Since a while I wanted to build a WWI tank model.
The centenary of the outbreak of the Great War stimulated the main manufacturers to produce plenty of WWI models and I bought some of them for my stash.
One of these is the Whippet, made by Meng.
Together with the kits, are now available many infos as for these vehicles, and many modelers proved their skill building stunning WWI tank models.
As for my Whippet, I took great advantage from the friendly help of skilled modelers, and experts, especially Paul Hawkes (he’s in the staff at Bovington), Janusz Fijal, Theodoros Kalamatas, and from the mates of Landships II, in my opinion the best WWI site in the Web.
Finally, when I visited the Tank Museum I took many photos of Caesar II, the surviving Whippet on display downthere, the same tank that Meng used as the main reference for its kit.
To build this kit is a easy and straightforward matter, yet there are some issue to deal with:
- some rivets are missing in the right plate over the radiator compartment. In the real vehicles it was specular to the left plate, with rivets and one opening for the radiator filler cap.
- riveted reinforcementes must be added to the edges of the left plate of the fighting compartment.
- the racks for the track grousers must be “completed” on the left side of the fighting compartment.
The point is that Caesar II is a restored vehicle, and there are non original features. And Meng reproduced Caesar II just the way it looks right now…
Finally, I replaced some rivet here and there, made the grousers rack of the tail and the tool brackets with metal foil, covered the silencers with a surgical thred to reproduce their asbestos coating.
Here are the pics of my Whippet Meng:
Left side. I made with plasticard the reinforcements of the edges of the left plate of the fighting compartment and the track grousers rack. The surgical thread reproduces perfectly the asbestos coating of the silencer.
Right side. In this case the grousers rack has been rebuilt with plasticad since the kit one was molded in one piece with the plates of the fighting compartment. The rivets added to the plate over the radiator compartment are visible in this pic.
A close-up shot of the left plate of the fighting compartment. Also visible the brackets for the tools, made with metal foil. The Hotchkiss machine guns are well reproduced, yet it’s a pain to remove their slight seams and to hollow their muzzles
Not the best pic… The visor’s cover (yellow circle) has been removed since it’s uncorrect for this vehicle (thanks Janusz!). I used plasticard and metal wire to reproduce the brackets of the silencers. More, I made the handle on the ceiling of the fighting compartment thinner and replaced the upper visor’s cover with a scratchbuilt one.
The “new” rivets on the right plate over the radiator compartment (yellow arrow) and the filler cap (red circle)
There is an open discussion as for the color of the Whippets. It’s a common opinion that Firefly, the Whippet on display at Bruxelles, retains the original color, albeit it’s way worn out. I got the base color for my model by blending two Tamiya colors, Nato Green and Khaki Drab, looking for a grey-greenish shade. However, as far as I know, there are specific colors for these vehicles by other producers.
Here is how it looks after the modulation…
Another view after the modulation…
I used masking tape to paint the red-white stripes. The first step of weathering was the oil dots technique.
I used black decals to reproduce the false visors. Also the big white nine is a decal, yet I had to made it thinner, since its original size looks too much…fat, when compared to the real thing. The Whippet got an acrylic dark wash, then I used again oil colors to enhance the worn effect.
Tracks added. Pin washes, some rust, a slight drybrush with enamels and pigment powders to get the final result. The mud splashes are made by means of an old brush soaked in pigment powders diluted with matt varnish.
Some more weathering when the model will be in its diorama…
Track grouseres added. Now the model is finished
For discussion purposes only. This vehicle is supposed to be Caesar II, the Whippet currently at Bovington. Note the missing plate above the radiator compartment.
That’s all Gents.
See you with the next WWI model.