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What If 4: Machines of the Mind
Bluestab
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South Carolina, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - 08:05 AM UTC
Quick update on the Assault Stuart. I may try to post some pictures on the Sherman a bit later.

The first thing I did was break down the partially built upper hull. The bow plate came off fairly easy. The upper hull was a bit more resistant.


Template time. For templates I use cardstock. For this one I'm using some old tags we use to use at work. I found a stack of them. Given the small plate sizes, I figured using the smaller pieces would be easier.
There was a lot of trial and error in making them. I sacrificed much to the cardstock gods over the weekend.


Basic templates.


Here's a comparison shot of the guns. The top is the 75mm gun and the bottom is the 76mm gun.


Anyway, I stopped work on the Stuart for now to focus on the Sherman. The Sherman will require a bit more work and I think the Stuart may benefit from lessons learned from the Sherman build. I've got a load of pictures for the Sherman that will need to be gone through. If time allows, I'll put them up today or tomorrow.
Bluestab
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - 09:07 AM UTC
I hate to back-to-back but here's the Sherman pictures.

For those not familiar with the early Dragon HVSS Shermans, they were basically a conversion kit using Italeri parts. You had to do some custom work to the lower hull for the new suspension parts.
For this one I started off cutting the front for the gun insert. I used a very scientific "eye-ball" method. I left the opening larger to position as needed. The remaining front would act as a support base for the new glacis plate. I also cut open the rear engine deck for the Tamiya motor.


A quasi-mock-up of the gun and some additions like the gun and engine.


The front is the keystone for the entire casement. Template with the mantlet added to the cutout. I went with a thicker styrene than I normally use. I figured the added strength would be useful for the structure and to support the gun. The sides and roof were pretty easy.




The rear was a little trickier. I had planned on making new, flat sides from the rear and for the engine deck. I kind of liked the contrast between the cast rounded edges and the squared casement. I decided to keep the cast rear. The rear casement piece required a bit of tweaking and adjustments to fit to the rounded hulls.


And here's a mock-up with the gun. It gives you an idea where this is going. I do think angled sides would have looked better but I think they'd have been a trick to pull off.


With that, I went and shot a thin coat of paint on the lower hull and suspension.




While the paint dried, I began some of the track assembly. I had actually dreaded this. I had thought that Dragon had individual guide teeth for the T66 track, but I was wrong. The links went together quite well. I made two 10cm lengths. Beyond that, I really cannot do any more until the running gear are dried and assembled.


Anyway, that's it for now. Sorry for the back-to-back posts but I didn't get the Sherman pictures ready until after the Edit option had expired.
windysean
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - 02:34 PM UTC
I like where this is going. Nicely done.
I agree that the contrast between the flat casement sides and the rounded fenders and transmission housing is good.
-Sean H.
sneakypete
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Armed Forces Pacific, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 04:11 AM UTC
Decided on the Tamiya M41 Walker Bulldog, the cheapest tank I could find. Going to give it the Israeli Magach treatment. Skirts, ceramic armor tile and angled armor for the turret and lower hull. Also modifying the engine, ala M1 straight down and probably slat armor on the engine. Keep it safe from RPGs.
This will be my first big scratch so we will see how it goes. Ill post pics in the coming days.

Regards,
Dan
Bluestab
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 06:00 AM UTC
Thanks Sean. I had to add another coat of dark yellow. I got off to a good start but I'll probably slow things down a bit. This is the stage of building that I can get in trouble by rushing details.

By the way, I just want to give a nod to Paul and his IDF M10 he built for the last What-If campaign. It's a nice vehicle and it had a l great deal of influence in me deciding to try an assault gun on the Sherman chassis.
165thspc
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 06:26 AM UTC
Just an F.Y.I. - If the Jagd-Sherman had ever been built it would never sit level as the front boggies would be carrying a fair amount of extra weight. This depressed nose concept might add interest to posing your build when the time comes.

I really like the creativity being shown in this thread. I wanna build that M-5/8 Stuart with the PAK H!
windysean
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 07:56 AM UTC

Quoted Text

...
I really like the creativity being shown in this thread. I wanna build that M-5/8 Stuart with the PAK H!


