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T-34's Talented Cousin - the T-50!

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T-34's Talented Cousin - the T-50!

Old 04-06-2022, 09:33 AM
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lposter
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Default T-34's Talented Cousin - the T-50!

Hello
This is something I have started a while go but soon it will be moving up the priority queue.

I'm not introducing the T-50 - a promising development before the T-34 that would have been a very nice light tank if it had been continued. Theres plenty on the net about it so I'm not going to wax lyrical about it.

Heres the Kubinka one.



I picked this for two reasons.

First, I built a Maresal a while ago and that was a pain in the butt due to the crazy angle armour which proved really difficult to sort out. I tried protractors and various other things which just didnt cut it. It worked out OK but that was more luck than technique.

So I got hold of this picture:



and a set of these off Aliexpress for cheap:



They are thick enough that they can function as supports.

Like this:



So for the plates I have already made, it should be relatively easy to join them up with fairly precise angles. Which I couldn't do before. So I picked the T-50 as it has some complex angled plates and I really want to test these things as a fabrication tool.

The second reason is this picture:



These are the links for the tracks and according to my understanding of the highlighted number .... they should be 360 mm wide. Which is 22 mm in 1:16. Which is the width of a Pz III track. And they are also single horn...just like the Pz III !!

So they should work. Problem is the sprocket for the T-50 is much smaller. So I need to make one.

Im no expert but according to my cheapo calipers, the pitch of a Pz III track is 7.6 mm. For a sprocket of the diameter of the T-50s one..... that means 15 teeth with a pitch diameter of 38 mm. So Ive ordered some metal to see how to make one with just a small drill press..

In my box of stalled projects I had the beginnings of a 1:10 scale Pz IV or something. I had the blanks for the return rollers. I dont know where I got them or who made them but I think a guy from ebay had made them for me about 10 years ago.

Either way...they were pretty much the correct size for the road wheels.

So after abusing my tiny Proxxon drill for a couple of hours ...I had the start of a full set of road wheels.!





And a third bonus reason for the T-50 is the rear mounted drive train. This means I should be able to avail myself of a standard gearbox as there is some place back there. So thats a lot of faff saved.

The downside is the horrible turret but we will see how it goes.

When I finally go full steam at this I will post more.

P

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Old 04-06-2022, 12:20 PM
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Artem RedArmy
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Old 04-06-2022, 12:33 PM
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Thanks for that! Much appreciated for some of the measurements!

P
Old 04-06-2022, 10:14 PM
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Sorry for the hijack, but I just noticed that you can now see who liked a post at the end of that post. So they fixed the software to show us some stupid likes, but they can't fix the classified section. Ticks me off.

Again, sorry for the hijack, but like I said, that one really ticked me off. We used to have a decent classified section before they screwed it up, and I, for one, really miss the time when we had a working classified section for RC tanks.
Old 04-07-2022, 01:55 AM
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I so enjoy your work and the subjects you pick.
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Old 04-07-2022, 03:51 AM
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Great! I always looked my self to the T70 but this will be fun to watch too.

If you need some detailpictures, I visited Kubinka last year and made some pictures of the T50 too.
Old 04-07-2022, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by JeeSib View Post
Great! I always looked my self to the T70
I like the T-X0 series myself...... I built a T-60 once (the very definition of quantity being quality) and I really enjoy the way they look.

Started fabrication of this one simply to be able to say I started it. Simple enough but the side panels will be trickier.


Old 04-08-2022, 06:25 AM
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I did my side panels last night and after a few false starts and some wasted effort... I got them on.

I had to go with copper panels as my false starts used up the bits of steel of I had and the only thing left was a sheet of copper.

Its a bit .......Liberace........for my taste but it will do as it will get painted at some point. Aside from teh fenders....I reckon thats most of the donkey work on the upper superstructure done..... (famous last words probably!).



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Old 04-08-2022, 07:10 AM
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https://t34inform.ru/photo/photo_Album_NIBP-1945.html
Old 04-10-2022, 08:40 AM
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Today I approached the fenders. Which have two problems..... the first being that there is a lip along the whole length and the second is that there bends both front and back.
Normally I use short brass angle (like pictured) and then just solder it to the underside of the fender along the length.
Like this one:



This usually works fine and if there is a shallow bend or curve, in many cases the brass can handle it. But the last time I used this method, the brass "kinked" outwards on the bend and the sanding to smooth it caused the brass to be extremely thin at the bend.

This time I decided on another method. I cut two strips - one the width of the fender and th eother about 10 mm.

Then I carefully soldered the thin piece to the end of the wider piece along its length. I didnt cut the thinner piece to the actual length of the lip (2mm) as its impossible to keep a strip less then about 10mm from warmping. Once soldered on, I simply trimmed of the excess with a dremel and then simply filed and sanded to get a nice smooth lip.



