"To Make or Break an Invasion..."

Greg147

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#1
Hi all,

Well, with a month and a bit left of this GB, I've just got time for one more entry. I've decided to abandon my idea of doing another 1/72 build, and instead am going to be going for my first 1/35 diorama.

In the largest naval invasion in history, millions of shots were fired in the first 24 hours. The scene I'm going to depict will be that of one single shot, a shot which debatably was the most important of the entire invasion, the outcome of which held thousands of lives at stake, and in a worse case scenaro, could have lead to the failure of D-Day.

Except I'm not going to tell you where or when this took place until the build is finished. ;)

For that reason, I'm not going to post any box art; instead I'll post work-in-progress pics as I go along, and see if anyone can guess in the meantime ;)

Expect the first pics tomorrow.
 

spanner570

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#3
Got me glued too Greg (awful pun)

Had a think what the subject is and though at first it was the distruction of the building containing the demolition charge switches which would have blown the Pegasus Bridge sky high.

However, this was done with grenades and no switches were found anyway!!

So thinking cap back on....

Ron
 

Greg147

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#4
A good guess Ron, I had intended to do something along those lines in 1/72, but lack of time and space shoved me towards something a little smaller. Perhaps this will serve as a clue ;)

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tr1ckey66

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#6
Looks like a french tank chasis? Hotchkiss?

Either way I'm intrigued - nice suspense you're building up here!

Paul
 

rogue-one

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#7
straight back in with an other greg?! and now your teasing us, ha haa, i'll let the others guess and just sit back and watch it build.
 

Greg147

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#8
Been a bit delayed on this one, but I'll be doing some more tomorrow. It is indeed the lower hull of a French tank, but not a Hotchkiss. More pics over the weekend, hopefully ;)
 

Greg147

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#9
The tank is finally taking shape, missing just it's tracks, weathering and decals. Oh, and some of the hatches, but those are supposed to be missing, for reasons that will (hopefully) soon become clear.

These not-so-common tanks are interesting to build. I can see myself doing an some early-war work at some point in the future.

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spanner570

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#10
Let's have another wild stab at the theme....

A shell accidentally hit this tank (Though why a French tank would be there is another matter) and disabled it, causing it to block an important road / causeway, thus delaying the German reinforcements.

No, I didn't think it would be right either!!!

Ron
 

Greg147

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#11
On a similar kind of line, Ron. You're closer than you might think ;)

As an update on the Somua (the tank's a Somua, by the way), I perhaps went a little crazy with experimenting by trying to model an explosion. It's still a work in progress, but I think it would take a lot of practice to get this sort of thing looking good. The impact on the tank is an important factor in the scene I'm trying to represent, and I've tried to show the sheer power of the striking warhead by blowing the hatches out and sending smoke in all directions.

It looks a bit poor compared to the few other models I've scene depicting an explosion, but it's a learning experience. Serves me right for diving straight in ;)

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spanner570

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#12
That's going to be one mother of an explosion Greg.

Try this then....

The tank had been commandeered by a high ranking German and the shell hit had killed him so he could no longer muster a counter attack?

Quite right, wrong again!!

Ron

Just found out the Germans actually used these captured tanks during the Normandy landings, so perhaps we are getting close now!

This is fun!
 
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Ian M

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#13
This was the tank that was the coming invasion!!!

"Destroy that bloody tank before he gives the game away"..........Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaboooooooooooom

Looking good by the way.

Ian M
 

homechild

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#14
It's quite obviously something to do with Michael Caine..."You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off..."

No?

Okay, I'll get my coat.
 

Greg147

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#15
Nice guesses guys, getting closer. I've attached a pic that should make it a lot easier ;)

Ron, you're quite right, the Germans did use early-war French tanks such as the Somua in all theatres. I suppose technically, this is a PzKpfw 35.9.739 (f), rather than a Somua. In fact, the division in question had 23 of these in service at the time of the invasion. That might be a clue.

