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  1. Hello gents, Off on a new project. It has a few build requirements: It will try and stick with the spirit of the concept as it moves along (this will make more sense as you keep reading); It will rely to the greatest extent possible on kits from the stash! No new kits! maybe new materials, glue and paint; and, well guys, it might be a bit odd when it's done. So, on we go. The following few character images show the basic concept of this project - in three graphic chapters: ahhh, "Misty watercolor memories.....Of the way we were" (B Streisand) uhhh???? what the heck??? "Because something is happening, But ya' don't know what it is, Do you, Mister Jones?".....(B. Dylan) btw groovy graphic assembled in...PowerPoint! used their Design Ideas tool!) (Note the center image - looks like a tracked lowboy with a shelter atop) And, our story - a guy reminiscing on being sent out to the south station - for some time, and what it was like out there. About this graphic....yeah - I tried... it's made with PowerPoint and Photoscape X - not exactly Photoshop! This will require a leap of faith by all involved - including me! I saw a project in the Sci Fi section where someone is building a pretty cool Ian McQue concept air ship. I really like McQue's work, and you can see some of it above. I'm mostly a ground ship kind of guy though, so I did several searches of his work and found a few ground based vessels that move on tracks, and some peculiar buildings. So, for this project we have an OshKosh Global HET A1 (the high mobility version of the M1070) and trailer, converted to a halftrack, camped out for a while at south station. At this point, well, I can't and won't guarantee the dio will look "just like" this - but, it is planned to "feel" like it when we're done. I just don't know as of right now where this will go, but, I've already jumped right in, starting with the truck: This is the OshKosh M1070 Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET), an 8x8 truck (Hobby Boss kit). I have gone ahead and begun converting it into the Global HET A1, a 6x6 version (upper pics). There are similarities and many differences between the two - and above you can see the big difference is in the rear axle configuration. I like the look of the Global HET - If I just had some of those fat, high flotation tires!! This required some head scratching to design and build. So, lots of changes - the chassis is shortened in the rear and will be stretched in the front, all the tabs, bolts, rivets cut off and as you can see above, some carefully cut off and reused, and suspension attached. I made operable, and not just adjustable steering. It also needs an all new hood/bonnet, which will be a difficult task - the Global HET has a less angular design than the M1070, which has a variety of odd shapes and compound curves.....perfect. And: As this project is in the realm of sci fi, a half track is simply required!! Hence the reason for making this the 6x6 version - the two drive axles now serve as power for two final drive sprockets (off-set by planetary gear transfer cases), on independent bogeys! I don't want this to look like a simple toy - it needs to at least demonstrate convincing realism. Therefore, into the realm of mechanized agriculture and some homework! It turns out lots of tractors are both four wheel drive (which this would in effect be as there are two drive axles) and use tracks - very interesting stuff - and good and, well, strange looking! I discovered this can be done in two broad ways. On the upper left, you can see a fixed rail track system, which is essentially bolted to the tractor via a pivoting hardbar and final drives. Nice! except, my fancy HET has air ride suspension, and the hardbar set up would prohibit flex, or result in heavy torque twist. Or, look for a way to keep the "wheels/bogeys" independent. So, I set up a system with two independent bogeys, connected via tensioner at each axle - like on the rail of a tracked dozer! as shown in the sketch, and in concept on the two studies above. As this is being built only using parts from the stash, I have a couple of the Oroshi Bradley M3A3 kits - so, I'm using those idlers/roadwheels, final drives and metal tracks. Among the challenges here is using the parts I have in a way that appears to function as sold. As such, the final drives need to be elevated above the rollers, so both can rotate and allow a track to convincingly be drawn over them. This required several visual tests before I settled on an approach: In brief, the bogeys are symmetrical left/right, but asymmetrical front/rear. The bogey "carrier" is .040" styrene. You can see, the road wheels are spaced equidistantly from the axle centerline (me guessing that's a good way to evenly distribute weight), while the final drives are off-set for clearance. The final drives are set up using the Orochi parts as intended, with some cutting. The idlers and road wheels attached via a remarkably tedious process of cutting and assembling telescoping lengths of alu tubing....good fun. And above, dry fit - not exactly an "instant" half track! If you look carefully, you can see a tensioner and shock absorber mounted between the bogeys, which will allow them to rotate independently of one another and up and down with the axle, while the final drives stay in fixed position, attached to the axle. And - that's where we are. Next will be addressing the front body work. I'm not looking forward to this task! Then, onto the HET trailer (which is very big even in 1/35) and what ever sort of "shelter" for it. I have a remnant 1/32 scale box van that has some nice panels, and an ICM ZIL 131 emergency truck bed/shelter, which I plan to bash together into something appropriately mysterious and dieselpunkesque - we'll see! And of course, ground plane, buildings, debris and figures - a long way to go. Thanks for having a look - Cheers Nick
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