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Half scratch-built tank WIP!


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I think the hardest part of this design is trying to make it look unplanned. The (hypothetical) designers of this tank didn't plan for people to be riding on the back, so there shouldn't be too many major design decisions that support that.

 

I love little quirks like that in machines though. Things like the A-10's massive nose gun pushing the front landing gear out of the way, so it turns tighter in one direction, and other things of that nature.

 

So, the rear of the deck's been raised somewhat, which I think looks a lot better with those muffler mounts right there. Also adding in some cooling vents. On the rear of the gun casemate are a few long vents; my idea is that they're an exhaust system to vent propellant gases after some prolonged firing. Conveniently, they're also an opening for whoever's on the back to talk to the tank crew, though I don't think they'd appreciate a blast of acrid smoke if the crew turned on the blower fans.

 

Oh yes, and I added some ribs to the deck plating. Looks too plain otherwise.

 

wKhCtxv.jpg

 

hosercanadian, fear not! For there's plenty of tools and other stowage to place on the tank. This little cubbyhole behind the command superstructure seems like the sort of place crews would shove their stuff. I'll need to make or get a few boxes, crates, or kitbags.

 

Also welded on the ladder for the commander, driver, and RTO. Though the way I'm envisioning the layout of the tank, they can exit or enter from there or the gunners' doors and hatches.

 

PQEUNez.jpg

 

Also I saw the wire cage headlight protectors, and thought they looked cool. Putting them where they're supposed to go looks too much like the M41 though, so I was wondering what I could do with them...

 

How about a smoke grenade launcher?

 

The only question is where I put the thing. On the casemate roof? Glacis plate? Left fender? Replacing the left headlight?

 

wngtztN.jpg

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Smoke grenade launchers are usually mounted pointing toward the front sides of a vehicle. They are designed to fire in 2 separate salvos that would cover the tanks retreat (In reverse). Using the 'Clock System' Grenades would be designed to land at 9, 10, 11, 1, 2 &3 on a clock for a 6 grenade salvo.

With the single 6 tube launcher you have, it would likely point straight forward, with the grenades set to land at 10, 12, & 2 on the clock, fired in 2 separate salvos.

 

George (Former M1 Abrams crewman)

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The Tamiya M2 looks too much like an M2 (good job, Tamiya!), and it's a bit too recognizable for my taste. So I decided to chop off the barrel and barrel shroud and glue on a DShk/AK-like gas tube and front sight on there. It's quite a bit beefier than the original barrel, but I like the more heroic-scaled props. Also I was thinking that it should fire some sort of 15.2mm cartridge.

 

w1wotCi.jpg

 

I had a lot of spare ladder rungs and hoist rings lying around on the sprue, and the engine deck still looked a bit too designed for my taste. So what if the designers originally thought that the crew would use the engine deck as a cargo bay?

 

Glued them on as tie-down points for tarps, camo netting, and things like that.

 

SOAzRpg.jpg

 

Given the position of the gunner's sight on the gun mantlet, I figured the cupola had to be as far forwards as possible to really make sense. And that meant it was too far forwards to man the machine gun. Which is fine, because this freed me up to mount a loader's hatch right behind the cupola, and center the machine gun pintle somewhat.

 

This next bit was fun. I mixed up a goodly amount of Apoxie sculpt, smoothed it all over the casemate, and then stippled the entire thing to give it that cast texture. So now I have a one piece cast armor casemate.

 

Also, smoke grenade launcher ended up going on the fender. And the periscope went to the driver after all.

 

QVGAKcf.jpg

 

Unfortunately, this will probably be the last update for the next few weeks, I need to wait for a few supplies to arrive sometime in early February.

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Looking Great!

 

Remember, the crew will lock the pintle mg so that it will not block the hatch when they are trying to get out...

From your layout, the logical way would be either barrel to the rear,(easier to grab and shoot) or barrel to 9 o'clock, (more space to bail out)....

 

George

 

One other thought, when you get to doing the stowage, we always liked to be able to tie down a tarp over our bags that held our clothes.....

Edited by knarthex
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knarthex: Yeah, the pintle MG is in the place that it is partially as one of those "what were you thinking?!" bits of design that seems to pervade WW2 and pre-WW2 designs. From the designer's point of view, it's an anti-aircraft weapon, so it's mounted on the back to shoot at aircraft making attack runs from the back...? At least it's smarter than the turret-mounted rear-facing fixed dual MGs I saw on one silly Soviet design (IS-7). A tarp's a good idea, I'll keep it in mind when I get to sculpting the stowage (it'll certainly make it a lot easier!).

