Sunday, 4 May 2014

Late April Early May Update

The last couple of weekends have been a bit patchy with work on the Big Panther but progress is still being made! Again, some work has been done on 'the other' 1/4 scale Panther and some work has been undertaken on Trevor Coopers Cromwell.

Howard has been busy with the 3D printer :-)

 The new kugelblende, still with its printed supports intact. These help keep the shape of the object being printed without it sagging! This, like most of our 3d printed parts is hollow and if you hold it up to the light you can see the hex honeycomb inside the part. It also weighs next to nothing which is adventageous!
 The fuel and water fillers which sit on the engine deck...
 ...printed in three parts...
 ...and fitted on the model.
 I wasnt happy with the supplied armoured exhaust covers, so we made some :-)
 The joints are exagerated so that milliput welds can be added onto afterwards and still leave that angular edge that is typical of the Panther fabricated exhaust shields.
 They're even printed with the holes in the right place! No need for drilling.
 The air intake covers that sit on the engine hatch.
And in profile. We've yet to fit these.

 We wasnt happy with the exact shape and location of the kugelblende as fitted to the model, so we printed a replacement, took a deep breath and then cut the old one off :-0
 And here it is fitted. You can see in the picture how much the original one was off. Hopefully we've got this right as we've measured and measured two real panthers to get the correct location and profile. As with a lot on this model, we think we've got it more or less right, certainly a lot better than it was!
Here's where we've got to so far. The armoured covers fitted and the trumpet shapes trial fitted to allow positioning of the flamvernichter brackets (at the top of the rear panel). Also fitted are the four access covers (also 3d printed) and the main engine hatch in its position to allow us to line everything up!

One of the weekends we had a little field visit to Rex Cadmans Panther 'somewhere in England'!! We wanted to take lots of measurements of the turret and its details as we hadnt had a chance to do this in the past. We even measured the gun barrel lengths, diameters and the muzzle brake sizes so there's no excuse now. I dont intend to post these pics as they're quite frankly boring to anybody who's not a Panther nut but here's a few to whet your whistle :-)

 Howard brought the Mk1 engine hatch to compare. Not quite right H but not bad :-)
 Amongst all the wrecks (and they are wrecks unfortunately) were these two little gems that caught my eye. The JgPzIv has very few road wheels, only a couple of the bogies and the final drives have been gas axed in the past I guess because they had broken and stopped the tank rolling. Still, its mostly there!
The Hetzer is more complete but still a long way off running. At least these have been saved from the scrapman!

This weekend its been work on Trevors Cromwell. This is a Ray Spooner model made from wood with his patented (or not!) conveyor belt tracks. It had two Parvalux motors but they didnt really have the power or turn of speed so Trev asked H if he could work his magic on it :-)

 Firstly the smoke generator has been moved back to allow more room for the motors and the overhauled electrics (not to mention Trevors mahoosive 6x9 speaker!!) The plumbing brackets and support for the bottle are 3D printed. Of course :-) Note the two stubs of the exhaust pipe which match up with...
 ...the outlet pipes at the back, also clamped by printed brackets. Here you can see the new motors and final drive arrangement. Like H says, the highest power to weight ratio of any 1/6th scale model :-)
Looking from where the turret should be you can see the new battery tray (to stop the batteries all sliding about), the printed smoke bottle support and the start of the exhaust pipe run.
And because we can, a printed Rx bracket!!!
Lastly, a short video to show Trev the chassis running on the new motors and on 24v, 12v was too slow! I think he'll be happy with that :-) It even gets little Sparkys approval at the end!

And thats about it for now. I'll hopefully get on and do some electrics for Trevs Cromwell tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday) but thats not so visualy appealing!

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