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RUC Humber ‘Pig’ Mk-2
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HOTSPUR Armoured Land Rover
The HOTSPUR Armoured Land Rover was developed by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in Northern Ireland and is based on the 109” chassis, Series III Land Rover. Its development was the direct result of the increasing use of high-velocity weapons against Police in the province. Protection provided by the VPK (Vehicle Protection Kit) Land Rovers that preceded Hotspur was sufficient to defend against bomb blasts, nail bombs and reduced the energy of high-velocity munitions but could not prevent
Developed from the FV1600 1 ton 4x4 Truck designed by the Humber Motor Car Company in the late 1940’s, the FV1611 was produced as a general purpose troop carrier. The requirement came about due to the high running and purchase costs of the Alvis Saracen. Over 1700 were constructed, and served in all British Army theatres of operation in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Many were modified for internal security duties, and served in N.Ireland. The Mk-2 was developed in reply to the worsening ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland in 1969. A further 1200kg of steel plate and other materials were used to protect the occupants from high velocity armour piercing rounds. Plates were welded to the roof, the front and sides of the cab and internal armour was added on the inside walls of the rear compartment. Blast protection was also added to the floor. All hatches were also uparmoured and direct vision slots with armoured glass added for greater ‘buttoned up’ visibility. The rear doors were also modified to give a full width flap firing, visibilty and ventilation.
The vehicle, nicknamed ‘Pig’ by crews’ due it being difficult to drive and uncomfortable to ride in, could carry a 6 man infantry squad plus its crew of driver and commander. By 1969 most of the FV1611’s were in the hands of scrap merchants and private civilian owners. The Ministry of Defence began the task of re-purchasing the vehicle for refurbishment and up-armouring. Steel bars were welded to the front of the vehicle to smash through demonstrators barricades made of upturned scrap cars and houshold furniture. At the rear, a large folding flap was deployed to protect the legs of soldiers sheltering behind the vehicle from stones and bottles ‘skimmed’ underneath. This version represents a vehicle in the hands of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC vehicles were often on loan or lease due to local shortages) and includes a rotating smoke grenade launcher. Pig Mk-2’s served in many forms well into the 1990’s.
This 1/35th scale model kit by Jon Bottomley and Rob Tearle comes complete with hollow hull, 13 opening hatches and 4 opening visors, partial interior and seats. An extensive etched brass detail set is also included with jerry can holders, steps, headlamp guard boxes, wipers, mirrors, roof plates and canvas tie-downs. The decal sheet provides four different registration plates, and red Confidential and Crimestoppers freephone markings.
Completed model dimensions (approximate):-
Inches/mm: Length 5.75/145, Width 2.3/60 (wings closed) 7/178 (wings open), Height 2.75/70