I've started work on the base as well, but it's taking a while because I've decided to make some stone walls, which are taking ages.

This is my first attempt at a 1/35 figure (no weathering yet), and I've now got a new respect for those who have made these in other threads. There's little room for error, and details need to be a lot finer to look realistic. That's something I'm going to need to practice with if I'm going to make more in this scale (and I've just realised how ineffective my filling has been) :P

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spanner570

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#16
Let's see....He's a British Para. with a Piat anti tank weapon, so I would guess he's just leathered the tank. Where?

We've established it's not Pegasus Bridge so it has to be another Drop Zone and perhaps the tank has accidentally blocked an important bridge or flooded causeway. Any thoughts chaps?

Ron
 

tr1ckey66

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#17
This is (I think) I dio depicting the first tank to reach the bridge at Benouville (Pegasus Bridge). I believe there is some confusion over the actual type of tank with some reports saying it was a Panzer IV, others the French Sumoa tank, some even state that it was a half track. You are right though if it hadn't been for the Paras at Benouville the whole of Overlord could have been jeopardised.

Good luck with the tank explosion this will be really interesting.

Cheers Paul
 

Greg147

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#18
Ding ding ding, we have a winner :D

Yes, the scene I'm trying to depict is that of the first contact between the Paras and Von Luck's 21st Panzer division. I'll no doubt write a bit more on this when the diorama is finished, but the gist of the event was that shortly after the bridges at Benouville were taken, the 21st Panzer had its sights set on dislodging the Paras and retaking the crossings. Using the only servicable PIAT, a pair of paratroopers destroyed one of two tanks sent to gauge enemy resistance, causing the other to retreat. For fear of loosing more vehicles, the division held off its counterattack on the bridge, intending to return in the morning, when the bridges could be effectively reconned. This attack never came, and by the time the sun rose, the paratroopers had been reinforced.

If the PIAT gunner had missed his target, the two tanks would have had little trouble advancing on the bridges, and retaking them from the paras. With the road under German control, not only would Sword beach, and thousands of paratroopers, be cut off from the rest of the invasion force, but the 21st Panzer Division, consisting of around 150 tanks, would have been able to join the counterattacks against the rest of the beaches. Even if the invasion itself still succeeded, casualties for the Allies would have been significantly higher, and the 6th Airborne east of the Orne would have found themselves in a similar situation to the 1st Airborne at Arnhem; cut off without supplies or heavy weaponry, fighting hopelessly against German armor.

So there we are. I guess the para was a bit of a giveaway. Bonus points go to whoever can tell me the trooper's name. ;)

Anyway, here's a small update. I've started on the base (got rid of the wall), and made a tree. I should note now that it's underscale; to protray the realistic distance at which the PIAT was fired, the base would need to be around a meter long. Consider it artistic licence, it's not supposed to be 100% accurate ;)

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Tgmac247

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#19
\ said:
Bonus points go to whoever can tell me the trooper's name. ;)
Better late than never but was trawling these threads ...

I believe the soldier in question was Sgt. Wagger Thornton, 17 Pln, B Coy 2nd Ox and Bucks. He was awarded the Military Medal for taking out the tank. Sadly, he passed away in 1997.

Thanks to http:tongue-out3:/www.gotoitgunners.co.uk/accounts-2nd-oxfordbucks.html

For the info.
 

Greg147

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#20
Another winner :smiling3: Sgt Thornton was the man I had in mind when making this one. I believe he was wounded in the leg during the war. Even after destroying the tank that had such an impact on the battle, he still was said to describe the PIAT as a 'load of rubbish'.

Just realised I never really wrapped this diorama up. The base I used was made of cardboard, and unfortunately began to sag under the weight of the stones on the road. I tried to fix it, but it generally looked quite awful, so I put it aside. Needless to say, it never got finished. I'll notch it up to experience. Besides, the explosion didn't work out as I intended anyway ;)