 

So, yeah, it turns out I can't resist tinkering while waiting for stuff to arrive. The MG barrel got changed, because there's a difference between heroic scale and "couldn't you find a pipe smaller than this, you dolt?". Also shrouded front sight, because why not. The styrene pin that held the pedestal to the swivel was a fairly loose fit, so I changed it to a set of telescoping brass tubes so I can pivot it or just slide it off for safekeeping.

 

5NvvNhq.jpg

 

The radio package has been installed! The hoop antenna's been reworked so it doesn't look so spindly, and the two radio bustle antennae have been mounted. The four-pronged aerial antenna comes out for repair / storage, and the other one would if I had thought of it before gluing it in. Whoops.

 

Also the sharp-eyed among you will note the diamond shape welded to the side right below the hatch. That'll be where I paint the school heraldry, once I get to it. It's a diamond instead of a shield because this is supposed to be a women's military academy, after all (I'm not sure a thing exists in the real world).

 

XuLnMUp.jpg     zvAUQ7G.jpg

 

A bit more layering on the casemate front to make it flush with the mantlet sides.

 

FGR0pCE.jpg

 

Been trawling the Chieftain's Hatch archives, and getting a close look around and inside a lot of the tanks I've been using for inspiration. It's interesting seeing solutions to problems I'd not thought of (Soviet tanks tend to have compressed air tanks to help start in cold weather), and also how cramped and uncomfortable some of the positions are.

 

Speaking of positions, I'm thinking either 5 or 6 crew for this thing:

 

Commander (command "tower", right below the hatch)

Radioman (facing left, in the rear of the command tower, behind the commander)

Driver (way down in the hull, in the middle)

Gunner (under the casemate front hatch, behind the sight aperture for the main gun)

Loader (behind the gunner, under the casemate rear hatch)

Assistant Loader? (right of gunner, on the other side of the gun, behind the side doors. Loads propellant for main gun and belts for coaxial MG).

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knarthex: Yeah, the pintle MG is in the place that it is partially as one of those "what were you thinking?!" bits of design that seems to pervade WW2 and pre-WW2 designs. From the designer's point of view, it's an anti-aircraft weapon, so it's mounted on the back to shoot at aircraft making attack runs from the back...? At least it's smarter than the turret-mounted rear-facing fixed dual MGs I saw on one silly Soviet design (IS-7). A tarp's a good idea, I'll keep it in mind when I get to sculpting the stowage (it'll certainly make it a lot easier!).

 

So, yeah, it turns out I can't resist tinkering while waiting for stuff to arrive. The MG barrel got changed, because there's a difference between heroic scale and "couldn't you find a pipe smaller than this, you dolt?". Also shrouded front sight, because why not. The styrene pin that held the pedestal to the swivel was a fairly loose fit, so I changed it to a set of telescoping brass tubes so I can pivot it or just slide it off for safekeeping.

 

5NvvNhq.jpg

 

The radio package has been installed! The hoop antenna's been reworked so it doesn't look so spindly, and the two radio bustle antennae have been mounted. The four-pronged aerial antenna comes out for repair / storage, and the other one would if I had thought of it before gluing it in. Whoops.

 

Also the sharp-eyed among you will note the diamond shape welded to the side right below the hatch. That'll be where I paint the school heraldry, once I get to it. It's a diamond instead of a shield because this is supposed to be a women's military academy, after all (I'm not sure a thing exists in the real world).

 

XuLnMUp.jpg     zvAUQ7G.jpg

 

A bit more layering on the casemate front to make it flush with the mantlet sides.

 

FGR0pCE.jpg

 

Been trawling the Chieftain's Hatch archives, and getting a close look around and inside a lot of the tanks I've been using for inspiration. It's interesting seeing solutions to problems I'd not thought of (Soviet tanks tend to have compressed air tanks to help start in cold weather), and also how cramped and uncomfortable some of the positions are.

 

Speaking of positions, I'm thinking either 5 or 6 crew for this thing:

 

Commander (command "tower", right below the hatch)

Radioman (facing left, in the rear of the command tower, behind the commander)

Driver (way down in the hull, in the middle)

Gunner (under the casemate front hatch, behind the sight aperture for the main gun)

Loader (behind the gunner, under the casemate rear hatch)

Assistant Loader? (right of gunner, on the other side of the gun, behind the side doors. Loads propellant for main gun and belts for coaxial MG).

For crew positions, maybe check the layouts of the M3 Grant/Lee series?

And I am not sure, but I think that the Jagdtiger had 2 loaders, and / or some of the Soviet tanks with 122mm+ guns?

