A dead end project is when I have an idea for a kitbash or scratchbuild vehicle that I have a particular need for but somewhere along the way one of the existing manufacturers decides to produce one themselves. The first project that has been overcome by events (OBE) that I would like to share with you is my conversion of GHQ Ferret Mk I turret-less scout cars into Ferret Mk II with the .30 cal MG turret.
In 2010 GHQ published their production plans for the 2010-2011 product year and they scheduled a February 2011 release date for the Ferret Mk I. This was excellent news! I was working on early Cold War armies and needed some light scouts for the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) and other areas. The problem was I didn’t really need the Mk I version which was turret-less and open topped.
What I wanted was the Mk II version with the small machine gun turret.
After doing a little bit of research I learned that the Saracen 6×6 armored personnel had an identical turret.
There is also an ambulance version of the Saracen which doesn’t have a turret.
Perfect! I had some extra Saracens anyway so I decided to carefully cut the turret of the Saracen and graft it onto the Ferret after filling in the crew compartment with putty. The ‘leftover’ Saracens would then become ambulances. I didn’t need more than a handful of Saracen ambulances so this conversion process was never going to get me to the 40+ Mk II Ferrets I hoped to have but it would be a start.
Here are the excellent Mk I Ferrets from GHQ with their crew compartments filled in with putty.
Here is the primed Mk II Ferret with its new turret ready for BAOR green and black camo pattern.
It was at about this point in the project when GHQ announced their production plans for the 2011-2012 product year. They had a Ferret Mk II scheduled for release in October 2011.
Suddenly, there was no advantage to kitbashing any further Mk II’s. I guess that was a good thing since it should have given me the time to work on other projects.