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Armor/AFV: Early Armor
WWI and other early tanks and armored cars.
Hosted by Darren Baker
British Desert Rolls Royce
long_tom
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Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020 - 03:05 AM UTC
I decided to go with the Royal Air Force version after all. Two questions:
1) Being in the desert, it can be basically any sand color, as paint has a way of fading in harsh sun? That was certainly the case for more recent Iraqi armor.
2) British figures in those areas were basically anything there was available in the desert? That's what my Osprey book indicated.
JohnTapsell
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Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020 - 08:13 AM UTC
Can you be a bit more specific? The RAF operated Rolls Royce A/Cs in desert environments from the early 1920s through to mid-WWII (in decreasing numbers).
long_tom
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Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020 - 09:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Can you be a bit more specific? The RAF operated Rolls Royce A/Cs in desert environments from the early 1920s through to mid-WWII (in decreasing numbers).


I'm going for the earlier version, which I assume is depicted in the Meng kit. I know some of the vehicles got modified over time.

I'm assuming the RAF vehicles were a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss". Even from high school, I remember the question, "How is a mandate different from a colony?"
JohnTapsell
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Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020 - 10:33 PM UTC
The wide pneumatic tyres make the Meng example a late 30s vehicle.

RAF vehicles operating in Iraq/Palestine/Transjordan etc were more likely to be overall green rather than sand coloured.

In the linked photo you can see two vehicles - the rear vehicle is an earlier 1914 Pattern body with the lower turret. These bodies were often transferred to new RR chassis as the older ones wore out. The nearer vehicle has the later (taller) turret. Both are clearly not sand/tan in colour.




Rolls Royce
long_tom
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Posted: Monday, August 31, 2020 - 10:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The wide pneumatic tyres make the Meng example a late 30s vehicle.

RAF vehicles operating in Iraq/Palestine/Transjordan etc were more likely to be overall green rather than sand coloured.

In the linked photo you can see two vehicles - the rear vehicle is an earlier 1914 Pattern body with the lower turret. These bodies were often transferred to new RR chassis as the older ones wore out. The nearer vehicle has the later (taller) turret. Both are clearly not sand/tan in colour.




Rolls Royce


Thanks for the picture. And I just saw a photo of a sand-colored version of said vehicle on this website that somebody built! Did they goof?
JohnTapsell
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Posted: Monday, August 31, 2020 - 07:33 PM UTC
I think there is a general assumption that 'desert' equals 'sand coloured'. There is evidence that some RAF vehicles operating across the Middle East in the 1930s were painted a lighter colour (sand or tan presumably) but most seem to have been green. I think also that many of the photos show very, very dusty vehicles so it becomes difficult to determine exactly what the underlying colour might be.

The only RAF operators in that area were No. 1 and No. 2 Armoured Car Companies so I would have expected a degree of consistency in terms of the vehicle colours. Some of their Rolls Royce and Ford Model T 'Tenders' (support vehicles) do appear to have been lighter in colour, but again, it's difficult to tell.

My default choice of colour would be green unless I was working from photos of a specific vehicle that clearly show it to be sand.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d4/fd/dc/d4fddcf9fc089534d4a7f48b9c677cc4.jpg
long_tom
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Posted: Monday, August 31, 2020 - 11:31 PM UTC
Thanks. Cannot always go by kit directions.

Not sure which green shade then, but I supposed things aren't always standard when you're too far away from home and under bleaching sun.
Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, August 31, 2020 - 11:51 PM UTC
Some nice hi-res period pics in this thread :

http://hmvf.co.uk/topic/8347-rolls-royce-armoured-car/page/3/#comments

H.P.
ivanhoe6
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Posted: Tuesday, September 01, 2020 - 02:19 AM UTC
Thanks Frenchy ! Some great images here. Perfect for our SWAMPS' Club build the Meng RR Armored Car.
panamadan
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Posted: Tuesday, September 01, 2020 - 05:29 AM UTC
Interesting thread. I also thought they were a sand color.
Dan
petbat
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Posted: Tuesday, September 01, 2020 - 08:37 AM UTC
If you are looking for total accuracy, the Meng Kit can only really be built OOB as the WW2 version with the Boys A/T rifle (but there is some conjecture this was built on a 'Fordson' not RR chassis).

