Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

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Chris Hall
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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:59 am

Ian -

Good spot ! I hadn't made an issue of it as it's an area where Mark and I are "agreeing to differ", and it's only really an issue for the perfectionist. Let me explain .....

Here's a picture I found of a Tank Workshop (Fosters, I think) building Mk. IV's:

Image

This clearly shows the mud chute deflectors angled differently to the build instructions. This makes sense to me, as there are pictures of the Chinese Labour Corps cleaning out mud with pressure hoses and, this way, they would be able to jet up along the top of the track run and flush the mud out.

Mark agrees that the pictures show it this way, as do the original drawings (which shows the impressive depth of his research). However, he assumed it was an error as, if you fit the plates as per the instructions, it enables you to clean the drive sprockets (which, apparently, works on his prototype build).

Historically, we need to bear in mind that the British Army in WW1 regarded tanks as throw-away technology - if they lasted 50 miles that was good enough. Therefore, cleaning and repairing them was not a high priority. The Mk. V was coming on stream, and it's clear from the historical records (one of which I've posted elsewhere) that the surviving Mk. IV's were getting very tired by March 1918. It is, incidentally, very surprising, and impressive, that the Germans did such a good job of cannibalising and rebuilding the few that they did !

And, to finally increase the confusion level, I think (like Ian) that I've seen other Tank Workshop pictures showing the chute deflectors the other way round (ie. like Mark's instructions) but, on inspection, they've been Mk. V's.

So where are we ? Firstly, it's a simple amendment - just drilling a couple of holes, and filling the old ones (I'll be glueing a rivet in). I did think of swapping the plates over (as Ian originally thought) but that doesn't work as the pre-drilled boltholes are a different pattern.

Secondly, it's a bit nerdy, as these plates are almost invisible once the frames are fitted together and the tracks wrapped around. So anyone who has irrecovably gone past that stage shouldn't panic unless they have the same type of anorak as I do ! :wink:

Thirdly, anyone seriously intending to drive their Mk. IV through heavy mud (certainly not me, athough my wife is promising to build me a 'Tank Proving Ground' at the bottom of our garden :D) would probably take the tracks off completely and do a detailed cleanup - far more than was ever intended in 1917/18.

But, as I've said before, I think it's great that we can debate such minutiae almost 100 years after the event. Long may we do so, in a constructive and reasonable manner.

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by IAN HINKS » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:11 pm

Hi Chris,
that is one of the photos I used for my reference. I also think it might have been a Mk V that I saw the other way round. I agree with pretty much all you say, but if I ever get going I intend to run mine through the mud just like my 1/8th scale Sherman :D . You are right though as far as this tank is concerned removing the tracks for a good clean would probably be for the best. Thanks for sharing your information.
Gunner.

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:32 pm

well, I've done just about all the sub-assemblies I can come up with - here's the Spud (or Rope) box:

Image

A fiddly build, with lots of tiny bolts in hard-to-get-at corners. And it took me 3 goes before I got all the sides the right way up :oops: . I was a bit confused by the tags (EK0635), which I couldn't find in the plans - it's obvious where they go, but inside or outside ? A photo of the box on the Aberdeen Proving Ground Mk. IV shows them outside, so that's where they are.

Now to carry on red-leading everything and ..... all the running gear. I've put it off for long enough .......

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:19 pm

Build time (to date): 70.5 hours

So THAT'S where all those rivets go ............. :wink:

Image
Image

I haven't counted the rivets, but I'd say less that 10% of them are glued, with the rest hammered or bolted. I know I'm over-engineering it but, while Gill keeps me supplied with M3 x 12 bolts ......... :)

That's one side done - now for the other. And the running gear, of course.

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Fri May 15, 2015 4:00 pm

I've taken a break recently from riveting and bolting, and decided to tackle the tracks. Here's the result:

Image

Each one is 8'8" long so far ! Good thing I've got a 14' long table .... :D As the instructions suggest, there's a few bare track links at either end, and another 10 plates (I think) to go on.

I haven't been counting rivets (honest !) but I am an ex-bean counter, and my spreadsheet says that this sub-assembly took 13.5 hours. That's a big chunk of time, but I actually found it quite therapeutic - it's the first real job where you can sit down and listen to music, while treating it as a production line. And I regard it as a key task - after all, I feel that the one thing that really defines a tank is that it is tracked !

