There is that saying “One thing leads to another” well, when it comes to scale modeling that could not be truer.
It goes without saying for a lot of us modelers, we end up learning a few things about each model we build. I am not just referring to the process of modeling but the items we model.
Awhile back I ran across A Polish Armored car kit based on the Ford Model T. The price at $8 was right at my local thrift store so I took and put on my shelf knowing I needed and wanted to know a bit more about it before I started it. I have been a little fascinated how quickly after the incarnation of Ford Model T it was appropriated for various military uses. Ambulances, Aircraft starters, Fire control and Armored cars are all examples.
This kit is based upon the design of Tadeusz Tański, A Polish Engineer who had experience during in auto design and developing aircraft engines during WW1. A few names turn up TF, TFC, TFB I can not confirm but seems these may just be model numbers referencing the development. Only 16 were made with 12 surviving after the war of 1920. Based upon the Ford Model T chassis he rebuilt suspension to handle the increased weight of the armor. Along with added armor, a turret with gun were added.
Semi-elliptic progressive springs were added to the rectangular frame with additional stringers or torsion bars. Gas tank was moved to accommodate the design. Wooden wheels with “Gusmatic” filled tires. Which was a bulletproof porous pulp that was pumped into tire cavity. Brakes were on the rear wheels only. A Ford 22.5 HP 4cycl 4 stroke water cooled engine kept it rolling. The engine started with a crank and at the other end a planetary gearbox had two forward gears and one reverse for rear wheel drive only. Top speed was around 30mph with it’s two man crew and gear. A full tank yielded around a 150 mile range.
The armament was one water-cooled machine gun firing 7.92 mm bullets. the Vertical armor was 8mm thick made from trench shields left over by the Germans from WW1. Upper plates varied from 2 to 3mm. 25 hand grenades were also part of onboard equipment for the two man crew.
The first one hit dirt in June of 1920 in the midst of the Russian Polish War of that year. The Polish Army had about 120 Renault Tanks at the time but few armored cars, a need for more and faster more maneuverable ones became urgent.
The Polish people had just re-claimed their Independence after 123 years and looked to establish borders farther east into the Ukraine. Russia also looked to establish its western borders beyond the Ukraine and the Red army made it to Warsaw by August. The Polish army and many volunteers victoriously pushed them back into Russia. The border remained until the Germans invaded during 1939.
I wanted to replicate the camo paint job best I could starting out with an outline then proceeding to fill in the pattern of colors. I took expired Molotow chrome pen and cleaned it to convert into a black marker with some Vallejo products.
I chose to hand paint this using Vallejo colored primers for all the colors on the car, for the size and the way their primers do so well covering plastic.. Thinning and using Vallejo’s Flow Improver to help lay paint down better with a brush.
Right away ideas came about for a diorama and I turned to my 3d printer for a few items.
Rails, brick walls, telegraph poles, water tower and birch tree were what I decided on. Added in some plastic and wooden bits.
The thought of a two man crew in there gave me a bit of claustrophobia so I wanted to find some figures to put this in perspective. Scribor were my only choices for period correct crew, they did a decent job on these, and since this was it for offerings they had to do.
Few sessions of painting the guys
I started placing items on a 12×8″ board
Even though it is never seen the underside needed a proper rusting and oil drips.
Very happy with birch bark, as my brother once said “Son of a Birch” Took a bit of care painting to get the bark to look like a birch in color, some dry pigments and a rake brush really helped get the mood.
Water tank went on some basswood legs and printed ladder as well.
Added ties and pins to rails to ready for the ground.
Brick and Windows were printed building, with the rest of construction plasticard roof and walls with some pressed board for cement loading dock. Good bit of moss, briar and greens added.
Telegraph wires strung, might replace with something different wasn’t as happy with wire straightening out.
As I said to start One thing leads… Well prior to this I wasn’t as aware of Poland’s plight to be a country, wasn’t aware of this conflict in it’s entirety or yet another use of the Ford Model T
Hope you enjoyed
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