To depict the earlier 1914 version with wire rim wheels you would need to do some work - it needs the lower turret already mentioned and the front visor panel is the 1920 version - it should not have the slits offset for a 1914 version. Note though, the earlier '1914 pattern' ones were not built to standard pattern and everyone had variations to others. Even the fenders were different (Meng gives you two types in the kit)

Memory is fuzzy on this bit, but I think the issue with the HMAC ACTIVE option is it had the different dish wheels.

Robbd01
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Posted: Tuesday, September 01, 2020 - 11:15 AM UTC
This is a great post. Lot of interesting stuff. I have the Meng kit (1/35) and the Roden kit (1/72). From what I picked up the Meng kit was better then the Roden kit (1/35). Don't know anything about the 1/72 version of the Roden kit. My plan was to do it in the canter camo North Africa. But what I read on this post only one version can be accurately done with the Meng kit (HMAC Active). One of the pics from Frenchy's link does show HMAC Active but from my eyes it looks dark in colour presumably green. The kit instructions show it a khaki colour. Is that the 'sand' everyone mentions?

Cheers

panamadan
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Posted: Tuesday, September 01, 2020 - 12:13 PM UTC
So for the fat tired WWII RAF version, what is the correct green?
Dan
JohnTapsell
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Posted: Tuesday, September 01, 2020 - 07:24 PM UTC
Tom is wanting to build an earlier version (pre-WWII) so green would be the most common colour appropriate for vehicles operating across Iraq, Palestine and Transjordan.

RAF vehicles operating in North Africa just before and during WWII (actually fairly small numbers of them because they were being replaced with the Fordsons) were almost certainly sand (or caunter scheme).

Fordsons are visually different to Rolls Royce armoured cars in that the RR bodywork was modified when it was transferred to the Fordson chassis. Therefore they can be told apart (differences in rear wheel pattern and rear body tray, front fenders and engine compartment). Photos exist of RRs operating in North Africa (both army and RAF examples) with the Boys AT rifle fitted.

There are plenty of images online of RRs with the wider pneumatic tyres operating in Iraq in the 1930s (not the older, thinner pneumatic tyres seen on 1920s vehicles).

There is also a comprehensive (and well illustrated) history of the RAF Armoured Car Companies called 'In Every Place' by Nigel Warwick - not easy to get hold of but well worth tracking down if RAF armoured cars are your thing.


petbat
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Posted: Tuesday, September 01, 2020 - 07:32 PM UTC

Quoted Text

My plan was to do it in the canter camo North Africa. But what I read on this post only one version can be accurately done with the Meng kit (HMAC Active). One of the pics from Frenchy's link does show HMAC Active but from my eyes it looks dark in colour presumably green. The kit instructions show it a khaki colour. Is that the 'sand' everyone mentions?




Hi Robbie. The only OOB version is the one on the box top, the WW2 Caunter one with the Boys rifle and High turret. If you want to do that one you are sweet to go.

HMAC Active had the low turret and the symmetrical visor slits like the WW1 types. The Head lights in the MENG kit are not representative of that vehicles either:

long_tom
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Posted: Tuesday, September 01, 2020 - 11:27 PM UTC
Sigh...all those nice kit options and Meng still dropped the ball!
vettejack
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Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2020 - 01:06 AM UTC
From what I'm able to gather, is that if you wish to display the Meng kit with open armored radiator doors, you have to add what looks to be a spring (or rod) of some sorts. The kit does not have/show it. While the one photo showing Rommel with a RR AC, the device across the top from door to door, is different from the 2 museum photos (which might be a "local" modification).







Robbd01
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Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2020 - 06:18 AM UTC
Good to hear I can still plan on the canter scheme. But my curiosity is now up. Since we have a great information base here in this post, my question is if I ever decided to do the earlier pre-WWII version would any of the Roden kits (last count I recall is 3) work or are they just as bad as Meng in accuracy. My initial info gathering at least for the North African car Meng beats Roden. No mention of their kits on the earlier versions in terms of accuracy. Also is there any after market 'Correction' sets available. I found detail sets but nothing stood out.

Cheers

petbat
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Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2020 - 09:28 AM UTC
The world of Rolls Royce Armoured cars is as murky as a British Pea soup fog... A definitive list of modifications is impossible. The issue is that the chassis is Rolls Royce, but the body work was done by many different coach builders in 1914 - all hand made and no two are alike. Then when the chassis was upgraded in 1920 (so a different chassis!) many of the 1914 type bodies were fitted to the new chassis when the old one wore out... then there are wheel options, etc.

