My Beaut Aussie Cent

Forum for discussion relating to the Centurion
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Stephen White
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White » Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:24 pm

Six bins later and with the Steve Winstone catches added.....

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Now for another research detour. The bin hinges are offset:

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The Illustrated Parts list gives each of the six bins a unique part number, so in theory they are all different, although in practice the centre bins are interchangeable. It also suggests that the hinge offsets follow the consistent pattern shown above.

It would be convenient if all the surviving Cents followed the book but inevitably, they don't. This is Cent ARN 169106 at the Australian War Memorial:

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The Mk 5 cut in half Cent at the Tank Museum has no hinge offsets.

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Mike Cecil commented that the IPLs date from 1949-50 and the bins likely to be in service twenty years later may well show minor manufacturing differences, while being consistent to the overall design. He also commented on the operational conditions in Vietnam:

The SVN situation was such that bins were a bit like gold: the supply limited and intermittent, so unless a bin was really ruined, 106 Fd Wks might remove/replace it and then attempt a ‘straighten’ it for re-use on another tank. This may account for variations – a hinge from here, a lid from there. In Australia, bins were simply changed over except that, also during the SVN period, they were in short supply: the Ordnance system simply didn’t have many for anybody. So there is a better than even chance of good competent repairs being carried out at unit LAD, field and base workshop levels which may also account for some of the variations.


It's one of those things which shouldn't matter in making a replica - until you notice it and then it becomes a challenge. Studying the limited surviving imagery of ARN169064 provided a best guess, which is the pattern I've followed:

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The hinges need a lot of careful soldering to make sure they remain functional:

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Packing pieces added to represent the original folds:

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Finally, the bin handles are added:

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Regards

Stephen

Fabrice Le Roux
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Fabrice Le Roux » Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:48 pm

Stephen,

Lovely job! Great research.

For fiddly little items, there is a handy jewelers' paste called Technoflux which is thermo-insulating and also stops flux and solder running where it is not wanted, eg into hinges. The residue just washes off with water and a toothbrush.

New arcane research topic: Cent turret bins were originally fitted with a lighter type of pressed steel channel catch. Looking at later pictures these were gradually replaced with the heavier pattern hull bin catches. Many surviving Cents, including Aussie ones, have a mixture of both. There are a few with both on the same bin (field repair?). Was this mod present in Vietnam era vehicles? Several photos of RAAC Cents eg "Snoopy" show the lighter type present, but Paul's restored vehicle has the hull type on all the bins.

Very arcane, I know!

Kind regards
Fabrice

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Stephen White
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:15 am

Fabrice, I should reply in the same spirit, "lovely job, great research". As ever, you're a mine of useful info. I've ordered some Technoflux but only wish I'd had it when soldering up the bins. Will come in useful for the turret though.

Re bin catches, you're quite right about there being two variants at least. The IPL, for which I have 1960s amendments, shows only the "Clasps, bin",(aka "Catch, Toggle Lever Stowage Bin") of the later pattern:

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These were fitted to both hull and trackguard bins, as on 064, both after restoration:

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and in service in RVN (note these are replacement bins, the fitting of which we can date to Aug/Sep 1969):

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This is ARN 169007:

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I believe there are examples of catches mixed on the same vehicle (not sure of the ARN of these next two but I believe they're the same (surviving) vehicle):

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In other words, there is probably no logic behind which ones were fitted other than the vagaries of supply.

It does reinforce the point though that if you want to make a good replica, you have to find evidence for a specific vehicle, in the era before standardisation and mass production became established.

Interesting stuff (for some!)

Happy Christmas (= "Holiday") and a rewarding, Armortek-model-making 2016 to all.

Stephen

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by simon_manning » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:49 pm

this build log has been great this year stephen, kept me entertained, superb posts and a mine of information for the cent builders, happy christmas tou you, regards simon.

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White » Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:30 pm

Good of you to say so, Simon, thanks. See in at YVL in Feb maybe. Meanwhile, Happy New Forest Christmas.

Now for some extras, starting with the tow rope brackets. The Australian crews found that in close jungle combat, such as assaulting bunker complexes, it took too long to get a tow rope off the brackets under fire. The Vietnam modified track guards had a simple spigot of angle iron to retain the tow rope eye. Nevertheless the standard brackets remained, unless ripped off by foliage.

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This is where a bit of improvisation comes in, a new use for a twist bit:

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Cutting a thread for a butterfly retaining nut (M1.2):

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Components:

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Assembled:

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Adding a small, unimportant detail such as this may not be worth the effort, until you stand back from the model and see how the eye is drawn in, which all contributes to the overall scale effect.

Christmas greetings to all.

Stephen

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by davidwilkins » Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:31 pm

Stephen,

Incredible work on the bins, when I first looked at these bins I thought six rectangle boxes that is fairly straight forward. How wrong that proved to be, the level of detail and the way you have produced these bins is outstanding. congratulations on a job well done.

I would like to thank you for the brilliant photos and the step by step methods that you have shown throughout your build, it has really helped in my own build.

Merry Christmas

David

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Stephen White
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:09 pm

Thanks David, my pleasure. Happy New Year to all.

First attempt at the bin handles were oversize. I decided to make a pattern die to give repeatability and then make some more out of thinner brass rod.

Die and blanks:

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Clamp the rod and bend the sides in a vice:

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Remove the clamp and hammer the lugs flat, to make six off:

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The bins have taken two months to complete, although the drawings were in preparation a lot earlier than that. I guess they've taken four months end to end. They are now bolted down to the trackguards with 10BA one size smaller heads and are painted in base coat. I suppose I should now administer some serious bashing for realism but I'll let them be for the while. I've learnt a lot along the way which will help with the turret bins:

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Regards

Stephen

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Jeffrey Goff » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:08 pm

Hi Stephen, outstanding work on the bins, that amount of work takes real commitment and skill
All the best for 2016
Regards Jeff

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Chris glover » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:38 pm

Come on Steven,come clean!. These are real boxes aren't they?.You can't fool me :D
Chris

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by simon_manning » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:54 pm

real or model, hard to tell, excellent finished parts, whatever you do dont inflict battle damage on them, thier to nice regards simon.

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Adrian Harris
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Adrian Harris » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:39 pm

It has been a real treat watching these come together, and especially as you've taken such care to explain how the parts have been designed and constructed :D

I know how frustrating it can be to stop yourself at each stage of a build in order to take the necessary pictures and notes to be able to document something to this detail.

I think one of the most important reasons that these bins look so lifelike is that everything is in proportion, with no oversize fasteners or materials to spoil the look of the whole.

Adrian.
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Derek Attree » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:53 am

Hi Stephen
Epic work on the bins and the tank in general keep it up and looking
forward to seeing you back on the Comet.

All the best for 2016

Derek
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Frank Breitenbach » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:58 pm

Hello Stephen
Perfect no differnt to the original. Or is it the original? :roll:
Frank

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by David M Wilks » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:42 pm

Enjoying your Centurion Master class Stephen, have you considered some light weathering ?
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Per Sonnervik
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Per Sonnervik » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:59 am

Simply outstanding work, Stephen. Many thanks for taking the time to show us each step on the way to these masterpieces - very inspirational.

Kind regards,
Per

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