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Valenstitch

USMC Recce pair (and their mate!)

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Glad to be of help in another one three of your entertaining builds

 

Love how it's expanding from OK to manic scratch building

 

Kev

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Granto,

 

Nice progress!!  I can't express how cool this build will be.  I am most certainly going to need to check-in on it more frequently.

 

I re-read my earlier post and feel like I need to clarify a few things.  I didn’t actually serve during the first Gulf War – Operation Desert Storm.  I joined the USMC Reserve on Feb 14, 1991 – yep, Valentine’s Day - just before the ground war portion started – went to Boot Camp in October 1991 and finished all my training in May or June 1992 and then checked into my unit - C Co 4th LAI.  I spent the first few months doing very little as our unit didn’t have any vehicles, they were almost all still in the Gulf or on their way back to us.  My unit was (and still is) outside Salt Lake City, Utah and we did all our training at the large military training range in the desert west of Salt Lake City and every summer we did 2 weeks in 29 Palms, California – with two exceptions, one year we did a winter Annual Training (AT) at 29 Palms in December and the last year of my enlistment we road tripped our unit’s vehicles from SLC to Ft. Hunter-Liggett, California. 

 

During my 8 years in the Corps, I spent the first year as an assistant mortar gunner on the LAV-M (we were short of trained grunts and a few of us less experienced, “redundant” crewman did alternate duty as grunts), about 18 months as a scout carrying an M249 SAW (squad automatic weapon) while riding in the back of a -25, 3 years as the company commander’s -25 gunner and C. Company Master Gunner and then roughly 18 months in the Inactive Ready Reserve.  I got a wide range of experience, but I never saw combat – sorry for the long explanation, but I certainly do not want to take anything away from actual combat veterans by implying, or having people infer, that I did what I really didn’t.

 

While I was the CO’s gunner, we never got too far from the C2 vehicle, so I got to know it pretty well.  I never really spent any time around an LAV-L (logistics) their crews worked too hard fixing stuff we broke and they liked to “conscript” anyone who wandered too close.  I also never spent much time around a TOW vehicle, those guys were just plain crazy, so I can’t help much with the TUA’s (we never called them that – just TOW’s) specific details.

 

There were a lot of changes in the LAV community from the period shortly before I joined until about half-way through my enlistment.  LAV’s were originally Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) battalions when they joined the Corps in 1983-84, were re-designated Light Armored Infantry (LAI) sometime in 1988-89 and then became Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) in 1994.  We were glad to be officially changed to Reconnaissance – as that is what we were really doing, and it sounded way cooler than LAI. Sorry for the long life story and history lesson – let me know if that is distracting & I’ll try to edit my thoughts.

 

I am glad to see you add an LAV-M to your build.  The first year of my enlistment was on a mortar vehicle, wow - that was over 20 years ago, is kind of a blur, so I remember very little about the interior of the vehicle, except that the basic hull is almost exactly the same as the -25.  The large top doors were really nice to help ventilate the hull and kept it much cooler than the inside of the -25 as long as we were out of the direct sun, which was usually never! We NEVER fired the 81MM on the move – if interested, I can explain all about it in a later post.

 

About your build - the doors (hatches actually – everything has nautical names, the US Marine Corps is a department of the US Navy after all – the Men’s Department!) were not nearly as thick as they appear in the photo of the SLEP vehicle.  If I remember correctly, the thickness of the vehicle skin was only about 1/4” to 3/8” about 5-10mm thick for you metric folks, and was only intended to defend us against small arms up to 7.62mm, so anything bigger than an AK-47/AKM would penetrate our armor.  The top troop hatches behind the turret look thicker in the photo because the edge has a lip that turned down to seal on a rubber gasket that lined the outside of the raised hatch opening – the vehicle is amphibious, so all the openings had gaskets to try to keep at least a bit of the water out.  A thin piece of Evergreen stock wrapping around the inside (top when open) hatch cover to thicken the edge would be more accurate than a thicker cover.  This would also be correct for the turret hatches and driver’s hatch.  The other hatches – rear main hatches, emergency escape hatch (below the turret on the driver’s side of the vehicle side), winch hatch in front of the driver, and the engine hatches (both the solid forward and louvered back sections) were flat slab hatches that fit into a slight rabbet.  The hatch latch closed them to tightly “sandwich” a rubber gasket.  You can see it clearly in the photo of the winch hatch you posted.

 

Your bulkheads look terrific.  There is a large horizontal hatch inside the drive’s compartment to access the side of the engine pack on the bulkhead you created.  It takes up a good percentage of the bulkhead and has large surface fasteners that are quite pronounced.  I will dig through my references to see if I can find an image for you.  The projecting item with the sloped top on the back of the rear engine bulkhead should be much bigger than the piece molded in the kit.  It is the “doghouse” over the transfer case.  It has surface screws to hold the lid on.  I only ever saw it opened once.

Nice work on the floor of the M.  It was basically just as you built it up.  The up and down stepped bottom of the kit is actually reasonably accurate – the troughs had drain plugs in them (all but the one directly behind the doghouse – it was a real pain to clean out) and the M’s floor was a plate over the top of the troughs.  It was common to drop stuff and have it slide under the plate.  It became sort of a “black hole” – stuff went in there and never seemed to come back out.

 

Your steering fix is pure genius!  I am going to steal that when I get around to building my Italeri kit.  I seem to remember that the Trumpeter kit had working front steering,

 

Again – nice work so far.  It seems that I am just telling you what you could improve, but you are doing a great job.  If you keep listing what you are planning next, I’ll try to get ahead of you to give you help rather than correction.  I’ll put together some references of the driver's compartment for you if it is not too late.  Also, now that you are super-detailing, AEF Designs made a pretty good resin interior for the -25.  I have no idea if it is still available, I can send you photos of the one I have if you would like.  Here is a link to a description:

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/943099-a-e-f-designs-ka-32-lav-25-interior-detail-set

 

Holy Crap!  I can;t believe that I forgot to send you a link to the few photos I took of the vehicle I lived out of.  Just like many others, I didn't take enough photos of the stuff I did all the time. So here are the very few i actually took - unfortunately they were during a maintenance cycle, not out in the field.

http://www.primeportal.net/apc/arrin_holt/lav-25_walk_1.htm

 

Also – if this is all too distracting, just let me know and I will just enjoy your work without adding all my nonsense commentary.

