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Bukit Kepong: The Malayan Alamo


I needed a female figure to represent the courageous wife of the fallen officer, which I named her "The Family".

I picked the smallest figure from the kit. The conversion (Fig 07) took place on the fore head, nose, eyes so "she" has the Asian look. I discarded all the shirt detail and shaved her bald. Hair was added with a "pony tail" and so basic female body started to transform (Fig 08).

For the legs, I used plastic rod (balloon stick) and copper wire for the skeleton (Fig 09 & 10). More putty was added to form the kneeling shape (Fig 11). Clothing was made from rolled thin epoxy putty, laid on the "kneeling legs" piece by piece and detail "folds" were added (Fig 12).

Skeleton arms were created from copper wire and filled with putty, the arms in position to hold the Lee-Enfield rifle. The completed figure with the detail toes added last (Fig 13).


There are 2 policemen in my vignette. The "Gunner" who's manning the Bren machine gun (Fig 14 & 15) and the "Fallen" (Fig 16 & 17). These figures are built with separated parts such as arm and head to ease the weapon position.


Since I could not find any commercial weapon kit in the scale I wanted, I would have to scratchbuild them. I needed a British made LMG (Light Machine Gun) and a rifle in that period. After searching photos and further research, concluded the weapon will be a Bren machine gun and a Lee- Enfield rifle.

First I had to get the scale down size right. I calculated the scaled down measurement then resized the captured photo into the scaled down size. I printed the design out and traced it onto Tamiya 1mm plastic card to get the basic shape (Fig 18).

I then cut 0.03 plastic card into stripes and glue on to the base to form the detail (Fig 19 & 20).

The Lee-Enfield rifle needed no gun barrel (hidden) while for the Bren, I used an office paper clip, and detailed it with putty, e.g. handle grip, the distinctive conical flash hider (muzzle booster) on the barrel front. Lastly, the bipod was created from a sewing pin. Note that I've made them in open position, to indicate the weapon was picked up from its last positioned on a pile of sand begs in defending the station (Fig 21).

Lastly, painted and weathered the completed weapon (Fig 22, 23, 24, 25).


The last step was the scenic base. I chose to display the figures fighting on the front porch of the wooden station. The building was a raised structure of which I decided to only show just a portion of it so to concentrate the eye view on the figures. I used mainly wooden ice-cream sticks to build the scenic base (Fig 26 & 27). Sand bags were from tissue dip in white glue and wrapping the basic "pillow" shaped putty. After painted and assembled the whole thing, I cut lots of 2 to 2.5mm brass wire and scattered around the "floor" to portray the empty bullet case and bullet holes were "punched" all over the wooden backdrop (wall).

  • Fig13
  • Fig14
  • Fig16
  • Fig21
  • Fig27
  • Fig07
  • Fig08
  • Fig09
  • Fig10
  • Fig11
  • Fig12
  • Fig15
  • Fig17
  • Fig18
  • Fig19
  • Fig20
  • Fig22
  • Fig23
  • Fig24
  • Fig25
  • Fig26

About the Author

About CPTan (cptan)

Hey, I'm CPTan from Malaysia. Like most of you guys, I started plastic modelling when I was a kid with Matchbox and Airfix. Didn't care much about painting and detail then as they were more towards 'play and destroy'. Stop this hobby for about twenty years or so for more "serious adult stuff"... and...


A masterpiece, mon ami! Very very good. One of the best vignettes I've seen in a while, CK. Your conversion of the figures is outstanding, especially the faces. Though I must say you could have made the woman a tad more beautiful than you have (yes, we have Malays over here in SL, and some of them are hot stuff!). I love the whole setting, and the poses are very realistic. The bullet damaage too is perfect. Very authentic. Good photography too.
OCT 18, 2007 - 06:27 PM
I followed before the SBS threat of this vignette and now having it as a feature is really nice. Thanks CPTan for sharing and thanks Rudi for arranging this.
OCT 18, 2007 - 06:52 PM
My warmest congratulations to CPTan, i really really like his vignette JB
OCT 18, 2007 - 07:48 PM
Turned out excellent CP. And thanks for a little bit of Malaysian history.
OCT 19, 2007 - 11:29 AM