Making the Floor Braces

Unfortunately I had moved past this step before starting to consider this website and I don’t have photos of the hull or the construction of the braces, but I will attempt to describe the process used and use photos of the hull in its current state where they will help.  Once I had the hull thickness to scale all internal measurements came into scale which will allow the proper placement of the hull fixtures throughout the rest of the project.  All throughout this project several tools are essential the first is Frank Crenshaw’s Scalecalc, this is a free computer based scale conversion calculator that is downloadable for personal use, you can find the link on my links page. All of the measurements were run through this calculator for conversion. Second is a digital metric caliper, I got mine through Snap-On but one can be had at just about any tool supply outlet. Third is David Byrden’s TigerI.info, it has almost every number that I have used so far.

          For the floor braces I started by printing off the page “Items on hull floor” from TigerI.info, I converted the measurements and then transferred them to the hull of my Tiger.  Next at the bottom of the page are the drawings of long and short braces, using the inside length of the Tiger and a photo copier and copied off templates to make braces from. The templates were transferred to sheet platstic and the braces were cut out, laid out in the hull and glued down after which Magicsculp was used to make the weld beads.

The bearings for the torsion bars were made before the braces were installed in the hull but I did not discover the modifications to the swing arm mounts that Tamiya found necessary until I tried to install the bearings in the braces which was after they were already in the hull. Tamiya lowered the hole in the hull and used a shorter road arm than would be scale; I am assuming that this was done because of the spring suspension and the metal try suspension frame that was carried over from the R/C version of the model. Anyway the bearings and sockets had to be flattened on the bottom side so that the road arms would fit into them straight, this only caused a small problem in the end and is really a lot easier than having corrected the road arm holes and making all new road arms. Simple representations of all of the bearings, and sockets were made from plastic, aluminum, and resin bolt heads, and then molds were made in RTV and copies for the tank were made from two part resin, (alumilite). Once the bearings were in place they two were welded in with Magicsculp. Torsion bars were made from brass rod that corresponded to the diameter of the larger of the two types used in each tank, the first and last torsion bars on each side were thicker than the rest, and each bar was mounted inside the road arm. The Tamiya road arms were cut off at the end of the Tamiya spring mounting groove and then drilled to except the torsion bar; the bars were then affixed to the road arm. The added on plastic for the scale hull plates was marked and drilled to just a few thousandths under the diameter of the road arms at here thickest point, this allows the road arms to bear weight and the suspension to still function to a degree, each component of the suspension to include to track tensioner's were built the way to allow adjustment of the tank later.

Lastly the assembled road arm and torsion bar were passed through the hole in the hull through each corresponding bearing with road arm finally resting in both of its bearings.

The working suspension and shocks

 


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