Sunday, 7 June 2015

6MMRPC: Finished (?!) MP Jeep


Phew!

This little side project has taken my usual excess number of months. This is a little diorama that I didn't need for anything. It came about mainly through a conversation with a good friend (Steve) who had served in the RMP, but also because I wanted to do some more non-combat little scenes for my army. Really because I enjoyed the bases I had done for my artillery unit (seen here).

MP's of the 51st highland Divisions Provost Coy. during Operation Totalize

These chaps are converted figured from the Battlefront Infantry Aces pack from Battlefront. The one with the Sten originally had a German MP40, which a little tweaking turned into a suitable British weapon. Both had green stuff pouches added to their chests.

The jeep is the only one I have done so far with the windshield up. The machine gun post mounting point was removed and the rear filled up with some stowage. Some canvas rolls and such were also added to the jeep. If I could have come up with something that looked like a radio, I would have added one in - no dice tho. I did add a steering wheel, having noticed it was missing pretty late in the process. It may be a bit out of scale, but making small circles of plasticard is not terribly easy.

The signpost was from Peter Pig - and I hate trying to paint legible text at this scale.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the inspiration for the signpost came from these pictures:

This is not my picture - used without permission.

Image taken from 'Totalize '44'
Which show 'De-Frocked' Priest Kangeroo's operating during Operation Totalize and troops gathered around a information point on the battlefield.


I had aimed to have the jeep at the edge of the 'Elephant Track' of the main route followed by the traffic. It seems that in Normandy the number of mines littering the battlefields meant that vehicles would stick to tracks made by previous vehicles. These 'Elephant Tracks' were a bit of a nuisance when units were deployed into an area traversed by heavy vehicle traffic. Tanks and other AFV would charge up and down these pre-cleared tracks through whatever unit happened to be deployed around it, causing lots of dust, attracting enemy attention and generally being a nuisance. The base wasn't big enough to show the track, so the very edge of it is represented by a very dusty (light) corner of grass.


The MP's have a black armbands with red lettering of the MP's at the time. Alongside the trademark red hat covers. I also tried to lighten up the webbing a bit - not quite the bright white blanco seen in some pictures, but lighter than the standard infantry.



I know that the MP's get a bit of a reputation, but their service during WW2 was what lead to them gaining the prefix 'Royal'. Often found on or near the front lines, they were a favourite target for Snipers due to their job controlling traffic (a very important job in busy and narrow Normandy hedgerows and in a beach head that was still very small but packed with troops).

Taken from http://rhqrmp.org/rmp_history.html:

"During the War the Military Police earned a reputation for bravery and devotion to duty, as reflected in the WW2 Roll of Honour, which list 912 names, and the 229 operational awards which were won including: 7 Military Crosses (MC), 6 Distinguished Conduct Medals (DCM), 61 Military Medals (MM) and no fewer than 776 Mentions-in-Dispatches (MID). Military Police carried out immensely difficult and valuable work, establishing the tradition of being 'first in, last out' on the battlefield. The Military Police were present on every battlefront and in every country where British troops fought, or were stationed. The ever-smart Redcaps were the symbol of fair play, contributing magnificently to maintaining law and order, goodwill and morale among the soldiers of the United Kingdom, the Dominions and the Empire as well as and the citizens of war-torn Europe and the Far East.

"The military policeman became so well known a figure on every road to the battlefield that his presence became taken for granted. Few soldiers as they hurried over a bridge, which was a regular target for the enemy, gave much thought to the man whose duty it was to be there for hours on end, directing the traffic and ensuring its rapid passage."


In 1946, in recognition of its outstanding record in the two World Wars, His Majesty King George VI graciously granted the 'Royal prefix' to the Corps henceforth known as the Corps of Royal Military Police (RMP)."

It takes a special type of courage to stand at a crossroads or on a bridge - locations clearly marked on maps and frequently shelled or mortared - in order to ensure the correct deployment of units where they are needed, and that supplies and ambulances can get through without traffic jams developing. 

This scene goes along with the ambulance jeep one, which needs a little more work due to issues with the last coat of varnish on the driver.

Issues with the wounded soldier carrying driver will have to be fixed tomorrow!
I would also like to mention that this little bit of work by me is dedicated to my good friend Steve - and to the men and women he served with - as a thanks for his and their service in what I have come to understand is a very difficult but very under rated role within the armed forces. Thanks Steve!

17 comments:

  1. Nice bit of a history lesson there, thanks! Fun little diorama's you manage. I assume the ambulance fellows are bailed out figs? What did you use for the white flowers?

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    1. Thanks Dave, the figs are Peter Pig or Skytrex - from their wounded soldier range. I'd have to check which when I get home. The flowers I'll need to check as well.

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    2. Dave, the flowers were from a range called MiniNatur. http://www.newmodellersshop.co.uk/mininatur.htm. The wounded soldier carrier is a Skytrex model.

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  2. Great job. Both little dioramas look great. Lots of character and detail.

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  3. Absolutely brilliant looking minis, mate!

    And a thoroughly worthwhile dedication too!

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    1. Ta very much! My conversation with Steve really brought home how much work goes on behind the scenes to get units where they need to be at the right time. Plus all the other battlefield roles the MP's undertake!

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  4. Nice one Jamie, a really fine looking vignette! Are you sticking to the old style FOW bases for your units? If so I have loads of the old FOW bases J. Let me know if you need them. I was going to punt them on eBay soon.

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    1. Thanks Paul, yeah still sticking with the old bases. Happy to take them off your hands!

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  5. Great little pieces. I'm new to 15mm historical and FoW, so I'm constantly amazed at what people accomplish at this scale. Thank you for giving me more inspirations.

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    1. Thanks! I feel the same when I look at other people's blogs, one of the nice things about the online community!

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  6. Really nicely done Jamie. The history lesson was all new to me - I had previously thought the MP's to be nuisances keeping the regular PBI from having a fun fisticuff in local drinking houses.

    Hope the varnish issue is an easy one to sort!

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    1. Thanks Dai - have to say my attitude had been much the same. That seems to be one of their garrison role, but militarily they have an important function on the battlefield. they were responsible for a lot of the military signage and stuff as well I think.

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