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Sword Beach D-Day Landings Options
Plymouth57
#1 Posted : 25 March 2019 21:12:19

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It’s a little late arriving but this will be my “D-Day 75 competition entry! As Gold and Juno have already ‘on site’ I’ll be going with “Sword Beach” which was the target of the British 2nd Army under Lt Gen. John Croker. If you are a fan of the great epic movie “The Longest Day” you might remember my favourite scene in the film where the Free French Commandos burst onto the harbour of Ouistreham and are seen charging around the harbour until they are stopped by fire from the German held casino. An incredible panning aerial shot, which I believe won the film an award!Cool Well my diorama isn’t set there!Flapper It’s actually just to the west of Ouistreham where the Commandos came ashore as part of the 1st Special Service Brigade along with No.41 Royal Marine Commando, 3rd Inf. Div. 27th Ind. Armoured Brigade and elements of the 79th Armoured Brigade (known to all as “Hobart’s Funnies”)
The diorama will consist of a small section of Sword Beach with half of the base being sea scape with the rest being beach and sea wall with a short section of beach front houses and shops. Photo 1 is an aerial reconnaissance photo courtesy of, and recently released by the MOD, taken a few hours after the initial landings, which began after a 3am naval and aerial bombardment. As you can see from the grounded ships high up on the sand, the tide has gone out considerably since the first units stormed ashore! Photos 2 and 3, courtesy of the Normandy tourism sites show part of what was actually the end of Juno Beach and the start of Sword with part of the town of St-Aubin-sur-mer. These buildings carried on along the coast with a few open areas further east and on to Ouistreham. This is the sort of built up appearance I’ll be aiming for in the model. This will be quite a small diorama, I’m hoping for maybe four LCI’s (Landing Craft Infantry), possibly the same number of LCT’s (Landing Craft Tank) and perhaps thirty or so tanks (Shermans, Churchills and ‘Funnies’ and a dozen or more LCA’s (Landing Craft Assault) although that might alter as I’ve got to scratch build those (or maybe convert the Yankee LCA’s which are back to front compared to the British ones!Blink
Anyhow, more to follow shortly!

Robin.
Plymouth57 attached the following image(s):
Sword Beach Planning pic 1.JPG
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
tf64
#2 Posted : 26 March 2019 10:34:34

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Good luck with your build Robin.

Trev
Building: Artesania Stage-Coach. H.M.S.Victory / H.M.S. Victory Cross Section / De-Agostini Spitfire.

Full Kits: San Francisco. De-Ago Bremen.Sovereign of the seas.

