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Bonkin

British Army Diamond T Tank Transporter with Centurion Project

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On ‎06‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 19:20, Bonkin said:

This is my first vehicle build... previously I've always done aircraft. What it is doing though is giving me a fine appreciation of how much harder vehicle builds are to aircraft :).

Can I have that engraved onto granite please? Seriously, I know what you mean. I was an aircraft builder for more than 30 years before coming over to the dark side, and I definitely agree with you.

Really impressed with what you've done to this so far.

With regards to materials to use for the canvas, I have a couple of suggestions. If you at going down the route of soaking something in dilute PVA glue, chose a material with reasonably fine texture, such as Kleenex tissues. I also use the paper towels on a roll used to clean up in workshops. Another alternative is pewter foil. It can be purchased on a roll, cut with scissors and moulded to whatever shape that you want. Finally, there's good old Milliput rolled flat and cut to size.

HTH's.

 

John.

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I missed some updates, still verry nice job. As a plane modeller who never tried big scale vehicles I can't say anythings about the difficulty. But I really enjoyed painting and wearhering on 1/72 tanks.

 

secu

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One Mystery Solved...

 

I got curious about the two mystery apparatus (apparati?) at the front on each side of the hood and by searching the web, I've found our answer: Trailer Brake Couplers. These units were located on both the front and rear, apparently so two trucks could be hooked together. The manual has all the details and photos on pages 318-320. Thank you Will (aka Killingholme) for the link.

 

Here's a link with some close-up photos of a restored T981: http://www.primeportal.net/transports/jon_arnold/diamond_t_model_t981/   The photo comment says they are post war additions which evidently is not the case. My best guess is, since all the post-war trucks photos I found show the left one painted red and the right painted yellow (probably a modern safety regulation) that may be source of the owner’s confusion.  However, that still does not address Bonkin's comment that the photos of his father's rig do not have them. Perhaps they were removed by the 1950s.

 

On a side note, fire extinguishers on the T981 were standard one quart hand pumped carbon- tetrachloride type. From all accounts, they were primarily there for decoration and so the safety officers could say each vehicle had a fire extinguisher. 

 

I couldn't find anything specific about the other mystery item, but I think Will is correct that they are davits.  The manual recommends putting lifting rings on cement ballast blocks and using the winch to get them in and out, but, in typical government fashion does not say how.  

 

I hope this helps a bit- I'm not expert on the T-381, so if someone has better information, I'm not offended by being corrected.

 

Lou in Utah

 
Edited by louiex2

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On 15/08/2017 at 08:17, louiex2 said:

One Mystery Solved...

 

I got curious about the two mystery apparatus (apparati?) at the front on each side of the hood and by searching the web, I've found our answer: Trailer Brake Couplers. These units were located on both the front and rear, apparently so two trucks could be hooked together. The manual has all the details and photos on pages 318-320. Thank you Will (aka Killingholme) for the link.

 

Here's a link with some close-up photos of a restored T981: http://www.primeportal.net/transports/jon_arnold/diamond_t_model_t981/   The photo comment says they are post war additions which evidently is not the case. My best guess is, since all the post-war trucks photos I found show the left one painted red and the right painted yellow (probably a modern safety regulation) that may be source of the owner’s confusion.  However, that still does not address Bonkin's comment that the photos of his father's rig do not have them. Perhaps they were removed by the 1950s.

 

On a side note, fire extinguishers on the T981 were standard one quart hand pumped carbon- tetrachloride type. From all accounts, they were primarily there for decoration and so the safety officers could say each vehicle had a fire extinguisher. 

 

I couldn't find anything specific about the other mystery item, but I think Will is correct that they are davits.  The manual recommends putting lifting rings on cement ballast blocks and using the winch to get them in and out, but, in typical government fashion does not say how.  

 

I hope this helps a bit- I'm not expert on the T-381, so if someone has better information, I'm not offended by being corrected.

 

Lou in Utah

 

Thanks for the info Lou - not sure what comment of mine you are referring to though mate? My Dad's vehicle did indeed have the brake couplers and they were painted red and yellow - exactly as in the pictures in the link you provided. There were a pair on the front, either side of the radiator, and another pair at the rear near the hook.

 

With regards to the mystery item I agree it looks like a davit of some kind. This past weekend though I spent some time with my Dad and he said they never had them - they had a pendulum arrangement instead. More about this in a bit.

On 13/08/2017 at 08:41, Bullbasket said:

Can I have that engraved onto granite please? Seriously, I know what you mean. I was an aircraft builder for more than 30 years before coming over to the dark side, and I definitely agree with you.