Arrin 

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On 10/31/2017 at 7:35 AM, holtaa said:

Granto,

 

Nice progress!!  I can't express how cool this build will be.  I am most certainly going to need to check-in on it more frequently.

 

I re-read my earlier post and feel like I need to clarify a few things.  I didn’t actually serve during the first Gulf War – Operation Desert Storm.  I joined the USMC Reserve on Feb 14, 1991 – yep, Valentine’s Day - just before the ground war portion started – went to Boot Camp in October 1991 and finished all my training in May or June 1992 and then checked into my unit - C Co 4th LAI.  I spent the first few months doing very little as our unit didn’t have any vehicles, they were almost all still in the Gulf or on their way back to us.  My unit was (and still is) outside Salt Lake City, Utah and we did all our training at the large military training range in the desert west of Salt Lake City and every summer we did 2 weeks in 29 Palms, California – with two exceptions, one year we did a winter Annual Training (AT) at 29 Palms in December and the last year of my enlistment we road tripped our unit’s vehicles from SLC to Ft. Hunter-Liggett, California. 

 

During my 8 years in the Corps, I spent the first year as an assistant mortar gunner on the LAV-M (we were short of trained grunts and a few of us less experienced, “redundant” crewman did alternate duty as grunts), about 18 months as a scout carrying an M249 SAW (squad automatic weapon) while riding in the back of a -25, 3 years as the company commander’s -25 gunner and C. Company Master Gunner and then roughly 18 months in the Inactive Ready Reserve.  I got a wide range of experience, but I never saw combat – sorry for the long explanation, but I certainly do not want to take anything away from actual combat veterans by implying, or having people infer, that I did what I really didn’t.

 

While I was the CO’s gunner, we never got too far from the C2 vehicle, so I got to know it pretty well.  I never really spent any time around an LAV-L (logistics) their crews worked too hard fixing stuff we broke and they liked to “conscript” anyone who wandered too close.  I also never spent much time around a TOW vehicle, those guys were just plain crazy, so I can’t help much with the TUA’s (we never called them that – just TOW’s) specific details.

 

There were a lot of changes in the LAV community from the period shortly before I joined until about half-way through my enlistment.  LAV’s were originally Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) battalions when they joined the Corps in 1983-84, were re-designated Light Armored Infantry (LAI) sometime in 1988-89 and then became Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) in 1994.  We were glad to be officially changed to Reconnaissance – as that is what we were really doing, and it sounded way cooler than LAI. Sorry for the long life story and history lesson – let me know if that is distracting & I’ll try to edit my thoughts.

 

I am glad to see you add an LAV-M to your build.  The first year of my enlistment was on a mortar vehicle, wow - that was over 20 years ago, is kind of a blur, so I remember very little about the interior of the vehicle, except that the basic hull is almost exactly the same as the -25.  The large top doors were really nice to help ventilate the hull and kept it much cooler than the inside of the -25 as long as we were out of the direct sun, which was usually never! We NEVER fired the 81MM on the move – if interested, I can explain all about it in a later post.

 

About your build - the doors (hatches actually – everything has nautical names, the US Marine Corps is a department of the US Navy after all – the Men’s Department!) were not nearly as thick as they appear in the photo of the SLEP vehicle.  If I remember correctly, the thickness of the vehicle skin was only about 1/4” to 3/8” about 5-10mm thick for you metric folks, and was only intended to defend us against small arms up to 7.62mm, so anything bigger than an AK-47/AKM would penetrate our armor.  The top troop hatches behind the turret look thicker in the photo because the edge has a lip that turned down to seal on a rubber gasket that lined the outside of the raised hatch opening – the vehicle is amphibious, so all the openings had gaskets to try to keep at least a bit of the water out.  A thin piece of Evergreen stock wrapping around the inside (top when open) hatch cover to thicken the edge would be more accurate than a thicker cover.  This would also be correct for the turret hatches and driver’s hatch.  The other hatches – rear main hatches, emergency escape hatch (below the turret on the driver’s side of the vehicle side), winch hatch in front of the driver, and the engine hatches (both the solid forward and louvered back sections) were flat slab hatches that fit into a slight rabbet.  The hatch latch closed them to tightly “sandwich” a rubber gasket.  You can see it clearly in the photo of the winch hatch you posted.

 

Your bulkheads look terrific.  There is a large horizontal hatch inside the drive’s compartment to access the side of the engine pack on the bulkhead you created.  It takes up a good percentage of the bulkhead and has large surface fasteners that are quite pronounced.  I will dig through my references to see if I can find an image for you.  The projecting item with the sloped top on the back of the rear engine bulkhead should be much bigger than the piece molded in the kit.  It is the “doghouse” over the transfer case.  It has surface screws to hold the lid on.  I only ever saw it opened once.

Nice work on the floor of the M.  It was basically just as you built it up.  The up and down stepped bottom of the kit is actually reasonably accurate – the troughs had drain plugs in them (all but the one directly behind the doghouse – it was a real pain to clean out) and the M’s floor was a plate over the top of the troughs.  It was common to drop stuff and have it slide under the plate.  It became sort of a “black hole” – stuff went in there and never seemed to come back out.