Plymouth57
#3 Posted : 02 April 2019 16:44:23

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Thanks very much for that Trev! This is going to be a walk down memory lane for me - plus a need to regain some modelling skills I haven't used for over thirty years! Fortunately the modelling tools and 'add ons' are so far advanced from what we used back in the 1980's its proving to be an enjoyable process so far.BigGrin In my youth PE was something you had to do at school - not the thing I'll be getting to grips with in this model!Blink
The item that gave me the idea for this diorama is pictured in Photo 1. This little model made by Skywave (later to become Pit Road) was constructed maybe 40 years ago (and I still haven’t got around to painting it!Blushing ) It’s been sitting on the glass shelf in the bedroom cabinet all that time, along with my collection of other 1/700 scale ships and over the years the warmth from my tv below has managed to give it quite a marked warp! This is an LCT(R) or Landing Craft Tank (Rocket) and ironically this is the only model in the set it came in that I won’t be using for the diorama! During my various forays out to the old garage workroom I remembered seeing the rest of the set (along with over a dozen other Tamiya, Matchbox, Skywave and Fuji? ships, most in their boxes but some without). This one was also a ‘without’, it’s box having been converted into mouse bedding long ago presumably along with the decal sheet too, the rest of the set is shown in Photo 2 and consists of, from top left clockwise: a slightly larger type of LCT, an LCI or Landing Craft Infantry and another LCT which is the same class as the rocket one but with an optional canvas cover. Interestingly, the LCI which looks far more ship-like than a landing craft was renamed an LSI (Landing Ship Infantry) later in the war after D-Day when some of the LCTs were filled with troops instead of tanks and called LCIs instead! The empty space at bottom left was where the rocket version came from all those years ago. Photo 3 shows another of the rescued box sets – again by Skywave and entitled “The vehicles of beach head”. This box has been ‘moused about’ too and also had some rain roof leak damage but the contents were still perfectly good inside, even to the decals although I doubt they’ll still be usable now unfortunately. This set has the M4 Sherman (very useful) American GMC Trucks and Dodge Carriers (maybe not so but we’ll see), LVTs (Buffaloes) which I don’t think we were using until after D-Day, little LCAs or Landing Craft Assault which I will need to convert into the British LCA and finally, another useful item – Barrage Balloons! Finally in Photo 4 we have the ‘seascape’ part of the diorama. This was bought on ebay for £5 and is one of a series of photographic sea bases for 1/700 scale model ships produced by a company called Coastal Kits (I’ll be ‘adapting’ this one to create a coastal sea effect, but more on that later!) They actually produce two versions of each sized base, this one (11 x 29 cm) featuring just plain water and another with the bow wake and turbulence already included.
The last two components not shown here will be a set of houses from another Skywave set “European Buildings” which seems to be still in production (the landing craft set ceased production about twenty years ago, although there was another version of it which is still available from some model shops which contains the landing craft set, the beach head vehicles and a British O Class Destroyer with a vacuum formed Normandy beach diorama base) and, to complement the Shermans, a set of resin Churchill tanks which will also be getting the ‘Hobart’s Funnies’ treatment. Both of these were obtained on-line from a model shop in France.
In the next instalment, beginning the wooden base frame ready for the Perspex floor.

Until then, as usual, Happy Modelling to you All!

Robin.
Plymouth57 attached the following image(s):
Raw Materials pic.JPG
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
Kev the Modeller
#4 Posted : 02 April 2019 19:48:00

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Looks to be the start of what will be another enthralling build diary Robin and knowing you, will turn into an excellent model at the end of it!

Good luck in the competition mate. ThumpUp

Kev Smile
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Markwarren
#5 Posted : 03 April 2019 06:38:43

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Nice start Robin.Cool

Mark
Plymouth57
#6 Posted : 07 April 2019 19:21:25

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Thanks again to Kev and Mark! Its going well so far with some tiny scratch building of DD Shermans in various stages of 'covering up'. The LCIs are completed now apart from the exit ramps for which I'm waiting for some PE railings before fixing them in place. For now though just the basics of the base frame...
The raw materials for the base are shown in Photo 1. These are four lengths of wooden moulding and a sub-base of Perspex. I normally work with 2mm Perspex, the type sold in DIY stores for splash-backs and greenhouse cold frames but this stuff is twice that thickness at 4mm which means it is easier to saw it rather than the scribe and snap method used for the thinner type, (this sheet was left over from a snake vivarium I made some years ago). The wood is a simple moulding, shaped on two sides and flat on the other two (as opposed to picture framing which would have a recess underneath). Photo 2 illustrates the four sides being glued together in the Copydex Frame Clamp, this is a very useful tool which I was extremely lucky to pick up for a couple of pounds about three or four years ago on ebay, its years old but still in almost new condition and boy, are those springs tight!Blink The pieces were glued together with Gorilla Wood Glue and once dry, I then glued in a square section on the inside face which will support the Perspex about 1mm below the top of the frame. The reason for that 1mm will become clearer later! As you can make out in Photo 3 during the Perspex test fit, I didn’t actually have enough of the square wood to complete the frame (top right corner) so I filled in the missing section with an offcut of the frame wood instead as seen in Photo 4. The appearance doesn’t matter here, as it will all be hidden under the scenery later!Cool The Perspex, after removing the protective cellophane was glued to the inner shelf with a thin line of Poundshop epoxy glue and when that had set, I then sealed all around the underside of the wood/Perspex join with a hot glue gun – this has to be waterproof – all to do with that 1mm again!
In the second part of the base section I’ll be sticking on the water effect and beginning the sea wall and scenery. And I totally forgot to mention that the wood was stained with Rustins spirit based Dark Teak wood dye and then given two coats of clear gloss Yacht Varnish!Blushing
Until then Happy Modelling to you All!

