Introducing a new builder....

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Michael Cecil
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Introducing a new builder....

Post by Michael Cecil » Wed May 20, 2015 9:20 pm

Gentlemen,

I have been fascinated with the breadth and depth of knowledge, and the technical skill displayed on the many A/tek threads I have followed over the last few years.

Having a long-term interest in the 'Guns, QF, 25-pdr', I recently ventured into the purchase of the Kompact Kit of same. The 25-pdr was the main subject of my first book (early 1990s: Volume 1 of Australian Military Equipment Profiles, now long out of print), and I was the curator on the Australian War Memorial's project to rebuild both a British Mk2 and an Australian manufactured Mk2/1(Aust) 25-pdrs in 2007-8, so I do have some knowledge of the subject. I remains to be seen how applicable that will be in 1/6th scale.

Having very little small-scale skills, this will be a very, very long build, especially as I am in the midst of a 1:1 scale restoration of a 1941 Ford Model GP 'prototype jeep'. Fortunately, Stephen White has already come to my rescue with a 'primer' on tools and equipment I might need. Stephen's outstanding workshop skills need no introduction to forum members: his 'My Beaut Aussie Cent' thread says it all!

My aim is to build the 25-pdr field gun model with the standard barrel as used in Australia during the Second World War and post-war up to the early 1960s. Only then were the counterweight & muzzle brake introduced into service. Consequently, a new replacement barrel will have to be made, but first, a considerable amount of research, and the profile and dimensions of the pre-muzzlebrake barrel obtained.

And I think I'll be making contact Dave Dibb with an'intent to purchase'at an early date, too!

Regards,

Mike

Fabrice Le Roux
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Location: London UK

Re: Introducing a new builder....

Post by Fabrice Le Roux » Wed May 20, 2015 10:53 pm

Hi Mike,

Welcome to the Forum!

So cheering to realize that the "sun never sets" on the Armortek fraternity. Insomniac's prayers answered!

Not knowing much about the 25pdr, or the Aussie version, may I suggest you take a leaf from Stephen's writing style and share your research from the outset. It is always very interesting to learn of the history of the more arcane types.

So where and when did the type you are building serve? Was is a contemporary of Stephen's Cent model?

Look forward to following your build.

Kind regards
Fabrice

Michael Cecil
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Re: Introducing a new builder....

Post by Michael Cecil » Thu May 21, 2015 4:55 am

Hi Fabrice,

Thanks for the reply. Stephen's tank is 'set' in 1969. The artillery deployed to SVN by Australia was not the 25-pdr, but its two successors, the 105mm No.1 Mk.1 (Aust) and 105mm L5 Pack Howitzers, so not contemporary with Stephen's Centurion.

I am yet to decide the finish and appropriate markings: that's a long way off yet. Lots of technical challenges to overcome first - mostly learning to build in 1/6th scale!

Regards

Mike

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Chris Hall
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Re: Introducing a new builder....

Post by Chris Hall » Thu May 21, 2015 8:17 pm

Mike -

Welcome to the gang !

I only joined myself in January 2015, and I, like you, faced a steep learning curve with my WW1 Mark IV. So, if you'll accept some advice from another newbie ......

1. This Forum is indeed an amazing place to be a part of. Lots of knowledge, encouragement, and good humour. Mark and Gill are always the first people to call on for help, advice and spare bits !

2. Really read the instruction book at least a couple of times before you start assembling things. I'm now well on with my build, but I'm still finding things I could have done differently (ie. better / more easily) if only I'd thought it through at the start ........

3. I'm coping well with only a basic tool set. A well-anchored bench vice is absolutely essential. A Dremel is also extremely useful. Apart from that, it's really just the sort of stuff people have hiding in their garages anyway - spanners, screwdrivers, hammers etc. As you're restoring an actual vehicle you're bound to have more stuff than me already !

4. Just get going ! There's nothing to fear but fear itself ....

Best wishes, and I look forward to reading of your build. It's always nice to read about historical variations to the basic kit !