 

Your steering fix is pure genius!  I am going to steal that when I get around to building my Italeri kit.  I seem to remember that the Trumpeter kit had working front steering,

 

Again – nice work so far.  It seems that I am just telling you what you could improve, but you are doing a great job.  If you keep listing what you are planning next, I’ll try to get ahead of you to give you help rather than correction.  I’ll put together some references of the driver's compartment for you if it is not too late.  Also, now that you are super-detailing, AEF Designs made a pretty good resin interior for the -25.  I have no idea if it is still available, I can send you photos of the one I have if you would like.  Here is a link to a description:

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/943099-a-e-f-designs-ka-32-lav-25-interior-detail-set

 

Holy Crap!  I can;t believe that I forgot to send you a link to the few photos I took of the vehicle I lived out of.  Just like many others, I didn't take enough photos of the stuff I did all the time. So here are the very few i actually took - unfortunately they were during a maintenance cycle, not out in the field.

http://www.primeportal.net/apc/arrin_holt/lav-25_walk_1.htm

 

Also – if this is all too distracting, just let me know and I will just enjoy your work without adding all my nonsense commentary.

Arrin 

Arrin, keep the detail coming!

 

I served 7 years as Tank Crewman/Driver Mechanic in the British Army, no one ever shot at me! To quote Simon and Garfunkel "When I was young I carried a gun, but I never got the chance to serve" , the way I see it, I signed up for whatever fate threw at me, I was lucky, I had a great time, made some friends I still have now over thirty years later and a whole bunch of stories I cant tell in polite company! As far as I`m concerned a veteran is a veteran, weather he was in DEVGRU or pushing a broom! (and if he was "Armour" so much the better!)

 

The steering fix on all three vehicles will be the same, I`m going to fix a short piece of plastic tube transversely in front of each suspension wishbone, there will be a longer rod running through the tube with a knuckle on each end that I will pin to the kits adjustment rods, this rod should be able to slide from side to side and maintain the steering geometry, all the joints will be free to move so I should be able to pose the steering at almost any lock desired.............well that's the plan anyhow! Make sure mine works before you cut plastic!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

 

 

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Granto,

I would love to hear about your service – which tanks?  We didn’t spend much time around tanks – the M1 Abrams had been in use by the Army for years, but were just coming into the fleet to replace the old M60’s when I got there in 1991.  I remember a few rolling through our bivouac area during LAV school – they were brand new and the turbine sounded so cool.  I did get to drive an M60 once.  I had to make up a drill (monthly reserve duty) that I missed and we went out to the large training range west of the Great Salt Lake and drove some old M60’s out to be used as targets.  It was a little depressing to fire it up and drive it out to be shot at, I kind of felt like was betraying the old girl.  She showed me though – it broke down, or ran out of petrol – I don’t know which, half way out to the range and the other Marine I was with and I had to walk back a couple of miles before we got picked up.  It was August in the Utah desert – easily 110 deg F (43 C) -  I didn’t really feel too bad for her after that.

 

Steering & Suspension

I am very interested in how you are dealing with the 2 shocks on either side of the main strut on the front suspension.  I have not dug my kit out to look at the suspension parts to see if the small shock have a pivot point to remain in place while the linkage moves.  A photo of your finished suspension would be great.  Here is a drawing from an old Technical Manual I have which might be helpful in working out the suspension.

 

38100057662_e384ddd3ed_o.jpg05 - Steering by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

Here is one of my own not so great photos of the underside of the front of the vehicle – the camera is behind the second right wheel and is facing forward.

 

24279446238_3ecebc18f3_o.jpg07 - steering by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

 

I really wish I was better about taking photos of everything.  Sorry.

A slightly better representation is in the Trumpeter kit instructions which can be found here

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10061712/70/1  But the trumpeter kit is missing the piece that connects the front and second steering arms together – item #5 in the line drawing above.

 

Driver’s Compartment

The driver’s compartment was a little cramped, but was quite cozy once you got used to it.  The bulkhead on your right was pretty thin and the engine made a terrible racket.  I nearly wet myself the first time I started one – it startled me so much.

 

24279445858_e6419c61fa_o.jpg01 - Driver;s Hatch by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

38100057552_87602e5fe1_o.jpg02 - Driver's Hatch Legend by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

I was wrong about the large panel on the bulkhead – there are two.  Going through the TM is bringing back all sorts of memories.  In defense of my geriatric memory, the front panel rarely got opened.  We had to open the back panel to drain the fuel/water separator and check the transmission fluid every day, so we got used to opening it up.  The large fasteners are visible on the very right side of the drawing.  They are shaped kind of like a letter “T” with bends on the top at each end.  The actual fasteners in my vehicle were round – you can see them in the photo you originally posted below. They clamped the panel in place when you tightened them by twisting them.

 

24279446348_d616532d3e_o.jpg08 - instrument panel by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

 

In the drawing up above, the seat is shown laying flat and fully recessed into the vehicle.  The back can fold up and the entire seat rises up and down on a pneumatic cylinder you controlled with a big switch near your left knee.  When the seat is fully raised, one’s head and a bit of your shoulders are outside of the hull.  The opening is pretty tight, so you really felt like you were poking out of a small hole and couldn’t really see anything back inside.  The driver had to know where all the controls were and needed to be able to operate them all without looking in case he had to react to something while the seat we fully raised.

The most obvious features in the compartment are the seat, steering wheel and the instrument panel.  The panel is right next to your left shoulder while driving.  It was very difficult to see the gauges while you were driving.  It was common for us to progressively build up speed on the highway – I once did 70 mph (115 kph) without realizing it!  I’ve also included an image of the instrument panel.  I have more detailed info on each of the items in the compartment as well as the panel if you want them.

 

Here is one of my photos again.

 

38096410446_6137990246_o.jpg09 - instrument panel by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

 

I was able to dig out the AEF Designs interior I have – it wasn’t as good as I remember.  There are lots of pieces missing and the instructions are 3 pages of vague hand drawings, one of which is labeled “Page 4”.  The pieces in the set are covered in flash and many are poorly cast, still, it is a pretty good start if you can find one.  There are many useful items I can photograph and make drawings of so that you could scratch build them if you wanted – most are pretty simple shapes.