Really impressed with what you've done to this so far.

With regards to materials to use for the canvas, I have a couple of suggestions. If you at going down the route of soaking something in dilute PVA glue, chose a material with reasonably fine texture, such as Kleenex tissues. I also use the paper towels on a roll used to clean up in workshops. Another alternative is pewter foil. It can be purchased on a roll, cut with scissors and moulded to whatever shape that you want. Finally, there's good old Milliput rolled flat and cut to size.

HTH's.

 

John.

Thanks John. See below... I went down the Milliput route.

On 12/08/2017 at 22:20, Killingholme said:

Looks like a davit (to use nautical terminology) from which to suspend a pulley to handle the heavy ballast into the rear body. Presumably it 'plugs in' upright somewhere. 

 

Maybe something in the operators manual?

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/149374612/Tm-9-768-DIAMOND-T-980-AND-981-M9-TRAILER

 

Wow! Great link. Thanks.

 

OK... so the pendulum thing for the winch. You can see it in this picture - just forward of the spare wheel. Apparently the bulb at the top is a counter weight, the shaft has a pivot on the ballast box at at the other end is fork shaped, with the cable running in the fork. The idea was that you would pivot the shaft from side to side as you reel the cable in - thereby keeping the cable roll tidy and knot free. Unfortunately for me, this is not included in the Merit kit so I'll have to resort to scratch building it.

20170820_192512.jpg

 

In some other progress I fitted the front bumper and have primed everything up:

20170822_113104.jpg

 

And here is the underside:

20170822_113131.jpg

 

I've also assembled the doors:

20170822_191003.jpg

 

And then carried on work with the cab. Must say, this was my first time at using Miliput (damned sticky stuff), but I'm pleased with how it came out. Note, the ring was just a piece of fusewire which I cut to shape:

 

20170822_191015.jpg

 

20170822_190940.jpg

 

Of course... I mixed up far more Milliput than was needed:

20170822_193921.jpg

 

20170822_193929.jpg

 

And I finished it with Mr Surfacer 500 (which I think I may need to add a bit more of):

 

20170823_124343.jpg

 

20170823_124354.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Spot on canvas- always thought something malleable like milliput looks a lot better than any attempts to get something like kitchen towel to conform to compound curves. 

 

Will

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Agree. The Milliput has done the job perfectly.

 

John.

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@Bonkin I was at Dorset steam fair and a diamond T was there on display. I took some photos of the lever mechanism for winding the tow cable I'll post a couple upnlater when I've downloaded the images from my camera 

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On 31/08/2017 at 14:09, Steve_farrier said:

36765768642_08a6831f99_b.jpg

 

36128393903_1b383c3c2c_b.jpg

 

36936734995_3a9607b1c8_b.jpg

hope they help 

 

 

Steve these are fantastic! Thank you sooo much for doing this! Absolutely perfect. I've ordered some strip styrene to try and scratch build it.

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Very small update as I've not had as much time as I would have liked in order to progress things. In summary I've been working on scratch building the pendulum assembly for the winch cable. This is not something I've ever done before and I'm aware it is not exactly as shown in the pictures above but I think it is close enough (and within the limit of my skills - because I really don't think I could work with anything smaller).

 

First off, I worked on the fixture at the front edge of the ballast box. I also took the opportunity to remove the redundant parts, cut out the sill centre section and clean up the holes:

 

20171022_174134.jpg

 

The pendulum itself will fit through the drilled out centre and as yet needs to be cut to the right length:

 

20171022_174243.jpg

 

20171022_174211.jpg

 

I've also been working on the bottom bracket, through which the winch cable will pass:

 

20171022_174313.jpg

 

Looking at the scale I'm wondering whether I should thin out the shaft a bit. It was definitely thinner at the top than the bottom and although I've got some thicker tube I think it would end up looking too big. The question is, how to thin it and keep a constant diameter along the length? Something to ponder on.

 

I've now also started to consider the trailer construction. Never used resin before - but looking forward to it.

 

20171022_174542.jpg

 

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To thin the rod you could try popping it in a power drill and holding some sandpaper on it?  

Trailer looks like an impressive one to build! 

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Good to see this one on the move again. Nice detail work.

 

John.

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It's been a while since I've had some time to get back on with this project but I was able to make some time this weekend... and the scale of what I have taken on is beginning to dawn on my perhaps over enthusiastic brain. Still, what better way to busy oneself than to be hunched over a desk scraping away at bits of plastic? At least I was out of my wife's way :).

