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British Army Land Rover Piglet in Northern Ireland (Model)


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Hi everyone

 

I'm a scale modeller and have found myself modelling Military Vehciles from "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland with my last few projects and this will likely be my direction for sometime into the future. Most models I build are not available to buy and I tend to convert or scratch build these kits from other bits to my needs.

 

My small collection now consists of a Humber Flying Pig, Saxon Patrol & a Land Rover Hotspur.

(some of which can be seen on the warwheels.net site gallery http://www.warwheels.net/GALLERY.html )

My next project however will be the Land Rover Piglet, used by the British Army.

 

Accurate Information is kinda tough to come by so I'm here to ask the people "in the Know" at HMVF for some help with my quieries. I've been here before with help for Humber Flying Pig and without the information I got here, particulary from Clive Eliott I would never have been able to complete my project so accurately!

 

I have alot of questions about the Piglet though and I'd really appreciate anyone who can help answering some (or all) of them;

 

This is the piglet version I'm focusing on (below)

AA-NIBritishArmyPigletLandrover2.jpg

 

Here's my questions:

 

(1) when did this version of the Piglet enter service and when did it finish up?

 

(2) I am assuming these vehciles never carried emergency blue lights, is this correct?

 

(3) When (roughly what year or era) did the "confidential Telephone" stenciling begin to be put on these vehciles? (I have only seen retired vehciles with signs of this yellow writing)

 

(4) Photographs I have from the very early 80's show this vehicle looking reletively new and the armoured sections of the vehcile are a different shade of green, was this the case with early vehciles in service?

 

(5) was the Piglet originally designed with Macrelon Armour clear vision guards on the roof or was this only on later variants? ..I'm looking for as much information as I can get about the rear roof hatches too

 

(6) Did many piglets carry the TUAAM radio boxes at the front?

 

(7) what color would be correct for these vehicles, olive green or olive drab??

 

(8) Did the APV Landrover replace the Piglet in the later 1980's or was this vehicle an additional armoured landy that was added to the invantory?

 

If anyone also has any photographs that they could post or send to me via email I'd be very appreciative! Particulary the inside of the vehcile as I have nothing in relation to this

 

..fingers crossed guys, thanks in advance!

 

Roy :help:

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Roy, not really my thing. Rather than try to answer them all here are a few answers I'm confident about.

 

1. The original VPK for 3/4 Ton was I think was designated GRP Kit DON/130. The Sankey design for upgrade of this to FV984569 (ie HV VPK) was issued in Nov 1980. A major upgrade with new side doors & front protection plates is dated March 1982.

 

2. Correct, owners fancy I think.

 

4. Just chance I think, some VPK panels may have come from different vehicles.

 

6. No, owners fancy I think. I've seen the one you mean.

 

7. Neither, NATO Green

 

8. By that you mean Glover Webb APV? Not sure need to check that out.

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Brilliant Clive thanks! This is a great start! :angel:

 

Just to clarify a few things;

 

(1.) OK the military designated code for this kit is FV984569. So is the abrieviation "HPVK" and the correct term for this kit (I thought it was HVPK, High Volocity Protection Kit?)

 

(1+.) Can we roughly assume from your dates that this last variant of the piglet served from 1982 to 1990? (If they even made it to the 1990's due to the introduction of the Glover Webb APV, anytime after 1990 was on borrowed time!)

 

(4.) Below is the photo of the Piglets with different armour shades, this was 1982 as far as I know and the vehciles look very clean, I wonder do you think they might be new new here?? (photo courtesy of Getty Images)

NI1981RUCBAHotspurandSnatchVehicleo.jpg

 

(8.) your correct, Glover Webb APV is what I meant in regard to question 8. See Next Picture below..

(this is only the second time I've heard the name "Glover Webb", I know even less about this vehicle and its a future proect too, thats interesting Clive thanks)

AA-NIBALandroverPigletsnatch.jpg

 

..in regard to a few of the questions I'm still stuck on, I'm beginning to think the yellow stencilling didnt exist on the Piglet whatsoever and this might be also owners fancy. I might be opening a can of worms here but I've a number of photos of the vehcile in service now, not great photos but they are in the pictures somewhere. But all the piglets are just plain green. I'd love to hear the thoughts from some private owners or anyone who might have an insight into this..

 

Thanks again Clive!

