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Chieftain Wedge


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In recent years I have been questioning if my modelling days are over. Last year I finished off my Conqueror Mk1 build during lockdown some five or six years after I had started it, then this year I have completed the equally lengthy build of the Mk2 that is now awaiting the right weather conditions for painting. The last time I actually sat down and built a 'new' model from go to woah was the Gas Turbine Conqueror in 2018.

 

So with the Conqueror sitting in its pre-paint box awaiting the day when I can start slopping paint on I started to wonder if that was finally it.

 

Apparently not! I have a soft spot for Chieftains and recently I accidentally found a You Tube video on Crazy Horse. That started me thinking that maybe I could build one, but when I researched further I also found some pics of the Wedge, and in fact found more views of the Wedge than I had of Crazy Horse. That got me thinking that maybe a Wedge might just be the thing to keep me modelling a while longer.  

 

Found a Tamiya kit online at a model shop at my end of the Island and ordered it. When it did not turn up I chased to shop and eventually discovered that it had been sent to the wrong address....as in a different town! So while it is touring the lower half of the North Island I thought I would make a start on the base. 

 

Because of the shape of the base I want to use I need it before the build so I can 'droop' the suspension to fit. The base must also provide a secure means of attaching the model so I need to have the base before I build the running gear to get everything lined up. 

 

I used a piece of veneered MDF as the base, then built up a form with 80 thou styrene which will also give me a strong anchor for the model.

 

7nnbJm9.jpg

 

I filled the voids with expanded polystyrene which will eventual be covered with Claycrete paper mâché.

 

7sLDXHf.jpg

 

Having got that far I really needed to sneak preview of what the finished article might look like so needed a Chieftain. Fortunately I just happen to have one that I had prepared earlier!

 

dXZ38hW.jpg

 

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These pics show the need for the suspension tweaks. I have ordered a set of individual link tracks to facilitate the suspension droop, but have yet to work out just how I will modify the Tamiya suspension units which are each moulded in one piece. Some delicate surgery may be required. The tracks are coming from Oz so may be some time yet...they have already spent seven days at Melbourne airport.

 

So looks like I am back in at the deep end!

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What a great idea for a project Dave, these spin off versions are not seen in model form very often.

I'll take a seat and watch you work your magic on this one if I may?

 

  Stay safe            Roger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good to know that you're not packing it in Dave. The Conqueror was a beaut, and I've not doubt that you will do the Chieftain justice too.

 

John.

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The chieftain is such a lovely tank. I know I will get alot of hate, but the British really started producing lovely vehicles during and after the cold War. 

 

Cvrt family, chieftan, challie 1/2 they all have great looking profiles. 

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Wedge is still squirrelled away all lonely in a dark corner of the old workshop at Bovington.  Crazy Horse is at least visible in their Conservation Centre. I can probably get you some more pictures of that.

 

I thought you might be going for SID, PIP or FV4211.  And then there's JadgChieftain.........

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On 9/28/2021 at 12:25 AM, Das Abteilung said:

Wedge is still squirrelled away all lonely in a dark corner of the old workshop at Bovington.  Crazy Horse is at least visible in their Conservation Centre. I can probably get you some more pictures of that.

 

I thought you might be going for SID, PIP or FV4211.  And then there's JadgChieftain.........

 

Thanks. My ref pics of Wedge are all from Tankfest, 05EB23. I think I probably have enough pics of it to make a reasonable representation. I have some detail pics of a Willich AVRE that help with the 'commanders' cupola/hatch and the turret ring plating.

 

Crazy Horse may be a future project but this time around I found that the videos lacked definition and did not cover all angles, and my still collection is four shots that appear to be at Bovington.

 

I am not very keen on the SID/PIP/FV4211 because they are too slab sided - and JadgChieftain for that matter. Thats why Challenger has never been of much interest to me either! 

Edited by Kiwidave4
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Kit turned up on Tuesday so it was not long before I had to get into it! This is my fifth Tamiya Chieftain so I know my way around and have some useful parts in the spares box as well.

 

First job as always with this kit is filling the motorisation holes in the lower hull.

X3NsSX5.jpg

 

Then I tackled the front suspension bogie. I needed to droop the suspension which is a little tricky given that the bogies are moulded as one piece. The options are some crude surgery or scratch building new units. As they are largely hidden, even with the front airborne, I saw no point in scratching, so waded in with the razor saw. First one went wrong straight away, but nowt that I could not save. The experience gained soon paid off on the second one which was very straightforward.

LcZIXm9.jpg

 

Reassembly involved inserting a styrene rod pivot, jigging up the desired droop and applying liberal amounts of liquid cement. The shock absorber push rods were replaced with brass rod. Their mounting points were drilled out and the brass superglued in place to add strength to the whole assemble. The end result is at best 'semi scale', but it is barely visible and holds the wheels in the right place. 

