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1:72 Leyland 'Type D' Mk. II heavy scout car; Royal Army, North Africa, 1942

Started by Dizzyfugu, April 28, 2021, 01:39:09 AM

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Dizzyfugu

Here's #3 from the current what-if armour series - for a slightly bizarre touch, something British, the Leyland "Type D" heavy scout car:


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr




Some background:
The Leyland "Type D" was one of several armoured vehicle types designed in 1940 on the orders of Lord Beaverbrook and Admiral Sir Edward Evans, as a part of the hasty measures taken by the British Government following the Dunkirk evacuation and the threat of invasion.
The "Type D" was a heavy scout car, intended to replace the Lanchester 6x4 and Rolls-Royce 4x2 armoured cars, which dated back to the WWI era and the early interwar period. While they were reliable vehicles and still in active service, their off-road capabilities, armament and armour left a lot to be desired – esp. in the face of the modern German army and its effective equipment.

Certainly inspired by the German SdKfz. 231/232 family of heavy 8x8 armoured reconnaissance vehicles, Leyland added a fourth axle to better distribute the vehicle's weight and a drivetrain to the front axle to a modified "Retriever" 3-ton 6x4 lorry chassis, resulting in a 6x8 layout. The rigid axles were mounted on leaf springs front and rear with hydraulic dampers, both front axles were steerable. The engine, a water-cooled 6-litre, 4-cylinder overhead camshaft petrol engine with 73 hp, was, together with the gearbox, relocated to the rear, making room for a fully enclosed crew compartment in the front section with two access doors in the vehicle's flanks. The crew consisted of four, with the driver seat at the front. The gunner and commander (the commander at the right and gunner at the left) stood behind them into the turret or were sitting on simple leather belts, and behind them was a working station for a radio operator.

The tall, cylindrical turret was welded and electrically traversed, but it lacked a commander cupola. All the armament was mounted in the turret and consisted of a quick-firing two-pounder (40mm) cannon and a coaxial 7.92 mm Besa machine gun. The faceted hull was, like the turret, welded from homogenous steel armour plates, and a straightforward design. Maximum armour thickness was 15 mm at the front, 8 mm on the sides, and 10 mm on the back, with 6 mm and 5 mm of armour on the top and bottom respectively. It had been designed to provide protection from small arms fire and HE fragments, but it was ineffective against heavier weapons. This armour was a compromise, since better protection had resulted in a higher weight and overstrained the Type D's lorry chassis and engine. The armoured cabin was mounted to the chassis at only four points - front, rear and sides - to give some flexibility but with precautions against excessive movement.


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The Type D's prototype was designed, built, tested and approved just within 3 months. Deliveries of the first production vehicles commenced only 2 months later, just in time to become involved in the North Africa campaign. All early production vehicles were immediately sent to Egypt and took part in Operation Compass and the Western Desert Campaign.
It comes as no surprise that the Type D – developed and produced in a hurry and thrown into battle in an environment it had not been designed for – initially failed, and even when the worst deficits had been rectified the Type D's performance remained mediocre at best. The biggest problems concerned the engine's cooling system, its low power output and therefore poor speed, and the vehicle's poor off-road performance, esp. on soft ground like sand. The vehicle's suspension was quickly overburdened in heavy terrain and the tall turret placed its center of gravity very high, making the Type D prone to topple over to a side when slope angles were taken too slightly. Poor cabin ventilation was another problem that became even more apparent under the African sun.

Initial losses were high: more than half of the Type Ds lost in North Africa during the early months of 1941 were abandoned vehicles which got stuck or had to be left behind due to mechanical failures. The rest had fallen easy prey to German and Italian attacks – the Type D was not only very vulnerable even to the Panzer II's 20 mm autocannon, its thin top armour made it in the open desert also very vulnerable to air attacks: German MG 131 machine gun rounds easily punched the vehicle's shell, and even lighter weapons were a serious threat to the tall Type D.

As soon as the first sobering field reports returned back to Great Britain, Leyland immediately devised major improvements. These were introduced to newly produced Mk. II vehicles and partly retrofitted to the early Mk. I vehicles in field workshops. One of these general improvements were new desert wheels and tires, which were considerably wider than the original lorry wheels and featured a flat pattern that better distributed the vehicle's weight on soft and unstable ground, what considerably improved the Type D's performance on sand. A kit with a more effective radiator and a bigger engine cooling system was quickly developed and sent to the units in Africa, too. The kit did not fully solve the overheating problems of the early Mk. I, but improved the situation. From the outside, retrofitted Type Ds could be recognized by a raised engine cover with enlarged air intakes. Due to the limits of the chassis the armour level was not improved, even though the crews and field workshops tried to attach improvised additional protective measures like spare track links from tanks or sandbags – with mixed results, though. The armament was not updated either, except for an optional mount for an additional light anti-aircraft machine gun on the turret and kits for smoke dischargers on the turret's flanks.