Compliments to Mark (as usual) on the design - I thought it was going to be an horrendous job until I discovered that big greasy bag of pre-assembled track chains ....

This now raises the thorny question of colouring. Unlike others on this forum, I'm not a fan of the acid etching / rusty look. Instead, I'm going to paint on some smooth metallic Hammerite, and then periodically dry-brush to freshen it up as it wears off. I've got a big garden (and my wife's permission to use it :) ), so Liesel will mostly be working on grass (apart from the concrete floor at Bovington, of course !).

And now back to the main build, including all the mechanical and electrical stuff that Gill sent me last week. Another new skill to master !

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Tue May 26, 2015 8:56 pm

Build time (to date): 102.25 hours

Well, I've now put in over 100 hours on my tank, and that certainly seems like a milestone worth commenting on. The current position is:

[*] the body is pretty well complete. Both sides are now securely bolted on, with only a few 'difficult' rivets to glue in (just as I ran out of my free sample of Loctite 638 !);
[*] tracks are done - just need painting and joining together at the end of the build;
[*] all the rollers are in. One side is secured with all those U Bolts - a very fiddly job, but it does look good !;
[*] today I fitted the rear drive sprockets between the frames. That's a pig of a job, given how tight the axle needs to be. It's the first time I really needed help - fortunately, my lovely wife is good with a hammer ! Hopefully the front idlers (tomorrow's job) will be a lot easier in the light of experience .......

So There are only 2 really big stages left - building the Female sponsons (which no one else has put on the Forum, so I'm flying solo for the first time :shock:), and fitting the motors and electrical boards. Apart from that, it really does look like minor stuff (he said brashly, forgetting about that rear armour that has to be made). And, as I've found someone in the village who's a demon with an airbrush, I'll get help with doing the bizarre colour scheme I've chosen. So showing off my pride and joy, and meeting you all at Armortek Day in October, is now a real prospect !

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:58 pm

'Liesel', Beutepanzer No. 1, Abteilung 14, Imperial German Army

Knocked out at the Fort de la Pompelle, Reims, France, on 1st June 1918.


Image

Perhaps, in a couple of years time, I'll take her back to France .....

In Memoriam,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:10 pm

Build time (to date): 122 hours.

I spent today doing some tidying up and small detail work. That included the two remaining side plates (EK0324 and 325) - a bit fiddly getting all those nuts between the plates, but doable with perseverance. Building the Cab vision flaps was more fun - until I found the bag of spacers (EK0619) ! I can't find them in the build instructions, but it's obvious where they go (either side of the inner flap EK0620), so ..... hey-ho, disassemble and re-assemble. And a dry-fit of the unditching rails (prior to amendment for the later pattern) was a milestone that shows how the final build is going to look.

And then I found the bag of Periscope Boxes. Working out where they go was fun .... I reckon it's:

3 on the Cab Front
1 on each Cab Side
1 on the Rear Door
4 on each Female Sponson
1 on each Male Sponson door
4 spares

That makes 20. All agreed ?

I've done a lot of tinkering recently (including all those U-bolts underneath the tank, and filling all those rivet holes around the inner frame, which is a job that could have been done at Stage 9 if I'd been experienced enough to think it through - I don't like gluing rather than hammering, but there's no option now). So now I really must crack on with those Female sponsons, which means back to riveting (at least the guns are assembled !). And then a final lick of paint on the inside, construct a battery box, fit the motors and packs, get those tracks on .... I'm predicting a test run by the end of this month.

Loving it, though. This is the best challenge I've had in ages.

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:11 pm

Build time (to date): 144 hours

[Puts on best Dr. Frankenstein voice] IT'S ALIVE !

I've now got the motors in (read more below), fitted the batteries into my homemade battery box (ridiculously proud of that !), installed the power and speed control modules (still got the speakers and sound card to do, and the special effects pack when Mark's finished it), figured out the r/c bit (remember that I'm a complete novice at all this :?) and then, with heart in mouth, pressed all the 'go' switches. And it works ! Liesel has a beating heart ! OK, it's only an enhanced bench test, but it's a hell of a milestone to me ........

Image
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Fitting the motors was a nightmare ! I was aware of Mark's instructions saying it was easier if you left off two of the armour plates, and it certainly would have been ! But then, of course, you can't properly rivet them on ..... so I made the decision to rivet and then install the motors later. It CAN be done that way (I've done it), but it means working in a very, very small space and doing up the cap bolts a millimeter at a time ..... very, very frustrating.

