Fiat Topolino in German Service

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#1
This vehicle is destined to be part of my WWII diorama 'Liberation, Italy 1944'.

See the blog at: http://www.scale-models.co.uk/threads/liberation-italy-1944.30350/

The original idea was to have some sort of small German vehicle crashed into the ravine in front of the bridge - as if it failed to take the corner during the flight ahead of the Allies from Rome. I had already settled on the lovely little Fiat Topolino because it was used by the Germans as a staff car and it looks the part - but it's also very, very tiny and thus fits into a small space.

Although Tamiya make a very nice (and much simpler) equivalent as the Simca, I chose the Bronco DAK version which is, after all, Italian!

1529699090217.png

Although it doesn't come with the tortoise, it does come with a roof rack and an infantry cart. The idea is to have this vehicle piled high with booty by its original owners - hence more 'liberation' - although, obviously, they failed to get away with their ill-gotten gains!

I must say that the kit is exquisite, including a very detailed engine. I plan to have the bonnet open to show this off. The infantry cart is also a model in its own right.

In the end I decided that the crash into the ravine was just a little too dramatic, so I decided instead to have the car bellied in a field of sunflowers, doors open and contents strewn about...

1529700557866.png
 
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John Race

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#2
Certainly will add to the balance Tim having something on the left. Never seen that model before, but it will fit the bill left like that in the field, as if it had been strafed .Nice .
John .
 
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#5
After many months I have been getting this little car ready for painting. So here is a brief update on the build...

Unlike the Tamiya Simca (the French version) this 'Italian Job' spares few details. I added to the (already nicely detailed) engine bay by adding an internal horn (courtesy of a Dragon Panzer / Stug III) and a few wires. I am no expert on cars (including my own) and I suspect that this one may also be missing a battery. Apologies to those car aficianados out there - but I won't be losing any sleep over that!

The chassis, engine, interior, etc received an airbrushed base coat of Valejo black primer followed by a highlight of the same mixed with a little blue, white and metallic black. I'm working on the assumption that this car was one of the many 'requisitioned' from Italian civilian use so I may be heading towards a chipped yellow with green camouflage on the exterior, but this seems like a logical starter to me...

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Topolino engine painted.jpg

Topolino pre paint.jpg

Topolino pre paint 3.jpg

Topolino pre paint 4.jpg

As you can see, I added quite a lot of damage. The serious prang to the front offside was accomplished with a little bit of heat from a miniature blowtorch, then bent with pliers and finally sanded to give sharper edges. The bullet holes in the rear were made using a sharp scalpel blade after the plastic had been thinned from the rear.

The wheels are only temporarily held in place with blutac here, but one of the front wheels will be stuck at quite an angle to represent the impact where the car eventually came to rest. I'm thinking about making the tyre on this wheel look flat, but other than that it's ready for the paint shop...
 
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#6
Below you can see the map pockets on the inside of the doors which were re-sculpted with Magicsculp. I will have folded map poking out of the drivers door which will be swung open.

Door pockets.jpg

I also added another bullet hole heading diagonally through the driver's door - perhaps explaining why the vehicle came to crash.

Bullet holes.jpg

Here are a couple of shots of the infantry cart - or Infanteriekarren (IF8) to give it its correct title. Like the Topolino, this is also an exquisite little kit...

Infantry cart 1.jpg
Infantry cart 2.jpg
 
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#7
Here are a few pics of Topolinos I found on the internet which may prove to be of interest...

Mint condition and restored...

1024px-1936Fiat500CoupeTopolino.jpg

But then we all know how 'restored' vehicles can often look better then they ever looked when 'new'. Still, this is pretty close to the Bronco version. It's even yellow! I took note of the the shiny FIAT hubcaps...

This one is apparently a 1947 version. And it's tired. But the engine and fender damage are interesting... again, shiny hubcaps...

1947-Fiat-Topolino.jpg

images (1).jpg

This is where I got the idea to add the internal horn.

40495d.jpg

An interior shot. This one has the fold-down roof, just like the Tamiya (French) Simca.

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I suspect this is a (restored) post-war version. Fold-down roof and rear seat (although hardly big enough for a dog).

Then some shots of Topo's / Simca's in wartime German (and other) service...

Fiat 500 Topolino - German Army Staff Car 2.jpg

Who says it's a two-man car?

Fiat 500 Topolino - German Army Staff Car.jpg
One proud owner... This one reminds me of the Bronco box lid (but still no tortoise!)

Topolino in Russia.jpg

Actually this looks more like the classic pose... possibly Eastern Europe judging by the house.

German soldier and his Italian-built Fiat 500 marked with the double cross insignia of Panzer ...jpg

This guy doesn't look so proud... I suspect it was hardly a smooth ride.

Autre Fiat Topolino au service de sa gracieuse majesté.jpg

These guys look more jolly! Is that fender symbol Free French? If so, presumably in France... also B.M.R.A. may stand for 'Brigade Major Royal Artillery'. But that camouflage is what I'm looking for!

Watch this space!
 

John Race

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#8
Great up date Tim.
Reminds me of the Fiat 500 from the bonnet back.
The map pockets certainly add along with the horn, and that looks so right. Suppose the battery was the first thing to be nicked !
John.
 
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#9
Well today was the day I got busy with the paint...

Since this is a civilian car pressed into German service I decided to give it an undercoat of dark grey / blue. This was all done (as was all other painting hereafter unless otherwise noted) with Vallejo acrylics. However, to give a bit of variety, I decided to take inspiration from the restored Topolino in the post above and paint the hubcaps a nice shiny metal - this was done with a rattle can of Humbrol polished steel.

Undercoat 1.jpg
Undercoat 3.jpg

However, the infantry cart - being German - was given the traditional undercoat of primer red.

Undercoat 2.jpg

Once I had done that I gave everything a coat of gloss varnish (again from an aerosol).

The next step was to give everything a coat of Vallejo Chipping Medium. This was the first time I have used this (previously having been an advocate of the hairspray technique). Ultimately, I can recommend it. I wasn't so sure once I had sprayed it on because it came out of my airbrush very thick and gloopy (despite being thinned). However, in the end, once I had left it to dry over night, it turned out fine - a perfectly invisible layer.

Then the fun bit commenced...
 
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#10
For the basic colour mix I used Vallejo German Dark Yellow mixed with Ivory. I second highlight was applied with a little more ivory mixed in.

First coat 1.jpg
First coat 2.jpg
First coat 3.jpg
First coat 4.jpg
Cart first coat.jpg
Cart first coat 2.jpg

It's always a joy to see all your hard work emerge in all the details...
 
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#11
Now the camouflage... this was the bit I was not looking forward to... although I have helped my sons with some of their camo patterns over the years, this is the first time I have done my own since I was about 15. So that's a mere 35 years...

It was also the first time I used my new Iwata Neo TNR 1 airbrush ( a finer version of the TNR 2 I have been using so far).

Now I have read an awful lot of books and on-line tutorials about how to airbrush camo on to models - but, as this experience showed, I am no expert. In the end it was really trial and error. As you will see, some passes were better than others. However, it helps to bear in mind that the soldier in the field was hardly likely to be an expert either. So mistakes are fine - so long as they look 'in scale'.

Here goes...

Camo all 2.jpg
Camo all.jpg

As you can see, I went over it afterwards with a lighter shade of yellow in some places. It still looks rough, I know - but wait for the chipping!
 

Steve Jones

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#14
Totally missed this one Tim. Just a had a wonderful read through. Great work on the research. A very tidy build and the wet stuff is looking great. Well done sir:thumb2:
 
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