Vehicle Recovery and Field Repairs - Part 2

In Part 1, I discussed my love of rescuing battered and unloved old toys and reconditioning them for tabletop gaming. Here, I'll discuss some of my other recent rescue and conversion work.

To continue with the vehicles in the picture above (from a dirt-cheap online auction job-lot), here I'm going to discuss the conversion work on the Daimler Dingos and another recce vehicle. As a reminder, the black Dingo (bottom-left) is not from the auction lot: it's a 1/56 resin model for scale, which also needed conversion.

The main problems with both Dingo models were that they had no internal details, no crew and no weapons. I could have drilled through the Bren port (tricky with the die-cast metal toy) and inserted one, but I still would've been scratching around for crew, and would have needed to refabricate the port cover.

What I did instead was to craft the canvas tilt for the roof and use that to cover the multitude of all the sins. In the pic below, you can see the cardstock mock-up I made first (to the right) and the finished article made from blister plastic in situ, complete with fold, hinges and a handle added (the details are clearer in images further down). Again, the scale matches perfectly to the resin model.

Using my normal go-to of 1mm paperclips, I then made a rudimentary frame for the tilt to fold back upon (contemporary photos suggest this was often used as a seat for the commanders to give them a better view), and then added assorted stowage from my bitz box:

Below, the conversion details are a little clearer. As with Part 1, I should note that these models are still only a work-in-progress; I'm just starting to block the base-coat colours. This green one is the resin model:

If you're wondering why this one (the converted toy) is jet black, it's because I'm using it for a special raiding unit from D-Day, which I'll detail in a future post...

...but its true colours can still be seen on the underside!

Next we have the unloved Daimler Armoured Car I won in a separate online auction - chipped, battered, and rather... er... flaccid.

Well, after a bit of work with some pliers, removing the paper stickers and a quick respray, we have another recce element ready to roll. Again, I genuinely love that these toys can be pushed on working wheels around the tabletop. I may need to get out more.

Just like the Dingo, above, this beauty has been earmarked for my special project involving black-painted recce vehicles - the only thing I really need to add to it is a Littlejohn adapter to the muzzle, but for that I have some ideas...

There they are, then: my latest batch of one-careful-owners.

I know that this approach isn't to everyone's taste, and some of the details are occasionally wrong (don't look closely (or at all) at most of the wheels!), but in these financially straightened times I'm keen for those interested to see that it's both handy and possible, in some cases, to save money, and I personally get a real sense of achievement when I repurpose the vehicles themselves: lending a new lease of life to unloved, broken old toys.

The finished articles will be posted here once they're done, but until then, feel free to share any success you've  enjoyed in similar salvage endeavours.

- Chris

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