My Beaut Aussie Cent

Forum for discussion relating to the Centurion
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Adrian Harris
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Adrian Harris »

If you want to add a little more bling, this braided sleeve looks to be a good replica for the conduit:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/334244590172

Adrian.
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Stephen White
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White »

Bling it on, Adrian, thanks. Might have to have some of that.

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White »

TankFest in a few days. Thought I'd dress the Aussie Cent a bit for the event. A tank operating in jungle is going to pick up some rotting foliage. It's too easy to overdo this sort of thing and I'm experimenting with material available to the model making world. I picked these up at various model shows and thought I'd give them a very restrained try out.
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The result, some moss/mould and some foliage.


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Stephen White
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White »

Second half of the "greening" of the Aussie Cent. For the Norwegian moss, I'm using a type of spray gum, which is awful to handle but wets the moss sufficiently to get it to adhere. It looks a bit gloopy like that so then I add moss to cover the glue. The AK moss and lichen is easier. The former comes with a sticky carrier film and then I use a very thin cyanoacrylate to stick the edges, applied with a sewing needle held in a pin vice. Rather like weathering, it's tempting to keep adding more - the secret is to stop when you think when you haven't done enough. I find that quite hard.
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A bit more work on the Meteor, the second bank of ignition harness/plug leads. Having tracked down a tin of Rolls Royce Sky Blue (BS381c 101), I've had an interesting debate with Mike Cecil and Paul Scott about the right colour for the Meteor which would have been installed in 064 in June 1969. We know from the AB417 which engine it was by serial number (R448026). This engine had been installed during the tank's second base overhaul in 1967. We know it was replaced in October 1969 after if failed. It had been imported to Australia installed in 169090 in 1955 and had had at least one base overhaul before installation in 064. The engines coming from UK were painted in BS381c 101 Sky Blue but most engine rebuilds in Australia were done by de Havilland in Lidcombe, Sydney (the former Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation factory) and were painted grey. Other rebuilds were done in UK by Scottish Aviation and they painted the rocker covers yellow. So I now need to establish details for the grey. Anyone care for a spray tin of Sky Blue?

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Michael Cecil
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Michael Cecil »

Dang! Trust those pesky Aussies to come up with a colour variation!

To amplify Stephen's post, we know engine number R48026 arrived in 169090 because it was recorded in the Army's Logistic's Command Vehicle Registration Books now held by the Australian War Memorial (the tank's AB417 does not contain any records that go back that far), and fortunately, the RAAC kept a consolidated record of engine changes and the reason why from 1968 to 1977, so tracking an individual engine from tank to tank is sometimes possible. We also know that R48026 was sold at public auction in January 1987 as a 'boxed engine' ie not in a tank, from the Commonwealth's auction catalogue. So little tid-bits of information from a range of sources can, once consolidated into something searchable, provide a pretty reliable history. All adds to what Stephen knows about 064.

Mike

Stephen White
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White »

Great info, Mike, as ever. Thanks. And the answer to the de Havilland grey might just have been staring me in the face. Two of the Meteors on display at Bovington are painted as expected for a UK built motor in BS381c Sky Blue but..... there is a third, sectioned, engine on display which came from RMCS Shrivenham. Although I've been unable to find a serial number on it (and I'll look again during TankFest), it is definitely painted in a grey colour. In the absence of any definitive handle on the de Havilland colour, this is what I'll go with. Marvellous.

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White »

Chasing down the right colour for the Meteor, Paul Scott has sent me these low res images of the pack in 169109. It's hard to distinguish between the Rolls Royce original UK colour Sky Blue, which had a green/blue hue and the grey with which packs refurbished in Australia by de Havilland were painted. Given that this is the last pack to see service in 109, it's most probable that it has been given an Australian base overhaul and is therefore grey. In any case, the photos give a very good impression of the installation details and of the weathering of a high mileage engine bay. Thanks Paul.

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Stephen White
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White »

I've been running the Cent for four or five years on a variety of surfaces. The track adjusters are now at the end of their travel and it's time to take a link out. I tried last year but was unable to get enough adjustment to make it work. Running was becoming a bit tricky with slack tracks. The procedure below replicates what happens on full size tanks, "track bashing".

First step is to take the TA nuts back to the minimum tension position fully to slacken off the tracks. The tank should have all its weight on wheels to compress the suspension.

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Next step is to rotate the sprockets rearwards to pull all the slack track to a position below the sprockets:

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Now break the track and remove one link:

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Checking that the top run of the track is still under tension, bring together the broken track section and insert a track pin. If this is difficult, a pair of G clamps can be used to pull the links together and hold them. On the real thing, there is a track clamp (No 9 on the pic below), which would be easy enough to make in 1/6th.