The rough version and the "finished" version are shown below.

Both fenders were made twice as long as needed as if problems occur its often at the ends so I could then trim off the ends if they were no good.

To get the bend....I cut a series of very thin slots in the lip with a jewellers saw at both end. Then I made the bends around a steel bar in a vice. This made most of the cut slots close up on each other with no kinking in the lip. The remaining gaps can then be filled in and sanded smooth with filler. Along with any voids in the soldered seamline etc.



This is how they will look in relation to the top of the hull.


Pretty pleased with how that went...... thought it would be a hassle but it was all done in the space of a couple of hours.

P
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Old 04-11-2022, 04:09 AM
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it is amazing again what you are doing, so beautiful
Old 04-14-2022, 10:06 AM
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Nice to see some less common tanks getting a bit of love.

Very nice work so far. Joining the panels at weird angles like that and having the joints all come out straight and aligned ain't easy. How are you joining the hull panels? Epoxy or solder? Maybe I missed it in your post somewhere. I got distracted by the pretty pictures.

Old 04-14-2022, 10:33 AM
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Hi Boris

Im using solder. Epoxy would work probably
but solder has never let me down and its easier to redo things if necessary...

P
Old 04-16-2022, 03:33 AM
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That is some lovely machining, I wish I had half the tools and half the skills you do.
Old 04-16-2022, 09:03 AM
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I wish I could lay claim to the machining. But I cannot. The guy on ebay did the wheels. And the rest is fairly crude filing and jewellers saws and hacksaws.
P


Old 04-20-2022, 11:58 AM
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Thanks for sharing the photo on how to cut and bend the metal fenders!!! I will use that on the front fenders on my 1/8 scale Tiger II.
Old 04-20-2022, 08:01 PM
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It looks great, what is the thickness of the metal you are using?
Old 04-20-2022, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JeeSib View Post
It looks great, what is the thickness of the metal you are using?
Its all 1.2mm mild steel sheet.

I get it cheap at a car accessories type shop. Its sold in 1m long by 50 cm wide sheets for panel repairs or similar. Can cut with a nibbler or a decent jigsaw.
p
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Old 04-27-2022, 08:33 AM
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After the Easter break I managed to get a bit done.

First was the swing arms. These are self explanatory - som slices off a centre drilled 8mm silver steel rod with a flat filed on them. These were then silver soldered to a 12 mm long 4 mm dia. shaft and a corresponding other slice on the other end. Bit rough in places but they aint visible.


Then the wheels needed bearings. I normally do not bother and just use bushes but this time I thought I would go for it.

I have failed before with normal roller bearings due to not being able to get the fitting in the corresponding hole correct.

So I plumped this time for long needle bearings - the logic being that if I mess up the hole, there is enough surface area that Loctite will work better than on some skinny normal bearing.



The needle bearings are 8 mm in diameter nominally so I bought a 7.8 mm and a 7.9 mm drill and drilled out the holes in the wheels with the 7.8 mm drill using a jig to keep things straight.



Between the two drill bits I managed to get 8 or the 12 to be a press fit for the bearings - happy with that.

4 of them were slightly too wide in the hole (unsteady drilling on my part) and the bearings were now a slip fit. I used a punch to "knurl" the inside of the hole and with that and some Loctite, the remaining four were finished off to my satisfaction.



I will make hubcaps later.

Then I tackled the lower hull. The two side walls were cut and shaped and the holes for the wheels were made. This time I am going for a fairly standard spring suspension.
I have used torsion bars on a couple of recent tanks and while its neat and all.....I hate the "slop" that is always evident and the lack of any means of easy adjustment.

So I ordered some custom springs from SpringsandThings in the UK (highly recommended chap) and made up the preliminary stages of the suspension rig.
The axles will ride in some brass bushes I nabbed from some crappy gearboxes from Aliexpress and it was these that decided the ultimate size of the zxles - 4mm diameter.

This structure should provide for a fim support for the wheels and also will enable me to solve the problem of how to make sure the axles dont slip out from the hull (usually solved with a pin or a shaft ring or something).



It looks a bit IKEA-assembly-instructions at the minute but eventually the walls will be upright and hopefully all the holes line up exactly as they should.

Next steps will be completing my suspension system and then moving onto the drive system and sprocket.

p





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Old 04-28-2022, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by lposter View Post
After the Easter break I managed to get a bit done.


It looks a bit IKEA-assembly-instructions at the minute but eventually the walls will be upright and hopefully all the holes line up exactly as they should.

Next steps will be completing my suspension system and then moving onto the drive system and sprocket.

p
For me it is very interesting (I never built a tank from metal) so if you don't mind, please keep posting like this!
Old 04-28-2022, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JeeSib View Post
For me it is very interesting (I never built a tank from metal) so if you don't mind, please keep posting like this!
Not often there is much interest in fabricating tanks like these so here's another post!

