Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

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John Clarke
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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by John Clarke » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:01 pm

Fantastic work guys, Keep the details coming and the explanations with them.
Going back slightly to the clothing of operational staff, I take it that back in the 70's and onwards, Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM) standard issue Parker's/Jackets where worn during exercises? If so these are easily obtained in 1/6 format.
Another thought for head gear was fashionable "Bone Dome" of the 70's which could be easily simulated using the Action man flying helmet. (Ugly piece of kit) but not a million miles away with a little work and a little artistic licence. The great thing about it (maybe the only great thing about it) is that a detailed head set stays inside the helmet on the 1/6 figure. Difficult to keep on when place over the DID (Dragon in Dreams) black beret. I know from experience fine detailed headsets fall to bits just looking at them let alone being placed on a moving model.

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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by Stephen White » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:20 pm

Thanks John, happy to oblige as long as it doesn't put people off posting......

The introduction of DPM combat kit and Chieftain pretty much coincided. That said, tank crews were discouraged from wearing combat kit because it quickly became contaminated with oil and diesel. It wasn't until the Challenger era that crews started wearing combat kit and body armour. The standard dress for Chieftain crews was a pair of lightweight green coveralls or black in the case of the Royal Tank Regiment (and one or two rather deluded Royal Signals punters who wrongly thought that their tracked vehicles were "panzers" and equally wrongly thought that entitled them to wear black denims, a privilege of the RTR). The British Army is nothing if not tribal about dress. The coveralls were "dead cheap" but were easily cleaned. They had few pockets and offered absolutely no protection or warmth. We were issued with a plain green Arctic Parka which crews wore dismounted but it was too bulky to wear in the turret. The parka came with a poor quilted liner which could be worn but which was easily ripped. As you can tell, tank crews weren't well served by the clothing people until the late 90s. So for an accurate Chieftain crew, it's a green/black onesy. A prize to the first person to find one in 1/6th.

Headgear was also a problem. When Chieftain entered service, crews wore their regimental beret with radio headsets (Larkspur initially then Clansman). I've been encouraging Dave Dibb to make some Larkspur radio ancillaries. The first time I fired the operational APDS round (which we could really only do in Canada), my beret and headset flew out of the cupola with the pressure change and I was deaf for days. We probably all had hearing loss in later life. We tried to get hold of Amplivox headsets which were issued to people in comfortable HQ, which gave some measure of protection. The beret did nothing to protect heads, in fact the back of the metal cap badge was usually imprinted on your forehead when the tank hit a bump. The danger was recognised with the introduction of the AFV crewman's helmet, which you show above. Top Gun it wasn't. It was excruciatingly uncomfortable but better than concussion. After a few hours, your head felt as if it had been in a vice. The next effort was based on the Clansman Staff User Headset and provided a shell which sat on the top. It was more comfortable but still not good.
afv400e.JPG.84a8d0539634135b9d8f6b6e87162187.jpg
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Finally, with both Larkspur and Clansman radios, the commanders wore a breastplate which gave you control over radio monitoring (listening to one radio while talking on another) and a press to talk switch (pressel). Who says men can't multi-task?

Overall, getting a realistic crew for our models will be a challenge. All ideas gratefully received.
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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by Phil Woollard » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:15 pm

Iv'e found black overalls in 1/6th and they are right under our noses!
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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by Mark Heaps » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:27 pm

Stephen White wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:20 pm
Thanks John, happy to oblige as long as it doesn't put people off posting......
Same here, but my observations will be from the REME side of things and from a later date to Stephen´s. It was only from about 2004/2005 that unofficial modifications were cracked down on and had to be removed. If I recall correctly, it coincided with the introduction of BOWMAN, the new digital radio system. With the Chiefy, there is a lot of scope for individualisation. As long as something is not removed that would have always been fitted due to being essential for being battleworthy, and you do not add something that never existed at the time, then nobody can say for certain it never happened.
Stephen White wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:20 pm
Tank crews were discouraged from wearing combat kit because it quickly became contaminated with oil and diesel.
Same goes for the REME crews of the support vehicles. Right up till I left in Feb 2007, all work parades whether on the Tank Park or outside LAD Main were in coveralls. They were the first thing you "obtained" an extra of, so that you could keep one set pristine.
Stephen White wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:20 pm
It wasn't until the Challenger era that crews started wearing combat kit and body armour.
I personally did not see combat coveralls or body armour till Challenger 2, and even then only tankcrews got the combat coveralls, but I did spend 6 years at 2nd line manning the IFCS / TOGS hotrig for the first four of them before Chally 2 was introduced so they may have come in earlier.
Stephen White wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:20 pm
So for an accurate Chieftain crew, it's a green/black onesy. A prize to the first person to find one in 1/6th.
I believe I will have to send a begging letter to my mother. Qualified dressmaker and she made plenty of uniforms for the Action Men my brother and I had as kids, so has experience working at that scale.

