Sunday, 9 March 2014

Finaly, some progress :-) Early March 2014

After a hiatus of some time dealing with the 'other' Big Panther and a couple of projects myself and Howard had promised to do, finaly some progress to my Big Panther :-)

Basicaly, all weekend has been taken up with fitting the running boards (Saturday) and making and fitting the front mud guards (Sunday). The running boards were made way back when last year but what with one thing and another that was as far as they got! Saturday was spent fitting these with the 'swastika' brackets (see previous post for explanation!) This wasnt as easy as it seems :-/

 A bit wobbly to start with!! That'll be alright H :-)
 Thats better.
A close up of one of the 'swastika' brackets. On the real thing the running board is bolted to the bracket with dome headed coach bolts and are quite shallow. Unfortunately, because you cant get a nut underneath the bracket (believe me, its impossible!) when we ground down the ordinary hex head bolts into a dome shape we had to keep the domes quite pronounced as we had to fit these with a pair of mole grips and thread lock so they are a bit bigger than they should be. Hopefully when its all painted they wont look quite so big...

 H starts work knocking up the mud guards...
 And here they are! These next few pics dont do them justice as you cant see the curved angle brackets underneath amongst other things :-) A very complicated job making them a; look right and b; fit! I had all sorts of dimensions from the real thing in Bovington Tank Museum but you might as well throw those out of the window (remember the fiasco with the rear tool boxes?) so we made these look right hence there are a few compromises!

 A three quarter view showing the small hinged section (ignore the huge hinge pin, thats temporary!) and the small bracket that bolts to the chassis extension. These arent bolted into the chassis as you'd never get the top off (easily) so the bolt heads are just dummies and the bracket rests on the chassis. Note one of H's modified shackles in place to see how it all looks.
Here's a side three quarter view with the mudguard and running board. I think we've got it more or less right!!!

The superstructure top has now stayed at H's for further work while the chassis has come back with me as all further work on the top can be done without reference to the chassis. No work next weekend as Kaths car failed its MOT so I'll be working on another German tank next weekend!!

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