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Reinstall the track pin washer and split pin:

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Adjust the tracks to the required tension.

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I etch prime my track pins and links and then apply a base coat and weathering. There is remarkably little wear and corrosion on the pins and links and the paint and weathering have survived well. I never lubricate the tracks as it acts as a magnate for abrasive grit.

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All ready for TankFest tomorrow.

Phil Woollard
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Phil Woollard »

The maintenance of these vehicles even in 1/6 scale is such a joy, just expect to have to do it and enjoy it! Yours isn't a shelf queen so I'm surprised you haven't had to do more!
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Stephen White
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White »

Too true Phil, as you know.

After every run, I jack it up and check for loose pins. On Chieftain, we just ran the tank backwards while standing by the glacis checking the pins and circlips. We also had to check for track pad wear. On the real thing, the roadwheel bolts needed checking regularly but on the Armortek road wheels, it's the retaining set screws under the hub caps. They do work loose and if you don't catch it, you can get excessive bearing wear. The other main thing I check is run out on the final drives. Particularly in the running in period, the taper lock bushes can work loose. Other than that, removing dirt and foliage is about all that's needed, apart from keeping an eye on track tension. Battery maintenance is an altogether different subject, not for here.

The best gotcha on Chieftain was a very small set screw, about M4 size, which retained the cover over the quill shafts. Lose that small screw and the quill shafts could become dislodged. As they conveyed drive from the gearbox to the final drive, without a fully engaged quill shaft, you got zero motion. Embarrassing.

Christoffer Ahlfors
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Christoffer Ahlfors »

Many of these pictures would do well in Phil's "real or fake" section. Even the wear looks realistic! :D
A little too much is about right...

Stephen White
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White »

Thanks Christoffer. Always good to hear from you. The work goes on. Lots of detail in the ignition harness for not much to show. Mounting the tubular conduits and their brackets has taken a while. I then realised that with the relative angle of the two head banks to the crankcase and the need to interweave all the pipery in the induction manifold between the plug leads, order of assembly was critical. It became obvious that the sequence had to be to fit one bank, then the induction system and finally the other bank. Hope I'm right! Having got that far, it was then obvious that the base colour had to be applied before assembly.

Together with Mike Cecil, we're still researching Meteor colour. The UK built engines were finished in BS381c 101 Sky Blue. I'm portraying ARN 169064 just after the Battle of Binh Ba, in June 1969. By that time, we know that more than one replacement Meteor had been fitted and that therefore, the engine in place would have been reworked either in Australia by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (Hawker de Havilland Australia) or by Jersey Aviation in UK. It was most probably the former. CAC finished their engines in a grey colour, whereas Jersey painted their engines (or at least the rocker covers) in yellow. There is a grey painted Meteor in the Tank Museum and that's what I've used. We've still to establish from the Rolls Royce Heritage Trust the exact colour but it is probably the wartime Ocean Grey. Merlins were painted in both grey and black - the first 3000 Meteors built under Rolls Royce contract were largely assembled from Merlin components, so it's plausible that the Merlin grey was carried across to the early Meteors and that CAC in Australia simply carried on using grey.

Anyway, I've now given Frank's motor its first base colour of grey, with some components in gunmetal black.

This heatwave is a great excuse for more shed time.

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Phil Dawe
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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Phil Dawe »

Its a Masterpiece Stephen! A lucky chap to have received one of Frank's engines! Keep up the good work! :D

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White »

I was in the happy position of being able to give Frank the data he needed to create his masterpiece.

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Re: My Beaut Aussie Cent

Post by Stephen White »

Working on the detail of the aux gen, adding the ignition system and starting on the coolant system. Not easy in the sense that I'm having to rely on the various User Handbooks for detail, interpreting the various systems diagrammes. When installed, the Morris USHNM 2 or 2/1 was pretty much buried under exhausts, cooling radiators etc and is difficult to photograph in situ. The "cut-in-half" Cent at Bovington isn't a lot of help in this regard.

The trouble with hi-res photos is they show every blemish and mark. The layering of the print is much less pronounced in reality and I've decided that I'll only work on it where it car really be seen from above.

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I'm also not sure whether the aux gen will remain in grey. I know that the Australian Meteors were grey or yellow according to where they were rebuilt but Iess certain about the aux gens. Those that I've seen appear to be grey or a very dull silver ie natural metal, with some detail such as the exhaust manifold in black but I'm still trying to establish whether the Morris motors were refurbished and if so, where.

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