engineer who worked out the geometry of that box using only geometry and other magic.

 

 

 

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Can you spot the broken one? Nor can I. I wanted to get that little problem solved before I went to bed

because if it was still on my mind, you can bet I'd have been awake at 3 AM ruminating on it, or even trying

to fix it in the dark of the night, which would have been a disaster waiting to happen.

 

 

 

 

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And this is where we are at start of play today. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Bertie Psmith
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I might be a bit late with this, but Meng made a small error with the kit by only moulding the hole for the radiator filler on one side of the engine cover. It's the small semi-circular recess near the front, which should be a full circle. The easiest way to fix it is to simply drill a hole straight through the engine cover, then cap it off from below with styrene sheet. You'd probably still be able to access the underside of the cover if the fighting compartment is still unglued.

 

Andy:cat:

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Model Mate said:

Nice start - I love a Whippet! I scratchbuilt one a while back, so it'll be good to see how the pros have tackled it in detail.

 

You SCRATCHBUILT one! It's a very complex shape so however it turned out, well done!

 

Please post a picture here.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Andy Moore said:

I might be a bit late with this, but Meng made a small error with the kit by only moulding the hole for the radiator filler on one side of the engine cover. It's the small semi-circular recess near the front, which should be a full circle. The easiest way to fix it is to simply drill a hole straight through the engine cover, then cap it off from below with styrene sheet. You'd probably still be able to access the underside of the cover if the fighting compartment is still unglued.

 

Andy:cat:

 

I stuck the fighting compartment down first thing this morning 😭

 

but there was still a chance because I hadn't fitted the floor of the hull 🙂

 

until half an hour before I saw your post 😭

 

but 'life will find a way' and I'm alive so watch this space for the next exciting episode of Whippin' Up a Whippet 🤔

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2 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:

 

You SCRATCHBUILT one! It's a very complex shape so however it turned out, well done!

 

Please post a picture here.

 

 

 

No, it's a pretty simple shape; well, made up of flat plates at least!

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Model Mate said:

No, it's a pretty simple shape; well, made up of flat plates at least!

 

I just commented over there:

 

That's quite good I suppose, for a scratch build. Yeah, it's ok.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Seriously, it's brilliant. How long did it take? And what is the scale?

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It seems traditional in a WIP to give some background information on the subject and I've found a cheat to

get that done with minimum loss of time. Here follows a couple of extracts from the instructions. Meng did

their research and scanning at the Tank Museum at Bovington so I guess this information is fairly reliable. I

absolutely love the writing style, and I wish my Mandarin was as good as this person's English.

 

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Can't you just see the excited British military in 1917? Grinning all over their cheerful faces? Seriously, I'm

not making fun of the writing, it's just a delightful change from our dry English impersonal style. How

would we have written it? "The smaller medium tank offered significant cost benefits ... the Whippet was

effective in a support of the British infantry during the German Spring offensive."

 

 

 

@Andy Moore tipped me off yesterday about an error in the Meng moulding, see above. Unfortunately, I

couldn't follow his advice to drill the radiator access hole through and plate the bottom of the hole as I'd

already closed the hull off. I drilled the hole anyway.

 

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I thought I'd just paint the sides of the hole black and leave it at that but the thickness of the plastic seemed

so overscale and the hole itself so boring that I decided to improvise. I fixed my mind on a radiator cap. But

I'd now drilled a hole all the way through and couldn't get behind it. My first attempt to fix anything in there

failed as the little round thing from the spares nos first fell right insine, and then disappeared into the carpet

when I shook it out of the commander's hatch.

 

 

 

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MY STUPID CARPET! I chose that colour. I am clearly, "what the French call, les incompetents"!

 

 

 

Anyway, I came up with a cunning plan. Having made another 'round thing' from what i think was a fire

extinguisher from spares, I reamed the hole conical with a needle file and wet the inside of the hole with

my strongest glue, neat Xylene. This softened and lubricated the sides of the orifice, allowing me to gently

force my little round thing in without going too far, a delicate operation as it was so small I had to hold it

in my tweezers. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it absolutely flush or even better, slightly recessed but it's

good enough for government work.

