login   |    register

The Somme 1916 - Part 2

  • move

The diorama started as a small follow up to my WW1 trench scene. I wanted to build the Resicast Draisine (Crewe Tractor) and WW1 Ford Ambulance and thought it might be possible to combine both kits in the build. Around the time of the planning Resicast release a number of diorama bases under their GBS label, one of which was designed to display the Ford Ambulance and contained a length of narrow gauge track that I though could be mated up with the track provided with the Draisine kit and things developed from there. Also released at this time was a small base for the WW1 6 inch howitzer by the same company and a plan evolved to include all three elements in the build on a larger base.

Both sections of track were straight and for interest I thought a curved track would look better and so from small beginnings grew the final product.

The later release of the Resicast WW1 Wounded Wagon developed the possibilities further and slowly the plan evolved, both from the kits available and my greatest source of inspiration the archives of the Imperial War Museum.
The Draisine (Crewe Tractor)
As The Great War loomed ever closer the British Army had already started to modernise with the favoured introduction of mechanical transport by road as opposed to rail. This meant that at the out break of the war they had little narrow gauge rolling stock to provide the supplies and support necessary across the vast expanse that the Western front had settled into in 1916. As a result of this short fall in suitable engines the Model T Ford was adapted to travel on rails. These vehicle were converted in Crewe and became know as Crewe Tractors to the British and Draisine vehicles to the French and Belgium’s.

As this kit started the whole adventure then below are the first images of the feature the build of the tractor.
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move

About the Author

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...


Hi Dave, The Ambulance, Draisine, wagons, and 6 inch howitzer plus the wounded wagon are Resicast kits. The two straight track lengths come with the Draisine and the other is part of the ambulance display base. The only part of the track I made was the curves section. All the figuers are conversions, except for the MB 1916 set. Cheers Al
OCT 04, 2014 - 07:07 AM
I think that I pretty much made my admiration clear whilst you were building this monster but just in case....good job!! J
OCT 04, 2014 - 08:09 AM
Many thanks Jerry, and for the comments and critique during the build. Appreciated. Cheers Al
OCT 04, 2014 - 09:14 PM
Hi Jerry, You post got me thinking. It takes about 350 to 450 hits on a thread these days to generate one reply Lots look - few comment. Cheers Al
OCT 05, 2014 - 08:14 AM
Hi Alan, Congratulations on a great build! It was very interesting to watch - in the end, in addition to the overall high level of quality, I really admire how you managed so much, and somehow kept it looking intentional, and not cluttered - great show! Cheers Nick
OCT 05, 2014 - 09:15 AM
Hi Nick, Thanks for the comments. Keeping going on a project like this is the hardest part as there always seems to be something else to do. Cheers Al
OCT 05, 2014 - 08:54 PM
OK Al, the original trench system was from Belgium to the Swiss border......at which point will you stop ??????? Great work.
OCT 22, 2014 - 01:59 PM
Hi George, Many thanks. 400 miles of possibilities or 25,000 miles of trench laid end to end so plenty of options for the future! Keep up the good work. Cheers Al
OCT 22, 2014 - 06:08 PM
Hey Alan, been a while since I looked at this section and just noticed your dio was completed. Dam fine job on part two. Very interesting aspect of many soilders doing seperate things which all blend together to create a single second caught in time. Well done!!! bob d.
APR 20, 2015 - 08:55 AM
Hi Bob, Many thanks for looking in and the comments. Cheers Al
APR 20, 2015 - 09:20 PM