 

Roy :)

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(1.) OK the military designated code for this kit is FV984569. So is the abrieviation "HPVK" and the correct term for this kit (I thought it was HVPK, High Volocity Protection Kit?)

 

 

HPVK? I don't think I said that. Although I made typo with HV VPK it is of course HVPK. I have a copy of a letter from HQNI 9/7/81 headed "LANDROVER 3/4 TON GS HV PROTECTION KIT".

 

I'll come back on other things later, trying to mend a starter motor. But I do have benefit of the Sankey fitting instructions & parts list.

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Here's my questions:

 

(1) when did this version of the Piglet enter service and when did it finish up?

 

my piglet served from 1984 to 1994

 

(2) I am assuming these vehciles never carried emergency blue lights, is this correct?

 

Some did depending on the user at the time mine finished its service with the RMP and there was the remains of bodged wiring running to the roof which was marked"beacon"

 

(3) When (roughly what year or era) did the "confidential Telephone" stenciling begin to be put on these vehciles? (I have only seen retired vehciles with signs of this yellow writing)

 

Cant give you excact dates but it is definatly not owners fancy, sorry but it aint, there was the wording on the side of mine when i got it (first owner since service so i know its original) and under the paint was plenty of examples in differnt type faces and red as well as yellow.

 

(4) Photographs I have from the very early 80's show this vehicle looking reletively new and the armoured sections of the vehcile are a different shade of green, was this the case with early vehciles in service?

 

the glass fibre bits came off the VPK vehicles and would have weathered slightly where as the steel armour would have fresh paint

 

(5) was the Piglet originally designed with Macrelon Armour clear vision guards on the roof or was this only on later variants? ..I'm looking for as much information as I can get about the rear roof hatches too.

 

cant help as mine had them removed by the army and i cant stand them

 

(6) Did many piglets carry the TUAAM radio boxes at the front?

 

Never seen them mounted on the wing but mine has it mounted on the roof and again it aint just what i fancy. There were the 6 holes for the plate and the remains of the wiring to the tuaam coming from under the t shaped aerial mount and down into the vehicle where they were taped to the other wires from the t shaped mount. Mine is the only 24V FFR piglet that anyone knows of all the rest as far as i know were built on 12v GS vehicles,

 

(7) what color would be correct for these vehicles, olive green or olive drab??

 

Nato

 

(8) Did the APV Landrover replace the Piglet in the later 1980's or was this vehicle an additional armoured landy that was added to the invantory?

 

The piglet was phased out when the APV came on stream (better protection and it was a purpose built vehicle rather than a bodge of this and that)

 

If anyone also has any photographs that they could post or send to me via email I'd be very appreciative! Particulary the inside of the vehcile as I have nothing in relation to this.

 

I'll sort something out, if you have any specific area's or close ups let me know i'll see what i can do

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Cheers Clive, the title was bugging me! ..Hope that Sankey works out for ya, sounds like hard work!

 

Hi "13BK76" (sorry I didnt get your name)

 

Thanks for your input here, its really welcome, you've cleared up a few big headaches for me already and I'm glad to hear 1st hand the service life of one of these vehicles. Especially correcting my false assumption of the stencilling as I really wanted to add this to my project!!

 

Interesting about the RMP getting one of these (very late no doubt) and the use of the blue light.

 

I would love to see some pictures of your pig if you have them, I might even consider modeling your exact vehicle with the same reg (I imagine 13BK76 or am I wrong?).

 

Half the battle is having some history on your project when modelling and I would love to tell the vehicles story in the build! (the model will be built on a populor thread for modellers over the course of a few weeks, at time of writing my Pig thread has over 4,000 hits already)

 

I'm getting some priceless information here guys so far, thanks a million! :-D :-D :-D

 

Roy

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Cheers Clive, the title was bugging me! ..Hope that Sankey works out for ya, sounds like hard work!

 

Roy, my fault I mixed two different topics in the same paragraph. The starter motor problem is in a Wolf.

 

The reference to Sankey, was to the GKN Sankey, fitting instructions for the various versions & modifications to make HVPK covering 155 pages down to the last nut & bolt.

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A pic of the screens.

flap2.jpg

One of my Piglet

2006_01200078.jpg

Although i have mesh on the side windows which i have seen on very few pixs, it did have plastic when i got it. I dont like the way it can be hard to see thro the plastic under some conditions

one of the inside not the best tho

2006_01200081.jpg

another interior shot

DSCF0094.jpg

dont take it that the fire bottles were always in the rear. As mine is 24v there is no way to mount them between front seats but then not all 12v ones had them mounted in the front either!