More to follow soon……

Arrin

 

 

 

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You just gotta love the people you meet on this site...................Just look at the detail information I now have  for my interiors! Wooooohhooooo! On the down side I now HAVE to build it! No excuses! So here is where I am at today

The engine compartment bulkheads have been cut and fabricated, the inspection hatches have also been attached, these will have the relevant fasteners and other boxes fitted before they are fitted into the hull. the M variant uses the kits own rear bulkhead.

23376266_1750206608323764_89955297211997

 

23168014_1750206978323727_48121890489310

Here is the bulkhead dry fitted, I didnt push it all the way forward so there is a gap at the front, this will disappear once the interior is glued in place.

23316534_1750207018323723_45789648255710

 

23131843_1750207068323718_40390376643698

The very basic kit interior consists of the drivers seat and the steering wheel, you can see where they are supposed to go..................

23131610_1750207114990380_16088428699150

This is the stock I will use to represent the steering / suspension turrets in all three vehicles

23130883_1750207218323703_51240506330432

Here is the -25 alongside the M hull

23167796_1750207264990365_55870027953383

And here are all three together..........Still got to sand down the filler on the rear suspension mounts inside of the TOW

23316374_1750207321657026_84723082074731

I think this is a more realistic view through the back doors than the empty hull

23231164_1750206948323730_25153194950976

The Mortar turntable has had it`s etch floor fitted and the mount has been cleaned up and re drilled for the mortar tube

23231140_1750206728323752_24465848169332

The seats for the dismounts in the -25 got the moulded mesh effect cut out..................

23167664_1750206778323747_62002675826475

Some of this mesh will replace it

23172628_1750206641657094_52197975391684

And finally for today the TOW got a coaming fitted in the rear hatch, this will be reduced in height once dry.

 

So all in all a good day! And a big thanks to Holtaa/Arrin for his VERY valuable input!

 

Ta for lookin` no"G"

 

Granto

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Fascinating stuff.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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A bit "Pearl Harbour" outside.............nice and warm in the shed though!

Here is where I stopped today, The three interiors have had the front bulkhead fitted, this seperates the drivers compartment from the winch.

23380368_1755904224420669_81919869402559

This is still at the "basic" scratch stage, the bulkheads have been fabricated and joined but are dry fitted  in the hulls, the gaps disappear when the bulkheads are pushed home properly . I have fixed some plastic angle into the hulls to give a better join when I finally fit the bulkheads. The main inspection panels are also in place but there is a lot more to go onto the bulkheads yet, I also need to decide on what further detail I want to incorporate into the rear of the vehicles.

23472357_1755904261087332_51543947341589

There is a fuel tank to go on the left rear pannier in the TOW..........there might be one in the M variant too? Arrin will know!

23435256_1755904134420678_77490945186996

The turrets of the front suspension/steering protrude into the drivers compartment, so short lengths of stock tube were cut and fixed on top of the hull since they are very visible through the hatches. The first of many small boxes also went on, tomorrow I will make a start on the bracket that holds the steering wheel and the instrument panels that will sit on the left side of the compartment between the suspension turrets

23472228_1755904331087325_68432289898255

All three hull tops got their roof panels fitted, and the TOW and the M got the commanders cupola fitted too

22491563_1730162723661486_74500703087662

All three of these vehicles use a common hull front/top, the turretless versions have a commanders cupola behind the driver, however the -25 has the commander in the turret and the area behind the driver is empty, I assume the cheapest way around the varient situation is a separate cupola as Italeri have engineered, however if you want to have some open lids it entails a bit of surgery...................

22489689_1730162766994815_63138386029325

From this................................................................. to this! 

23519315_1755904291087329_12061067600932

Still only roughed out, but you get the picture! Seven episcopes in this cupola and eight in the M, oh and three for the driver too........

23380328_1755904407753984_69135761106061

And this lot need priming..........................hang on, there`s one missing!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

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Looking good, nice work on the interior, how much will you be able to see?

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The great work continues!

The top left corner of the -25 grate that goes between the troop compartment and the turret is a screen that slides to the right to allow the troops to pass ammo to the gunner / VC but closes to keep arms and legs and other stuff from getting caught in the turret as it traverses.  We almost always left it open, so either way would be fine.

 

The Mortar has the fuel tank on the left like the TOW.  It is interesting to see that the ready racks are shifted from the right on the TOW to the left on the Mortar....

 

Here is an image I found on the web showing the Mortar with the rear hatches open:

37692003624_32f0c76303_o.jpgLAV-M by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

The racks and the bench go a long way to fill up the back end.  The large green box above the bench is the tool box - it is the same in all three vehicles, just a little more to the rear in the -25. 

 

The two white cylinder on the side wall above the tool box are M3 NBC heaters, there are one of these for each crew member in the vehicle..  We plugged our gas masks into it and it heated the filtered air delivered to the mask for us to breathe.   Here is an overview of the NBC system - the images are specific to the -25, but all the components are the same in each vehicle variant:

 

26630692859_a2e3de9e14_o.jpg10 - NBC System - 01 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

24535654448_de34265aee_o.jpg11 - NBC System - 02 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

The white box above the 2 M3 heaters is a light box.  It has a non-tactical white light and a tactical blue light.  The white light is the taller oval and the blur light is the rectangle on the top right of the illustration.  These were the lights we "modified" to stay on with the doors open.