 

y4mRLkRpUNBVVSthdNPf7mapbdLGte9Pyx8ARBS0

 

Ta-dah! One of those cases where artistic license overrode the quest for accuracy and another reason not to

use my builds for reference. I'd spent ages on this tiny detail and was most chuffed with the result.

 

 

 

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Back to that commander's hatch and time to close it. (Note the Muttley hair, there's one stuck to the paint

on every model I complete. It's my signature defect.) Another flamin' bottomless hole without a flange. I

tried to put the hatch in place prior to a dab of Extra Thin but it fell in, several times. So I thought I'd glue

a bit of plastic in to hold it.

 

 

 

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I used this, cut from a handy sprue. It allows me to shamelessly show off how brilliant my new camera is in

macro mode. It's a compact digital for goodness' sake but it's really really good. Thanks, Britmodeller for

providing me with a reason to buy and enjoy it.

 

 

 

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Rough as boots. But It should hold the hatch in it's flush position while I glue it in. Or will it.....?

 

 

 

Next I turned my attention to the running gear. It's rather similar in design to the big British WWII tanks,

just a little smaller. Meng engineered it in the same way as Takom and the original, trapping the mechanism

between the side plates. It's been interesting learning how it all went together. None of this will be visible

with the tracks on, by the way.

 

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Meng, sometimes you let yourself down! 

 

 

 

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But usually, you are brilliant. I'm getting the idea now how big and heavy this 'medium' tank was; rather

more of a Rottweiler than a Whippet.

 

 

 

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There are approximately several million wheels in this thing, all of which have to be lined up in one go while

I sandwich them between the two side plates. Having done two MkIVs last year, I knew what to expect and

it went smoothly-ish.

 

 

 

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TOP TIP! Get some of these cheap silicon rubber tipped clothes pegs (clothes pins) from the hardware shop.

They open to a whole inch and the rubber grips even on sloping surfaces so they rarely ping! across the

room. No scratches either.

 

 

 

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Still a bit rough but it's going to be unseen so what of it!

 

 

 

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"What, will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?" That's a lot of wheels and not a spring or damper in

sight. They must have made a tremendous noise when driven on a hard surface.

 

 

 

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And in with the heavy clamps. I'm really liking the fit and the emerging shape of this beast of war.

 

 

 

Once the running gear had set, I turned to the little details on the tank.

 

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And when I say little...  That big blunt pink thing is 5% of my thumb.

 

 

 

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The hooks are on the side of the tank, right in the places where I'm going to pick it up while I'm painting.

Even if I affix them, I'm going to break them off. Even if I can fit them at all. Even if I can even detach them

from the sprue. No, this is a battle I chose not to fight. I was influenced in this by my abject failure to fit the

engine compartment hatch handles which were similarly delicate. I won't go into tiny details here... lol

 

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Except to say that I made overscale, robust replacements from stiff wire instead.

 

 

 

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So that's about it for this update. I made a start on the tracks yesterday but I'll be able tell you that whole

story tomorrow.

 

 

 

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Oh yes, the commander's hatch. It turned out that it doesn't fit flush at all. My little tab isn't even touching

it! All I needed was steady hands for a few seconds. 

 

 

 

 

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p.s. You will notice that I stuck the exhausts on. Usually I'd paint them as a sub assembly but in this build I've decided to experiment with the build/paint sequence. I think I can get away with total assembly followed by total painting, as in the days of old. It's worth a try.

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  • Bertie Psmith changed the title to Whippin' Up a Whippet WIP
4 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:

Anyway, I came up with a cunning plan. Having made another 'round thing' from what i think was a fire

extinguisher from spares, I reamed the hole conical with a needle file and wet the inside of the hole with

my strongest glue, neat Xylene. This softened and lubricated the sides of the orifice, allowing me to gently

force my little round thing in without going too far, a delicate operation as it was so small I had to hold it

in my tweezers. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it absolutely flush or even better, slightly recessed but it's

good enough for government work.

 

y4mRLkRpUNBVVSthdNPf7mapbdLGte9Pyx8ARBS0

 

Excellent result! There would have been a filler cap in the hole, so this looks perfectly acceptable to me.