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13BK76, thanks for these photos, they are amazing, I have absolutely nothing of the inside of the Piglet and believe it or not those photos are like gold to me and will go a long way in helping!!

 

Can I take it that Piglet 84KB15, is your vehicle? (after you mentioned its last livery as an MP variant)

 

I've decided I'm going to create my model as this actual vehicle, The RMP look is very impressive and unique to me, however I would rather model the vehicle in its earlier life as a standard Piglet for the purpose of displaying the model when finished that will fit in with my other projects (without the MP markings if this is possible?).

I take it she was well used in NI as a standard Patrol vehicle before being handed down to the RMP and getting the Blue light and MP markings?? (any additonal info would be great!)

 

Would I be correct by saying also that this could be the reason she was retired later than most Piglets because her service may of been extended due to this transfer to the RMP??

 

The Fire Bottles are quite large and I'm totally retarded in this area of thing but did they in some way extinguish fires externally on the vehcile somehow or am I way off the mark??

 

Lastly, The wing mirrors, were they issue or added later for practicality?

 

Sorry for the all the nagging questions but as Clive will tell you I like to be accurate!

 

Roy :)

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thanks for these photos, they are amazing, I have absolutely nothing of the inside of the Piglet and believe it or not those photos are like gold to me and will go a long way in helping!!

 

no problem as i said any area that u need pics of just ask and i'll get it done for you. When i converted the AA kit of the mk1 pig into a mk2 it was so easy to just go to the end of the garden and measure my mk2, it makes it so much easier dont it

 

Can I take it that Piglet 84KB15, is your vehicle? (after you mentioned its last livery as an MP variant)

 

It is indeed mine, its currently sat as "gate Guard" right out side the front door lol.

 

I've decided I'm going to create my model as this actual vehicle, The RMP look is very impressive and unique to me, however I would rather model the vehicle in its earlier life as a standard Piglet for the purpose of displaying the model when finished that will fit in with my other projects (without the MP markings if this is possible?).

I take it she was well used in NI as a standard Patrol vehicle before being handed down to the RMP and getting the Blue light and MP markings?? (any additonal info would be great!)

 

I dont know its previous history in any detail, As i mentioned it is a 24v FFR vehicle and as far as i can tell pretty unique as haven't found any evidence of any other 24v piglet they all seem to be 12v. Most vehicles in NI at the time that my piglet served were pool vehicles handed to who ever needed them but mine served 7 years with 39 infantry HQ and signal sqn. i dont know why they needed a specific vehicle or how it looked or what it was fitted with, when i got it from the yard there was the MP sign over the back door so this is the look i went for, ( also it looks good with my Pig which finished it's life wth 321 EOD so is displayed like that)

 

Would I be correct by saying also that this could be the reason she was retired later than most Piglets because her service may of been extended due to this transfer to the RMP??

 

Not sure of that. Its possible that due to its former users it was low milage or had an easy life but i dont think thats the answer as the amount of body parts that were swapped points to it having seen action. eg both front wings werent original to the vehicle.

 

The Fire Bottles are quite large and I'm totally retarded in this area of thing but did they in some way extinguish fires externally on the vehcile somehow or am I way off the mark??

 

The were for internal fires if you look on the second pic of the interior ive marked the pipe/missing pipe runs in red.

there were also nozzels above both front seats, either side of the rear door, on the inside of the roof and along the body side at floor level in the rear.

DSCF0088.jpg

DSCF0095.jpg

 

 

Lastly, The wing mirrors, were they issue or added later for practicality?

 

When brought it had the anti shatter type fitted bit they were unasable so for purposes of getting it thro the mot i addapted standard defender mirrors as i had them lying around and i wanted it thro the MOT quick. (3 weeks after been delivered from the yard after been sat for 8,9 years it passed first time) 8 years later i still aint got round to changing them!

 

Sorry for the all the nagging questions but as Clive will tell you I like to be accurate!

 

Not a problem i understand where you are coming from.

All the best

Gareth

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Clive, I love the Sankey FV432 APC and its another future project (UN livery during Yugoslav conflict), I'm hoping you might own one of these so I can pester you later in the year! :D

 

Yes I have, but also some 432s like you've never seen before with markings & bogus equipment to depict the "Fantasian Army". That would get some raised eyebrows! But they would just have to lower them again when you show them the pics of what you modelled it on. What about a RUC pig as another project, lots of pitfalls there for the unwary!

