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Not by Strength, but by Guile: Revell (Matchbox) LRDG Jeep and Chevrolet truck


danbuoy

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The Long Range Desert Group was formed in Egypt in June 1940 by Major Ralph Alger Bagnold, specifically to carry out deep penetration, covert reconnaissance patrols and intelligence missions behind Italian lines. During the Desert Campaign, between December 1940 and April 1943, the vehicles of the LRDG operated constantly behind enemy lines for all but 15 days.  

 

Nicknamed the "Libyan Desert Taxi Service", they were often used to help guide other units, such as the SAS, across the sandy terrain, due to their expertise at desert navigation. Their most vital role however was the "Road Watch", where they clandestinely monitored traffic on the road between Tripoli and Benghazi. 

 

With the end of the Desert Campaign, they continued operating in the Greek Islands, Italy and the Balkans. A request to transfer to the Far East after VE Day was declined and the unit was disbanded in August 1945.

 

The unit used a variety of vehicles, modified for their use, but the two most well known are the Willys Jeep and the Chevrolet 30cwt truck, both stripped of all non essential parts, such as doors, windscreens and roofs, and festooned with machine guns, sand channels and other equipment vital for operating for long periods in a harsh environment way behind enemy lines. 

 

So, here is the kit. I would have preferred the original Matchbox boxing, if only for the box art, but prices have generally been more than I have been prepared to pay. 

 

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Found out after it had been delivered that the kit had been started, though its thankfully well under 25%.

 

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Plenty of parts still to go, including the all important diorama base!

 

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Instructions (I have downloaded the original Matchbox ones too off Scalemates, mainly for the Humbrol paint numbers).

 

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One benefit of the Revell boxing is the much newer decals. None for the Jeep, but thinking of the T Patrol markings for the Chevy. 

 

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Looking forward to getting started, but not sure when this will be, as I currently have a build underway in the Classic Italian GB, plus I really ought to have a bit of a tidy up of the creation station before embarking on another build!

Edited by danbuoy
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An absolutely fantastic choice that is tailor made for the GB, and even comes with it's own bit of desert to display the models on.

This is an example of Matchbox armour at it's best, an innovative subject, well moulded and on a very nice appropriate display base.

I wish I had bought lots of this type of kit and stored them for future use when I was much younger as they are definitely not pocket money prices now!

Very much looking forward to this one.

 

🇺🇦

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You will need to change their cap badges, Not by strength, by guile is the motto of the Royal Marines Special Boat Squadron (Special Boat Service during WW2).

 

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Mike

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34 minutes ago, bootneck said:

You will need to change their cap badges, Not by strength, by guile is the motto of the Royal Marines Special Boat Squadron (SBS).

 

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Mike

It was an unofficial motto of the LRDG too, although I did read that it was still in use by the SBS. Couldn't find mention of anything more official.

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Some elements of the |SBS were attached to the LRDG during WW2, perhaps that combination is where the unofficial adoption of the motto originated.

 

I'm lloking forward to seeing your progress with this kit, especially as I made such a mess of my Matchbox attempt many years ago.

 

cheers,

 

Mike

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Yes, as there are obvious links between units like the LRDG and SBS etc, it makes sense that a motto might be carried on, especially as the original unit is long since disbanded. I'm looking forward to starting this, as I really like Matchbox kits, and this is one that had been on my wants list for a long time.

Edited by danbuoy
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2 hours ago, modelling minion said:

A bit of 1/1 scale inspiration for you @danbuoy from yesterday at the Victory Show;

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🇺🇦

I like that. Never seen rocks piled against the wheels before but clever idea! Thanks for posting!

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Although the instructions say to start with the Jeep, as someone previous had already started the Chevrolet, I decided to carry on with it. Got the chassis finished, though only after snapping the driveshaft in getting it off the sprue. Now fixed, and attached, along with both axles and the exhaust.

 

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The previous owner obviously was not following the instructions step by step, as the rear compartment is already done, so I started on the cab. Fitted the cab rear, and the tiny piece attached to the side (not sure exactly what it is)

 

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Also fitted 2 levers in the front. Surprised at the level of detail with a kit this small and old, but pleased. I'm going to have to be careful with that gun mount. 

 

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Probably not going to assemble much more before painting so that no bits are awkward to reach. I'd like to pick out the dashboard detail for a start so have left off the steering column for now so it's not in the way.

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Was going to start painting tonight but upon checking the instructions, I see that they say to use Humbrol 71 Satin Oak for the main colour of both vehicles. Now, I like the actual colour but surely the real vehicles wouldn't have had a satin finish?

 

Checked the instructions for the 1/35 Tamiya kit and they say to use XF59 Desert Yellow, which has Humbrol 93 as its equivalent, but to me this looks too dark, and my only tin I found out tonight clearly dried up years ago!

 

Can anyone offer any opinions as to which (preferably Humbrol) option to go for?

Edited by danbuoy
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That colour was likely chosen as the closest available to allow the pocket money market (where the kit was originally aimed) to paint the thing without resorting to mixing. If you like the colour, use the 71, apply the decals, and add a clear matt coat over it all. Simples!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been getting a bit more done on this. Decided that, regardless of how the colour looked, I just wasn't happy with the Humbrol Satin Oak. So, I had a look through my paints to see if I had anything else suitable, and actually ended up settling on 103 Matt Cream. It's gone on really well and after 2 coats, I'm really pleased with how it's looking. Next stage; assembly. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Felt good to get round to some assembly tonight. Finished off the cab (apart from the steering wheel which I'm leaving off for now). Radiator was a bit awkward, and I'm sure it's not entirely straight, but it's not really very visible in the end. Then attached both the cab and the rear compartment to the chassis. A few bits need painting (headlights, bonnet sides etc), but I'm pleased the Chevy is starting to take shape. 

 

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57 minutes ago, modelling minion said:

That does look good, these kits are very nice for their age aren't they.

They certainly are. I've been very impressed by the fit and the detail. The proportions look right too. I've previously built a Hasegawa 1/72 Jeep and I think it looked much less accurate than the Matchbox one.

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Had a wheely tyreing session on Monday sorting out 11 wheels and tyres (6 for the Jeep and 5 for the Chevy). Have to say, I like the way Matchbox did the wheels, with the separate rims making painting so much easier, especially at this scale.

 

Started to fit the Chevy's wheels last night. As mentioned earlier in the thread, when I got this kit off Ebay, I found it had been partially assembled. Discovered that the previous person had mounted the front axle slightly too far forward, resulting in the wheels looking just plain wrong and almost touching the wheel arches. Had to carefully remove the axle, and reposition it a millimetre or so further back. Unfortunately, the axle broke in the process, but it is now repaired, and in place. The marks where it was previously attached can be seen just in front, as I've not painted over them yet.

 

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Also finished off the body of the Jeep, attaching the dashboard, front and bonnet, and then fixing this to the chassis. 

 

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Will get the Jeep's wheels fitted next time, along with the two front wheels for the Chevy.

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