So Robbie, it is a matter of pic a picture and try and replicate it as best as you can...
long_tom
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Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2020 - 09:53 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The world of Rolls Royce Armoured cars is as murky as a British Pea soup fog... A definitive list of modifications is impossible. The issue is that the chassis is Rolls Royce, but the body work was done by many different coach builders in 1914 - all hand made and no two are alike. Then when the chassis was upgraded in 1920 (so a different chassis!) many of the 1914 type bodies were fitted to the new chassis when the old one wore out... then there are wheel options, etc.

So Robbie, it is a matter of pic a picture and try and replicate it as best as you can...


I take back my previous statement then.
JohnTapsell
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Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2020 - 10:30 AM UTC
There were relatively few RR armoured cars produced and apart from war attrition and mechanical attrition, the survivors soldiered on for 20+ years, constantly updated, rebuilt, new chassis etc - often at workshops hundreds or thousands of miles from any RR factory.

As already mentioned, Rolls Royce did not actually build any armoured cars. They sold rolling chassis to the War Office, who then had a standard body manufactured (often referred to as the Admiralty Pattern because of the department that authorised it).

This was the same way that RR sold their civilian cars - the customer purchased the chassis and engine from RR and then engaged a coachbuilder to manufacture the bodywork (I'm sure RR had 'recommended' coachbuilders and patterns but the customer could go anywhere).

Those early (1914 and maybe 1920 Pattern) RRACs were probably the most coherent in terms of appearance but post 1920, the vehicles became more and more individual as each one was upgraded, modified and sometimes cannabalised to keep others running. There was clearly some attempt at uniformity but photos show all sorts of minor variations over time. It's not unlikely that some of the armoured bodies sat on four or five different RR chassis during their life - each new chassis being purchased from the factory or via local agents and reflecting whatever civilian production features were prevalent at the time.

As Peter so correctly points out, the only way to build an 'accurate' RRAC is to find photos of a specific vehicle at a specific time and build that vehicle.

In terms of numbers, each RAF Armoured Car Company had 3 or 4 Sections (platoons) and each of those had 3-4 RRACs plus assorted other support vehicles. Thus each Company was roughly equivalent to a British Army Squadron (US Army Company) and had 15-20 RRACs.

Of the six Armoured Car Companies formed between Dec 1921 and November 1922 (and not all of them operated RRs), only No.1 and No.2 survived beyond 1927. That means even if some of the spare RRACs were absorbed by the two remaining Companies we're talking probably 50-60 RRACs in active RAF service for much of the period from April 1927 to mid 1942. Some of those (20 from No.2 ACC) were later converted by fitting the bodies to Fordson light truck chassis in 1940.
Robbd01
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Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2020 - 10:51 AM UTC
Peter, I had a feeling that was where this was going. Sort of reminds me a few years back when I went down the 'Battle of Malta' campaign (Club Med) rabbit hole when the question was brought up 'So what blue do I use to make a Malta Spitfire?'

Final question for me (hypothetical). If I wanted to do a RR AC depicting the HMAC Active only because there are pics of it, which brand kit would you get? Meng or Roden ?

With that I will shut up

Cheers
petbat
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Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2020 - 08:40 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Final question for me (hypothetical). If I wanted to do a RR AC depicting the HMAC Active only because there are pics of it, which brand kit would you get? Meng or Roden ?



Roden do 3 RRAC but I have only ever seen one in the 'flesh' and that some time ago. My memory is that it looked like a 70's eastern bloc moulding. Chunky detail, soapy styrene, flash, etc. Most reviews compalin of fit issues, etc. The 3 they do (1/35th scale) are:

A) The 1914 version with Wire wheels, low turret and symmetrical visor. The latter 2 you need, but you would need to replace the wheels. You would also need to fabricate new fenders and different lights, as Roden have the fender mounted type, plus the MG frame on the roof.....

B) The 1920 Type with dish wheels, high turret, asymmetrical visor and relocated headlights, all of which are wrong for what you want. The fenders may be the right shape... but again no MG frame.

C) 1920 pattern with sand tyres. Basically the same as the Meng version.

So whichever way you go, HMAC Active is going to be some work and maybe cannibalising 2 kits to get one vehicle.

I would run with the Meng kit myself, as it seems closest to what you want and the replacement visor would not be too hard to make, although the replacement turret might be a bit more challenging.

I haven't looked closely, but possibly you might be able to cut down the the Meng turret walls, make replacement roof panels to suit the new shape, reposition the gun port aperture in the turret wall to the correct height for a low turret, replace all the rivets in the correct places, etc.