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Gentlemen

 

Clive - Yes indeed, I'll be returning in the Future for another Pig, I'd like to model the RUC example in David Dunnes book (this is yours if I remember correctly :cool2:) ..might need your help with the finer details though!

I'm intrigued by you 432's, I'll be back to nag you about thses later this year :-D

 

Gareth - glad I could put a name to the code, cheers bud! Your really spoiling me know with these pictures now, I can see some fine copper wire coming out for the Fire Extinguisher Lines in my project!

Thanks too for the updates and info, it will go along way believe me!

I might be niggling you during this build for some more photos if you can help (no pressure though) :angel:

 

If you (or anyone who can help) have anything on the front cab area, ie dash, floor, ceiling, seats etc and especially inside the doors (including the rear door) this would be fantastic (no rush though I'm not starting for another two/three weeks)

 

Terry - Thanks for your post (It think its moved now) great looking kit, yet another on my wish list for building, I have the donar kit already too! ..Thanks for the info BTW, keep me posted with your pics on this kit, very interesting indeed!!

 

Roy :thumbsup:

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Well what can I say Gareth! Amazing!! :wow: I Cant thank you enough for these photos!! :bow::bow::bow:

I'll get great milage out of these pics, well done mate!

 

Great detail on the Tyre threads. The cab doors are very interesting on the inside too, didnt realise the Glass was so reinforced! Guess I'll be modelling your piglet with the doors open for more detail

 

..I may come back with a few questions about certain bits in these photos that I'm none to aware of, but for the moment your safe

 

..I'm dead chuffed!!

 

Ta again Gareth

Roy :-D

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I was looking through David Dunnes RUC vehicles book earlier, at the bottom of page 119 I was delighted to find a picture of a piglet in the background, what was remarkable was that the piglet was sporting clearly the confidential number in red stencilling, my first photographic evidence of the way it appeared originally on some vehicles!

 

..I guess your piglet model will have the red stencilling you mentioned coming across under the paint Gareth :-D

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Sorry mate but that aint a piglet in the rear its an APV.

DSCF0204.jpg

the side of mine on day it was delivered from the yard so as u can see it aint been restored. writing in yellow.

P6170569.jpg

the line up in the yard where i got mine again you can see they aint restored, writing in red.

So you can see it just depended on who was doing the painting, i've heard the colour denoted where in NI the vehicle was based, damned if i can rember which way it worked, dont know if thats true.

As to the book i'd love the Tangi pictured on page 124 at the top, i think it'd look good sat next to my piglet.

Edited by 13BK76
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Your on top of your game Gareth! you have a sharp eye with these Landies, fair play to ya!

 

I was disapointed at first when you mentioned the said vehicle in the photo was an APV but you sure made up for it posting these photos, I can actually make out red stencilling along with the more clear yellow in the first photo so I know I have both options available to me for my model ..I'm leaning back on yellow again, but we'll see what happens.. good image here too of the perspex glass protection on the doors, I see its the same set up as the RUC Hotspurs

 

I must say that was some job you did restoring the piglet, well done! They really were in a bad way when these photos were taken, they must of been in storage for years before being sold?

 

Its interesting to note how some armoured panels shed the green paint easier than others after nature took its course. Would I be right by saying the large panels on the rear are Macrelon, along with under the doors and just forward of the cab doors and that the other panels (not so weathered and holding the NATO Green) are some other armour??

 

BTW AA are releasing the Tangi and Snatch models soon so if you cant get your hands on the real deal (on page 124 of David Dunnes book) then you might want to try your hand at the scale kit :cool2:

 

..as I have your attention Gareth I'll throw you another quick question, does the roof hatch at the rear open forward (looking at the hinges) and does it open in one piece?

 

cheers bud

 

Roy :-D

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Its interesting to note how some armoured panels shed the green paint easier than others after nature took its course. Would I be right by saying the large panels on the rear are Macrelon, along with under the doors and just forward of the cab doors and that the other panels (not so weathered and holding the NATO Green) are some other armour??

 

The side panels on the rear body, the doors,the bulkhead strengthening plates windscreen frame and rear body plates are armour steel. The belly plate, roof section, the bonnet cover under rear arches and rear body floor and the panels on the front wings in front of the doors are Glass fibre taken from the original VPK's.

