Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Ford Improvised Armoured Car - The Great Antipodean Adventure

Men of the All for Australia League's 17th Volunteer Rifle Company advance cautiously accompanied by their Randwick Armoured Car near Beaconfield's Park 

Early in the morning of Thursday May 19 a group of men from the All for Australia League delivered 5 Model A Fords and three truckloads of steel plates and armaments to the Randwick Tramways Workshops and into the hands of a talented engineer there Harry Lime. The previous evening one of the Leagues most senior leaders General Gordon Bennett used his influence to gain workshop time to build them several Improvised Armoured Vehicles. Bennett’s experience from the Great War led him to believe that in the upcoming power struggle the faction who wielded armoured vehicles would gain a decisive edge.

Harry Lime had served under Bennett in the Great War and was keen to assist him again and the Constitutional Crisis gave him just that the opportunity. He had already spied a rival group at the workshop adding a riveted ‘Battle Box’ to an old Crossley chassis/body. He noticed the armour was the same thickness all round causing unnecessary weight he said to an off sider “if the enemy get around behind you you deserve to get your arse kicked!” Plus he noted the use of riveting resulted in overloading the old Crossley, overall he was unimpressed with this groups product. He said to Bennett, “Sir I have a cunning plan, we’ll use just the chassis and powerful drive train of Ford Model A’s as a base for our vehicle and then we’ll encase it in an all welded armoured body with a rotating turret armed with a Vickers Machine Gun. The welding will save weight and we will use half-inch armour for the front plate and thinner side and rear armour. Lastly we’ll move the motor and gearbox to the rear of the chassis so well protected as it drives into action, it will be a marvel!” Bennett was captivated and even more so when Lime said he would deliver the first unit in 48 hours so it could be tested in the field and any shortfalls in the design could be noted and updates made for full production.

On the morning of the 21st of May Lime delivered his first Randwick Armoured Car to the leadership of the All for Australia League. Two things stunned them; firstly, the imposing vehicle they beheld and secondly by the outrageous paint scheme Lime and his workers had applied. Bennett’s first words to Lime were, “Impressive piece of machinery Lime but why did you get Picasso to paint it?” Lime chuckled, “Sir I’m confident this colour scheme will disgiuse the lines of the vehicle so it will be nigh impossible for any opposition to hit it!” Lime’s test driver Bruce Smith quietly whispered to Bennett, “He’s right you know, any gunner who see’s camouflage scheme will be laughing so much they’ll never be able to aim straight...”

Suffice to say the League’s top brass approved the vehicle and that very afternoon it was delivered to the 17th Volunteer Rifle Company who had been assigned a mission at Beaconfield's Park on the following day Sunday the 22nd of May. Lime and two of his build team were instructed to join the company and see how their beast performed....

The Build

The basis for this was an old matchbox Modal A Ford, I drilled out the thee rivets holding the chassis to the body and in seconds I had a platform for which I plan to make a myriad of superstructures for 😊. The rest of the parts will find uses and can even act as battlefield clutter. The build was pretty straight forward. I used my usual styrene sheet with odds and ends from the parts box. The louvres were from a friend’s 1/35 clear out and made a nice armoured grill. I used a sort of British Caunter colour scheme and included blue which from what I read was actually some sort of grey anyway it was fun to do done with cheap rattle cans and is a bit sloppy...well this vehicle was turned out in 48 hours hahaha.

I hope you think it looks the part! Hopefully an AAR next time. Also must get back to my VSF stuff!!!!


  1. nice! Really looks the part too.

    1. Hey Shelldrake thanks for the praise and for checking out our Blog!

  2. Nice work Darling. Australian Flag ? :)

  3. Thanks Stu!
    Yeah the All for Australia League support the Federal Government so proudly fly the Australian national Flag.