Page 1 of 12

00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:40 pm
by John Clarke
Following in Stephen's steps, I've a given a lot of thought to the build and hope to emulate this true Mk5 Chieftain 00 FD 96. Unlike Stephen I know very little of it's history or where to find it, other than it was a Mk5 and recycled. (Sounds better than Smelted).
So If any one knows anything about her, sing out please!

Absolutely love the Jolly Rodger too. Got one somewhere. and a metal Jerry can
9820196_800.jpg (80.23 KiB) Viewed 5262 times
9821148_800.jpg (103.61 KiB) Viewed 5262 times
9820584_800.jpg (90.47 KiB) Viewed 5262 times
9821487_800.jpg (111.63 KiB) Viewed 5262 times

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:14 pm
by Stephen White

Great choice, I don't know the photos but I can tell you they were taken at the British Army Training Unit Suffield, (BATUS) in Alberta, Canada and the Battle Group exercising was one of the then four Royal Tank Regiments. I'd probably exclude 4th Tanks for two reasons, no Chinese Eyes and I don't recognise any of the people! Do you know any more about the photos?

00FD96 was built as a Mark 5 by Royal Ordnance Factory Leeds under contract FVP/44/67, one of a batch of 46 turned out between March and July 1972.
It ended its life in a smelter.

Judging by the callsign 41, the photo was taken in the 1970s before the callsign system changed. 41 would have been the troop leader's tank in the first troop of D Squadron. Peculiar to BATUS (and a peacetime safety measure only), every vehicle had an individual ZAP number, in this case 113, painted on the front bazooka plate. It looks to me as though the tank is undergoing a barrel change in the field, which was quite unusual but happened if the barrel was damaged or possibly because it had reached the limit of barrel wear or the limit of Equivalent Full Charge (EFC) rounds fired.

All the best.


Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:09 pm
by John Clarke
Simply the best Stephen, as usual.

Found some more pictures, Picture title says it could be 1st Royal tank Regiment A Squadron.
The other picture title says 4 troop, Med man Batus 1988.

Some tanks seem to have Stellbrew (Not a fan of add on Armour look). which could age the picture
00 FD 96 seems to be the lead tank in the line if the Jolly Rodger flying is any thing to go by. Troop leader

The white flume extractor might point to the actual troop and a Vee shaped white lines on the turret roof possibly another indicator.

Looking forward to the build, thanks Armoutek.
A Sqn Med Man Batus 1988.JPG
tumblr_pcrsgdv1Sh1tj31v2o1_500.jpg (21.73 KiB) Viewed 5262 times

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:38 pm
by Stephen White
John, really atmospheric photos. They are indeed of A Sqn, 1st Royal Tank Regt in BATUS in 1988. Have you seen the 1RTR website:

I can add a little about the way the BATUS markings work.

The white lines on the turret are a safety measure. At BATUS, the battle group being exercised fires live ammunition in a very realistic setting. On a range, the tank commander will have markers downrange to mark the arc within which he can engage targets and fixed firing points. In Canada, he's free to manoeuvre and there are no fixed arc markers. In order to judge whether it's safe to fire, an arc of 45 degrees is marked on the turret with white lines, which can be seen when closed down inside the turret. The commander will check that his "45" is clear of friendly forces before he orders an engagement. It puts the pressure on the tank commander to make his own mind up about whether it's safe to fire, just as he does on operations. No pressure there then....

The exercising battle group will usually deploy with two armoured squadrons. In order for the range safety staff to identify vehicles at long range, the first squadron had the fume extractors painted white. The second squadron has a white outline to the callsign black patches. Further, every vehicle in the battle group has an individual serial number, in the case of the tanks painted on the front bazooka plates.

Your two new photos show a squadron leaguer during a maintenance day between exercises. (If the squadron was deployed tactically, they would be a lot more dispersed and under desert camouflage nets). Looks like there are a lot of road wheels to be changed. Note too how the crew bivvys are on the inside of the lines so that replenishment vehicles can run down the lines on the outside without fear of running over someone.

The BATUS training area is the size of Wales and there are about four trees, some tracks and one river. Map reading before GPS, at night, in a dust cloud was fun.........especially if you were leading a squadron, with the rest of the battle group following out of curiosity. At the centre of the training area is the site of a wartime experiment which detonated the world's largest conventional explosion. And Guiness were nowhere near (they'd probably have demanded £2000 to certify it anyway on past performance).


Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:24 pm
by Mark Heaps
I can add a little bit about barrel changes in the field. Not a quick or easy job so we would not have waited till the barrel reached its end of life if it would have impacted on the training value for the crew. I only experienced it once and if memory serves correctly, the tank, a Challenger 1 failed CABF ( Confirmation of Accuracy By Firing ), my checks as the Sqn ECE performed twice found no cause, checks by the Sqn gunfitter performed twice found no cause, checks by the Sqn Inst Tech performed twice found no cause. LAD Main then got it checked by another ECE, gunfitter and Inst Tech who could also not detect any fault or cause. The gunfitters then did an extended test taking internal measurements along the barrel and found anomalies so a barrel-change was instigated.
The MRI mirror at the end of the barrel was screwed and glued. Because of the characteristics of the glue specified, the barrel was sticking into a 12x12 tent and every kero heater we could lay our hands on was in there on max output.

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:46 pm
by Mark Heaps
Hi Stephan,
You commanded a regiment. I just fixed tanks.
Surely the white lines on the out-side of the turret cannot be seen by the commander when closed down but could indicate to the safety staff when a fiendly vehicle is within the 45 and could order "Stop, Stop, Stop".

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:05 pm
by Stephen White
Mark, I'd forgotten about CABF - I bet the crew were relieved it wasn't a servicing issue. ECEs have a special place in my esteem, working with that gun kit was a closed book for most of us. Amazing to think that my mobile has many times more processing power than IFCS.

The white lines "45" were visible when you selected X1 on the 37 sight and used the commander's MG elevation handle to depress the sight image. They were also used if you were heads up. The safety staff were only there as a backup, they wouldn't intervene unless there was an unsafe situation. Because they were by definition behind the gun trunnions and probably off to one side, they were unlikely to be able to see both lines anyway.

Some people have also said that the white vertical lines painted on the rear bazooka plates from the late eighties onwards were to indicate to dismounted troops a line to stay behind when the tank is engaging. That's rubbish, the lines were only painted to identify the second of two squadrons deployed in the battle group. The dismounts were told to remain behind the gun trunnions.


Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:51 pm
by John Clarke
Stephen, I like to think I trawl though a lot of stuff and yep I have been through the 1st RTR web site. Very good.
Some of the pictures remind me of the sort of stuff you'd get from the 60's 70's or 80's kodak 126 or 110 camera, rich colour's and slightly out of focus. And then there's the one shot that comes out perfect and it's not the one that you really wanted.

Unlike this perfect babe :D

Guys, the closest thing I got to the military, was a troop leader in the scouts during the early 70's, I even earned a few badges. If your going to use acronyms please leave a explanation at the foot of the reply :lol: for us mortals.

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:07 pm
by Mark Heaps
I cannot think of a servicing issue that would affect accuracy enough to fail CABF.If the rounds are not hitting in a tight enough group and the crew are carrying out their drills correctly which could be proved through the LFME (Live Fire Monitoring Equipment ), then either there was too much free-play somewhere in the system or the barrel itself was causing it. Only ever experienced one other failure at CABF and that was due to a mechanical fault that would not have been detected on a normal check. We only found it because we because we were searching for the fault. At no time, did we think or consider that the crew were at fault in any way.

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:38 pm
by Mark Heaps
The other thing on the photos that supports Stephens idea that the photos are pre call-sign change is that there is no indicator around the call sign. I am more familiar with the later system and to identify between similar vehicles with identical call-signs, they had a surround, diamond was HQ Sqn, triangle with point upwards was A Sqn, square or rectangle was B Sqn, circle was C Sqn, and D Sqn had the "lazy D", the bottom half of a circle. If Stephen knows when the change was introduced in Batus, that together with when the vehicle was manufactured could tie the photos down further.

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:53 pm
by John Clarke
With the fantastic progress of the prototype build, I thought I'd share a couple of pictures found on the net and a couple from a fidgety time on his hands Armortek Chieftain buyer.

It is possible to get a super bright 3mm LED in the muzzle of a 1/6 scale GPMG (It's a lot brighter on 3 volts).

A note from the editor, any pictures depiction of known individuals is purely coincidental and is nether true or fictional. :D

The more you look at pictures of the Chieftains on exercise on the net, the more you find an informal life of the Chieftain crews during their daily duties on exercise.
Work ware certainly varies from the strict apparel imagined. Various equipment stored on the vehicle may not be set in stone as described in books, it's obvious the equipment is not kept in it's correct containers, add to that various modifications done to the storage areas by the crews and you see some very different personalized vehicles.

Who's to say what's right or wrong from one day to the next?