 

For now I've parked the tractor unit because I want to spray up both the tractor and trailer at the same time... so it was time to tackle the impressive Dyson 50-tonne trailer from Accurate Armour. The trailer bed is a single solid piece...

 

20171022_175044.jpg

 

Which I found damages easily:

 

20171022_175056.jpg

 

On the left you can see the brackets for the ramp... but on the right gah! Missing pieces!? Somehow I'll have to craft new brackets.

 

Delving further into the box I found it was like a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat - only for me it was wheels. How many???!!!

 

DSC_3750.JPG

 

Each was on it's own casting block - which of course needed to be removed and cleaned up. The detail is impressive though:

 

20171022_180756.jpg

 

Some hours of hunch-back labour later and I'd got the wheels and part of the axles sorted...

 

DSC_3753.JPG

 

DSC_3755.JPG

 

DSC_3756.JPG

 

I then assembled them and excitedly sprayed up the rubber - using Tamiya XF-69 Nato Black as a base coat, and then a thinned coat around the edges of Tamiya X-18 Semi-Gloss Black. The Merit tractor has vinyl tyres so to me, these are looking like a close match. I will of course weather the treads in due course.

 

20180218_205248.jpg

 

I will also do the hubs with a template once I've mixed up the green.

 

I then started on the trailer detail... which was surprisingly difficult as the instructions needed some deciphering:

 

20171203_183624.jpg

 

And here is the detail where the spare wheels and hand brake assemblies go:

 

20171203_183636.jpg

 

It's good to be back on it.

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Some more slow progress on the trailer this weekend. Who knew working with resin could be fun and frustrating at the same time? Well I didn't anyway. It's my first time using the stuff and although I'm enjoying it (it sands easily and can be bent back into shape with heat), I'm also extremely paranoid about the health aspects to using it - and have been frustrated by its brittleness in my clumsy hands. I'm finding that every piece needs some care and attention and as a result my appreciation of all you resin builders out there is increasing.

 

I've complete most of the underside now - other than the pipe work and cables:

20180224_180749.jpg

 

And I've also worked on the A frame and stowage lockers:

20180224_180802.jpg

 

20180224_180857.jpg

 

20180224_180941.jpg

 

Next I worked on the front axle. One of the nice things I'm finding about this kit is that all the parts can be adjusted, e.g. they will be movable once complete:

20180224_181239.jpg

 

I repaired the broken ramp brackets:

20180224_182212.jpg

 

And then starting work on the ramps themselves. This is where I found another broken piece. One of the ramps had taken some damage to one of the internal struts. Arrowed is a good piece (on the casting block), whereas circled is the part I had to repair - after I'd taken my scalpel to it I must add.

20180225_160854.jpg

 

A little while later...

20180225_161551.jpg

 

You'd never know :)

 

So it doesn't look like much progress but it is getting there slowly.

20180225_171815.jpg

 

The ramps themselves have photo-etch brackets to attach them to some 1.5mm styrene rod - which I think is actually way to big. If I can, I'll get some thinner rod - only because I don't want to risk breaking something whilst attempting to enlarging the holes to pass it through.

 

Next up will be some more priming and then finally I can start with the paintwork.

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Managed to fit some more hunch back time in over the weekend... so a little more to show. First off, lots of the assembly parts were removed from their casting blocks and given a good clean up. I also assembled the snatch blocks (the wheeled assemblies) which are some part of the winching process. My Dad would obviously know how these work but I've not had a chance to chat to him yet. All I know is that they fit to the chains which attach between the trailer and the tank.

 

20180304_161358.jpg

 

The blocks got their rope handles added. I still have some brass cable to fit to these:

 

20180304_185242.jpg

 

And then it was onto the rod for the loading ramps. As I pointed out in my previous post, the supplied 1.5mm rod was too thick to be fitted through the photo-etch parts and the holes in the chassis. It was actually too short as well. Anyway, I ordered some 0.75mm and 1.0mm rod and despite the spell of bad weather we've had here in the UK, these turned up before the weekend arrived. The 1.0mm rod was found to be a perfect fit - and of course I can trim it to the exact length.

 

20180303_132258.jpg

 

On the underside I completed the "Y" pivot and then fitted the cable for the handbrake. The instructions direct you to fitting the 0.5mm brass rod (shown) between the other end of the "Y" pivot and the small hole in the rear axle. The thing is, this same brass rod also needs to be trimmed and used in the winch cable assemblies - and there just isn't enough of it supplied to do both jobs. I'm sure if I took the time out the nice people at Accurate Armour would address the issue for me - but as it happened I had a packet of unused 0.75mm styrene rod which I figured would do for me!