 

37692299924_75683612cb_o.jpg12 - Domelight by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

The red cylinders forward of the tool box is the manually activated halon fire suppression system.  There are two red cylinders attached in the same place on the right inside wall, just forward of the vision blocks (small windows) in all the variants, they are activated by either of two pull handles on the ceiling just behind the driver's compartment hatch, or a pull on the rear cylinder or an external actuator covered by a hinged box by the muffler on the right side of the vehicle.  Here are a few images of the system:

 

38374970402_57ce376bcf_o.jpg13 - Fire Suppression - 01 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

37692397804_f8289df042_o.jpg14 - Fire Suppression - 02 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

38407063751_e3bf288b5b_o.jpg15 - Fire Suppression - 03 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

38407063821_06194cf1c8_o.jpg16 - Fire Suppression - 04 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

37692589134_991cc4a4cb_o.jpg17 - Fire Suppression - 05 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

The graphics also show the location of the manual fire extinguishers that were mounted inside.  All these items are all pretty noticeable in an opened up vehicle.  They should be fun to scratchbuild.  Again, sorry, i just seem to be giving you more work to do.

 

Arrin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Midweek update...............

I have started on the instrument panels.................they are basically cubes with corners cut off..............What a pain! So I am going to use two straight edges as a datum to work off, the roof join and the rear vertical. 

23518828_1759699854041106_17233097725425

Here are the three panels joined at the rear edge

23622016_1759699910707767_26554396593685

And here is one dry plonked in the upturned TOW hull................the front face of the instrument panel is cut away towards the rear of the vehicle at the bottom. There will be another smaller box immediately to the rear of this one in the corner of the roof/hull join.

23559694_1759699957374429_66475009272354

This gives an idea of where I am going. next will be the front edge. then the bottom (or top in this image) and then the cutaway face last, that should give me the easiest assembly with minimum clean up.

Next up were these two.....................

23621317_1759699764041115_24182116727429

These are the reserve fuel tanks in the TOW and M variant

23561567_1759699810707777_21272511880752

And this is where they`ll sit in the respective hulls, in effect they are just false fronts, I`ll not bother with the rear since its not going to be visible, once they are dry I`ll sand the assemblies smooth and profile the edges and fit em!

Job jobbed!

Just need to find out where the radios go now!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

 

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NIce work on the instrument panels and the fuel tanks. 

 

While I am thinking about it, when you are ready to paint the interior, the correct color is FS24533.  There are a few Tamiya paints that are a pretty close match.  There is a thread over at Armorama about it - http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=198775&page=1

"The closest match to Seafoam Green is Tamiya Sky, XF-21. You can also use Model Master Pale Green (FS 34227) with a few drops of white added as well. Another option is Krylon spray Pistachio. It matches Seafoam Green perfectly and is even semi-gloss."  

I don't know if the Krylon (commercial spray paint - http://www.krylon.com/products/colormaster-paint-primer/ ) is available where you are, but that is what I will use.

 

I also have copies of the official LAV-25 exterior paint scheme instructions from a US Government technical manual.  When you get close to painting the outside I'll post them.

 

The rear side of the instrument panel is a big circuit breaker panel.  Here is a drawing of what of looks like - 

 

38391770346_7e78063846_o.jpg18 - circuit breaker panel by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

I already posted this photo, but it shows the panel well

 

38096410446_6137990246_o.jpg09 - instrument panel by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

The box visible at the top left of the photo is the crew heater controls.  Here is what it looks like - 

 

26671543389_8ec49ff455_o.jpg19 - Crew Heater Controls by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

And here is some info about the crew heater - 

It is located on the right side shelf inside the hull.  It is labeled #33 in this drawing

 

24576522778_4d90843bc9_o.jpg20 - Crew Heater Location - 01 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

24576522748_23e7610d73_o.jpg21 - Crew Heater Location - 02 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

Here is a reasonable photo

 

37560921715_44ef6cc394_o.jpg23-crew compartment -right by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

I found a photo of the fire extinguisher bottles -

 

37560921785_5cf6ace885_o.jpg22-crew compartment-halon by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

I have more info on all the stuff in the drivers compartment and NBC filter box in the left rear when you are ready for it.

 

Next up - Radios.

 

Arrin

 

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Radios - 

 

Our vehicles were equipped with the older style TSEC/KY-67 (not encrypted) radios used before Desert Storm.  During Desert Storm, they got the then brand new encrypted and frequency hopping SINCGARS, but we continued using the older radios for a couple of years after the war.  All the drawings and photos I have are of the older radios in a -25.  I never spent any time in the VC hatch of either a -M or -Tow, so I really don't know where the radios were actually located on those variants.

 

In the -25, there were two radios were located on the "shelf" in the back of the turret. 

 

26672253349_359216d578_o.jpg24 - Turret Comm System by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

The TM indicates that there were three radios and three antennas, but we only ever used two of each.  We could switch between listening to both at once and transmitting on either one based on the switch position of the vehicle communications boxes - we called them "Charlie Boxes" that our helmets plugged into.  There is also a vehicle intercom system so that the crew can talk to each other.  Our CVC (combat vehicle, crewman) helmets had a switch on the left ear that had 3 positions, one enabled you to transmit the radio or intercom when keyed, one allowed listening only and one made the intercom "hot" with an open mic.  When one of the crewmen had the switch on "hot" no one could transmit on the radios.   There were 3 identical charlie boxes for each of the main crew, driver, gunner and VC.  There was also one charlie box on the rear of the left wall in the troop compartment, it was dumbed down and allowed limited radio control.  We gave one of the scouts back there a CVC helmet so he could listen in to the intercom and radio to keep the other scouts informed about what was going on.  It was common for the scout to take off the CVC helmet when they dismounted the vehicle and the helmet would roll around and key the hot mic, preventing us from using the radio.  It was a huge pain in the butt, as either the VC or gunner had to climb out of the turret and drop down into the hull to find the helmet and turn off the hot mic.  We got smart and made them unplug the helmet when they took it off.  If they forgot, we had all manner of "games" they would have to play to help with incentive to remember to unplug it the next time.