Robin.
Plymouth57 attached the following image(s):
The Base pic 1.JPG
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
Gandale
#7 Posted : 07 April 2019 22:00:04

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Coming along nicely Robin, am sure this will be another special build from you.... Look forward to seeing it come together....Cool Cool

Regards

Alan
Plymouth57
#8 Posted : 14 April 2019 19:54:00

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Thanks very much to Alan, it's coming along nicely at the moment, the only question at this point is will my eyes hold up to the strain!BigGrin

The first step in creating the water effect leading up to the beach itself was to copy the thick foam ship base from Coastal Kits onto a much thinner medium. This was achieved by scanning the base on my Epson ‘All in one’ printer-scanner (an XP-345) and using the Copy function, printing it at actual size onto a sheet of self adhesive inkjet sticker paper (bought some time ago in the local Poundshop!)Cool Once printed off, the sea scape was cut out with a sharp blade and pressed down onto the thick Perspex sheet as shown in Photo 5. This, as you can see in the photo, was actually done before the Perspex was glued to the frame!Blushing Photo 6 shows the sheet finally in place and also that offcut of the frame I had to use to fill in the gap in the square shelf when I ran out of the ‘proper’ wood!
Diagram 7 illustrates the basic design of the landscape part of the model. This is essentially a plasticard ‘box’ incorporating the sea wall and a section of road way and buildings behind it. The sea wall itself is composed of three layers, a 1mm thick strip of plasticard sandwiched between two thinner sheets of brick embossed plasticard. This is actually supposed to be 1/72 (or HO scale for railway models) red brick, but taking it right down to 1/700 scale ‘beefs it up’ to dirty great stone blocks! I’ll be constructing a shorter inner wall later between the smaller houses and the road and the road itself will be formed from the same embossed sheet laid down flat to represent the big paving stones which the roads along this stretch seem to be made of in photos. The buildings will be resin copies of the Skywave European Buildings, subtley altered to include some damage from the shelling and some altered to look like shops. The slightly sloping beach (and it is quite flat in this location) will be constructed from a wedge of landscape foam with a thin covering of modelling paste, this is so I can attempt to add shell craters and a load of tank tracks running up from the water’s edge to the two ramps and if possible, a couple of Churchill Bridge layers.
Photo 8 shows the beginning of the sea wall with the triple layered wall with one of the ramp cut outs glued at right angles onto the 1mm base piece. As you can make out in Photo 9, the inner face of the wall only extends down to the base of the ramp cut out, this provides a locating point for the road surface to butt up against later. From the base of the inner wall to the bottom plate was 4mm so I then constructed a supporting frame around the edge with a couple of front to back dividers along the length from 2mm plasticard as seen in this photo before then cutting the top panel from the same 2mm sheet and gluing it to the edges and under the embossed wall as shown in Photo 10. As I mentioned, the actual road surface will be made of the same embossed plasticard but I have some more planning to do before then, as in Pillboxes? Bunkers? Etc etc!Blink
In the next instalment, getting down to some real micro modelling – 1/700 scale Landing Craft Infantry (the shippy looking ones), all four of them!Crying

Until then, Happy Modelling to you All!