Yeah! I changed up my earlier plan of a Trumpeter M1 Panther chassis to use the Tamiya M3 Stuart instead, too. You've really hit on something. (I might still use one of the mine-clearing options from the Panther on this one.)
-Sean H.
tankmodeler
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 09:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Just an F.Y.I. - If the Jagd-Sherman had ever been built it would never sit level as the front boggies would be carrying a fair amount of extra weight. This depressed nose concept might add interest to posing your build when the time comes.


Absolutely right, but I don't know of any Sherman suspension sets that allow you to differentially splay the bogey arms to show the proper sag. And frankly I wasn't going to take the time to do that massive amount of work. The entire suspension geometry shifts and splays to make it look even half right.

So, yeah, I chickened out.

Paul
Bluestab
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 04:19 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Just an F.Y.I. - If the Jagd-Sherman had ever been built it would never sit level as the front boggies would be carrying a fair amount of extra weight. This depressed nose concept might add interest to posing your build when the time comes.



I agree. However, this is a what-if scenario so there's a degree of artistic license to be expected and used. I gave the Einhorn II an engine upgrade so I sort of have to address the frontal suspension.

I pondered the frontal suspension load by tryign to figure out a way to strengthen the front sets of bogies. I really couldn't come up with a plan that I liked, so I'm sticking with the HVSS and denoting it as a stop-gap vehicle.

As an aside, I spent part of the evening playing around with giving the Stuart sloped side casement armor. It's pretty complicated so I'll probably just stick with vertical sides.
Bluestab
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Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 06:58 AM UTC
I had a bit of a hiccup with the Einhorn. I was checking the rear lower hull about a redesign idea when I noticed the support arm parts for the idler wheels weren't there. I checked all my spares boxes and still nothing. I'm going to hold off on the track and see if they turn up. If not, I have a replacement panel and I'll use the idler arms for the VVSS suspension and just mod the heck out of them. I was hoping to get the suspension and track on before I started on the hull fittings, side skirts, etc.
Nito74
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, February 07, 2014 - 01:58 AM UTC
I'm planning on mixing a T-55 and a Leopard 2A5.
Add a bunch of stuff from the spare boxes and see what comes out

Bluestab
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Posted: Saturday, February 08, 2014 - 06:34 AM UTC
Quick update.

I went ahead and painted the rubber and mounted the HVSS bogies.


It's starting to take shape. The barrel is just propped up for now just get an idea on how it'll look.


I worked on the idler arms. I ended up using the arms for the VVSS. As is, their axle shafts were way too large for the HVSS idler wheels. I cut them off, sanded them flush, and glued them.


Anyway, that's all for now. Next, I'll probably assemble the tracks so I can start working out the side skirts. I'm thinking a mixture of solid and mesh sections.
tankmodeler
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Posted: Saturday, February 08, 2014 - 07:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I worked on the idler arms. I ended up using the arms for the VVSS. As is, their axle shafts were way too large for the HVSS idler wheels. I cut them off, sanded them flush, and glued them.



Quick question for you before you go too far. Given that the VVSS idler mounts are for a single idler wheels and the HVSS idlers are for double idler wheels, have you checked to see that gluing the double idlers to the single idler mount won't push the center gap out of alignment with the gaps in the other paired road wheels on the suspension bogies?

The gap may be too far outboard for the track guide teeth to line up with them properly. Best to check now before you get to far into it and its a real paint to fix.

Just a head's up.

Paul
Bluestab
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Posted: Saturday, February 08, 2014 - 10:43 AM UTC
Paul,
Thanks for the heads-up. I double checked the gap using the HVSS bogies' roadwheels. I was surprised that the idler arms worked out as easy as they did. They push the idlers out just a hair more than they should but the guide teeth should still have enough clearance.
tankmodeler
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Posted: Saturday, February 08, 2014 - 01:04 PM UTC
Better safe than sorry! :-)
tankmodeler
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Posted: Saturday, February 08, 2014 - 01:29 PM UTC
OK, so an update on the Cast Churchill. I've been busy this week as I've got overtime coming and may not be
able to get back to it for a while.

The shaping of the hull and turret is pretty much complete and next is to add the bits and bobs to make it look like a real tank. The barrel shown is a dummy from the Tamiya kit, but there may be a big improvement on the way, so this one may go if it arrives. No more on that until I see what actually transpires!


The Australian Churchill Mk XX "Winnie"!

Front view. Here you can see the shape of the turret really well as well as the new cast front of the hull. The bow gunner's position has moved forward, but it will be the same as in the normal Churchill except the MGs will be American Brownings instead of BESAs.