 

Here is what the charlie boxes look like:

 

38448477001_b6098f7434_o.jpg25 - Hull Comm System - 01 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

There was a rack in the very left rear, near the hatch, for a couple of radios for the scouts to use, but I never actually saw a radio on the rack.  I heard that they were common in the Gulf during the war, but we never used one during training. The slightly diagonal line in the image below is the rear wall of the hull. 

 

26672253149_b6098f7434_o.jpg26 - Hull Comm System - 02 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

Also located on the outside of the vehicle on the very back near the left hatch were a couple of posts to connect a hard-wired field radio to.  It didn't get used too much, because it was a hassle to hook up, but it allowed vehicles to share their intercoms or to connect to a dismounted controller without using the radio.  It connected to the vehicle intercom and allowed multiple crews to talk to each other, but again, it didn't get used too often, but I remember using a couple of times while attached to the -M, as we trained to drop a few 81mm rounds down range and then move the vehicle to avoid counter battery radar.  We called it "shoot and scoot" - better to fire then move to a new firing position than to get dead by incoming artillery.  

 

The posts are barely visible in this photo above the hatch lock on the very edge of the hull - start at the left brake light assembly, trace the angled edge of the hull up to the horizontal lever, that's the hatch hold-open lock, a little above the lever you can make out the 2 small posts, one on top of the other.

 

38392642436_81a71d2d10_o.jpg27 - Field Telephone Posts by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

 Here are the radios on the shelf at the back of the turret - the periscopes visible in the left of the photo are the rear scopes of the VC hatch.

 

37561529975_519f159d2d_o.jpg28-radio shelf by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

The charlie box in the VC hatch was mounted to the right of the radios (not visible in either photo), the amplifier used by the VC to switch between the radios is mounted on the right wall of the VC hatch and looks like this:

 

37561530065_71c5bd21e6_o.jpg29-VC hatch by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

Here is a shot of the left turret wall - the gunners charlie box is just forward of the periscope.  The object at the far right of the photo is the gunner's sight, the white box on the turret roof behind the open hatch is the dome light, the box below the light is the coax M-240 machine gun ammo tray.

 

37561530055_2b6258276b_o.jpg30-gunner hatch by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

Here is a photo of the left rear of the troop compartment - the radio racks are visible just inside the hatch.  The white box and cylinder are the NBC system pre-filter and blower -more about that later if you want.

 

38448960181_950006340d_o.jpg31 - Crew Compartment-Left by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

I really hope this helps and isn't too confusing.  Like I mentioned before, I wish I had taken more photos, but these were back in the days of film - way before digital cameras and cellphones were only for the very rich and they didn't have cameras back then.  It was such a hassle to buy film, and then get it developed, - it came out to about $1-2 per photo - plus a tactical vehicle wasn't the best environment for an expensive and delicate camera, so I used an old, crummy, 110 camera because I didn't really care if it got banged up. 

Sorry about the terrible quality of my photos.

 

Your build is coming along really well!  Isn't scratch-building fun!!

 

Arrin

 

 

 

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And briefly for a friday morning.....................

 

23511324_1761602093850882_11596020652087

 

Here are the two fuel tanks.........I had intended for them to be just false fronts, but they were a bit too flimsy. so they are now full 3D roughed out, backs and bottoms! Once dry they will go on the wet and dry board and get squared off, all edges profiled and then I`ll fit em! The TOW and M variant needed tool boxes fabricating, so these have been laminated up, they just need .5mm tops with a slight overlap and catches fitting, then they can go in as well. The three drivers instrument panels are roughed out, I still have to angle the top edge to fit the forward slope of the drivers roof, but that is a quick job with a sanding stick. My plan is to punch suitable circles for the dials from thin card stock fit them in position and then drill the centres out to give me bezels, then I`ll back the holes, once painted I can fill the bezel with acrylic crystal and we`re go! The toggle switches I will represent with thin wire inserted into drilled holes and cut to 1mm for some , for the rest I`ll use thin strip to represent the toggle switch covers. For the circuit breakers on the rearwards face I thought I would run my riveting wheel up some thin card, cut strips and fit them reversed onto the relevant faces. So there is a plan of sorts for the weekend......................

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto 

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2 hours ago, Valenstitch said:

My plan is to punch suitable circles for the dials from thin card stock fit them in position and then drill the centres out to give me bezels, then I`ll back the holes, once painted I can fill the bezel with acrylic crystal and we`re go!

 

Cunning plan ..

 

Kev

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Sunday arvo update then...................

Workbench is covered in sh*te again, but as I keep explaining to the "Leg iron" that`s how I roll!

23622373_1763860860291672_16678268764998

So the "vista" above has from the upper left, two drivers seat bottoms, a fuel tank with the only kit drivers seat in front of it, a tool box minus it`s lid, another fuel tank then dropping down and going right to left, three drivers instrument panels, the one on the left has been experimentally drilled for toggle switches, a steering wheel rim and then the third row three gear /driver selector boxes. 

23658680_1763860946958330_90501559580231

The three instrument panels have been dialed up, all three have been fettled to fit in the hulls, the only "true" edges are the bottom and left vertical so I`m trying to work off them, the boxes need switches fitting next, so more drilling then wire and CA and then trim the wire back to leave a 1mm protrusion. The gear/drive selector boxes need their levers fitting, probably wire and CA again.  

23659258_1763860996958325_57892348637231

Drivers seat backs roughed out, lots of fettling here!, the seat backs are slightly curved  and the bottom seat cushion is also profiled.

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Here are the three crew heater control boxes roughed out.............. I also cut the exhausts for the crew heaters and angled the ends.

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These are some of the collection of bottles and pipework that sit by the drivers left foot! I wasn't going to bother but it is visible!

23621595_1763861146958310_33242009574605

this is my first attempt at a steering wheel..rod bent and glued and clamped overnight................Don't know about this yet!