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The Type D Mk. II, which gradually replaced the Mk. I on the production lines from March 1941 on, furthermore received a different and much more effective powerplant, a Leyland 7-litre six-cylinder diesel engine with an output of 95 hp (70 kW). It not only provided more power and torque, markedly improving the vehicle's off-road performance, it also had a better fuel economy than the former lorry petrol engine (extending range by 25%), and the fuel itself was less prone to ignite upon hits or accidents.

During its short career the Leyland Type D was primarily used in the North African Campaign by the 11th Hussars and other units. After the invasion of Italy, a small number was also used in the Southern European theatre by reconnaissance regiments of British and Canadian infantry divisions. A few vehicles were furthermore used for patrol duty along the Iran supply route.
However, the Type D was not popular, quickly replaced by smaller and more agile vehicles like the Humber scout car, and by 1944 outdated and retired. Leyland built a total of 220 Type Ds of both versions until early 1943, whilst an additional 86 Mk. IIs were built by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway's Derby Carriage Works.


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr





Specifications:
    Crew: Four (commander, gunner, driver, co-driver/radio operator/loader)
    Weight: 8.3 tons
    Length: 20 ft 5 in  (6,30 m)
    Width: 7 ft 5 in (2,27 m)
    Height: 9 ft 2¾ in (2,81 m)
    Ground clearance: 12 in  (30.5 cm)
    Turning radius: 39 ft (12 m)
    Suspension: Wheel, rigid front and rear axles;
                         4x8 rear-wheel drive with selectable additional 6x8 front axle drive
    Fuel capacity: 31 imp gal (141 litres)

Armour:
    5–15 mm (0.2 – 0.6 in)

Performance:
    Maximum road speed: 35 mph (56 km/h)
    Sustained road speed: 30 mph (48 km/h)
    Cross country speed: up to 20 mph (32 km/h)
    Operational range: 250 mi (400 km)
    Power/weight: 11,44 hp/ton

Engine:
    1× Leyland 7-litre six-cylinder diesel engine, 95 hp (70 kW)

Transmission:
    4-speed, with a 2-speed auxiliary box

Armament:
    1× QF Two-pounder (40 mm/1.57 in) cannon with 94 rounds
    1× 7.92 mm Besa machine gun mounted co-axially with 2.425 rounds
    2-4× smoke dischargers, mounted on the turret




The kit and its assembly:
This fictional British WWII vehicle might look weird, but it has a real-world inspiration: the Marmon Herrington Mk. VI armoured heavy scout car. This vehicle only existed as a prototype and is AFAIK still preserved in a museum in South Africa – and upon a cursory glance it looks like an SdKfz. 232 with the shrunk turret from a "Crusader" cruiser tank with a short-barreled six pounder gun. It looks like a fake!




Another reason for this build was a credible "canvas" for the application of the iconic "Caunter Scheme", so that I placed the Type D in a suitable historic time frame.

The Type D was not supposed to be a truthful Marmon Herrington Mk. VI copy, so I started with a 1:72 "First to Fight" SdKfz. 232. This is a simple and sturdy tabletop wargaming model, but it is quite accurate, goes together well, is cheap and even comes with a metal gun barrel. It's good value for the money, even though the plastic is a little thick and soft.

However, from this basis things changed in many ways. I initially wanted to shorten the hull, but the new wheels (see below) made this idea impossible. Nevertheless, the front glacis plate was completely re-modeled with 2C putty in the style of the Humber scout car, and the crew cabin was extended backwards with the same method. New observation slits had to be scratched with styrene profile material. The engine bay received a raised cover, simulating extra air intakes. The turret was replaced with a resin piece for an A13 "Valentine" Mk.III tank (S&S Models), which had a perfect size and even came with a suitable gun.


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing) - WiP
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing) - WiP
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing) - WiP
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The suspension was taken OOB, but the wheels were replaced with two aftermarket resin sets (Silesian Models) with special Allied desert wheels/tires from 1941, they originally belong to a Chevrolet truck and are markedly bigger and wider than the SdKfz. 232 wheels. However, they had to be modified to match the rest of the suspension, and their size necessitated a thorough modification of the mudguards. They were not only mounted 1mm higher on the flanks, their sides, normally consisting of closed skirts, were fully opened to make sufficient room for the new wheels to change the vehicle's look. They were furthermore separated into four two-wheel covers and their front and rear ends were slightly bent upwards. Sufficient space for the side doors had to be made, too. The spare wheels that came with the respective sets were mounted to the front (again Humber-style) and onto the engine bay cover, under a scratched tarpaulin (made from paper tissue drenched with white glue).

To conceal the SdKfz. 232 heritage even more I added more equipment to the vehicle's flanks. Tool boxed were added to the engine bay's flanks, some more tools to the fenders, scratched tarpaulin rolls above the side doors and I tried to scratch PSP plates with aluminum foil rubbed against a flight stand diorama floor made from PSP. Not perfect, but all the stuff livens the Type D up. A new exhaust (IIRC from a Panzer IV) was added to the rear and bumpers scratched from wire and mounted low unto the hull.


