Australian SAS Green Panther
Browsing through the internet for some inspiration I came across a photo of an Australian SAS Long Range Patrol Vehicle (LRPV). These were also known as Green Panthers (photo 1). Further searching brought up several more photos. The early LRPVs didn’t have the roll bars, which were fitted later after a few accidents. The Landrovers had a similar layout to the British SAS Pink Panther, and I thought it should be an easy conversion to do. The main features of these LRPVs were the cut back front wheel arches and bull bars. The Tamiya 1/35 SAS Pink Panther (photo 2) became the donor vehicle for this exercise. Although Italeri also do a Pink Panther the Tamiya kit is more readily available and can be bought for about £10-12.
So armed with the kit I set about the conversion job. The basic kit is built up as per the instructions. First off I marked out and cut back the front wheel arches (photo 3). In the rear the standard fuel tanks take up half the space (photo 4). These were cut in half and a middle section added. These fuel tanks plus the two under the front seats held enough fuel for a range of 1,000km. A new floor and two lockers were also added from plastic card (photo 5). In photo 2 you can see the raised part on the side where the sand channels were fitted. These were sanded flat. The rear gunner of these vehicles had the privilege of a seat. This was fabricated from a 1/48 aircraft pilot seat and some scrap plastic (photo 6).
The passenger seat was lowered to the same height as the driver’s seat. On either side of the front seats new style jerry can holders were made from scrap plastic (photo 7). On the rear of the Landrover a shelf was made from the tailgate and some plastic strips. On here would be extra jerry cans. All the jerry cans held water, so the more the merrier (photo 8). A machine gun mount was fitted to the front passenger side and a higher splash board fitted along the front (photo 9).
Full length sand channels were made from plastic card using the originals as templates. The mounting brackets were made from strips of phosphorous bronze pick-up strips, as used on model railways (photo 10). The most distinctive part of these vehicles were the bull bars, or more appropriately Roo bars and winch. The winch was made from parts from the aircraft spares box. Thread was used for the cable and a shackle was found in the armour scrap box (photo 11). The Roo bars were made from the pick-up strips and wheel attachment plates were later fitted from pieces of plastic card (photo 12). Going back to the side mounted jerry cans I added the securing straps from 1mm masking tape and a 1/35 brass etch buckle from ABER (photo 13). A bracket for the radio antenna was added behind the driver.
The bar tread tyres/wheels were resin and came from Mouse House, an Australian company. By rights the machine guns should be M60s or 30 calibre machine guns. I didn’t have any so a GPMG was put in the back and a 50 cal placed in the front. Extra stowage was found but more is needed. The model was painted Humbrol 105 green and weathered using artists pastel chalks. Photos 14-17 show the end result. A nice little conversion and something different for the club display.