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LRDG Chevrolet: A Complete Rebuild
Dunedin, New Zealand
Joined: July 12, 2006
KitMaker: 552 posts
AeroScale: 85 posts
Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2020 - 05:08 PM UTC
Wa-a-ay back in 2006, I completed a Tamiya Long Range Desert Group Chevrolet 1533X2 as Te Aroha III of T2 Patrol, one of the New Zealand manned Patrol units. The inspiration and information for this model came from Brendan O'Carroll's excellent books on the LRDG.
Here is Te Aroha III, probably brand new and straight from the LRDG's workshop where it had been converted from a standard Canadian built Chevrolet 30 Cwt 1533X2:

I decided to build my Chevy as Te Aroha III, because on Tamiya's error-laden decal sheet, the vehicle numbers T9 and WD number L4618825 were the only combination that accurately portrayed an actual LRDG Chevrolet radio truck: here is Te Aroha III as first built: the white on black name was hand painted, using a fine pointed brush

In 2009, I altered the Godfredson steel body to add a new compartment for a (fairly crudely) scratch-built Phillips 635V receiver aft of the main W/T compartment.

Note that the real vehicles had panels that slid up and were probably removable, rather than the single sideways sliding hatch depicted by Tamiya:

(I'll cut to a couple of old threads: Here and Here that have quite a bit of discussion on LRDGs in general and the LRDG Chevrolets...)

Unfortunately, some years ago, during a move to a new work room, Te Aroha III was involved in a major crash that wrote off the front suspension and bumper, and damaged lots of other parts. The wreckage was put in a box and filed away in the back of a cupboard, ready to be refurbished...only to be almost forgotten, as two new LRDG Chevys were built and lots of other priorities intervened.

Finally, towards the end of last year Te Aroha III was brought back to light and I decided on a complete rebuild, using components from a new Tamiya Chevy I'd bought cheap.
Everything was stripped off the wreckage and the cab and Godfredson bodywork were sprayed with powerful oven cleaner, then scrubbed of all paint.

Since then, and especially with the Covid-19 lockdown adding impetus, the rebuild has moved on:

1)Godfredson body from the top, showing the new machine gun post and bracing for the twin .303 Brownings, the new mounting pads for the new radio-receiver compartment (with a hole cut in the side of the W/T compartment to accommodate part of the Phillips radio) and the new aerial base/insulator for the standard 3 ft or 6 ft pole aerials used by the LRDG: the square panel next to the wheel is the top sliding hatch for the new compartment.

2)From the side, showing new, scratch-built "greedy board" extender poles, cargo tie down hooks, Windom aerial racks, rifle rack, 2 gall water can container and radio/W/T accumulator mount.

3) The Phillips 635 Radio that was housed in a compartment aft of the main W/T compartment; presumably, in LRDG service it didn't stay quite this polished - it may even have been camouflaged(?) It was a fairly bulky unit, measuring 500 x 290 x 210 mm / 19.7 x 11.4 x 8.3 inch, not much smaller than the No 11 W/T

4)The scratch-built 1/35 scale rendition:

5) the 2 gall "flimsies" that the LRDG washed out and filled with water as part of its escape kits: these are from the AFV Club WWII British Fuel Tank Set, which is well worth having. The container is scratch-built, as are the sand-mat racks on the front fenders. I did consider using the Eduard LRDG etched set for the latter, but they are far too wide.

6) The upper, lift up panel for the W/T compartment is raised, although the compartment itself hasn't been cemented in place. Hopefully the Resicast No. 11 W/T set I ordered a couple of weeks ago won't be too far away.

Hopefully, I haven't been too long-winded with all of this.
Washington, United States
Joined: August 09, 2002
KitMaker: 1,649 posts
AeroScale: 14 posts
Posted: Monday, May 11, 2020 - 02:43 AM UTC
I too have one of these in the stash and I will be following what you are doing.