Chris
2 x Mark IV's (Abt. 14 Beutepanzer Liesel and F30 Flaming Fire II)
Morris Quad, 2 x limbers and 1 x 25-pdr (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)

Fabrice Le Roux
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Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:57 pm
Location: London UK

Re: Introducing a new builder....

Post by Fabrice Le Roux » Fri May 22, 2015 12:18 am

Chis, very sound advice.

Mike, don't be put off cracking on by the very competent craftspeople hereabouts. As Chris says make a start, but I say do not get bogged down in small details. The wonderful thing about these kits is that that you can always go back and add this and that. Yes maybe you will need to repaint a small area. But they are metal, and will outlast us all.
Above all, enjoy the process (sorry, I just can't say "journey", here. Yuk! Twaddle!)
Good luck, mate. Knock yourself out!
Post anything and everything. Just don't leave it in the box...
Cheers, Fabrice

Doug Barrett
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Re: Introducing a new builder....

Post by Doug Barrett » Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:38 pm

Hi Mike

I am a newbie too and have just purchased 25 Pounder and Limber kit.

Best tool I have found so far is a set of BERGEN Professional 10 Piece Miniature Metric Combination Spanner Set BER1858 and miniature end pincers for cropping dow the rivets.

Good luck
Doug

Michael Cecil
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Mike's Aust 25-pdr build

Post by Michael Cecil » Wed May 11, 2016 6:30 pm

Has been a while, and I should change the name to reflect what is really happening, as it may help others who are contemplating building the Aust version of the 25-pdr field gun. I say 'Aust' version because there are some differences in construction, one being the jacket/barrel assembly. In contrast to the Royal Artillery, the Royal Australian Artillery were not equipped with 25-pdrs with muzzle brakes during the Second World War - it was not until the early 1960s that the muzzle brake was introduced on the field gun (The Aust Yeramba SP gun of the early 1950s was so equipped).

First challenge therefore was to measure and draw up the Australian barrel. No easy matter as I now live in the USA, but I was fortunate to be in Queensland last December - January, and measured the field guns on display at Tiaro and Murgon, north of Brisbane. These measurements were then sent to Allan Bowers in New Zealand, who did an excellent job of drawing up the barrel/jacket assembly - thanks Allan! Stephen White, who needs no introduction on this forum, then took time out from his outstanding Centurion build to turn up the barrel and modify the recoil system to suit - thanks Stephen!

The Kompact Kit comes with a stylized barrel/jacket assembly with a uniform diameter between the rear and front seats of the recoil system, whereas the actual jacket has a taper. So the diameter of the recoil system's rear seat needed to be enlarged by a couple of mm, and the jacket at the front seat needed a step to compensate for the difference in the smaller diameter jacket compared to the diameter of the front seat of the kit's recoil system.

The Mark 2/1 jacket also has thrust collars both above and below the barrel, whereas earlier Marks do not. The barrel muzzle profile has a parallel muzzle swell, in contrast to the original bell-type British barrel, and the later, threaded barrel for the muzzle brake, as represented in the kit. There is also a flat milled into the top of the barrel for placing the inclinometer during sight alignment checks.

The Australian jacket/barrel assembly therefore looks quite different in detail to the one provided with the kit. The results of Allan and Stephen's work is shown below.

Mike
Attachments
P1070920-001.jpg
The completed scale model of the Australian profile jacket/barrel assembly sitting on the recoil system and cradle.

Michael Cecil
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Mike's Aust 25-pdr build

Post by Michael Cecil » Wed May 11, 2016 6:36 pm

A few more views follow.

Mike
P1070923-001.jpg
The Jacket Sealing Collar forward of the front seat now has the six radial holes for engaging the C-spanner when being tightened.
Attachments
P1070919-001.jpg
This overhead view shows the flat at the muzzle for placing the inclinometer when doing barrel/sight alignment checks. Allan has done an outstanding job capturing all these details in the drawing, and Stephen likewise when he machined the jacket/barrel assembly.

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