Robin.
Plymouth57 attached the following image(s):
The Base pic 2.JPG
The Base pic 3.JPG
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
ian smith
#9 Posted : 16 April 2019 11:52:11

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Cool looki8ng good robinBigGrin
Current builds.Hachettes build the bismark,HMS Victory, HMS Hood.
Finished Builds Corel HMS Victory cross section.
Plymouth57
#10 Posted : 21 April 2019 18:40:46

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Many thanks again Ian! Proceeding well but I keep underestimating how long it takes to paint these dinky things!Blushing

“Hell! They’ve got more ships than we’ve got troops!” (Surviving German machine gunner’s comment on first sighting the Allies approach.)
So the kit ‘bashing’ can begin! The first of the Allied Armada to be modelled is the LCI or Landing Craft Infantry. Of all the landing craft, this is the one which looks more ‘ship’ than craft, so much so in fact that later on in the weeks after D-Day when the LCTs were crammed full of troops to transport across the channel instead of tanks, they became LCIs and the originals became LSIs instead. Photo 1 illustrates the real thing as shown on wikipedia. This one is flying the stars and stripes, which is fair enough as this design was actually American. The British and Canadians had their own slightly different designs but there were never enough to go around and we used a lot of the Yank ones too with RN crews. These vessels were armed with five 20mm Oerlikon AA guns for defence and were designed to run themselves aground on the enemy shore before dropping a pair of ramps at the bow down which the troops would disembark.
Photo 2 shows the exploded construction diagram from the rear of the Skywave kit box, which I had to find and download, as the original packaging was eaten by mice years ago! Photo 3 shows the kit parts still on the sprue, now around forty years old I would think and Photo 4 illustrates the basic construction needed to produce the prototype for a silicone mould so I can create more than the single one in the kit out of good old resin. Only four of the eighteen pieces are needed at this stage: the main hull, the ‘waterline’ base, the round bridge and not visible here, the anchor on the stern. The glued main hull is shown again in Photo 5 along with the detail parts, all of which are temporarily fixed to a UPVC offcut with Deluxe Card Glue. Along the bottom are the lifeboat, the two extending ramps, a pair of life rafts and the gantry which sticks across the bow to suspend the ramps from. The pencil line indicates the lego brick box which forms the rubber mould sides. (In actual fact I later formed a second smaller mould for the small parts seen here, it was proving difficult to cast the entire hull and have sufficient time to poke a cocktail stick around the small details to ensure the resin didn’t get air bubbles locked in.) The first two cast hulls are shown in Photo 6 with the detail parts added on. I dispensed with the moulded on life raft supports, sanding the rafts thinner and using 0.5mm copper wire (pre-tinned in this case, hence the silver colour) to form the ‘U’ shaped brackets. The same wire also formed the air vent, flag-staff and wireless aerial? The mast was made from stretched sprue, but this was from a more modern source as I found the kit sprue just wouldn’t stretch under heat without fraying and snapping. I suspect its due to the age of the plastic as I used to make stretched sprue all the time back when the kit was new!
The first stages of the painting are shown in Photos 7 and 8. In the first pic the entire ship has been sprayed with Poundland Grey Car Primer. This is the ‘for cellulose’ version, which is slightly darker and less matt than the other one which Poundland used to have on sale. This doesn’t matter though as this grey will be forming the basis for the deck colour, the other one would have been perfect for the hull! The hull and superstructure is shown in Photo 8 and was hand painted on with Vallejo 70.989 Sky Grey using my smallest most detailed brush for the AA gun nests and the join of the deck and superstructure. It’s been many years since I’ve painted a 1/700 scale ship – I’d forgotten just how fiddly they are to paint – a good steady hand is essential!Blink
In the following instalment, I will be adding the light blue camouflage (with the same tiddly brush) and get to grips with replacing the kit Oerlikon AA guns with super-duper PE brass ones (using my strongest magnifiers and eye strain!) and then finishing the LCI with ink washes and dry-brushing, EZ Thread rigging and DIY flag decals.
Until then, Happy Modelling to you All!

Robin.
Plymouth57 attached the following image(s):
LCI pic 1.JPG
LCI pic 2.JPG
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
Markwarren
#11 Posted : 22 April 2019 07:51:15

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Coming on very nicely Robin.Love

Mark
Kev the Modeller
#12 Posted : 22 April 2019 19:05:48

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Lovely work as always Robin, with some nice extra detail being added. I think this dio will end up being just the same as all of your previous ones - utterly fantastic!

Good luck with the rest of your build, will be avidly watching your progress and well done. Cool ThumpUp

Kev Smile
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