G3m54u6.jpg

evQgCbY.jpg

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Must confess I've no idea what the Wedge is, that's what Google's for, but this project looks really interesting. 

Really neat and effective work on the suspension units too.

 

Atb

Darryl 

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6 minutes ago, Jasper dog said:

Must confess I've no idea what the Wedge is, that's what Google's for, but this project looks really interesting. 

Really neat and effective work on the suspension units too.

 

Atb

Darryl 

 

Thanks Darryl.

Its a turretless Chieftain intended for driver training. Dont know how many were built but its the sort of thing that appeals to

me and I have enough info on it to be able to make a fair representation so lets see what materialises!

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Aaaah.

'Its a turretless Chieftain intended for driver training.'  Good to know.

I thought it was the bit the Chiefie is driving up!

Tom

p.s.

Whats 'Crazy Horse'?

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25 minutes ago, Kiwidave4 said:

 

Thanks Darryl.

Its a turretless Chieftain intended for driver training. Dont know how many were built but its the sort of thing that appeals to

me and I have enough info on it to be able to make a fair representation so lets see what materialises!

Ahhhh, so it is!

The lightweight sports model then!

A little more rudimentary than the Challenger equivalent. 

 

Good luck.

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54 minutes ago, Modelholic said:

Aaaah.

'Its a turretless Chieftain intended for driver training.'  Good to know.

I thought it was the bit the Chiefie is driving up!

Tom

p.s.

Whats 'Crazy Horse'?

 

Crazy Horse was a radio controlled Chieftain intended as a mobile target. The 'Armoured Archive' channel on Youtube has a video of it during trials.

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32 minutes ago, Kiwidave4 said:

 

Crazy Horse was a radio controlled Chieftain intended as a mobile target. The 'Armoured Archive' channel on Youtube has a video of it during trials.

Bloody army haha...now i get the name crazy horse....cause the tank was a chieftan...doh!!

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18 hours ago, Bullbasket said:

I saw this and thought of you Dave. I know that it says "unavailable", but it's a new company, so probably will be available soon.

https://www.ams-paints-and-accessories.co.uk/pages/shop/product.html?product_id=173333759&

John.

 

Thanks John.

Just saw your post, the day started early with live viewing of the Austin MotoGP round and the rest of the day has not quite caught up!!

 

Never heard of Scottcast and a quick search only brought me back to AMS. Main problem with it is my aversion to resin, the second problem is my aversion to spending money!

 

Looks nicely cast, but that is the sort of thing that I would be inclined to scratch if I was really keen. Have had the Centurion ARV on my 'possibles' list for years, ever since I found a Military Modelling article which included a three view drawing, but it has never grabbed me enough to tackle it.

 

Dave

 

 

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Started work on the upper hull which needed some surgery. The wading rail had to be removed which was relatively straight forward.

The only tricky bit was the portion alongside the engine decks which was close to the gun depression stop rail. To make access easier I decided to remove the stop rail,

which also allows me to scratch replacements that will be more accurate. However I did make a bit of a pigs ear of what should have been an easy job and the hull now looks

bit second hand. Good news is that the rear side bins will hide the damage once fitted! The transverse section of the stop rail also needed to go, and this was a bit fiddly as Tamiya moulded the outboard sections into the fuel tank access panels. I also cut out the transmission decks in preparation for upgrading to Mk5+ standard, filled the redundant holes on the glacis, and 

deleted the splash guard aft of the drivers periscope.

RLosAQk.jpg

 

As a change from the destruction wrought on the hull I started detailing the exhaust box. I have some resin exhaust pipes of the correct shape that will be going on.

8vlXVVQ.jpg

 

Have also been doing bits to the base which is quite a challenge for me as I usually make the simplest base I can get away with after I have finished the model. For the Wedge I have

had to make the base in tandem with the model to get the tracks/suspension to match the base and to arrange the system to locate and hold the model in place. 

 

A package from Oz also arrived during the week! Looks like I have many hours of track bashing ahead of me!

icK52bt.jpg

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I'm sure you are aware but that crew are in MTP and using current issue lids.  They also dont have the harnesses on that tank crew wear these days.  Valkyrie do a British armour crew set which is worth looking at which will be spot on for your Chiefy as they are in 68 pattern DPM

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1 hour ago, simmerit said:

I'm sure you are aware but that crew are in MTP and using current issue lids.  They also dont have the harnesses on that tank crew wear these days.  Valkyrie do a British armour crew set which is worth looking at which will be spot on for your Chiefy as they are in 68 pattern DPM

 

Thanks for that. Not sure when the Wedge entered service, though the example I am building was a converted 3RTR gun tank before being 'retired' and converted.

