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A Train Called Alice – Spring Clean

A Train Called Alice – Spring Clean

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Project Blog by henrileite Cult of Games Member

Recommendations: 304

About the Project

In early 2019 I started building a Home Guard army for Chain of Command. While researching, I stumbled upon the above photo of a British Home Guard armored train. How cool is that?! I had to build it. The parts have sat dormant in a corner of the yard till now.

This Project is Active

Background

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 11
No Comments

During the First World War, Britain commissioned two armored trains. The trains followed the shipping tradition of being given names. Number one was HMT Norna. Once complete, it was stationed at Edinburgh, Scotland to provide protection for the north. Train number two was named HMT Alice and was based at Norfolk to provide protection along the East coast of England.

When the Second World War broke out, the British government still saw the potential of having such vehicles available as a quick response to the threat of a possible invasion. This time, Britain commissioned the conversion of 13 locomotives into armored trains.

Background

Collecting Stock 2019

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 12
No Comments
Collecting Stock 2019

My original thought was to use a Sarissa Pannier Tank Engine to power the train. A low Wagon for supplies and scrap build the armored car on top of an Old west flatbed wagon. I also ordered a Mk III Armadillo with the intension of using the gun and crew in the armored car. I was going to magnetize the gun and crew so I could use them with the Armadillo when needed.

Taking Steam

Tutoring 7
Skill 10
Idea 11
No Comments
Sarissa Precision Pannier Tank EngineSarissa Precision Pannier Tank Engine

This kit was the first I ever built from Sarissa. I had a really hard time with it from what I remember. A lot of really tight fitting parts that, mostly around the driving wheels. I added a brass chimney from an On30 model and a plastic bit for a Dome.

Sarissa Precision Low Aggregate WagonSarissa Precision Low Aggregate Wagon

A simple kit to build, no fuss. The original wagons were kitted with folding tables, ammunition lockers, and other essentials including tanks for drinking water. There would also have been a cooking stove.

Sarissa Precision Old West Flatbed WagonSarissa Precision Old West Flatbed Wagon

On this I planed to scratch build the armored car using plastic card and foam core. I got as far as Primer.

Supply Wagon

Tutoring 6
Skill 9
Idea 10
No Comments
Sweet Silhouette Sweet Silhouette

To represent supplies I added foam bits to the wagon and a couple of round bits to represent drums of some kind. I added a thin vertical piece in the center. Just grouping a balanced composition. No need for detail because it all will be covered.

And now for the cover or Tarp. To strengthen the tissue, preventing it from ripping, I added tissue paper to the center of the Kleenex. Fold the Kleenex  around the tissue paper and cut to length. Add water downed Mod Podge to both sides and gently place on top of the Wagon. With the back of a brush I gently pressed down to create the silhouette of the baggage/supplies.

Pannier Tank Engine Overhaul

Tutoring 7
Skill 9
Idea 10
3 Comments

Starting with a minor converted Tank Engine, I decided to try and match my reference photos of the real Armored train. Out of bitz I added a large dome and a safety valve further back. I then scratch built a Fire box and controls for the cab. I also added some detail to the tender. Still more to do.

This has been very therapeutic. I never would have put this much detail and time on a project let alone post it to the world. Thank you OTT for helping me stay sane.

Tending To The Tender

Tutoring 7
Skill 9
Idea 10
No Comments

I try to keep all the negative space pieces from MDF kits to use “some day”. I found two pieces of scrap to use as doors for the engine cab. I’m just dry fitting them in place with tape, to live with the idea. I may remove one or both.

The original kit does not come with a bottom cover for the tender. (I’m calling this part a tender, If any train enthusiasts know better, please correct me.) I used left over 1mm card to fill in the gap. I cut a wide piece to length and then bent it around my x-acto knife to get the quarter round shape. I then traced the width line and cut it out. turned it around and did the same thing again. I then super glued it into place.

Next I poured glue into the hooper and added little grains of rock. Put it aside to dry at a 45˚ angle so that the grains don’t run out into the cab.

Size Matters

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments

Having finished the conversions to the Engine and Supply Wagon, it’s time for the Armored Car! To me the Flatbed is to long and narrow. I will need to cut some parts of the kit shorter to represent the original car you see it the print out photo.

A Dual Role

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
1 Comment

The 6 pound gun arrived from Pulp Figures. A great indie site that I recommend you take a look at, if your into Pulp and skirmish gaming. Im very pleased with the beef of this gun, yet it is still scale appropriate for the train car.

I realized that it would be a waste if it’s only use was on a vanity project. So I am going to glue it and it’s crew onto a separate base so I can also use it in my Sarissa bunker. I had the idea to camouflage the bunker with a billboard in front of the business end of the bunker.

As for the Gun crew, I’m rethinking my first plan. I was going to use the crew from a Warlords Games Home Guard Smith Gun. They look a bit small next to the other crew members. I’m going to scratch build a new crew from a Warlords Games Commandos plastic kit. More on that to come.

A Dual Role

As for the bunker, time for a Spring Cleaning! Lick of paint, lick of paint. The “Camouflage” billboard will be separate so I can use it in other table set-ups.

Thanks for stopping by! Cheers

Shield

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments
Shield

The shield for the 6 pounder started out flat. I placed the shield on the end of my x-acto knife, pressed down with a bit of weight until a suitable curve was created. I then used 1mm card to make the opposite curving shield ends.

Thank for stopping by, cheers.

Build Begins

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments

To shorten the flat car I cut a strip from the center, allowing the vertical bars to meet.

Build Begins

Using 1mm plastic card I cut a rectangle the same size as the new flat car top.

Build Begins

I used 3mm foam board for the sides and 2mm plastic card for the ends of the armored car. I’m going to glue the 6 pound gun and some crew members to a circular base.  During game play the gun can be  pointed in it’s 180° ark, without having to move each individual crew member.

More to come, thanks for stopping by,

cheers

Amor Plating

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
2 Comments

For rivets my favorite tool is this rotary hand sewing punch. It can be used to create rivets of various sizes by crimping the plastic card, creating a raised pimple on the opposite side. Some guide lines and a little pressure later; riveted armor!

Amor Plating

I made a ladder out of garden wire mesh cut to size. Next step slopping armor for the squad side of the car.

Cheers!

Styrene Shields

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
1 Comment

As you know you don’t need to press all the way through styrene as you do need to with paper for example. You can just score the piece you want to remove and then bend it back and forth a few times until it snaps off. So to create the angled shielding on the squad side of the car, I “cut” a few stripes to width and then scored at the bend line. Then gently bent the piece to an angle. When superglued into place these fragile details become rigid.

Styrene Shields

And so after some problem solving happy fun time, I present Alice the armored train. Primed and ready to graduate from the workbench to the painting table. I still have the 6 pound gun crew to convert.

Take care,

Cheers!

Boiler and Update

Tutoring 2
Skill 5
Idea 5
2 Comments
Boiler and Update

Thank you to OTT for awarding this project “Best Idea” during the 2020 Spring Clean Challenge. Due to the win, I feel the need to explain the lack of updated work. The SCC started around the same time as we all went into lock down around the world. Stuck at home working on this and my other SCC project I was able to escape the tremendous stress I was feeling. Over time the strain became to much and I couldn’t hobby. My wife and I have had to close our small business after 15 years due to Covid-19. Some how the XLBS has been the only thing that has made me laugh during all this. Thank you. We are now in the process of selling off in scraps and closing our brick and mortar business and transitioning into an online only business. Things are getting better.

Stay well, cheers

Henri