For those of you who have yet to start your builds, there's a simple way to achieve both objectives and save yourself a world of time (and pain). Before you put on the outer frames (ie. before Stage 15), fit the EK0333 flanges (which the motors fit into, but aren't specifically mentioned in the main instructions) inside the inner frames, bolting through with M5x16 cap bolts, which aren't in the kit, but only cost £1.29 for 10 from eBay (you'll need 8 of them). Tighten them until the flange will only just pivot on the bottom bolt. NB. Make sure you've got them on correctly, with the outer holes aligned where the motor bolts will go through ! Then you can happily bolt / rivet on the outer frames and, when you mount the motors, you'll only have to tighten the internal cap bolt heads about half a turn, rather than all the way. Easy when you know how !

So the motors run. They're quite noisy, especially the left one. I'll check around for anything loose causing a vibration, but does anyone else have any clever ideas ? In particular, is it anything to do with the r/c settings ? (so far, all I've managed to do is rename the active channel as 'Liesel' ! :wink: ).

Also, I notice that there's 4 dip switches on the Speed Control unit. Currently they're all 'on' as per the instructions. But has anyone discovered better settings ?

I've accepted the general view that the tracks look good if rusted with acidic patio cleaner. I respect Stephen White's opinion that this would be heavily frowned on in the modern army, but I think things were a lot more pragmatic in WW1. Keeping 'em running was a lot more important than keeping 'em pretty. So it's done, and very good they look too. Noting the comments of others on how difficult they are to fit, but Mark's assurances that they stretch a bit over time, I've currently got them hanging from the garage roof in the hope that they'll stretch a bit under their own weight and make fitting easier ! I'll tell you later if it works ........

Now to make up the extra rear armour plates and amended unditching rails (massive thanks to Steve Stuart for his help and advice !), and finish off the female sponsons (which also need a bit of 'embellishment', which I'll explain when I've worked it out !). And then I've lined up a friend who's a demon with an airbrush for the end of July. And Steve's aiming to bring over Bloodstone II at the end of August for a joint run on Salisbury Plain, so I better get on and finish the build, hadn't I ?

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Adrian Harris » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:12 am

> Also, I notice that there's 4 dip switches on the Speed Control unit.
> Currently they're all 'on' as per the instructions.
> But has anyone discovered better settings ?

The DIP switches affect the acceleration and deceleration of the model.

From the manual:

S1 is a 4 way Dip switch that controls the acceleration and deceleration timing of the motors. There is no absolute setting as it depends on the weight of the vehicle and power of the track motors. They should be set for the most realistic movement for a given product.
Switches 1 and 2 can be set in 4 unique positions and controls the deceleration where both off will provide the deceleration over the most time and both on over the least amount of time.
Switches 3 and 4 can be set in 4 unique positions and control the acceleration, where both off will provide the acceleration over the most time and both on over the least amount of time.

Probably best to try different settings once the model is running on the ground. Beware having them all off though, as it can make the model unexpectedly slow to stop :!: BTDTGTDent :oops:

See if your transmitter has a "Dual Rate" setting. You can usually set that so that, when switched off, 0 - 100% on the stick makes the model run at 0 - 100% available speed but when switched on, 0 - 100% on the stick makes the model run at 0 - 10% of the available speed. It makes running the model at an accurate speed so much easier.

Adrian
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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Steve Stuart » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:28 pm

Hi Chris and Adrian
I had an issue with the speed of one of the tracks on my Mark IV and all I can say that a scale speed is slow enough. The slugs and snails in our garden would have out paced the tank as it was! So some head scratching and thinking made me think about the end point settings on the transmitter, on checking, one of them was 60%, so explanation and solution found. Resetting all the end points to 100% cured the problem. All I can say is that Dennis Jones' help recently with my Tiger gave me the inspiration and confidence to work this out, much appreciated 8)
Being able to run the Tank at well above scale speed would be nice so as to save time, but having the Tank running in a balanced fashion is reward enough.
I hope that Stephen White's posting of Mig Jimenez's workshop will have provided inspiration for Liesel, certainly the Tank will be very dramatic in the larger scale. Steve

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:28 pm

Steve -

I shall look into the end point thingy just as soon as I've figured out what you're talking about ! :wink: I think I saw something about it in the manual ...........