These are the axles mounts/spring stretchers for want of a better term.

I starte off with 9 mm chunks of brass rod, the same length as the width between the two rails of the suspension rack.

I drilled and reamed an off centre hole of 4mm through each cylinder. This will hold the axle.



Then I cross drilled and reamed another hole of 4mm through the thicker side of the cylinder. This will hold the steel bar that will engage with th espring.


Then I cut a series of 16mm long 4 mm diameter rods of mild steel and filed a square notch in one end of each of them.

Liek a dumbass I then noticed that 4mm was too much fo rthe loop on the spring. So I needed to lose a half mm off the diameter.

I chucked the rod in the drill and used a file to thin out the diameter on all 12. crude, but quick and easy.



Then I silver soldered these rods into the brass axle holder.


This looks horrible but after an hour in a pickle bath they were fine. As a pickle I use the citric acid powder you buy for jam making and just dissolve it in boiling water. Works fine and can go down the kitchen sink after with no worries.

This is how they look now.



This is how they will fit in the suspension racks. The axle will go through the brass and be soldered in. One side will stick out through the hull and hold the road wheels, the other will sit in the brass bushing poosite.



Th eother end of the spring will be held by a notched cross member a little further behind each axle holder. There will also be a retaiming cross bar that will stop th eaxle holder going backwards towards the spring too much. This is important as the upright spring holding bar is functioning as a datum for a couple of other operations and its important that it remains vertical as this determines the angle the swing arms will be at.

P



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Old 04-29-2022, 01:47 AM
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I think you might be wrong about the amount of interest in fabricating, it's just that most of us don't have the skills to do it ourselves. Though I don't often post, I love watching your build threads and I hope you'll keep them up. You are remarkably talented and I think if I had even half that much talent I would have achieved World Domination by now. Bwahaha

Please keep the posts and photos coming. I can't wait to see how this turns out.
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Old 05-01-2022, 08:43 AM
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First trial fit of the suspension racks. This was just to be in order to check the axle lengths so all the bits are not attached.

It also needs some tabs attached to the bottoms so I can screw it down to the floor.

The large brass disks have a purpose. As there are screws along the outer side of the rack and there is going to be a solder bead or fillet along the inside corner where the sidewalls join the floor, the racks will never sit totatlly up against th eside walls.
But I need a reference surface to allow to measure the axle lengths. So I dded some disks so they can butt up against th eside wall and facilitate some reliable measure of axle length.

I also made a mess of the distance between the cross members that hold the spring swing rods vertical...so now they are some degrees off vertical. Its not insurmountable, its just very very annoying.



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Old 05-03-2022, 05:56 AM
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Fabrication/scratch building... it's what it's all about. You just take it to the highest level!
Old 05-06-2022, 01:57 AM
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I made a big mistake in cutting the shafts for my suspension and ended up with twelve accurately cut and soldered shafts which were all about 1 cm too short. This was annoying as I had no more 4 mm bar left. I desoldered them and will use them for the road wheel axles but I had to order more 4 mm bar and these tanks are supposed to be cheap........

So I went back to the hull.

A major blockage in progress was mating the top hull to the bottom. The top had a load of angles and does not sit stably on the bottom. Any mistake I had made in those angles was going to show up, probably as a skew between front and back...where the front glacis lines up fine but the rear doesn't or something equally poxy,

The fenders have to serve as alignment along the length of the hull so that the top is sitting as it should. Using lots of magnets and temporary fixings, I got the fenders on and the two halves aligned nicely. Filler will solve what solder could not.






The sharper eyed will notice two potential cock ups in my measurements. The first of these is the where the rear of the top half meets the rear of the bottom half - there is a substantial gap.

My measurements however are OK I think ...because in real life there is also a shelf or lip along that back edge. I point it out in the picture below. So all I have to do is add some steel along that top edge, shape in a bit and it will be as in real life.



The second is the gap between the side glacis plates on the top half and the fender. But in pictures I see online, there is also a large gap (see picture). Im guessing that in real life, the fenders actually are part of the bottom hull and the top was plonked down on top? Either way, the gaps exists and whether or not I leave them there is a matter of aesthetics and my personal taste. I am leaning towards filling them in. Its a simple matter.



On the plus side for me.....were the curved lips on the fenders. I had slotted the lip along the curve and then bent it to avoid kinking (see previous post). My plan had been to fill it with Bondo and sand it smooth to remove the slots.

Instead I flooded it with the solder from the back side of the lip and once hard, gave it a lick with a sanding sponge. The cut slots are barely visible and once it gets a proper sanding and shaping, there will be not trace of them at all.



very pleased with that indeed.

P

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