 

Regarding the drive sprockets, I've built a couple of these in the past, and on both builds the tracks were very troublesome to wrap around the sprockets as the teeth are a bit oversized to slip into the channels in the back of the track links. On both builds I just snipped the teeth off where they protrude beyond the edges of the track frames. The track runs can then just run around the perimeter of the frames, and are far easier to fit, epecially if you've painted them before fitting.

 

Meng+Mk.A+Whippet+British+Medium+Tank+%2

 

Andy:cat:

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11 minutes ago, Andy Moore said:

 

1. easier to fit,

 

 

2. epecially if you've painted them before fitting.

 

 

 

Andy:cat:

 

Thanks Andy. 

 

1. I like

 

2. You are probably right but in this instance I'm going to continue with my build/paint experiment.

 

I'm also considering fitting the spuds to the tracks, just for a novelty. Eventually this Whippet may join a MkIV in a little diorama that I've started.

 

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This is a wondekit to build. I really enjoyed mine😁

Good call on the filler cap hole. It was too late when I found out they used the Bovington example and no one told them they welded a slab on as a replacement for the real thing! 😳 

Another tip or two

1. The solid long strips on the fron right and left sides of the 'cab' are actually brackets for the grousers to hang from. Along with the additional kit ones I scratch built them from copper sheet. 

2. They tended to hang the grousers from rope / wire on the back. 

3. These were all issued with canvas fenders which hung from 3 springs each end from those angle brackets sticking out over the tracks front and back. Most didn't use them but for extra realism drill 3 small holes in each 😉

3. Most of these seem to be pretty bespoke with small variations in each. For example the positioning of the tools on the rear cab was different on each with some not having any. 

4. A common field addition were wooden storage boxes over the tracks at the rear and hand rails in the same place. 

 

Forgive me if I'm demonstrating the art of sucking eggs BTW but a quick Google will show all of the above and is a great excuse for scratch build additions. 

 

Oh and I feel your pain with the great cassum of doom as mine rattles with half a machine gun inside 😬

 

Quick question....... Are you going green or brown? Not a loaded question at all 🤣

 

Andrew 

 

P. S. 

The exhaust silencers were commonly covered with white asbestos rope (I assume) most threads are too hairy and thick so I used thin copper wire. But late for you though 😏

 

A

Edited by APA
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Hi Bertie

 

Phew! That was emotional. You have a good cry, we all do it if we admit or not. 😉 Get it all off your chest if it's right for you. Enjoy your sarnnies and keep building like an eight year old or a fifty something year old. What ever works init 😁👍

 

All the best

 

Andrew 

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6 hours ago, APA said:

Phew!

 

4 hours ago, TonyOD said:

Oof...

 

4 hours ago, Longbow said:

Dang.....

 

Thanks guys. I feel like I've put a weight down that I didn't know I was carrying.

 

AND NOW...

 

Brown or Green? I'm looking for the hue between breen and grown. Actually the one between bgrroewenn and gbrreoewnn. "The colour of pig muck" as one primary source described it. I'm not saying any more than that until I see what colour I've ended up with.

 

 

 

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Just now, Bertie Psmith said:

 

 

 

Thanks guys. I feel like I've put a weight down that I didn't know I was carrying.

 

AND NOW...

 

Brown or Green? I'm looking for the hue between breen and grown. Actually the one between bgrroewenn and gbrreoewnn. "The colour of pig muck" as one primary source described it. I'm not saying any more than that until I see what colour I've ended up with.

 

 

 

Have you Googled “Pig Muck” ?

 

🤣

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1 minute ago, Longbow said:

Have you Googled “Pig Muck” ?

 

🤣

 

I have now! One site promises 202 photographs of pig manure. Classy! 

 

People are making roads out of it!

 

 After studying the sources (the sources of the photographs, not the other sources) I think its definitely more bgrroewenn than gbrreoewnn. Wouldn't you agree?

 

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  • Bertie Psmith changed the title to Whippin' Up a Whippet - Finished! (Stopped, more like.)

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