login   |    register
Armor/AFV: Early Armor
WWI and other early tanks and armored cars.
Hosted by Darren Baker
“New” Japanese Whippet photos found by French
velotrain
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 23, 2010
KitMaker: 384 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 03:40 PM UTC
In response to my request for help interpreting a photo that I thought showed a Japanese Whippet being backed onto a small barge, Frenchy (Henri-Pierre) came up with an image showing the barge being poled away from the bank - proving it wasn’t being driven off as had been argued elsewhere.

I’ve frequently been amazed at the images he can locate based on someone’s general request, or just on his own initiative in response to a given thread.
He initially located the photo on a Chinese site, but some of the original large source images were missing, so he located all of these – and more – on a Russian site. This includes a good number of images that are new – to “Western” eyes.

http://www.smallscaleafvforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3573

This is the photo proving the Whippet was backed onto the barge – note that it’s still wearing British markings and has no armament.





While not new, and perhaps the best known photo of the Japanese Whippets, this image shows the Whippets in a combined exercise.





The Japanese have replaced the Hotchkiss guns with their own Type 3 Heavy Machine Guns, and have also hinged the previously fixed driver’s plate – no doubt improving non-combat vision as well as ventilation. Additional protection (for people) has also been added to the exhaust.
There is debate as to whether 4 or 6 Whippets were sold. Here is an image of three on a “parade ground” with some of the Japanese FT-17s.





This last image, one of the new ones, appears to show another combined exercise (note all the planes), with soldiers apparently attending to a fallen comrade – possibly from the heat of a Japanese summer.





You can see that the front of the cab has been modified with a horizontally angled plate. This is not seen in the "combined exercise" column photo showing the hinged driver's plate, so this was clearly done as a separate and later mod - undoubtedly to give the driver a better sightline to the left.

My thanks to Frenchy for helping prove my “backwards” barge theory, and locating a treasure-trove of previously unknown images.

Frenchy
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Rhone, France
Joined: December 02, 2002
KitMaker: 12,718 posts
AeroScale: 12 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 05:29 PM UTC
My pleasure Charles Thanks for the kind words. This made a welcome change from my usual fields of interest !

PS : on a side note, I guess the website is Czech, not Russian.

H.P.
vonHengest
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2010
KitMaker: 5,854 posts
AeroScale: 372 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 05:33 PM UTC
Frenchy has an uncanny talent for finding the seemingly impossible to find reference photos. Not sure if his talents should scare me, or just completely impress me
velotrain
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 23, 2010
KitMaker: 384 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 08:04 PM UTC
> on a side note, I guess the website is Czech, not Russian.

What happened to country codes? I was uncertain, but thought I was seeing some Cyrillic characters, but in hindsight I guess if it was truly Russian it would have looked even more unfamiliar. It just seemed very far removed from western European languages.

I hadn't noticed that KitMaker was truncating my topic title, but at least it's still valid. The discovery is being attributed to your whole nation. Sort of sounds like a headline in the arts section of a newspaper. Of course, there'll be those who think they've never heard of the breed ;-)

Jeremy - I had jokingly proposed a "stump Frenchy" thread.
Frenchy
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Rhone, France
Joined: December 02, 2002
KitMaker: 12,718 posts
AeroScale: 12 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 08:50 PM UTC

Quoted Text

> on a side note, I guess the website is Czech, not Russian.

What happened to country codes?



Just to be sure I had copied and pasted part of the thread text into the ever useful Google translator to detect the language

H.P.
RobinNilsson
Staff MemberTOS Moderator
KITMAKER NETWORK
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: November 29, 2006
KitMaker: 6,687 posts
AeroScale: 21 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 10:18 PM UTC

Quoted Text







You can see that the front of the cab has been modified with a horizontally angled plate. This is not seen in the "combined exercise" column photo showing the hinged driver's plate, so this was clearly done as a separate and later mod - undoubtedly to give the driver a better sightline to the left.

My thanks to Frenchy for helping prove my “backwards” barge theory, and locating a treasure-trove of previously unknown images.




Me thinks that the horizontally angled plate might just possibly be a hatch/cover over the engine room that has been opened to prevent the engine from falling victim to the heat. Refer to this image, faq25fr01st.jpg, which can be found higher up on the linked page.
This one shows someone (a mechanic ??) attending to the engine through the same hatch), whippet_freikorps.jpg

Click on the thumbnails for larger images (or visit the linked discussion thred)

http://www.smallscaleafvforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3573






/ Robin
Frenchy
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Rhone, France
Joined: December 02, 2002
KitMaker: 12,718 posts
AeroScale: 12 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 10:35 PM UTC
I guess these pics haven't been posted here yet....