23621379_1763861196958305_70606177515642

The bulkheads are being fleshed out with panel locks and so forth and I have marked them with a centre line for the steering wheel bracket and associated levers and boxes, this is actually the busiest part of the build at the moment. and it is all visible so I want it to look ok.

 

So that was a few hours work this weekend..............Questions for Arrin, Commanders seat in the TOW and M variant? is it like the drivers seat? the M variant kit has the commander`s seat sideways, I would have thought he would be provided with the same as the driver? Any Idea where the tool box goes in the TOW? If it goes in the same place as the -25 and the M it is right rear of the rear compartment, which in the TOW vehicle is behind all the ready rounds if the vehicle is fully stowed? This would make it a real pain to access, but that wouldnt stop the military putting it there! Radio fit in the TOW and M variant, logic would put the radios next to the commander on the left side of the hull, but I cant find any images on the web of the installation!

 

So I`m off to think my way through the drastic surgery required to put an interior in the -25 turret......................

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto 

 

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As ever stunning attention to detail 

 

  Roger

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Great progress so far!  Those driver's compartment interiors are really coming together.  Unfortunately, I cannot remember where the radios were in the -M and TOW - sorry.  The years haven't been too kind to my memory for those details. 

 

Here are some more drawings from the technical manual with some details for the interior.

 

Here is the Annunciator Panel, it is pretty obvious when looking into the compartment through the top hatch.  It replaces the idiot lights found on car dashboards.  It also had an incredibly annoyingly loud alarm when anything was awry.  The body (dark area in the drawing) is OD Green and the light area was white.  The lights (items the numbers point to) were red LED's.

  

38572595361_126b0a2f5a_o.jpg32 - Annunciator Panel by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

Here is some info on the driver's seat., they were the same in all the vehicles, but I cannot remember what the VC seat in the -M and TOW looked like.  They were probably more like the -25 turret seats which had fixed back rests and hinged seats.  The seat was on a spring and could rise and fall, the seat bottom  could drop down so that it was out of the way when standing in the hatch.  The VC in the -M & TOW would spend most of their time standing in the hatch, so having the seat out of the way would be very helpful.  The driver's hatch seat was pneumatically raised and lowered with a switch on the drive selector pedestal.  The back was hinged to lay down to enable access to the emergency escape hatch on the left side between the driver's compartment and the turret.  The seat was surprisingly comfortable for sleeping when the back was laid flat, especially if you put a case of MRE's under the back - it raised the back just enough to keep your head slightly above your waist.

 

38572595291_d72e252a25_o.jpg33 - Driver's Seat - 01 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

38541025752_5411ccc1a9_o.jpg34 - Driver's Seat - 02 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

The two pedestals on the left of the steering wheel have the controls for the driver's seat height, drive selector (4 wheel or 8 wheel drive), hand throttle, the gear selector and the transfer case gear lock.   The seat height and drive selector are rotating switches that rotate from the 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock positions.  The hand throttle is a twist operated knob used to adjust the engine idle speed when the engine is running, but the vehicle is not moving.  The gear selector is like that found on a car with an automatic transmission.  The transfer case gear lock, when engaged, inserted a metal rod between the teeth of the main gears in the transfer case - it was basically a mechanical parking brake.

  

38541322172_aaf6a98ff3_o.jpg38 - Drive Selector by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

24700930448_1f718d24f5_o.jpg39 - Transfer Case Gear Lock by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

  The pneumatic system is self filling via an air compressor in the engine compartment and stores the compressed air in the bottles on the wall to the very left of the driver's compartment.   The system takes about 5-10 minutes to fill after starting the engine.  The system controlled most of the operating features of the vehicle - trim vane, marine drive propellers, parking brake and driver's seat height.  The bottles are connected and store quite a lot of air when full.  There is a drain valve on the bottom of the rear bottle, we were supposed to drain the bottles every day so that the condensation that found it's way into the bottle could drain and not rust through the wall of the bottle.  I had a bottle rupture once due to not being drained enough - it scared the complete crap out of me.  It sounded like a gunshot in the hatch and hissed very loudly as the air leaked out for about 5 minutes.  Once the bottles were empty, the parking brake engaged and the vehicle was disabled until maintenance installed a new bottle.  The replacement bottle was primer red and contrasted nicely with the other two seafoam green bottles.    

 

38572595161_d272b9dc47_o.jpg35 - Air Bottles by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

Another particularly obvious item in the compartment is the driver's night vision periscope.  The center of the three periscopes was removable and could be switched out with a night vision periscope.  The scope was rested on the left transom when not used.  It was secured with a black rubber strap.  The scope was electrically powered via a receptacle on the forward edge of the instrument panel.  The scope was typical of night vision during the gulf war.  It magnified starlight or the IR lamp on the headlight assembly on the front of the vehicle.  The scope - we called it a "fish bowl", was a little tricky to use as the green light made it very difficult to judge depth so it was a little like driving by braille.  It also hung down quite a bit and reduced the clear space above the steering wheel which let to sore knuckles from smacking it when you turned.  The scope also rotated about 25 degrees to the left and right to aid cornering.  The top of the scope - the 2 cubes and the angled mirror assembly were NATO green to match the exterior camo paint and the body was white.  The plastic cover was bright orange.

 

37855824274_240efc719f_o.jpg36 - Night Vision Periscope - 01 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

37855824104_240efc719f_o.jpg37 - Night Vision Periscope - 02 by semperfi_0313, on Flickr

 

That is probably enough for tonight.  Next up will be the steering wheel and the controls mounted to the steering column.  If you want anything in particular first, let me know.

Arrin

 

 

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Didn't get much done last weekend due to being "on the lash", and for some reason this week I couldn't find my Mojo, but I had another look for it this morning and found it exactly where I had left it! So here is evidence of some progress at least!