Mark

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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by andymusgrove » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:55 pm

Hi Phil

From my experience with the Blues & Royals, we wore the bone dome on Chieftain as in your photo right up to the point we changed roles in 1980 to armoured reconnaissance.

And A squadron when on exercise were “allowed” to wear a black polo neck under our green coveralls. Never in the tank did we wear our Combat gear. Yes we had 58 Pat webbing with the additional backpack or sometimes our kitbag, but mostly the SQMC kept kitbags and we could refresh our undies from this at Sqn Leaguers. We also carried when dismounted our 9mm SMG,s which was our personal weapon. Or my troop leader had a 9mm browning.

Keep up the good work.

I am so looking forward to receiving my Chieftain 👍

Regards

Andy.

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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by John Clarke » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:12 pm

This is all very confusing, it's almost as if the pictures in all the books are staged for the photographer.

Then where would we be? (errmm)

When the tanks are being worked on, tested the overhauls are common place, Then when inside the tank most operators are jacketed (depending on the time of year I suppose) and wearing the berets or helmets of one kind or another.

I appreciate the equipment wasn't as good as it should have been. That's usually because lazy management and hierarchy has no clue what is actually required or refused to lower themselves to actually using it. (probably because they had their very own Savile Row tailor)

It's a documented fact that in WW2 most head injuries in the armored service were caused by " tankies" wearing nothing on their heads or only a beret and not the head gear that was supplied to them. It's understandable you want to be comfortable but at what risk? would the commanding officer actually condone this action?

As an arm chair warrior, I watch and read as much as possible, there's short clip of a Challenger 1 on a South Wales firing range, letting loose a few rounds. All are wearing DPM jackets except the loader who has "light" green overalls (I think) working his socks off, he also has no head gear except his head set.
It's a very good clip as I can imagine crew position is very much like the Chieftain in action and under pressure.

From my own civvy experience, had we been caught not wearing the correct apparel we'd get our "marching orders" so to speak.
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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by andymusgrove » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:33 pm

Hi John
Ok so here are a few photos, you have to remember Chieftain has been in service for a lot of years and with different regiments and clothing varying between regiments and also Squadrons within those regiments so to build your chieftain you need to settle on a regiment for the different squadron marking etc and also the different crew gear.

These are not of me but some of my crew mates.

Regards

Andy
NBC KIT.jpg
Shown here in NBC kit with Bone Dome
Hanger Clean.jpg
Standard day at the Office
Herbie.jpg
Herbie Here in Lightweight Trousers with KF shirt and Jumper with Coverals over and standard Working belt - this was normal to wear a working belt with Coveralls.

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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by John Clarke » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:18 am

It seems to me to be all Panzer Grey, Panzer Black and Panzer Pea. What you'd got, you wore.

Here's the clip of a fighting team, not exactly The Chieftain, but the next best thing.

https://youtu.be/E8aOHwUXM3M
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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by Mark Heaps » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:31 pm

Hi John,
A lot of discrepancies in that video. The film crew obviously took a lot of film and then spliced sequences together without the final result being checked out by someone who knew the vehicle. :(

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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by John Clarke » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:29 am

I'm sure there was a lot of film taken, I have a little more from the exercise on disk. But It clearly shows what the crew is wearing in the fighting compartment, again surprised to see the lack of head protection for the poor old loader. There so many sharp hard edges in the turret.

I was also surprised to see so much smoke came from the breach during firing too, I know there would be a extraction fan going like the clappers but it must have been very irritating and distracting during high volume shooting. For those of us who will never experience this type of action, the clip did seem realistic.
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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by Phil Woollard » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:27 am

Talking of books! I have just received the Haynes workshop manual for the Chieftain tank and it's pretty good. Lots of simple diagrams for idiots like me, with many clear photos. It's reasonably priced and will provide some good reference material, there are many comprehensive diagrams of the engine bay which include the internal exhausts layout (and I did use the plural as there are more than one, three in fact, not including the fume extraction and the NBC systems), the coolant system/systems, the fighting compartment ( which would be a nightmare to reproduce) the list goes on and on, and it arrived in super quick time unlike others that I have ordered which may arrive in late May.
I would like to post some of the excellent photos contained in this book but the copyright may be a problem......Get one! 8)

A quick question for the boss (Kian), can you give us an idea of the engine deck access hatch layout that you have planned please, I'm just considering the extras I would like to incorporate, I don't wish to open a can of worms but would love to have an insight into that area? 8)
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This isn't one from the manual. Love the stowage and the weathering on this example, the sand colour really emphasises this unlike the IRR green and blacks which, in my opinion will be more challenging to to get to look convincing in our 1/6th scale.
Note the way the environment adheres to the wet areas, like the oil deposits that have run down the bazooka plates and the oiled bin catches!
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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by Stephen White » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:39 am

John Clarke wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:29 am
surprised to see the lack of head protection for the poor old loader.

