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Dioramas
Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
The Road to Singapore: Malaya 1941-42
jrutman
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Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020 - 01:32 AM UTC
Like many other wartime pics from various wars (even back in the US Civil War) it could be the bodies were placed here after death for more dramatic effect.
J
TanksForTheMemory
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Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 10:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text

They are most certainly lying in a odd position, for being KIA, that is...




Quoted Text

Like many other wartime pics from various wars (even back in the US Civil War) it could be the bodies were placed here after death for more dramatic effect.
J



Erwin, Jerry, I suspect you are both right.

This was a rare positive photo opportunity for the Commonwealth forces in the Malayan Campaign, so the Japanese casualties were probably 'tastefully' arranged in front of the smouldering tank to ram home the fact that this was a moment of victory - however brief... still, if I choose to depict IJA dead then at least I am spared any gore.
TanksForTheMemory
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Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 10:57 AM UTC
The next part of the turret interior I had to tackle was the ball mounted MG.

During its service life the Ha-Go was equipped with two types of machine gun: the 6.5 mm and the 7.7 mm Model 97. The FineMolds kit gives you both options - but all you get are the ball mounts and the external armoured shrouds. Once again, I regretted not starting with the Dragon kit, which provides two beautifully moulded complete guns - even though the one in the hull cannot be seen.

I looked online for even the infantry equivalent in 1/35 and drew a blank. I was about to start trying to modify a Bren, but then I discovered that the Japanese Model 97 was actually a near copy of the Czech ZB 26 (which was, itself, the forerunner of the Bren). The most obvious differences between ther ZB and the Bren are the cooling ribs on the barrel and the square magazine on the former.



Even finding a ZB in 1/35 wasn't easy, which surprised me - it was a popular gun amongst the Germans in WW2. After all, they acquired a bunch of them when they annexed Czechoslovakia (along with all those 35 and 38(t) tanks). Eventually Tank came to the rescue (although I suspect these are OOP).



There was still quite a bit of work required to convert the ZB to the tank variant of the Model 97: in particular the addition of the folding stock and the sight. The former is one aspect of the MG that Dragon get wrong, because the whole point of having a folding stock was to allow it to be hinged out of the way when being used from within the vehicle (the Russian tank MGs had a very similar system). I also added some (rough) detail to the ball mount to replicate the internal cradle.




It's not perfect, but I think it will do. As you can see from the overhead shots, the MG adds to an already crowded interior. There's no way I could have left those large cupola hatches open without the machine gun on display. I am also going to have the side hatch open to better show off all my hard work!



Golikell
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Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2020 - 01:44 AM UTC
This interrior is a small project on it's own! Looking good though!!!
cheyenne
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Posted: Friday, April 03, 2020 - 10:57 PM UTC
Nice work Tim , looks good .
fenwood
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Posted: Thursday, April 09, 2020 - 02:40 PM UTC
Not wishing to be controversial, I am not sure that the Australians left Singapore island. It was British troops that operated in Malaya attempting to prevent the Japanese from overrunning Malaya and Singapore. It was the 2/30 Australian that were stationed in Singapore. They did not receive very good press once things started to per-shaped.
Removed by original poster on 04/10/20 - 02:45:22 (GMT).
Removed by original poster on 04/10/20 - 02:46:24 (GMT).
panamadan
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Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 12:46 AM UTC
Is this a video of the aftermath of this battle?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr840dRMOjM
Dan
TanksForTheMemory
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Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 09:13 PM UTC
Thanks Dan - you are quite right!

This is especially useful because it shows the 2 pounder impacts, which I could not see in any other photos.

Meanwhile, I have started work on the base. I will have further updates soon.

panamadan
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Posted: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 01:29 AM UTC
Tim,
It just showed up in my you tube feed out of the blue.
D
TanksForTheMemory
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Posted: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 03:04 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Tim,
It just showed up in my you tube feed out of the blue.
D



Weird!

As I was saying, what is particularly interesting is the damage to the Ha-Gos. According to one of the accounts I have read the 2 pounder rounds went right through the tanks and out the other side.

I would guess that what we see in this footage are the very neat, small entry holes and the ragged ones are the exit holes...
TanksForTheMemory
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 02:28 AM UTC


So here is the beginning of the diorama.

The starting point for the base is insulation board rescued from a nearby building site (it came in bits, hence the odd gaps). This was glued to the baseboard and then carved and sanded to the desired contours. Then I added a frame from hardboard.

From the photos of the Maur River action, the road is actually quite wide. There is also quite a wide band of scrub before the treeline. However, artistic license (and limited space) has forced me to contract everything.





The 'trees' are simply twigs inserted to give me an idea of the height and number required. Even though these are already shorter than true Rubber trees in this scale, I think I can get away with making them considerably shorter still.

For the trees themselves I am going to be using the wire technique, best demonstrated by the Master Gordon Gravett...


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modelling-Trees-Part-one-Broadleaf/dp/1905184883/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1587219861&refinements=p_27%3AGordon+Gravett&s=books&sr=1-1
jrutman
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 03:14 AM UTC
Yes,that video popped up on my FB feed as well. Good timing for you and for a guy from Singapore I know that is building the same scene!
I like your artistic licenses narrowing the road because it helps give the idea of how restricted an armor attack is when using roads. It enhances your goal I think.
I have 2 books from the same master foliage modeler as well. Good stuff. Very informative.
J
TanksForTheMemory
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 04:01 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Yes,that video popped up on my FB feed as well. Good timing for you and for a guy from Singapore I know that is building the same scene!



Is he posting here as well? And there I was thinkng that I was being original... Mind you, at least he's a local!