 24176899_1777176085626816_76690060493664

I started removing the moulded springs off of the front steering/suspension, I`m going to cut my own springs to fit these, I`ve gone this route because the steering will move on these three vehicles and at anything other than straight fore and aft the suspension will be visible.

24174474_1777176222293469_64306867345170

The interior is progressing slowly, centre shot here are the three drivers seat mechanisms top plates, these secure the seat and it`s pistons to the side of the hull.one of the crew heaters is left of shot.

24232645_1777176285626796_85081892822429

I have started to populate the interior with the various bits and pieces that have been fabricated as well as some strip and angle that will represent the stowage stops, the long tubular item is the crew heater plonked in place for the fot!

24232790_1777176352293456_76946117608904

From the other side...............I`m still pondering how to fill the void.................

24174506_1777176458960112_27488168771868

Here is the back end of the TOW, the Aux fuel tank is fitted now.

24129703_1777176502293441_88033621588705

And here is a view through the roof!

 

So all good today so far!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

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Another couple of hours this afternoon................

 

24231892_1778334452177646_18713220533530

Here are two of the three crew heaters, I fitted mounting straps and collars on the exhausts from self adhesive tin foil, all that is left on these is a bit of wiring now.

24296504_1778334718844286_66588384486270

I decided that it would be easier to make the instrument panels with the switch guards down rather than all over the place, with that in mind I started populating the boxes with small lengths of strip. I also decided that having had a good look at the drivers gear select/drive select control box I would bin the previously made parts and start again.....................

24296281_1778334562177635_63302386062761

I have made these over long and will cut them to height once I have figured out exactly where they go! The "lean to" roof  will be reduced to a lip top once the extra thin has gone off!

24312370_1778335115510913_53492402743357

Here is a very poor fot of the drivers seat bracket

24774770_1778335022177589_21221744044912

But this is a better one of where it goes!

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Here is a test fit of the drivers instrument panel and the crew heater control box in its intended position in the upturned hull of the TOW

24232928_1778334865510938_67019203115704

I also fitted the last of the rails in the back of the -25. In the later vehicles this area has a plate over the rebate in the hull, having perused every fot I could find on the net of this area I decided to go with these in this early version, they will be trimmed back once dry.

24301005_1778334795510945_16491825419966

It`s no good, I`m going to have to put a turret basket in here, I have marked out where I`m going to have to cut........................................................ 

24774814_1778334668844291_55844585497149

And a final shot of my lovely tidy bench.............................Yeah I know...........but, my bench, my rules!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

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Well, that was an unexpected interruption in progress! Two weeks without any bench time! Nightmare!

 

25399093_1793192534025171_49048146773994

So today I shut myself into the shed , put the heater on and cut some strio to make the episcope bases, these will have slightly smaller pieces of triangular strip added to resemble the episcopes themselves!

25443330_1793192707358487_57459121333111

The interiors will need to be fully painted and weathered before they are closed up, this leaves an area of concern which is the seam in the angle. To avoid any unpleasantness I intend to hide the seam behind wiring and pipework, so stage one was to fit short lengths of triangular strip onto the hull wall adjacent to the seam in all three hulls....................... 

25446106_1793192627358495_76827597493774

Then even shorter lengths of angle were cemented on top of the triangular strips leaving an "L" shaped bracket. This should allow me to run cable and pipework along the hull side without compromising the joining surfaces.

I also did a quick experimental drilling for supporting rods under the drivers seat brackets, that worked, so I`ll duplicate it on the other two hulls. I also got a smear of filler on the gear selector boxes and made a bit more progress on the internal bulkhead walls with a view to getting them fixed in place this week, with a few days off coming up I am anticipating some significant progress by the new year, hopefully having the interiors done!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

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Finally got some shed time, cant stand christmas, everything gets in the way of modeling!

 

26166222_1806644882679936_37270658005835

The -25 has had the bulkhead fixed in place now, there is still an amount of detailing to go on the bulkhead, but the fit is good, the wiring and hydraulic pipes are going in.

26168047_1806645042679920_28975639605728

I have fixed the instrument panels in all three drivers compartments now, still got the the episcopes to finish .......................and the fire extinguisher pull handles!

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Here is the view through the mortar hatch, the fuel line and wiring harness hides the join between the top and bottom halves of the hull!

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The first of the gear change consoles has been trimmed down, I have fabricated three steering column braces, these will have the switch gear fitted and hopefully support the steering columns when I get around to making them! Centre shot are the gas bottles for the suspension that sit in the front left of the drivers compartment, the first one has it`s foil brackets fitted, eight to go!

26114274_1806645422679882_55369399653691

This is a stowage rack that sits in the back of the Mortar carrier, it should have three mesh doors, and here they are under fabrication!

Well that's enough for 2017, I haven't completed a single kit! Dire!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

 

Big Big plans for 2018!  

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Well it`s been a bit of a bugger trying to get any shed time at all these last two weeks, but I have managed to do something! Not a lot mark you, but a bit!26230186_1821623737848717_68471590250003

Here are the three ready round cage doors from the Mortar carrier, I have yet to round off the hinges and give it all a final fettle, but it`s all good!

26239004_1821623847848706_44419065943749

In the -25 I fitted the mesh guard screens to prevent the dismounts getting "scoffed by the traverse monster" The top right has two lots of mesh slightly offset since it is a sliding door to allow some access to the turret. I wanted it to be in it`s open position.

26239167_1821623921182032_53515152813991

 

26231197_1821623974515360_16904538314006

 

26908020_1821624047848686_41325287967907

All three interiors are progressing slowly but there is not a huge amount to do, drivers seats, a few bits of stowage, radio fit, drivers controls and some more mesh here and there, internal lights, oh and turret interior on the -25 and TOW. I just need to get my routine going again!

 

Ta for lookin` no "G"

 

Granto

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