Sunday, 10 June 2018

TGAA - NSW Government Commissioned Armoured Car 1932

NSW Police and Dignitaries inspecting the Prototype MB v1 Armoured car in the Sydney Botanic Gardens, May 1932.

With the outbreak of armed hostilities from May 20 The Great Antipodean Adventure turned nasty and violence was rampant on the streets of Sydney New South Wales. With fighting iescalating many factions starting improvising various Armoured vehicles. Little did they know the Provisional New South Wales Government saw 'the cards on the table’ as soon as the first demonstrators filled the streets after the dismissal of the Lang Government and they had secretly placed an order for Armoured Cars for the State Police Force!

Provisional Premier Bertram Stevens knew that Federal Government assistance would not be immediate and his State based ‘Defence Forces’ would be hard pressed to fight armed insurrectionists. Therefore he decided in conjunction with his Cabinet to commission an Armoured Vehicle that would allow the NSW Police to maintain peace in the streets of the fine city of Sydney. The Police Department were to oversee the project. They approached the motor body building firm of Diskon & Molyneux, in the suburb of Bexley on May 14 and paid for twelve Armoured Cars to be delivered within a period of eight weeks with the first to be available as soon as the 24th of May! 

Diskon & Molyneux who had been building car bodies for imported Amercian Packard chassis gladly accepted the contract even though they had not the slightest inkling on designing an Armoured Car or how they could meet the tight deadlines. Their Manager though was a man of action and he promoted his best engineer, Bert Hinkler to produce a rear engined chassis using a Packard Light Eight one they had in stock. He also approached the noted Art Deco architect Emil Sodersten to draw up a design for the vehicle. The Diskon & Molyneux paint shop were set to finish the interior in flat white enamel while the exterior was coated in a fine full gloss British Green with Satin Black turret and wheel cover features.

The two men worked together day and night and their brilliance birthed the the curvaceous Diskon & Molyneux Armoured Vehicle Mark I which went from design to prototype in the space of a mere ten days!

The NSW Police were soon to test the first MB v1 Armoured Car in the heat of battle...

It was a rather unsuccessful design in the end and quickly superseded with only nine being delivered and an improved version replacing it. The completed vehicles soldiered on through the duration of the insurrection often being captured serviced by their new owners and being sent back into the fray, sometimes to be captured a second or third time!

The Vehicle

The modified chassis was shorter than the civilian equivalent and reinforced. The bodywork was all welded and the curved plating was layered sections supplied by a local boilermaker. One side door was included for the crew. The manually rotated turret contained four apertures; one each for the gun, the commander, the gunner and the driver. The low body meant the drivers head was in the turret space which meant that while I motion the turret was required to face forward. The driver location resulted in a few issues the least of which included the need for an efficient catcher for spent rounds lest they hit them when the vehicle was firing in its forward arc!

Length 15’ 9”
Width 5’ 6”
Height 9’ 6”
Motor 320 cu in Straight Eight with 110hp
Gearbox 3speed manual
Top Speed 24mph
Crew 3
Armament 1 x Vickers HMG or 1 x QF 3-pounder 

The Model

Okay this model like most of my others is mainly sheet and rod styrene. I am also using this time some wheels and a HMG from Eureaka Miniatures, a Foreground building window frame, a bottle cap and some 1/35 Pz V parts!

Here's the first task assembling the floor and side you'll note a couple of braces to keep it square. The curved parts will be the wheel covers and the axles are lolly pop sticks with paperclip wire...

The new A/C parts with its oppostion in the background!

The sides and base are 1mm styrene for the curved end plates I glued and secured 0.5mm styrene sheet into place

Once the curved ends were completely dry I glued on the hull top and added the hull details; a door, the rear deck grill, a fire extinguisher, a headlight and an exhaust pipe...

The turret is a roll on deodorant bottle cap!

A lick of paint and the NSW Government forces have an Armoured car ready for action!

I like how this finished up! I still have one more Armoured Car to build for TGAA scenarios and after our Little Wars Melbourne ROAD TRIP and a stop at the Nhill RAAF Base Museum I am going to base it on the first ever Australian built Armoured Car! Also I really need to get back to my unfinished VSF projects though! I have a VSF scenario ready to play and a cool building to construct which will probably become the new secret lair of Dr Von Hades this too is thanks to Little Wars and the new Twisted game range of products!

No comments:

Post a Comment