Rear 3/4 view. I'm possibly going to add a curved deflector for the lower air exit duct. Throwing up dust from the rear was a major problem on the Churchill and this would have helped a lot. Not sure why they never added deflectors to the actual Churchill???

Here you can see the chine in the hull and how the air inlets blend into the new shape.

The front of the turret and the mantlet. The mantlet is mostly there in shape, it just needs some final filing and scraping. And then a bit of texture and we're away! The opening nearest the camera is for the co-ax and the gunner's sight is on the other side.

Detail of the side of the turret. You can see the mould seam from the casting plus how the seam and the pour plugs or sprues were torch-cut away. There are three of these spread around the turret.

This is the main gun removal hatch. It's actually a spare resin copy from a Ram conversion I was scratchbuilding years ago. There will be a large stowage box that covers most of this area.

Hope you like!

Paul
WyattClark
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Posted: Saturday, February 08, 2014 - 01:58 PM UTC
Hey all I have signed up for this campaign and this will be my first one. I will be building a, "Paper Panzer," the Amusing Hobby Panzerkamfwagen VII ( V.K. 72.01) Lowe. will start soon the kit should be here either Monday or Tuesday.
Bluestab
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Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 06:05 AM UTC
Paul,
It's coming along nicely. Since you used the Tamiya 25pdr. I assume you have the rest of the kit. You could cannibalize the limber to make a trailer to carry additional rounds. Also, have you thought about a possible bustle rack for the turret rear?

I worked on the Einhorn's commander's cupola gunshield, commander's IR spotter scope, and the large IR lamp for the main gun. I'll probably work on the tracks tonight.
tankmodeler
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Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 03:45 PM UTC

Quoted Text

You could cannibalize the limber to make a trailer to carry additional rounds.


Well, I couldm but limbers don't go with battle tanks. They tend to get chewed up by the terrain even if they don't get chewed up by the enemy.

Quoted Text

Also, have you thought about a possible bustle rack for the turret rear?


Bustle racks weren't the thing to do in WW2, stowage boxes were. And I have one of those set aside from the spares stash for just this ocassion. :-)
WyattClark
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Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 08:06 AM UTC
Well I got the Lowe in on Monday hope to start it soon.
Bluestab
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Posted: Monday, February 17, 2014 - 09:30 AM UTC
Kind of big update. The usual update got postponed by the ice storm.

Infrared spotlight for the main gun and the beginnings of the commander's cupola IR scope and MG mount. The main gun light actually is a dressed out spotlight from a T-62. The styrene edge extends the light and alters its shape.




Finished cupola mount. Actually I still have to figure out how I'll mount it to the cupola. I tweaked the IR scope so it's not going to look like the real thing.


I had a pretty high opinion of the tracks...at first. They went together quite well, were easy to cleanup, and the guide teeth were not separately molded. Then I had to fit the tracks to the drive sprockets. The fit there was horrible and required a lot of cutting and sanding just to get them to this level. I'm not very happy at how they turned out.


I was going to add schurzen, but changed my mind. To be honest, if the plates could have covered the drove sprockets I probably would have. Anyway, I dug out the kit's fenders and used them. I had to add a styrene strip to the rear sections so the fenders would sit flush.


Now for that gaping engine deck. I decided against adding the Maybach engine. But I still needed to add an engine deck.


I played around with some ideas. I even thought about raising the rear at an angle like a Hetzer. I ended up going with a "normal" deck and added plate sides. I figured the vehicle would have tank riders and they could use the rear armor for protection.




So for the rear deck I went with a Panther look. According to the story there's supposed to be a Maybach engine under there. I added StuG grills from the spares.


Given the backstory, this thing will need range. I added a single aux. fuel drum.


Rear armor plates added. I used some spare PE parts for the mounts. The plates are removable, which should help during painting.


That's it for now. I'm going to slow things down a bit. I actually made a pretty bad goof on the loader's hatch and I'm having to rework it some.

I may try to post the background story tonight. I've typed it up, but want to give it a last lookover.
ComradeMP
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Posted: Monday, February 17, 2014 - 03:21 PM UTC
Seeing as how I still haven't fully decided to do with my KV-4 entry so, I see that builds that have already been started but still need majority of work to be done withing the campaign time are allowed, so I wanted to bring out my British T-34 once more. I did very little work on it and would like to finish it


So just as a re-fresher:
While reading a blog about Soviet Armor, I came across a Soviet report about the British intentions to build T-34's :http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2013/04/bovington-t-34-and-kv-1-impressions.html

Background
Just like the Americans, the British received a T-34 and a KV-1 tank for testing. Their response to the tests was radically different (to the Americans).

