Saturday, 31 August 2013

WW1 French Renault FT Chars

The French introduced the Renault FT in 1917.   It was the first tank to use a  fully rotating turret and became the standard from which future tank designs were based on.
The Renault FT was used in considerable numbers by both the French and US Armies in WW1 and continued in use all over the world up to the commencement of WW2.

Drive sprockets and the big front idler wheels were constructed first.   As I was making 14 tanks in all, I wanted to get these out of the way!   The drive sprockets were constructed by the method described in the post "Making Drive Sprockets"and the idlers were made using plastic conduit and styrene disc infills, suitably detailed.
The side bars were then cut out and assembled.   They were detailed with rivets and overlays.   The drivers and idlers were then attached to the side bars.

The return rollers and road wheels were then constructed using slices of knitting needle.   Simple jigs were  made up to aid assembly and to keep the spacing uniform.

The running gear sponsons were then detailed with suspension units and springs.   Provision was made to attach the sponsons to the bodies by four Delrin 8BA screws.   This made final painting a lot easier.

The tracks were made up individually from 30 and 40 thou sheet with a piece of half round strip at the trailing edge of each link.   These were then attached to the sponsons.

The bodies were then constructed from 20, 30 and 40 thou styrene sheet.   The panels, hatches, etc. were done by overlaying the 20 thou over the 40 thou.   I ended up making four variants of the Renault FT, the Char Mitrailleur (Machine Gun Tank), Char Canon (37mm Cannon Tank) and the Char TSF (Wireless Command Tank)   The two gun tanks were made with either a Berliet Turret (Plate) or Girod Turret (Cast).  

The Girod Turrets were turned up from suitably sized pine dowel and then detailed with hatches, rivets and armament.   The Berliet Turrets were made up from 30 thou plastic sheet.   The domed hatch covers were made by the heat forming process.   Rivets and final detailing were then applied.

Paints used were Vallejo Tan Yellow with a little Sun Yellow, Humbrol M70 and M102 and the outlining was done with Vallejo Black slightly thinned.   Playing Card decals are from ScaleLink.

The first two FTs awaiting being dispatched to the Front, pictured outside the gates of the Renault Factory.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Mini Post - M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier.

Normally I tend not to make anything after the Second World War, but the M113 series of vehicles have always been favourites of mine, particularly after having been thrown around in the back of one on a jolly at Robertson Barracks, Darwin.   I also had the privilege of going for a run in a Leopard, but that's another story!

I made the M113 to see if could make a decent wargames model and the model was constructed from 20, 30 and 40 thou plastic sheet.   The road wheels were cut from 16 mm aluminium tubing and detailed, the rear hatch opens as does the commander's hatch.   The .50 cal Browning was scratchbuilt.   I had intended to make the FSV, Command and Load Carrier versions.   One day!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Drive Sprockets - A method of Construction

As part of the build of 6 Pzkpfw IIs I'm currently working on, I needed to make 12 drive sprockets.   This method I'm about to describe will not work for every type of tank, but it may prove useful for many.
Firstly, the Panzer IIs sprockets are basically a disk with a raised rim and a domed central hub and drive teeth around the circumference.   The raised rim has bolt holes around the perimeter and the central hub has bolt heads around its perimeter.
I roughly cut the basic disks from 40 and 20 thou and laminated them for a thickness of 60 thou.   A hole was drilled in the centre of each and they were then turned on a mandrel in a Dremel to the required diameter.   The raised rim was then cut using a circle cutter and positioned and glued to the disk.   The central hole was enlarged to 1/8th diam. (the axle size I use).

To make the teeth, I made up a simple jig using an MDF base and two pieces of 5mm square hardwood strip glued just slightly apart from each other.   This allowed me to place a strip of 60 thou square styrene on the diagonal in the slot thus formed.   A Stanley knife was then used to scrape the upper edge down so a triangular section was formed.   These were then cut to the required width on a NWSL "Chopper".

Another two simple jigs were made up.   Both from a piece of pine for the base and a 1/8th piece of plastic rod to form an axle.   One was marked to give the correct spacing for the teeth and the other for the bolt holes on the raised rim.   This jig was used with the Dremel in a drill stand to do the bolt holes.

The teeth were then glued to the rim of the sprocket.

To finish the sprockets, circular pieces of 10 thou were made up in the same manner as the sprocket disks and glued to the centre of the sprockets.   A slightly domed hub was turned up from a suitably sized knitting needle and attached to the centre of the disk.   Finally a row of bolt heads, cut from 30 thou rod, was glued around the outside of the hub.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Mini Post - A13 Cruiser Tank

A bit of departure from my usual posts.   This will be the first of a series of "Mini Posts".   I'll put them up on a random basis and they will cover vehicles I have made but neglected to take many Work in Progress photos.   First up is the A13 Cruiser Tank.