H.P.
Frenchy
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Rhone, France
Joined: December 02, 2002
KitMaker: 12,718 posts
AeroScale: 12 posts
Posted: Friday, September 06, 2013 - 12:43 AM UTC
I've just noticed what looks like a funnel in the last picture I've posted. Could the added "storage boxes" be in fact auxilliary fuel tanks ?

H.P.
velotrain
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 23, 2010
KitMaker: 384 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Friday, September 06, 2013 - 07:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text



Me thinks that the horizontally angled plate might just possibly be a hatch/cover over the engine room that has been opened to prevent the engine from falling victim to the heat.



Quite right you are Robin. I wasn't reading the depth correctly, and I think mostly due to the angle of the shot was visually placing that plane further back, not giving enough credence to the oddity of that. Of course, the second tank supports the same visual illusion. Part of it may be being used to seeing them both open, as in the Berlin photos.

Frenchy - no doubt it is a funnel, perhaps for oil. They are just open-topped storage bins. You can make out the working end of a hand toolwhat looks to be a double-headed ax behind it. I'll look through my model photos and attach one that shows it - I don't know of any proto photos that show it from above. I'm pretty sure they were added in France, as not all Whippets have them.

The second photo you just found is by far the best I have seen of a Whippet in any country. Not only is it quite sharp, but whoever printed it did a superb job - look at the richness and depth of the various dark shades on the tank.

I hadn't noticed it previously, but there is clearly some camo paint in a vine-like pattern, and can now spot it on the lead tank in the column during the combined exercise. They've also added some light bracing for a short section of fender on the side, and it seems designed to keep junk out of the engine compartment when running with the lid up.

It must have really caused a stir when it rolled into town.









I hadn't realized that these images were of the same model until just now, as I copied them at different times and due to the lighting had seemed to be painted different colors.
This is obviously the Accurate Armor kit, and not Emhar. I haven't opened mine yet, but I'm quite certain that the interior - including the inside of the door - is scratched by the builder.

Note that he has included fake vision slits to hopefully fool enemy gunners; there is documentation that German sharpshooters were specifically told to aim for the vision slits, which brought about the specialized camo. This tank also has the "track cleaners" fitted, which are very rarely seen in proto photos. The angle-iron mounting brackets were standard, but the "belts" themselves were field fitted, and apparently not very effective, or were soon removed for some other reason. I've seen some images where the rear angle-iron was used as part of the support for the stowage.

Here's a site with a gorgeous hand-built 1:16 Whippet, including some construction images.

http://bigtank120.blogspot.com/2011/10/zywiczny-whippet-skali-115_28.html

I'll try not to get excited over imaginary superstructure mods in the futute - thanks again Robin for getting me grounded.

suitably humbled but unscarred, Charles
Frenchy
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Rhone, France
Joined: December 02, 2002
KitMaker: 12,718 posts
AeroScale: 12 posts
Posted: Friday, September 06, 2013 - 11:38 PM UTC
Hi Charles

Thanks for setting me straight about the bins ( I'm new to the Whippet world ) I had vainly tried to find a top view to be sure...

I agree with you about the picture of the Whippet in the street. Here's another picture taken at the same spot. It shows a Renault FT (probably the very same tank visible in the background in the Whippet picture, judging by the shop signs), with a similar camo scheme :


H.P.


velotrain
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 23, 2010
KitMaker: 384 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 10:16 AM UTC
I'm not sure if it's really a matter of "setting you straight"; as you discovered, you can only really learn this by looking at model photos, while your mission has always been the reference shot. I'm rather new at this myself, certainly compared to U.K. Landship historians and modelers.

While there are other WW1 info/modeling sites, this is the one for the British Landships:
http://www.landships.info/landships/index.html
I've discovered that only the heavy British tanks, roughly from "Mother" up to the Mk. IX, were regarded as landships. I proposed that the Whippet might therefore be a "landboat" due to its smaller size, but don't think it was well received. It was a medium tank, but it's interesting how it dwarfs the FT-17 in that Japanese shot of the parade ground. For those who may not know, the term "tank" was used by the British during development to confuse spies, and probably just seemed more apprapriate at some point.

Thanks for the new photo. Once again the person creating the print has focused on the foregroud tank, reducing the exposure - and the importance - of the left end of the negative.

If anyone has thoughts on what the colors might be for the base tanks or the camo, I'm curious. It looks like the turrets on the FTs are a lighter color than the main body.

No doubt the coming Meng kit will increase interest in the FT. I found one interesting note:
"These tanks remained in first line many years in these countries, to the point that several Afghan FT17s were found in relative good condition during "Operation Enduring Freedom"."

