AEC Dorchester - Armoured Command Vehicle

Gentleman...
      A vehicle that always caught my attention for its robustness and strength aspect was the AEC Dorchester - Armoured Command Vehicle.
AEC Dorchester
      I'll show to you guys the building of two of these vehicles, in resin, manufactured by the extinct Panzer Resin Models. I think this post interesting because next year, the AFV Club will launch this model in plastic with detailled interior. It will be a nice comparison with these handcraft kits. But, first of all, a little bit of information.

History:
       The AEC Armoured Command Vehicle was a series of command vehicles built by the British Associated Equipment Company during the Second World War. During World War II the United Kingdom was the only country to develop and widely employ purpose-built armoured command vehicles. Those were essentially armoured buses based on truck chassis.
       The most common ACV of the British Army was the AEC 4x4 ACV. The vehicle, based on AEC Matador chassis, but with a few modifications.


AEC Matador 4x4 truck
     The fuel tank was moved and the winch was replaced by a generator for the radio sets that were carried in the vehicle.
AEC Dorchester ACV with panels and cammo to disguise the vehicle (like a truck)
      Primarily, the AECs  were designed to be produced in four variants: as staff car (ACV), truck of engineers-sappers (ADV), mines installer (AML) and an armored personnel carrier (APC). 
AEC Dorchester - 2nd Armoured Division
Africa, 1940.
    In 1941, the first variant was chosen as basic version (AEC Dorchester Armored Command Vehicle) Sometimes this truck was called Armored Command Vehicle AEC 4x4 Mk I.
AEC Dorchester leading convoy of the 8th Army - Sollum, Egypt - 1 Dec 1942
Notice the painting and panels in the Dorchester (disguise like a truck

AEC Dorchester (close-up from pic above)
AEC Dorchester wit painting like-lorry
Notice the rear "canvas" open...
      A total of about 415 units were built. The vehicle was used for the first time in the North African Campaign and remained in service until the end of the war. Big, roomy and comfortable, it was nicknamed Dorchester by the troops, for remembering the luxury Hotel in London.
AEC Dorchester ACV
      Some ACVs of this type were captured by the German Afrika Korps. Two of them, named "Max" and "Moritz", were employed by Rommel and his staff throughout the campaign.
Captured AEC by the DAK.
AEC Dorchester Rommel's MAX.
 
AEC Dorchester MAX
Notice Rommel 



AEC Dorchester MAX with Rommel
Notice the British Caunter cammo and number 2 numeral still visibles...


 
AEC Dorchester MORITZ


AEC Dorchester MORITZ
AEC Dorchester MORITZ

History of Max and Moritz characters:
Thanks to my Argentine friend Rubén D. Álvarez.
      Wilhelm Busch's classic tale about the terrible duo has become a proud part of the culture in German-speaking countries. Even today, parents usually read these stories to their children who are not yet literate. To this day in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, a certain familiarity with history and its rhymes is still presumed, as it is often referred to in mass communication. The two smiling faces are synonymous with malice, and seem almost logo in advertising and even graffiti.

      During the First World War, the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, named his dog Moritz, giving the name of Max to another animal given to his friend.
Manfred von Richthofen in his fighter
      It even happens that young German couples name their twins Max and Moritz respectively, depending on their individual sense of humor and intentional paternity.
      Max and Moritz is the first original foreign children's book published in Japan that was translated into kanji by Shinjirō Shibutani and Kaname Oyaizu in 1887 as Wanpaku monogatari ("Naughty Tales").
      Max and Moritz became the precursors of the cartoon. The story inspired Rudolph Dirks to create The Katzenjammer Kids. 
      The influence of these characters in German culture is also evident in their names that apply to two British armored command vehicles that were captured by the German army during World War II in North Africa. Its new German owners named the Max and Moritz vehicles, as can be seen in numerous photographs of the vehicles online and in the books. Max and Moritz also made an appearance on the Eastern Front during World War II, as the nicknames of a pair of prototype self-propelled weapons Sturer Emil based on the Henschel VK30.01 chassis; One of the two was destroyed, the other captured in Stalingrad. Currently it is displayed in the Kubinka tank museum.
Sturer Emil with gun in max elevation
Another captured AEC Dorchester:

AEC Dorchester captured by the Germans.
Notice the strange eyebrows. This vehicle belonged to 1st Armored Division.

Same vehicle above - side view. Notice the strange eyebrows...

