Whippet Good

I have returned and re-acclimated to life in California after a wonderful week spent in Oahu, Hawaii. Needless to say, it was an excellent vacation filled with tropic splendor and the constant hustle and bustle of military vehicles and aircraft. There are several US military bases on the island (and of course, Pearl Harbor!) and I was constantly seeing ground vehicles and airplanes/helicopters. Nothing quite like swimming in the warm crystal clear waters and looking up to see Chinooks and Cobra helicopters flying overhead. Not to mention an exciting excursion to Pearl Harbor. After I finish processing the photos from the trip, I will probably have a massive image dump, similar to what I did with the MVPA post. Having said all of that: if you are interested in military history, aviation or the navy, you owe it to yourself to visit Pearl Harbor. I was truly impressed.

For now though, a sneak peak:


Yours truly getting hot and bothered by rocket pods at the Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor.

Now, down to business.


This will be my last post regarding the Mk. A Whippet, as I have officially finished this project! Although it was a bumpy road with several set backs and lots of lessons learned, it truly was a fun build. Since my last entry about this project, I did a full round of chipping, matte varnish coat using Winsor and Newton Acrylic Varnish (worked excellent), pigments and overall weathering.

Again, my scheme for this tank was a Whippet being used during the Irish Civil War in 1919. I figured some wear was advisable, nothing too over the top, as it wasn’t being used in the typical conditions of World War I. I like the blend of chipping, mud/dirt build up and retention of the unique paint scheme. I must admit, I think the model really came together nicely at the end because I recently purchased and started using the techniques espoused in TANKART 1 and TANKART 2 by Michael Rinaldi. These are superb books filled with extremely helpful and informative tips to painting and weathering your armor like a pro. I have learned a tremendous amount from them already and can’t wait to try out some of his recommendations on future builds. This hobby needs more of these knowledge sharing “vehicles” in easy-to-understand and thorough formats.  Highly recommend.


I honestly regret not buying both of these sooner. They are superb. Although, Michael, if you are reading: please invest in a good copy editor (or email me, I’ll do it for free). Otherwise, these books are sublime.

Having said all of that, let’s show off the finished product.

I present the Mk. A Whippet Irish War of Independence, 1919 by Takom.


I really love how all the colors work together on this model. The greens, the red and the white really make it unique and interesting.


The front decal is one of my favorite parts of the kit. Note the slight metallic sheen on the tracks. Ammo of Mig Gun Metal pigment was rubbed on the raised edges to give it a freshly worn metallic look.


Various oil paints (502 Abteilung and Winsor and Newton) as well as a misting of Tamiya XF-57 Buff were used to add tonal variation to the sponson sides before the application of pigments.


Chipping was mainly limited to white areas of the paint where it would provide the most contrast.


Pigments were rubbed onto the hull and tracks and then secured with Tamiya X-20A thinner. For heavy areas, I secured the pigments using an eye dropper to apply the thinner and let it soak in via capillary action. For light dust build up, I misted it onto the model using my airbrush.


Pigments, instead of enamel products were used heavily to simulate dirt, grime and mud.


I initially attempted the chipping with the sponge technique, but found it lacking for this task. I ended up hand painting the chips and then applying rust washes and streaking rust to give it some depth and tonal variation. I tried to feature a lot of asymmetry in the model’s weathering.


I feel like I’ve made some real positive steps forward in my modelling repertoire with this particular build. My techniques are really started to solidify and I am learning heavily from my mistakes. The Whippet offers a very interesting canvas for you paint any picture you want (Takom provided quite a few marking options). It certainly is a break from the German/USA armor we always see. I’m glad my curiosity prompted me to get it.

In summary, Takom’s rendition of the Whippet is an excellent of example of a greatly detailed kit that is engineered to build easily yet still retain a fair price tag. Just be mindful of the very fragile and snag prone photo-etch and somewhat thick decals. Those two minor issues aside, I truly loved this kit. And as to beat that dead horse just one last time: workable tracks. Enough said.


And now it is time to celebrate!


Having said all of that, I will be making a separate post this week to get everyone up to speed on the progress of the Tiger I. I am getting close to actually being ready to begin painting. I am still also debating if I want to go ahead and paint the Academy Hetzer I built or move onto another kit and come back to it. Honestly, I am thinking about starting the Tamiya M10 as it will give me an excuse to give figure painting a try.

Anyway, I am truly excited to have finished the Whippet and it will be making the very long journey to my office tomorrow to be displayed.

Hope everyone is well and enjoying this wonderful hobby.

Thanks for reading!

One more photo from lovely Hawaii:


About to board “Mighty Mo”:  the USS Missouri. Holy shit, what an experience!


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