AEC Dorchester - Armoured Command Vehicle

      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 you guys the construction of two of these vehicles, resin, the Panzer Resin Models. I think this post interesting because next year, the AFV will launch this model in plastic and detailled interior. It will be a nice comparison with these craft kits. But, first of all, a little bit of information.

       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. The fuel tank was moved and the winch was replaced with a generator for the radio sets that were carried in the vehicle.
AEC Dorchester ACV with panels to disguise the vehicle (like a truck)
     Firstly Dorchester planned to produce in four variants: as a staff car (ACV), truck of engineers-sappers (ADV), mines installer (AML) and an armored personnel carrier (APC). In 1941, the first variant was chosen as a basic (AEC Dorchester Armored Command Vehicle) - a large amount of body was perfect for such purpose. Sometimes this truck calls the Armored Command Vehicle AEC 4x4 Mk I.
AEC Matador 4x4 truck
       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 and comfortable, it was nicknamed Dorchester by the troops, after the luxury hotel in London.
AEC Dorchester ACV
      Three 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.
      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.
      The Dorchester were built in two configurations, with different radio equipment, but there were no external differences between them. The changes were made to the internal fit of the vehicle. The Mk 1 had a large single combined office and radio room, while in the Mk 2 there was a separate 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 LP and HP sets. The HP vehicle was fitted with an RCA (Radio Crystalline Amplifier) receiver and a No.19 set. 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.

TypeArmoured command vehicle
Place of origin                      United Kingdom
Service history
Used byBritish Army
WarsSecond World War
Production history
Produced1941 - ?
Number built415
VariantsLow Power, High Power, AEC 6x6 ACV
Weight12.2 t
Length6.10 m
Width2.36 m
Height2.90 m

Armour10-12 mm
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
450 km
Speed60 km/h
George Bradford drawing

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 - snout 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...
Cutting metal for the tent poles 
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 krautz 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:

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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