     In 1944 a larger AEC 6x6 ACV was developed. The vehicle was based on AEC 0857 lorry chassis and was powered by the AEC 198 150 hp engine. The hull was welded from 9 mm thick rolled steel. The weight of the vehicle reached 17 tons. One hundred and fifty one units were built.
AEC ACV 6x6
      The Dorchesters were built in two configurations (different radio equipment), but no external differences between them. The changes were made in the internal fit of the vehicle. Tthe Mark 1, with one large internal compartment and the Mark 2 which had two smaller internal compartments, an office and a radio room. There were also two versions of each mark: the LP (Low Power) and HP (High Power) versions. The LP was fitted with No.19 radio. The HP vehicle was fitted with an RCA (Radio Crystalline Amplifier) receiver and a No.19 from LP version. The early versions of the vehicle were fitted with a canopy that, when unrolled, had side panels attached to form an extended working area. Later versions had a complete tent carried on the vehicle. There was normally a crew of seven with the vehicle, one driver, two radio operators and four officers.
      The presence of an elongated "snout" in the front of the vehicle was common in the Dorchester. This extension was made with thin metal plates on the sides and top, with canvas and metal in the front portion. These extensions served to disguise the Dorchester in lorries, de-characterizing these important command vehicles.
AEC Dorchester "Big Nose" 
AEC Dorchester "Extended Nose" 

AEC Dorchester with nose and top-sides like lorry
AEC Dorchester extended nose. Same bridge above...



Specs:

TypeArmoured command vehicle
Place of origin                      United Kingdom
Service history
Used byBritish Army
WarsSecond World War
Production history
Produced1941 - ?
Number built415
VariantsMk 1, Mk 2 (Low Power, High Power)
Specifications
Weight12.2 t
Length6.10 m
Width2.36 m
Height2.90 m
Crew7-8

Armour10-12 mm
Main
armament
1 x .303 inch Bren light machine gun, carried inside
EngineAEC 187 6-cylinder diesel engine
95 hp (71 kW)
Power/weight7.8 hp/tonne
Suspensionwheeled 4x4
Operational
range
450 km
Speed60 km/h

The kits:
      A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away, I built a resin kit  AEC Dorchester from Panzer Resin Models,  in 1/35 scale.
My AEC Dorchester from PRM -  Moritz
      The kit was awesome, but the colors and thickness of the roof hatch never satisfied me. If I could get another kit in the box, I always promised myself that next,  I would build better...
      My intention was to build the version with snout of Dorchester, improving resin kit with some scratch ...
AEC Dorchester - extended nose version
         The resin kit under construction:
sanding the hull - notice the chassi
      But once I started the build the new kit, the imperfections of old kit more and more were bothering me ...Result: I decided to disassemble the beast!
The poor Moritz dismantled...
Who dares, wins !!!!
 So, let's go. Improving the old kit:
Changing the rack in the AEC's roof - plasticard with proper thickness...
     Side by side: Moritz (desert girl) and the future AEC with snout (Europe). I applied a bath with oil brake in the desert girl to remove the previous painting....
Two huge girls, side by side...naked!!!
   Making the nose:
Plasticard to the nose...
The canvas part was made with tracing-paper:
The European version with snout...and curved back....
        Beers are fantastic ... serve to kill the thirst and the cans provide excellent photo-etcheds stuff ...
Time of metal...
beer-etched...
Cutting metal for the tent poles 
detailing...
Tent poles made with plastruct and beer can.  For the European and Desert girls..
      Building the AEC captured in parallel, to save time...
In the captured girl, tracing the position of the tent poles
...and now, in position. Dry-run with the poles...
The desert girl with shoes...

Building the auxiliary air intake: desert

Building the auxiliary air intake - front view of European version
The long-nose girl with shoes....
rear view
a massive girl...
       Now, it's painting time: primer!
AECs in primer
About the colors:
      The Moritz was fully documented, with Caunter cammo and kraut layer of painting...
AEC Dorchester Moritz

             The big-snout was based in this profile:






        However, the profile does not show the front and rear markings. So, a great colleague came in to my rescue, with photos of the actual Gen. Mackzec´s command car. Marek Jaszczolt saved the day!!! Thanks, again, Marek !!! He posted these pictures to my relief:


        Based on these pictures, I made this profile:
AEC ACV Dorchester - 1st Polish Armoured Division

       Now, it's a markings job:






AEC ACV Dorchester - 1st Polish Armoured Division
        And the captured Dorchester:
Masking...

Moritz reincarnated...

Caunter cammo... Kraut markings!!!








       The two girls, ready for weathering:
The two AECs Dorchester
        And, finally:
AEC Dorchester -ACV - long nose - 1st Polish Armoured Division
AEC Dorchester -ACV - long nose - left side
AEC Dorchester -ACV - right side

AEC Dorchester -ACV - long nose - notice the canvas made with tracing-paper




AEC Dorchester -ACV - long nose - rear view

       And the Moritz, a captured AEC serving to Afrika Korps;
AEC Dorchester Mammut "Moritz" - Afrika Korps

AEC Mammut "Moritz" - Afrika Korps - left side



AEC Mammut "Moritz" - Afrika Korps - rear view

AEC Mammut "Moritz" - Afrika Korps - right side





AEC Mammut "Moritz" - Afrika Korps - bird view
       I was like this: Before...
AEC Mammut "Moritz" - Afrika Korps - primitive version
            After...much better !!!
AEC Mammut "Moritz" - Afrika Korps
       And the two AECs, ready for action!!!
German and Polish AECs...




AEC Dorchester Mammut "Moritz" - Afrika Korps  and
AEC Dorchester ACV - Polish Command car.

Thanks Gents, for following !!!

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