(Report from Soviet delegation)
"Upon arriving at the proving grounds, we were invited to a meeting room where the administration of the grounds gathered, military and civilian, about 15 people. The chief of the proving grounds introduced them as the heads of various groups and departments. All of the military men were majors and lieutenant-colonels. These people had prepared questions from various areas for us.

We were asked questions regarding the construction of the vehicles, their materials, armament, usage, etc."

Additionally, in our conversations, we have learned that:
a) the T-34 and KV vehicles will be produced for the British army. The former will be equipped with a 17-pounder, the latter with a 6 inch howitzer.
b) the tanks will be built with an improved gearbox and differential clutches.
c) the KV air pumps will be improved. [Note: the KV the British got had a defective air pump]
d) the tanks will be equipped with centrifugal air filters that will draw air from the transmission compartment. This is explained as follows: if you take air from behind the tank, it will contain dust kicked up by the tank. If you draw air from the transmission, the air purity reached is 100% ideal.
e) the welding will be performed with electrodes made from high hardness steel, which will result in welding seams being as robust as the armour plates.

English critique of the armament of our tanks:

Their opinion of our armament is good. This could not be otherwise, as their newest Centaur tanks were just recently equipped with 75 mm guns with ballistics equivalent to the American 75 mm gun on the Sherman tank. Currently, the largest caliber tank gun the English posses is the 6-pounder (57 mm). If you further recall the Churchill tank with a 2-pounder gun, you could not expect any other evaluation of our guns. The English themselves admit that arming the Churchill with a 2-pound gun was a poor idea.

The T-34, on which they adore both the gun and the sloped front armour, is deemed to have satisfactory armament for a tank of that type. However, the English wish to outdo us and replace it with a 17 pounder gun.

Re-armament requires some modifications, and will take time, but, taking into account the manufacturing power of England and her dominions, we could very well see a T-34 with a 17-pounder gun and a KV with a 6 inch howitzer in our time. The fact that the English expect to produce our tanks is almost not hidden from us. This was established in conversations with workers of the Scientific-Investigative Tank Proving Grounds, and is backed up by other evidence. For example, when visiting an English gun factory near Liverpool, journalist [illegible] was informed that the factory is getting ready to produce 17-pound guns for T-34 tanks, that the English will soon produce........"


As we all know, the British got Shermans/M10's and armed some of them with their 17 pounder gun. But what if they had followed through with the T-34?


Base kit


This is all I had done to this tank as of yet. I added headlight guards and replaced the DT with a Besa.

I've been thinking i want to do something different with the driver's hatch and other things here and there to make a noticeable difference from a standard T-34. The Turret is going to be the biggest change. Lots of browsing British tank pics for inspiration.

The big things I haven't decided yet are, What do I call it? And what to do as far as markings and camo options.

Bluestab
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Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 09:10 AM UTC
Comrade, it'll be interesting to see how you handle the turret.

I left this one out of the last update. Here, you can see my screw-up on cutting the loader's hatch. It was large to begin with. But after cutting it to square up the sides, it's even larger.


ComradeMP
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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 06:22 PM UTC
On thought I've had is something similar to a T34/85 turret.

Though I had a thought and decided I'll also be doing a Brit KV-1. Though they wanted a howitzer installed, I like the idea of it having a AT gun. Really the only thing I haven't decided on is, 17 pdr or Ordnance QF 75mm?
tankmodeler
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Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 04:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Really the only thing I haven't decided on is, 17 pdr or Ordnance QF 75mm?


Or you could use the Comet's gun.

One way to help is to take a look at the turret ring diameter and compare to real vehicles that used the guns you are thinking of. A turret ring that is close means no hassle fitting it in. A turret ring that's a bit too small means making alterations to the turret to move the trunnions forward to accommodate the recoil (like the 17 pdr in the Firefly and the 75mm in the Israeli M50). A choice that requires a much bigger turret ring wil probably look too unrealistic even if you move the trunions out and add a big bustle.

Forinstance, there's no amount of turret mods that are going to make putting a 17 pdr onto a Matilda II turret ring not look ridiculous, no matter what the turret looks like.

Paul