Considering that there were likely no spare parts (unless they sacrificed one or more tanks), it sounds similar to the Cubans who've managed to maintain American classic cars for decades.
SdAufKla
_VISITCOMMUNITY
South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,238 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 02:20 PM UTC

Quoted Text

... No doubt the coming Meng kit will increase interest in the FT. I found one interesting note:
"These tanks remained in first line many years in these countries, to the point that several Afghan FT17s were found in relative good condition during "Operation Enduring Freedom"." ...



With these great photos of Japanese Whippet's, maybe someone like FineMolds - who've been pressing out Japanese AFV's quite regularly - will take interest in the subject and give us a new mold Whippet. Even with Japanese between-the-wars-markings, such a model would be light years ahead of the Emhar kit and could easily be converted to the British WWI version.
velotrain
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 23, 2010
KitMaker: 384 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 03:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text

With these great photos of Japanese Whippet's, maybe someone like FineMolds - who've been pressing out Japanese AFV's quite regularly - will take interest in the subject and give us a new mold Whippet. Even with Japanese between-the-wars-markings, such a model would be light years ahead of the Emhar kit and could easily be converted to the British WWI version.



Mike - I'm glad the Whippet has another fan!

See the two model photos I posted a little while ago. It's built from a resin kit from Accurate Armor, but plastic would certainly be cheaper and easier. I haven't opened mine yet, but I'm targeting it for the barge loading scene.

I'm sure others would be happy to see new "state of the art" kits for the Whippet and also the Mark IV. There's also the "International" Mk. VIII, which the U.S. was involved in designing, and the first tank we produced - to the best of my (current) knowledge.

If you want to start a campaign directed at FineMolds, just let us know where to "write". Also send it to the Landships Forum: http://landships.activeboard.com/f316939/tanks/

I have no idea if there were any Japanese mods to their FT's (13 I believe), but if so, FineMolds might be an appropriate producer if they do conversion/add-on sets.
I'm guessing that the photo Frenchy found is about as good as exists.
Lots of photos at:
http://www.landships.info/landships/tank_articles.html#
but I don't know offhand if any are of the Japanese ones, but there's a neat image of two facing off. I’m sure that innovative motor in the rear helps.



It looks like that Afghanistan story was a partial truth. FT's were found, apparently of Polish origin, but hardly operational.

Thread here:
http://landships.activeboard.com/t51046964/another-ft17-found-in-afghanistan/



BTW - that is not the FT going back to Poland for restoration (in case you had any doubt ;-)

That story and photos here:

http://tinyurl.com/mqnezyg
RobinNilsson
Staff MemberTOS Moderator
KITMAKER NETWORK
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: November 29, 2006
KitMaker: 6,687 posts
AeroScale: 21 posts
Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 - 09:11 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text



Me thinks that the horizontally angled plate might just possibly be a hatch/cover over the engine room that has been opened to prevent the engine from falling victim to the heat.



Quite right you are Robin. I wasn't reading the depth correctly, and I think mostly due to the angle of the shot was visually placing that plane further back, not giving enough credence to the oddity of that. Of course, the second tank supports the same visual illusion. Part of it may be being used to seeing them both open, as in the Berlin photos.

Charles




Quoted Text

... I'll try not to get excited over imaginary superstructure mods in the futute - thanks again Robin for getting me grounded.

suitably humbled but unscarred, Charles



Hi Charles, that photo was taken in nearly the "perfect" angle to confuse the issue so I had to look hard at it to start getting suspicious. What got my suspicious was that the rest of the cabin seemed unchanged, then I started looking for other images and Frenchy found one that was even better than those I linked to.

By the way: My purpose was not to humble you, we-eelll maybe just an itsy bitsy tiny bit , .... most of all I wanted to prevent any confusion from spreading. A small contribution to the combined efforts with those interesting images.

Nice try to suggest Landboats :-) Humourless bunch of people that didn't appreciate the idea ;-)

Tank: Since they were big and bulky to transport the idea was spread out that it was some kind of mobile water tanks. Maybe it confused a spy or two ...
Landships: I think that it was navy personnel that manned most of the armour in the beginning, some idea that navy staff would be better at handling machinery than army officers who were used to men and horses only. Many armoured cars belonged to the navy/marines as well ...
The big ones also resembled ships with guns sticking out all over the place ...
Take a look at the never finished German K-wagen to get the right impression ...
http://einestages.spiegel.de/static/entry/angriff_der_kreiselpanzer/13902/der_150_tonnen_prototyp.html?o=position-ASCENDING&s=0&r=48&a=1970&of=21&c=1

http://civilianmilitaryintelligencegroup.com/5508/5508
I think both of those (the only ones) that were half-finished in 1918 were broken up and scrapped.

Regards / Robin