Painting and markings:
Finally, the British, so-called "Caunter Scheme", a great source of misinterpretation not only in museums but also by modelers who have painted their British tanks in dubious if not garish colors. I do not claim that my interpretation of the colors is authentic, but I did some legwork and tried to improvise with my resources some tones that appear plausible (at least to me), based on descriptions and contemporary references.

The pattern itself was well defined for each vehicle type, and I adapted a M3 "Stuart" pattern for the model. All three basic colors, "Light Stone", "Silver Grey" and "Slate", were guesstimated. "Slate" is a relatively dark and greenish tone, and I chose Tamiya XF-65 (Field Grey). "Light Stone" is rather yellow-ish, light sand tone, and I used Humbrol 103 (Cream). Some sources suggest the use of Humbrol 74 (linen) as basis, but that is IMHO too yellow-ish and lacks red. The most obscure tone is "Silver Grey", and its depictions range from a pale and dull light olive drab over blue-grey, greenish grey to bright light blue and even turquoise. In fact, this tone must have had a greenish-blue hue, and so I mixed Humbrol 145 (FS 35237) with maybe Humbrol 94 in a 3:1 ratio to achieve an "in between" tone, which is hard to describe - maybe as a greenish sand-grey? A funny effect of the colors in direct contrast is that the XF-65 appeared with an almost bluish hue! Overall, the choice of colors seems to work, though, and the impression is good.


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing) - WiP
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing) - WiP
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Painting was, as usual, done with brushes and, due to the vehicle's craggy shape, free-handedly. After basic painting the model received a light washing with a mix of black ink and brown, and some post-shading was done with light grey (Revell 75) and Hemp (Humbrol 168). Decals came from the scrap box, and before an overall protective coat of matt acrylic varnish was applied, the model received an additional treatment with thinned Revell 82 (supposed to be RAF Dark Earth but it is a much paler tone).





1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Leyland "Type D" Mk. II armoured scout car; vehicle "B5 (W30975)" of the British Army's 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 4th Armored Brigade, 7th Armored Division; North Africa, early 1942 (What-if/kitbashing)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


A more demanding build than one would expect at first sight. The SdKafz. 232 is unfortunately still visible, but the desert wheels, including the spare wheels, change the look considerably, and the British replacement turret works well, too. Using the tabletop model basis was not a good move, though, because everything is rather solid and somewhat blurry, esp. the many molded surface details, which suffered under the massive body work. On the other side, the Counter Scheme IMHO turned out well, esp. the colors, even though the slender hull made the adaptation of the pattern from a (much shorter) tank not easy. But most of the critical areas were hidden under extra equipment, anyway. 😉

Pellson

Christ, that's one ugly tank! It's easy to see why you made it British - they seem to either deliver beauties (Jaguar cars, Spitfires etc) or absolute design disasters.  ;D

But outstanding work as usual, and a fascinating build. Really impressive!
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!


chrisonord

The dogs philosophy on life.
If you cant eat it hump it or fight it,
Pee on it and walk away!!

zenrat

It's a good build Dizz, but it is, as you say, still recognisably Sd.Kfz 232.  One piece mudguards would have made a big difference.
Fred

- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..

Dizzyfugu

...but they would have prevented the crew from entering the vehicle, because no doors could be fitted to the sides! I considered that, but found them unpractical. I also wanted to add rivets to the hull, but the whoile affair was already so messy that I stuck to a welded look, even though this is rather untypical for a British amroured vehicle of the time.

NARSES2

Neat build Dizzy. Reminds me of an 8 wheeled Daimler scout car for some reason ? And it's better looking than that Marmon Herrington monstrosity  ;D

Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Nick

Very nice and modern looking bit of kit  :thumbsup:

Looks a lot like the Wolf AFV from Canada. Designed in 1940, 8 wheels, turret, pair of skirts on each side.
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/canadian-wolf-heavy-armoured-car-from-wwii.28943/

Dizzyfugu

Oh, yes. I did not know this one - but you see how similar the layouts are between all the eight-wheeled designs!

BTW, #4, the Australian Matilda (upgunned and with specific local details) has just been finished!  ;D

Weaver

Nice one Dizzy - it looks good and it's obviously credible just looking at the two real 8x8s referenced: convergent evolution at it's finest. ;D

Random thoughts for a Mk.II or anybody else doing something similar:

You could take a couple of the triangular stowage boxes/mudguards from an Airfix/JB Saracen or Saladin and use them to fill in the gap between the 232's mudguards to disguise it's origin a bit more. This means losing the side doors, but maybe you could put new ones at the front following the Marmon-Herrington pattern.

You could add a pair of those perforated snd-channels frequently seen on allied vehicles on top of the newly continuous mudguards. Either nick some from another kit, or see if there are some etched brass ones available (I havn't looked).

A Bren gun on one of those triangular sprung mounts would look great on top of the turret.

If you can't get a Valentine turret, then the original Stuart polygonal turret would seem like a good fit in both size and style.
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '

Glenn Gilbertson