 

Wedge was primarily used for training drivers of non-gun tanks, - ARV, AVRE, AVLB, - and those were in service well into the nineties. The Willich AVRE were built in 1987, the Vickers

variants in the early nineties. Dont know about the AVLB and ARV but assume a similar time frame, and they all served well into the 90's so crew would be in 80's - 90's gear.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Kiwidave4 said:

 

Thanks for that. Not sure when the Wedge entered service, though the example I am building was a converted 3RTR gun tank before being 'retired' and converted.

 

Wedge was primarily used for training drivers of non-gun tanks, - ARV, AVRE, AVLB, - and those were in service well into the nineties. The Willich AVRE were built in 1987, the Vickers

variants in the early nineties. Dont know about the AVLB and ARV but assume a similar time frame, and they all served well into the 90's so crew would be in 80's - 90's gear.

 

 

 

68 pattern DPM it is then!  

 

I feel very old all of a sudden.......

 

Nice build BTW.  Looking forward to seeing it done.  @metadyne will doubtless have something to contribute as he used to bomb around in Chiefys in his younger days!  

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3 hours ago, simmerit said:

 

68 pattern DPM it is then!  

 

I feel very old all of a sudden.......

 

Nice build BTW.  Looking forward to seeing it done.  @metadyne will doubtless have something to contribute as he used to bomb around in Chiefys in his younger days!  

Not me Sir, I used to bomb around in 432's as I was an Infantryman, I spent time in  A company, B company, Support Company (Milan) and HQ company (Int) before transfering into the AFPU, and boy did I have a lot of fun then.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Slow progress due to life getting in the way plus a bit of brighter weather that allowed me to start painting the Conqueror Mk2.

 

Mostly worked on the base. I usually tie my models to the base with wire run around a road wheel and through the base. With the terrain involved on this one I opted to build a couple of hard points into the base so I can use metal pins through the road wheels. With the anchors on place I could then finish of the basic shaping using Claycrete, and add some 'trim' to the outside of the base to pretty it up a bit.

6Wy9bQq.jpg


Hull work continued with the Mk5 style transmission deck. This involved creating a four part deck with a raised centre. Just happened to have some resin centre panels, which left me having to cut down the kit side panels to size and getting the bits all stuck together and installed.

YBfTaD8.jpg

 

Once the deck was in place I could then join the hull upper to the hull lower, and add some sheet styrene to the underside of the track guards to fill the voids.

VomrWYm.jpg

 

Now I can work my way around the hull adding and /or modifying details as necessary.

2urFR7L.jpg

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got to the point where I could not delay assembling the tracks any longer! First I sleeved the road wheels and idlers with styrene tube. I had the poly cap wheel retainers split on the first Chieftain I built in 2001 and have replaced the hub caps on all subsequent builds. This also ensures that the wheels have no 'wobble'. This build will have resin hub caps, but I have used squash moulded styrene as well.

The Takom tracks just click together which is quite convenient but makes draping them over the sprockets and idlers a bit more difficult compared with the 'workable' type that use a pin. Got out my trusty hi-tech track jig and away we went. Fortunately there was very little clean up needed on the links.

BOtwAnG.jpg

 

With the tracks assembled I was able to do a bit more work on the base to get the tracks to follow the contour. I have yet to fit the track pads which I will only use on the visible sections of track, and as usual I won't be bothering with a top run which will be behind the bazooka plates.

IhnFHxV.jpg

 

The base then got a coat of brown primer while the hull acquired a card pattern for the turret ring blanking plate while I work out how to make it. The pattern has a join because my preferred pattern making material is business cards which are not big enough for this!

GGfB2YW.jpg

 

I am also working away at modifying kit parts ready for assembly. The drivers hatch has benefitted from some extra detail.

FEBryMh.jpg

 

The commanders cupola is posing a bit of a problem. At present I have a selection of new and used parts that I am trying to adapt but it is looking like I will need to resort to some scratching

 as the cupola does not appear to have much in common with the gun tanks, although the hatch does seem to be the same.

BetWAdn.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not much progress recently; - a combination of modellers block and time spent painting the Conqueror Mk2. 

 

My initial research of this vehicle, 05EB23, showed it was a Mk2 that spent its early life with the Cavalry and then 3RTR as a gun tank. However once I started making the hull deck over the turret ring I noticed the few photos I have all showed an interesting patchwork of scabbed-on plates aft of the cupola and access hatch. So I spent some time further researching and found confirmation that 05EB23 was one of the Willich AVRE conversions in '86/87. This led me to look for Willich reference pics which are as scarce as Wedge ones! However I found enough evidence to explain the 'patchy' deck. 

 

The cupola posed a problem as explained above but some creative jiggery pokery has resulted in a semi scale replica using a combination of Tamiya Chally 1 vision blocks and the kit hatch, with some scratching thrown in.

4btiPJH.jpg

 

The Tamiya hatch is a bit wrong so I tried to improve it.

h3vgwKh.jpg

 

With the hull decking in place I have been able to add the plates, start work on the detailing and start building up the cupola.

0PZlGTd.jpg

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