I was also surprised to see so much smoke came from the breach during firing too,
John, loaders suffered from a lack of headroom and a need to get into small spaces such as over the coax machine gun to clear stoppages. The AFV crewman helmet was really too bulky to be comfortable for the loader and most chose to wear headsets and take the risk of a bashed head. Loaders were experienced crewmen and I don't recall much of a problem.

The "smoke" seen in the video looks to me to be largely dust from outside, drawn through the barrel when the breech opens. It looks like Castlemartin Range in Wales during a particularly dry summer and the conditions are unusually dusty. The L11 fume extractor was very effective in exhausting the products of combustion through the muzzle end of the barrel.

I have to comment on the crew's drills. They're dancing around that balance between slick/professional and corner cutting/dodgy. The loader certainly isn't following the correct drills and the commander's "fire another one" isn't a recognised fire order. With a well trained crew who were familiar with each other, you could speed things up but never at the expense of compromising safety. AFV gunnery has to be a matter of drills. Any other way is less safe and probably slower.

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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by John Clarke » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:43 am

I've had this book for a couple of years, pretty good book for us idiots (we have feelings too you know :) ) I think this last picture shows a sadly un-loved Chieftain. Of course they'll get beat up on exercises, but I'd expected crews would get "short change" from a commanding officer If equipment was left in this rusty state. Maybe on the way to the wrong end of the range.
As I never thought Armortek would build the Chieftain, big mistake! I sold off the British 1/6 equipment I'd dress up a 1/6 Challenger 2 I also used to own and several extra 1/6 metal jerry cans I brought during a build up of kit for a SdKf7 halftrack and sold them too.
Another big mistake. Rare as Rocking horse do do now.
When I found 4x jerry cans in the US clearly stated as metal, reasonable priced but with an extortionate post. I thought well, treat yourself a little bit of filler and paint and I'd having a nice bit of metal kit for the Chieftain.
They turned up today. Plastic........ Doh... I hate being ...... about, now I have to send them back..... $100 worth of grief. :evil:
The moral of the story, when buying from the US, double check the details as the post is a value killer.
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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by John Clarke » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:53 pm

Thanks for the details Stephen, I fully understand. I don't say anything if it doesn't hurt to much, the paper work avalanche or embarrassment isn't worth the hassle. I have and always will have the greatest respect for our armed forces, I have had the pleasure of trying to stand in the Chieftain turret, wondering where the hell your supposed to place body parts without getting them trapped while working in such a cramped difficult moving environment.
I work in an engineering environment, routine "Time savers" are exercised by "competent" person's all the time. These actions are ok as long as nothing goes wrong. Designers rarely concern themselves with the maintenance or personnel operational requirement. We have a saying "not built for maintenance" or a version of an old groucho marx quote. "A three year old could fix this, Quick run out and get me a three year old"

When things go wrong, we usually get a rare visit from management. I'm always amazed how many episodes of CSI these well dressed "intellectuals" have watched and believed. We actually have a "no blame culture at work" ......Ha...
.........unless they know who it is.

That's a whole lot dust coming from the breach? Would the breach sealing devices be changed on a regular basis? And just out of interest, how would the loader know how many "vent tubes" had been used?

"Dirty Harry" comes to mind " with all the excitement was it 5 shots or 6 shots?............... well punk do you feel lucky?"
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Re: Chieftain build by Phil Woollard.

Post by Mark Heaps » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:10 pm

John Clarke wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:53 pm
That's a whole lot dust coming from the breach? Would the breach sealing devices be changed on a regular basis? And just out of interest, how would the loader know how many "vent tubes" had been used?
The dust would be coming through when the breech is open and the tank is opened up. If closed down and with the the NBC system operating creating an over-pressure, it would not have.

The breech seals ( Obturators ) were cleaned daily after firing and then inspected by the Sqn Gun Fitter to confirm serviceabilty for the following days firing. The Gun Fitter did not leave the range until he had inspected them all or had received a declaration from the vehicle commander that the tank had not fired that day. Every Gun Fitter that served alongside me insisted on inspecting all irrespective of whether the tank had fired or not. There was an indicator on the gun to show if they had failed and tanks did hold a reserve set but only in combat conditions were the crew allowed to swap them and continue firing. In peace-time if the breach seal indicator went, then it was cease-fire immediately and get the gun system inspected by REME.

The Vent Tubes were loaded into magazines. A good loader would keep track of how many rounds had been fired and know when to change the magazine. There was also an interlock which activated the VTL light ( Vent Tube Loaded ). If that did not illuminate, his first thought would be "Shit, I´ve miscounted!"

Mark

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