I take it that the armour on mine wasnt primed properly. 1 problem i found when removing the loose paint of the rear passenger side was that at some point it had been "glue bombed" and just painted over its surprising how years old glue will go up in flames!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

BTW AA are releasing the Tangi and Snatch models soon so if you cant get your hands on the real deal (on page 124 of David Dunnes book) then you might want to try your hand at the scale kit :cool2:

 

I know, they are also releasing a Piglet but thats a long way down the line perhaps even next year according to the phone call i had with them last week :-(

 

..as I have your attention Gareth I'll throw you another quick question, does the roof hatch at the rear open forward (looking at the hinges) and does it open in one piece?

 

It folds over to the front in one piece, i'll do you some pics in nxt day or two.

 

cheers bud

Nay bother

Roy :-D

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Its interesting to note how some armoured panels shed the green paint easier than others after nature took its course. Would I be right by saying the large panels on the rear are Macrelon, along with under the doors and just forward of the cab doors and that the other panels (not so weathered and holding the NATO Green) are some other armour??

 

 

 

Hi Roy,

 

I used to fit the Vehicle Protection Kits to vehicles back in the 1970's. Mainly Land Rover 88" and 109", inc Lt/wt and ambulances,, Bedford MK GS and Bedford RL tippers. There was a tendency for this protection to be known as Makrolon, but in fact that is a trade name for the transparent polycarbonate sheet used to protect the windows. This was fitted to the inside of the windscreen and outside of the door windows. At the time, every unit going on a tour had its vehicles converted whilst they were on last minute training. You could often work out how many tours a vehicle had done, by the number of holes in the body panels ! The protection itself was a woven glass fibre panel with many layers. I came across the front panel on a MK once with a bullet lodged in it.

Edited by Richard Farrant
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Gareth: Thanks again for the very informative update, I've made notes :-D

Interesting to hear too about AA's piglets, there is about a 5 number gap between they're Tangi and Snatch kit codes, thats a bit odd so I'm hoping Derek is planning 4 or 5 more Land Rovers of some description in between. (hopefully an APV and Piglet will be two of them!)

 

..Glue-bombs are a new one to me, very interesting, I bet you got a hell of a fright when you were stripping the old paint off and the glue went up!! ..I hope your eye-brows stayed intact :nut:

 

..no rush on those photos of the roof hatch but I will be looking forward to them very much :cool2:

 

Richard: Thanks so much for your input here, thats quite impressive! Interesting you mentioned the woven glass fibre, I noticed this on one of Gareth's photos (the one displaying the yellow stencilling), you can just about notice near the roof the glass fibre after being worn down.

 

So just to confirm this Richard, the "perspex" glass as I called it earlier on the outside of the cab doors (seen in an earlier photo) isn't perspex and infact the Macrelon Armour? This would also be the case for the inside of the windsreen and I imagine the clear shields that were mounted on the roof hatch at the rear??

 

..Thanks again Guys

Roy :-D :-D :-D

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So just to confirm this Richard, the "perspex" glass as I called it earlier on the outside of the cab doors (seen in an earlier photo) isn't perspex and infact the Macrelon Armour? This would also be the case for the inside of the windsreen and I imagine the clear shields that were mounted on the roof hatch at the rear??

 

 

 

Roy,

 

Makrolon is much the same as Lexan, a polycarbonate transparent sheet. It is stronger that Perspex and will not shatter as Perspex does. The sheilds around the roof hatch were not fitted at the time I was involved with them.

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DSCF0205.jpg

DSCF0206.jpg

DSCF0209.jpg

in the last pic in the front right corner you can see three bolt holes in a line, these are where the hinge for the clear screen were. to the middle on the sides there is a set of bolts in a triangle shape where the bolt that held it flat when closed.

Thankfully the army removed the the screens on my piglet as witnessed by the bolts that were already in the holes when i got the vehicle

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Roy,

 

Makrolon is much the same as Lexan, a polycarbonate transparent sheet. It is stronger that Perspex and will not shatter as Perspex does. The sheilds around the roof hatch were not fitted at the time I was involved with them.

 

I just buy either Makrolon or Lexan cut to size or a bigger offcut - on price via. internlet on-line sales.

 

The last time I went for another name Palsun (registered trade mark of Palram) because the quote came in far far cheaper - when it arrived - the peel off protective paper was marked Makrolon - so confirms - buy on price only !

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