 

FYI-> We were taught that the Soviets used only people 5"3" or shorter to man their tanks, as it let them design them with lower sillouettes....

And they never gave a second thought to crew comfort.....

 

I once saw a comment on Soviet Guns that pretty much applies to all their military equipment, "They build Butt ugly, but they are HELL for strong!"

 

George

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Yeah, I was looking the interior of the SU-152. Two loaders, two-part ammo.

 

Sandbags haven't arrived yet, still bored. More tinkering.

 

So, I was considering how to do the stowage tarp. I ran across references to lead foil, and how it's used to simulate cloth, tarps, etc. I can't find it anywhere near me, but maybe embossing foil would do...?

 

Nope. No. No it doesn't. I ended up doing what I usually do and rolling some ProCreate flat, trimming the edges, and gently draping and folding it over the styrene bits I glued down (too bad none of them show under the tarp. Also I still had some Panzer II vision ports lying around. Welded one above the pistol port.

 

LKPIYUi.jpg

 

Calipers indicated that the gun just wasn't big enough to be a 150mm+. So I slid on some more pipe and glued it down. I like the gun crowning effect made bydrilling into the end of the pipe.

 

Also glued down a second vision port / for the driver. I don't think a single periscope will do for everything. While the driver can't turn out, a bigger vision slit that can pop open should help with driving into the motor pool without running into anything.

 

S0yVimR.jpg

 

Now the question remained: What do I do with all this embossing foil I have lying around. And then I realized: It's thin. It's smooth. It's sticky. It can be layered. What I have is an excellent material for making those details that are too small to be scratched out of styrene or pipe. Example here, turning the ribbed plating into brackets of some kind. Bits on the main gun, bits on the machine gun, bits on the radio antennae...

 

Also, I found a second set of engine grills in my box of bits and welded it on. It's bigger, but I like the asymmetry.

 

6wlq9ee.jpg

 

 

 

The strongly asymmetrical layout of the Dover tank has several interesting side effects. When driving, the vehicle shows a slight tendency to pull to the right, due to the extra weight of the 15.2cm gun. Even the arcs of fire are weighted to the right; the howitzer can traverse 20 degrees to the right, but only about 5 to the left due to insufficient clearance for the gun recoil. Similarly, the 15.2mm machine gun, when manned by a crewman or infantryman on the engine deck, can cover most of the right arc but only a limited field on the left, due to the command tower blocking the gun's line of fire.

 

The 15.2cm howitzer is serviced by two loaders and a gunner, and loads two-piece bagged ammunition. In direct fire mode, the gunner uses a 5x magnification direct vision telescope mounted to the left of the gun, and manually traverses and elevates the gun. No power traverse is provided. The "A" loader is positioned behind the gunner, and slides one of 22 shells mounted vertically on sliding racks on the rear of the casemate onto the loading tray. The "B" loader, to the right of the "A" loader, checks the number of propellant bags in the casing, mates it to the projectile on the tray, and then loads the entire round into the gun, where the "A" loader closes the manually operated breech.

Due to it's odd configuration, the Dover can engage in hull-down direct fire at longer ranges, where the gun casemate is hidden from view but the command tower is still visible. In this firing mode, the commander opens his hatch and raises an artillery rangefinding periscope out of it. He then calls range, azimuth, and corrections as necessary to the gunner, who fires as in indirect fire mode.

 

 

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A lot of work, some of it undone. Unfortunately only one picture at showing the end results.

First of all, I got the sandbags I was waiting for. I could sculpt them, but I wanted some just to see what a scale sandbag would look like.

Arranged them, glued them on, found out I was about ten or fifteen short. Also that I probably should wait to glue them on. Took them back off. Also, there needed to be something to keep them on. They were sliding off with glue, so the real thing would probably slide off as soon as anything moved.

So, I glued in four pipes on the back as posts to mount some scaled chicken wire. Not mounted just yet.

 

Anyways, I'd need to paint everything before putting those sandbags back on, so on the primer went.

The Percival was painted in a camouflage scheme, and I think it looked alright, if a bit flat and uninteresting in the end. This assault gun will be painted flat white, except for some unit markings, so it'd look even less interesting if I just primed and painted white. Rather, I primed everything black, and then airbrushed white over the top, leaving darker recesses at the edges and corners of panels.

 

Does it look artificial? Of course, but I'll take stylized over uninteresting any day.

 

Interesting note: at the end of the day both my water traps had a few thimblefuls of water inside and were letting the occasional droplet through. Something to consider when doing large airbrush projects.

xCm6nZY.jpg
 

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