Quoted Text

I like your artistic licenses narrowing the road because it helps give the idea of how restricted an armor attack is when using roads. It enhances your goal I think.



That's the thinking Jerry. Plus it saves me from making an insane amount of trees and keeps this dio SMALLER THAN THE LAST...


Quoted Text

I have 2 books from the same master foliage modeler as well. Good stuff. Very informative.
J



I had the pleasure of meeting Gordon a few years ago. In fact I took my family on a detour to a model railway show just to see his fabulous layout. It really is as good as the pictures in his books suggest.
jrutman
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Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 01:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Yes,that video popped up on my FB feed as well. Good timing for you and for a guy from Singapore I know that is building the same scene!



Is he posting here as well? And there I was thinkng that I was being original... Mind you, at least he's a local!


Quoted Text

I like your artistic licenses narrowing the road because it helps give the idea of how restricted an armor attack is when using roads. It enhances your goal I think.



That's the thinking Jerry. Plus it saves me from making an insane amount of trees and keeps this dio SMALLER THAN THE LAST...


Quoted Text

I have 2 books from the same master foliage modeler as well. Good stuff. Very informative.
J



I had the pleasure of meeting Gordon a few years ago. In fact I took my family on a detour to a model railway show just to see his fabulous layout. It really is as good as the pictures in his books suggest.



I actually bought those 2 books at the Telford show a few years ago,
J
cheyenne
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 08:20 PM UTC
Layout looks good Tim , wide road or not it still is instantly recognizable as the iconic photo .
TanksForTheMemory
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 01:09 AM UTC
Thanks Cheyenne.

Now I have been having a little more fun with interior detail...




This is all loosely based on some interior shots I have of the real thing - but there's a fair amount of artistic licence going on. Basically I have used anything I could find in my spares box that looked even remotely right. Just enough to supply some shapes in the gloom beneath the turret or beyond the open driver's hatch.

I also used Archer's rivet decals for the first time. These are a really neat idea - tiny resin rivets that come as slide transfers. You just have to cut out a strip, soak it in water for about 30 seconds and then slide it onto the model.



Here I have used them in the turret. The asbestos panels (a fairly unique feature of Japanese tanks) were made from plastic strip and tea bags!
jrutman
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 01:13 AM UTC
Nice work and use of "creative gizmology" ala Shep Paine,
J
maartenboersma
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Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 12:12 PM UTC
Looking real good sofar
TanksForTheMemory
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Posted: Sunday, May 03, 2020 - 08:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Nice work and use of "creative gizmology" ala Shep Paine,
J



Thanks Jerry! Now I wouldn't dare to compare myself to the Master (along with Verlinden, Shep Paine was the greatest influence on my teenage modelling self).
TanksForTheMemory
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Posted: Sunday, May 03, 2020 - 08:56 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Looking real good sofar



Thanks Maarten...
TanksForTheMemory
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Posted: Sunday, May 03, 2020 - 09:27 AM UTC
Now, to give myself a break from the Ha-Go my attention has turned to the 2 Pounder. And here things get interesting.



I believe this is the same gun and crew shown in the image at the top of this blog. If not it is certainly one of the guns involved in the Muar River action. According to the Australian War Memorial site, the two pounders belonged to the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment, 8th Australian Division, AIF.

The gun shown in the images with the KO'ed Ha-Gos in the background was commanded by Sergeant Charles James Parsons, of Moonee Ponds, Victoria. It was in position at a road block at Bakri on the Muar-Parit Sulong Road and is referred to as the rear gun because of its position in the defence layout of the area. Sgt Parsons was later awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for his and his crew’s part in destroying six of the nine Japanese tanks during this engagement.




If the relaxed shot is the same gun and crew then Parsons will almost certainly be the guy in the middle with the binoculars and the interesting long shorts (or short trousers?)

What is particularly unusual about this gun is the presence of the side shields. I've been looking at a lot of pictures of 2 pounders on line and it seems that these shields were pretty rare in the field - even though the standard shield used on the guns came with attachment points for them.

The only other images I can find are these...




The first is a wartime shot and shows side shields of more of less the same design. The second, one of the two guns on display today in the Royal Artillery museum in Woolwich Arsenal, London, has a smaller style. [Incidentally, in the mid-50s my father did his National Service in the RA serving as a gunner on 155mm M40s.]

One other useful detail visible in the Muar River photos is the cross brace which presumably held the shields rigid away from the crew.

If anyone can dig out any other shots of these shields I will be glad to see them!
Dioramartin
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Posted: Monday, May 04, 2020 - 10:47 PM UTC
Great work on the Ha-Go Tim. I was agreeing with you that the fallen tree looked like part of the ambush i.e. it stopped the column, but your penultimate image seems to show the lead tank in front of that tree & it can’t have run over it. Whatever, it amazes me the Aussies made no (apparent) attempt to camouflage their gun with nearby leaves & branches, planted it in the middle of the road. Was it a very rapid deployment? It sure doesn’t look like they had much of a range advantage
CKLOO
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 01:58 PM UTC
Greetings from Malaysia. Always wnderful to see dioramas of the Malaya campaign attempted. As visual and written records are not that abundant, its always a great challenge. Sharing with you some of my past experiences. 1) The Vulcan and Sovereign 2000 kit are not of the same scale so you might have a problem swapping parts. 2) This premix road is a main spine road along the Peninsular and in this part of the country, its lined with rubber tree plantations and not forest. There will he hardly any shrubs and bushes too except for the road shoulders. Usually there will be barbed wires at boundaries. The premix road would be around 7.3m wide. In the months of the campaign, the rubber trees would have started to yellow as the dry season would have started. Hope this helps. Great fun.