 

20180304_182044.jpg

 

Ta da! I really don't think 0.25mm is going to be noticeable once it is all sprayed up - so I'm quite happy.

 

20180304_182854.jpg

 

Hopefully more next week.

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Nice progress Waiting for more of the same!

 

  Roger

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What a wonderful project, I can't wait to see the end result. I do have a vested interest in that my wife's Uncle drove both the Diamond T and Antar in the 1950's - I assume your dad is still around and it's a long shot, would he remember a Brian Kennedy or Ranby camp in Nottinghamshire? 

 

Either way, I shall be following the build with relish👍

 

 

Edited by Radpoe Spitfire

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Very nice project :clap2:seen your colour for the engine in two or three picture before.

Regards

Richard

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Prost,

what a nice blog, and the detailing and all your explanations. Awesome!

Thanks for sharing this.

/Stefan

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On 05/03/2018 at 20:20, phildagreek said:

Impressive!

Thanks Phildagreek :yes:.

On 05/03/2018 at 20:21, Hamden said:

 

Nice progress Waiting for more of the same!

 

  Roger

Cheers. Wait no more... see below. (I'm not a quick builder by the way) :yes:.

On 05/03/2018 at 21:51, Radpoe Spitfire said:

What a wonderful project, I can't wait to see the end result. I do have a vested interest in that my wife's Uncle drove both the Diamond T and Antar in the 1950's - I assume your dad is still around and it's a long shot, would he remember a Brian Kennedy or Ranby camp in Nottinghamshire? 

 

Either way, I shall be following the build with relish👍

 

 

Thanks... steady progress at a slow pace. My Dad is still around yes - and he's following this project from his home. He called my about your post to tell me that since he went straight out to Germany he didn't get to enjoy the delights of Ranby camp - and hence wouldn't have met your Brian Kennedy. He would love to hear from anybody from 123 company though.

On 07/03/2018 at 08:01, Blaubar said:

Prost,

what a nice blog, and the detailing and all your explanations. Awesome!

Thanks for sharing this.

/Stefan

Many thanks Blaubar :yes:.

 

So earlier in the week I primed up the trailer parts ready for painting.

20180317_113925.jpg

 

Then it was a case of mixing up the enamel paints to get the right bronze green and spraying up the underside and parts tractor, being careful to keep the moving parts of the suspension still moving. Pictures of the results further down.

 

Whilst waiting for the gloss to dry I started work on the Centurion.

20180317_152627.jpg

 

I've not built a tank for some 35+ years so I was looking forward to this. Not sure about the tracks though. I know there are aftermarket parts - but mine is going to be muddied up and sat on the back of the trailer. Does anybody have any advice on how to handle the rubber tracks?

 

Rather than follow the instructions (which directs you to start on the turret), I thought it best to dive straight into the wheels and chassis. This particular kit has a motor in it - which I'm not that bothered about using. There doesn't seem to be any alternative for the rear axle though so I had not alternative but to fit the gear mechanism.

20180317_180611.jpg 

 

Then it was on with assembling the suspension arms and fitting these to the chassis. These were lettered individually. The front ones have link bars on both sides, the middle have none and the rears have only one.

20180317_180729.jpg

 

The front wheels have metal parts for some reason.

20180318_144705.jpg

 

A collection of parts... the gloss is still a tiny bit tacky but it obviously needed to be inspected :wink:.

20180318_101214.jpg

 

Underside of the trailer (right side):

20180318_144826.jpg

 

Underside of the trailer (left side):

20180318_144849.jpg

 

I've never sprayed enamel gloss before. I read plenty of advice and knocked the pressure down to around 15psi but I still have a few patches, e.g. it is more glossy in some parts than others. Since this is the underside, a bit of grime will be able to hide my errors but it is definitely something I need to practice and get sorted for my final coats.

 

Wanting to get a feel for the size of the completed model, I fitted the tyres to the tractor and then, for a brief moment the sun came out - revealing a nice shine on the gloss work:

20180318_150214.jpg

 

Its a shame that a lot of the detail will be covered up once the cab and cowls go on:

20180318_150430.jpg

 

A quick dry fit shows that it will be around 47cm in length when complete:

20180318_150723.jpg

 

And I couldn't resist trying out the Centurion for size:

20180318_150348.jpg

 

Thanks for following.

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Looking good in paint!

 

"The front wheels have metal parts for some reason"

Metal parts are because it's a motorised model

 

     Roger

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