I certainly enjoyed Stephen's postings about the weathering workshop, but I'm not going to employ many of the suggestions on Liesel, for the following reasons:

1. I'm just not that good !

2. I don't believe the colour scheme is right, especially the delineating black lines between each shade. Stephen said it was 'tongue in cheek' and I tend to agree (the markings, incidentally, are for a post-War tank used by the Freikorps in Berlin in mid-1919).

3. As far as I can tell, Liesel only had a 'working life' of about 4 days, from 27 May to 1 June 1918. Pictures of her on 27 May describe her as 'remarkably clean', and she was only used in action once, with fatal results. That'll be my justification for a more 'factory finish', anyway !

Onwards, ever onwards ........

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:53 pm

Build time (to date): 179 hours (but see comments below)

Over a month since my last update, but it seems longer ...... Real Life has intruded into my new tank-building hobby. But I have been plodding on when I can. Liesel is really coming together now - I've pretty well finished all the bits from the original boxes, and I'm now working on all the 'historical bits' that will make her more 'true to life'.

Sponsons (Stage 23)

After some adventures, they finally got fitted today:

Image
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I've done a lot of comparing to pictures of the 'Ashford Tank' and Flirt II at Lincoln (pictures kindly supplied by Steve Stuart), and the Mark V** Female at Bovington. Mark's design is remarkably accurate, so all credit to him. The only thing I've added is some strapping down the centre line, and diagonally top and bottom, with new holes drilled appropriately for hex bolts. These represent the system for swinging the sponsons inboard when being moved by train - a major advance from Marks I to III, where the sponson had to be unbolted and put on a wooden trolley (which can be seen at Bovington). As the sponsons provide some structural rigidity, the earlier system caused major headaches as the bolt holes often went 'out of true', hence the new system for the Mark IV. Note I said represent - they don't actually work ! :D If anyone else out there is building a Female, send me a message and I'll give you more detail on the dimensions and bolt / rivet pattern.

The only real problem with this stage is the little words in the bottom corner "Check that drums are free to pivot". Easier said than done ! After LOTS of cutting, drilling, filing and oiling / greasing, 3 of them spin well, but 1 is a bit stiff. This is probably an issue for the 6-ponders as well, but you only have to do 2 ....

Extra bits

After all the previous discussions about rear armour plates, camo frame holders and unditching rails, I 'bit the bullet' and got down to it:

Image

I've used 1mm aluminium sheet, as it's not weight bearing and, frankly, I don't have the tools or the experience to work sheet steel. Overall, I'm pleased with the results, which look right to me. I'm not going to claim that it's precision work, or anywhere near the amazing standards I've seen elsewhere on this Board - I'm taking the concepts of 'representative' and 'stand-off' to new extremes ! I'm just hoping that the final overall effect will draw the critical eye away from any rough edges. What can I say - I am, as previously stated, as a child in these engineering matters :) .

And, finally, I've been working on the roof and various hatches.

Image
Image

Further work

Like I said, Liesel is really coming together, and I'm staggeringly proud of her (as my long-suffering wife, and nearly all the Village, are well aware !). Over the next week or so I've got to:

- build and fit the top camo frame holders;
- lengthen and fit the unditching rails;
- configure the sound card;
- reinstall the motors and packs;
- install the speakers;
- generally clean up prior to painting.

Mid-January, when I started all this, seems a long, long time ago, but I'm now confident that Liesel will be finished, and well played with, in time for Armortek Day. Until then I'll post any new information, which will hopefully include a working video sometime !

Last word. The build time I've recorded is accurate but, due to inexperience, includes a large degree of reversing and doing things right the second (or third) time. This factor could be anything up to 20%. I've taken to calling it 'numpty time', although the more charitable amongst you might call it the 'learning curve' .... :wink:

All the best, and thanks for sticking with me (!),

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Stephen White » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:58 pm

Chris, I really enjoy reading your Mk IV saga and seeing the fruits of all your research. Look forward to seeing her for real in October. Are you thinking of doing some sort of board or folder with your research, it would be fascinating to read?

The Mk IV builds all reflect a lot of special interest and skill. Love it, you could say it was "riveting" (if you're particularly sad).

All the best.

Stephen

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Steve Stuart » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:30 pm

Chris
Cryptically, the rear armour has moved from Excellent to spot on!
Steve

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