The models were made from 20 and 40 thou plastic sheet using plans from Military Modelling magazine.   The picture below shows the two A13s before undercoating.   A set of sandshields (to be fitted after painting the tracks) is in front of the right hand tank.

For some reason I painted the two tanks in a Desert Sand scheme.   I think I had seen a drawing where the scheme was Desert Sand with a brown camouflage pattern over it.   Never seen it again !   A13s were sent to the Desert but I think they had extra armour fitted to the turret.   My tanks should probably be better off painted Bronze Green.

A13 alongside converted New Ray Grant.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

WW1 German Field Wagons

These two Field Wagons are based on the Heavy Provisions Wagon (Schwere Proviantwagen 05.   This style of wagon, with minor modifications, was also used by the German Army in WW2.

Plans for these two wagons were a little thin on the ground, so reference was made to the 1/72 HaT kit and as many photographs as I could gather.   There appears to be two variants of the same wagon, one with a horse fodder bin on the back and one without.   I stand to be corrected as I am no expert on German Field Wagons!

The models are constructed from 20 and 40 thou Evergreen Styrene sheet and various pieces of strip and shape.   The wheels were from a company called Pegasus and were labelled as HO scale (!!!)
The grooves in the timber sides were made with the scrawker.   The poles are overlength and will be cut to the correct size once the horses are fitted.

The trees were fitted with chains and eyes so the traces could be attached realistically.   The material I used for the traces was thin strips of electrical tape (with the sticky removed) and painted in a leathery brown colour.   The Canopies on the wagons were formed by heat forming.

Due to the fragile nature, it was decided to base them using sheet perspex and ScenicMat, which is a marvellous product, if a little expensive, but very realistic.   The Horses were Classic Toy Soldiers Draft Horses.   The fodder in the rear bin was made from a piece of Micro Fibre dish cloth, painted in a straw colour.

I made up two drivers (wagoneers) from Armies in Plastic WW1 Germans and some Airfix Multipose parts.

Heavy Provision Wagon crosses Erhardt Armoured Car somewhere in Europe, 1917.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

AEC Y Type 3 Ton Lorry

The AEC Y Type was built in large numbers from 1916 onwards.   The Y Type chassis was used for Anti Aircraft Gun, Ambulances, Vans and of course the
 General Service Body.
The model  was again made from 20 and 40 thou Evergreen sheet styrene and various measurements of strip and shape.   The wheels were made using the method outlined in the post "Making Wheels Parts 1 and 2.
The sides of the tray were scribed using what I call a "scrawker", which is an industrial hacksaw blade that has had it's end ground to a curved point.   Just the thing for for forming the grooves in panelling.

 Heat forming was used to make the canopy over the cab.   At what first sight appears to be an arcane process, it really is fairly straightforward.   In this instance, the male former was sanded (on a bench sander) to the correct shape minus the thickness of the plastic to be used.
In the example below, the male former is mounted on a block of pine to allow it to pass deeper into the female mould.
 The female mould is cut from a piece of 3mm MDF plus the thickness of the plastic to be used.   The plastic is then attached to the female mould with tape and heated gently over a gas ring.   This takes a little practice to get the plastic at the right "floppiness".   But once you get the hang of it, the method can be used for many different types of shape.   The male is then passed through the female and voila'.   The shape just needs trimming to final size using craft knife/files/sandpaper.

 The finished model awaiting it's coat of undercoat.   To undercoat all my models I use Dulux Quick Dry Metal Primer (Grey)   It works very well for me and I get consistent results.   The steering wheel was taken from a cheap toy Jeep and the Gears/Brake lever assembly cobbled up from brass rod and plastic.

Loaded up with Crates of Tea, Jam and Fray Bentos!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

IJA Ho-Ha Armoured Personnel Carrier

The Type 1 Ho-Ha  was a Japanese Half Track Personnel Carrier produced in few numbers in 1944.
The Ho-Ha was based on the German Sdkfz 251 Hanomag APC and could carry 12 men.  Many Ho-Has were lost when the Transport carrying them was sunk by an American submarine.   Those that remained in Japan became Garbage Trucks after the war.
These were some of my earliest attempts at scratchbuilding AFVs/Softskins.

Construction was again using 20 and 40 thou plastic sheet for the body.   The front wheels were taken from Ertl rear tractor wheels.   The road wheels on the tracked units were from old game counters from some long forgotten board game.   Brass wire was shaped using a simple jig to get the same shape for the Tilt Hoops. 

The Ho-Has were base coated in a Tamiya Desert sand colour and the camouflage was applied using Humbrol green and brown.

An unusual model, not normally modelled, made a little difficult due to the lack of decent drawings.   Reference was made to a 1/72nd scale kit plan and as many photographs as I could muster.