Middle East Technical

 

While most of my models are built out of the box I do like to modify/convert some of them as well. It also gives you something that bit different for the club display, which can lead to some stimulating conversations with Joe Public, or the rivet counter, as to whether that really existed in real life.

 

One such conversion I’ve had in mind was the 88” Short Wheel Base Landrover. You can get a model/conversion kit but it’s quite expensive, and as a Fifer I’m quite tight when it comes to parting with my heard earned cash. Anyway that’s what modelling is all about, isn’t it, having a go at the more unusual subject. So for this build I had an idea about an African Technical. Now a Technical is a civilian vehicle, normally, fitted with an improvised weapon. The most popular vehicle of choice seems to be the Toyota pick-up truck armed with either a heavy machine gun or a twin or quad anti-aircraft gun. Scouring the ‘net I found a number of photos of Landrover Technicals, mostly the 109” Long Wheel Base but 1-2 of the 88” SWB. In the stash I have a couple of Landrovers including an Italeri Series III. So this was going to be my donor kit. I also found a plan of where to cut the chassis. So armed with this plan I set about the kit.

 

First step was to cut back the chassis. Photos 1 and 2 show the basic chassis and where to make the cuts. The first two cuts remove about 15mm of the chassis and the rear cut removes about 6mm. In photo 3 you need to keep the parts that are circled in red as these are the fixing points for the rear suspension. Photo 4 shows where these parts are re-attached to the chassis. In this photo the rear prop shaft and exhaust have also had a 15mm section cut out as well.

 

Now on to the rear bed of the Landrover. My initial cut was to remove 15mm (photo 5) as this was the amount I have removed from the main chassis. It wasn’t until later in the build that I realised I had to shorten the rear of the chassis and therefore I had to cut 6mm from the rear of the bed to get it to fit. So at this stage you should cut back the rear bed by 21mm instead of the original 15mm. You have to make this cut at an angle that matches up with the original part in order for it to fit up against the angled bulkhead behind the front seats.

 

The next step is to cut the rear sides so they fit the shortened chassis. Two cuts are required, 15mm to the front of the wheel arch and 6mm to the rear (photo 6). Photo 7 shows the 6mm section that has been removed from the rear of the chassis and rear bed. This was the point where I realised that the rear part had to be cut off. With the parts all cut the rest of the Landrover was assembled. To add a splash of colour I painted one of the door and wheels red and another wheel white to look like they had been replaced from other vehicles. I found some Lebanese/Palestinian decals from my decal bank, so this brought the Landrover out of Africa and into the Middle East. My weapon load for the Technical was going to be a Recoilless Rifle and I had bought the Trumpeter Chinese Recoilless Rifle for this particular build. At this stage of the build I changed my mind and fitted a heavy Russian machine gun as it looked more ‘improvised’ than the Rifle. A few washes and some weathering with pastels finished off the model. The base is my standard Asda 6x4 photo frame.

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