The scene from" Kelly's Hero's" where Oddball describes and shows his troop and the modifications they make to their tanks seems far less fictitious.

What do Tank crews do when not on exercise? pimp up and polish the L60 to make it go faster in reverse. :lol:

Paint shells and loud music anyone?
5troopbatus84.jpg (226.2 KiB) Viewed 6879 times
20190706_130001.jpg (94.84 KiB) Viewed 6879 times
men in black.jpg
The top men in black

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:27 am
by John Clarke
Being one of the worst painters know to man/woman/wife, I've strived to understand how the brilliance of some builders create their masterpieces on this forum. :mrgreen:
I must admit I'm too mean to farm out any model, if I had, I might find that something might not be to my liking or how to repair art work when/if it's accidentally damaged. :(
I've brought new books on "how to paint" but I look and look at them, thinking their's something missing (talent and patience on my part).
Although the books show explanation and pictures and finally results. "A picture is worth a thousand words" I need a couple of million! :(
So tickling the Youtube keys, came up with a few clips from this guy "Night shift" Martin Kovac. He collaborated with some of the books I have.
But I think I now realize whats missing in the books, "comedy" which he adds to the clips in a serious way which makes the techniques so much easier to understand and materialize in front of your very eyes.
Maybe not to every ones liking, but well worth a look if you want to have a go yourself, there's at a least dozen clips, so I've down loaded for future use. Brush sizes may have to be a little bigger though :D

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:40 pm
by Stephen White
John, nobody is "worst painter know to man etc" just some are more experienced than others. The pain is getting that experience. Why is it a pain? Well, the worst thing is to put a lot of effort into something and then not like it. (The only positive from sub-contracting the build/paint is that you'd have someone else to blame......).

That's why I consistently push using oils rather than all those so called weathering products. I find them confusing, expensive and unnecessary. You just end up paying over the odds for something you could make up yourself. The problem with acrylics and enamels is the short drying time, which makes it more difficult to remove things you don't like. With oils, it's dead easy to adjust/remove/admire and love. You're just a dampened odourless turpentine cotton bud away from changing anything you don't like. What's more, oils are really good value. You don't need the top quality artists' stuff and a tube will last a lifetime. You can do most of what you'd need with about ten colours, a buff and a dark grey for light and shade (= rendering), some browns for mud, dust, rust (if you must) and perhaps a black for oil/fuel stains. You can always build up a palette by mixing hues.

I quite liked your YouTube chap, he's a lot better than most. One of the most capable blokes using oils is Michael Rinaldi. You have to work through his tendency to wander off topic and his verbose style but what he does is smack on and easy to follow. His books are similar (ie too many words) but the pictures are absolutely first class. He's done a couple of very short books on single models. The one below is full of good stuff on using oils: ... 0988336308

As they say in all the bad war films, "get some in", have a go.

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:12 pm
by John Clarke
Even on the slightly better war films they say "step on it" way too much, which is how I usually feel when things go wrong in the paint department!

"Oils" not another medium! Do they mix with enamels and acrylics? If not I'm still I daft enough to try.

Re: 00 FD 96 John's Main Contender

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:40 pm
by Stephen White
John, you can plonk oils onto any surface as long as it's not gloss. My preferred method is to apply the base colour without any mucking about with shading or "modulation" or anything else modellers get up to. I've used both acrylics and cellulose in the past. I then give the whole lot a quick overspray with a semi-matt varnish such as Purity Seal from Citadel. You can get it in spray cans from any Gamer shop. Semi-matt is perfect for oils if you want to be able to wipe them off. They don't like gloss at all and full matt tends to stain if you remove the oils. Then go for it.

Anything you do in oil can be removed. The only other rule is make sure you squeeze the oil onto some card and leave it for about 15-30 mins. That will remove most of the linseed from the paint. That will make the paint dry matt and will greatly speed up drying time. You can also use a heat gun to speed up drying. The secret is to use as little paint as possible, building up the effect you want. Never mind all the blah about "filters", "pin washes", shading, lining and all the other so called weathering techniques. That's for the plastic modellers to obsess about. There are really only two techniques with oils, dry and wet. You can put a dot or smidge of oil onto the surface and use a dry brush to blend it into the base coat. That's good for shading, stains etc. Or you can use a damp brush with some thinned oil and flow it onto and around details as a sort of wash. You'll soon know if you've got the brush too wet. I always unload the brush on some paper before I paint, that way you can guarantee it won't flood the bit you're doing.

Of course, some people on t'web make a living by complicating things but the joy of oils is that they're really quite easy for starters.