Chieftain MK3 Build

Forum for discussion relating to the Chietain MBT
David Battson
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Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by David Battson »

Hello and welcome to my Chieftain build.
The current plan is to make an early MK3, though I’m still missing dimensions for some key details, so things may change.
The reasoning for the choice is I like the cleaner lines of the earlier versions, less cluttered by the add-ons and upgrades that kept Chieftain on the front line for over 20 years. But most of all, the look of the early beehive air filter on the turret takes me straight back to my childhood in the late 70s when I made the 1:25 Tamiya Chieftain. Featuring individually linked tracks with rubber inserts, twin motor drive and two speed remote control (on wires, not radio) it fast became my favourite tank kit and so the Armortek Chieftain has a lot to live up to.
On a recent trip home I was amazed to find the Chieftain hidden away in the attic, looking surprisingly intact after 35 years buried under loft insulation.

On recovery
On recovery
Return from the attic
Return from the attic

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John Clarke
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by John Clarke »

Welcome to the Chieftain builders Clan.

I'll be very interested to watch your build. Please keep the pictures coming.

There's a wealth of info on the forum to help you build your model and very skilled modellers to give you advice too.

John

Ps A Miller, piller drill and a lathe would be handy.
Otherwise youll have make do like me.
Oh Man, I only ride em I don't know what makes them work,
Definatley an Anti-Social type

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Adrian Harris
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by Adrian Harris »

You don't have to worry about David, he's definitely Cat5e, if not Cat6 ;-)

When I was clearing my parents house recently, I did hope to find the Airfix Centurion my father made for me, but I don't think it survived my childhood :-(

Adrian.
Contact me at sales@armortekaddict.uk for details of my smoker fan control module and other electronic gadgetry

David Battson
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by David Battson »

First task is add some extra daylight to the underside of the hull by increasing the ‘V’ angle of the hull belly plates from about 3 degrees to 5 degrees, as measured from the horizontal.

Measurements from the real thing were used to locate the correct position for the bottom of the hull sides relative to the centre of the swing arm pivots. A small step was also added to the side plates to replicate the exposed edges of the belly plates. Projecting inward at 5 degrees brings the underside of the belly plates nicely back to the centreline of the kit hull.

Rather than try and bend the correct V in the belly plate, I decided to cut it into two down the middle. This seemed a good idea at the time, but I now need to find a way of stitching it back together.
Attachments
swing arm pivot locations
swing arm pivot locations
belly plate v change mark up
belly plate v change mark up
work in progress
work in progress
belly plate v change finish
belly plate v change finish

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John Clarke
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by John Clarke »

I like your thinking David with the belly plate. I think I considered a deeper V bend, but what you gain on the middle you loose on the edge.
It would concern me to loose the strength unless your going to reweld it back together. Welding up the rear end was enough trauma for me.
I managed to extend the front armor V by about 6mm. Thinning down to the outside edges.
Liked the real pictures.
I think your going to have a lot of fun with Chieftain. 8)
Oh Man, I only ride em I don't know what makes them work,
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David Battson
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by David Battson »

Hi John,
There is nothing gained in the middle as the centre line of the V ended up at the same point as the kit, so the ground clearance along the middle is unchanged. Unfortunately, it's all loss, as I cut off about 13mm from the bottom of each side plate.... and yes, I did check first to see if the large diameter motors still fitted without the need to add 'power bulges' in the hull floor.
Joining the the two belly plates back together is a challenge. I don't have access to welding and initially I thought I may be able to solder them, but now realise that would require a massive amount of heat to bring everything up to temperature evenly without distorting things. Also, there's a fine line between melting the solder and melting the aluminium, so plenty to go wrong. Instead, I will stich it together with some thin steel plates and plenty of M3 countersunk fixings.

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John Clarke
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by John Clarke »

I didn't really understand amount of material you had removed on the lower side armor, I was looking at it on my phone during a work break.
Looking closely on the PC I see the changes,
"Gasp"
Adrian said you are an outstanding engineer, so please ignore me.
Most do.
The tracks are nice
But nothing is as it seems on this model. It will bite you if you use a scaling measuring stick too often :|
P1060183.JPG
My old 1/5 scale mk3s Chieftain I sold to purchase the Armortek Chieftain.
I couldn't paint it or detail it though fear of loosing its originality, too big to keep with another on the way. :cry:
Oh Man, I only ride em I don't know what makes them work,
Definatley an Anti-Social type

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Adrian Harris
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by Adrian Harris »

I do wish you'd stop putting up pictures of that Chieftain - I was made redundant the week it came up for sale :cry: :cry:

Fortunately I have an Armortek one now instead :D :D :D

Adrian
Contact me at sales@armortekaddict.uk for details of my smoker fan control module and other electronic gadgetry

David Battson
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by David Battson »

Hi John,
Sorry to hear you had to sell the 1/5 Chieftain. I'm sure seeing pictures of that fantastic all metal beast played some subliminal part in my purchase of the Armortek kit.
Many thanks for the wise words on building Chieftain. It is indeed a very complex design and so well done to Armortek for taking on the challenge of a kit. All the complicated angles and curved castings means that making a few small changes here and there can lead to much bigger unforseen consequences further down the line.
You are also absolutely right about too many measurements, it's very easy to get carried away and loose sight of the bigger picture. The trick is finding the right balance between what needs to be right and what just needs to look right.
David

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John Clarke
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by John Clarke »

Your not wrong,
Although, I wasn't sorry to loose the 1/5 Chieftain, keeping a historical artifact like that (Though very minor) can be like a listed building (without the legal side) can have emotional consequences.
With the Armortek Chieftain model I can do pretty much what I like with it.
And more importantly, I can converse with the very best in the modelling field.
For Adrian. :lol: :lol: :lol:
20190307_1102471.jpg
20190307_1102231.jpg
Oh Man, I only ride em I don't know what makes them work,
Definatley an Anti-Social type

David Battson
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by David Battson »

Next up on the build are the suspension units. The first item to improve being the bump stops, as their location helps dictate the finished shape of the main suspension housing.
The solid kit piece was hollowed out as much as possible to give it more of a fabricated look and the bottom half cut away and replaced with a new mounting flange and bump stop housing. The two mounting ears were also cut away and the four m3 fixings replaced with a single countersunk M4. The bump stops will be pinned to the suspension units to stop them from being knocked round on the single fixing and unscrewing whilst in use.
I was thinking about hollowing out the housings and adding real rubber inserts for the stops immediately adjacent to the sprockets and idlers, as these seem to get the most and heaviest contact during use (can anyone confirm ?).
David
Attachments
bump stop - Bovington
bump stop - Bovington
bump stop -Bov.jpg (73.78 KiB) Viewed 380 times
bump stop - kit
bump stop - kit
bump stop - mod
bump stop - mod

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John Clarke
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by John Clarke »

My suspension bogies have been stored away for many months. But I seem to remember theres a few limitations of travel without a lot machining. For this reason I dont think the original model bump stops get a lot of action. With the extensions you're fittimg the wheel arms are more likely to hit the bump stops.
Lovely detail, looking forward to seeing the plans your making for this model.
Your going to have to leave the Bazooka skirts off to enjoy the detail but it won't be my choice.
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David Battson
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by David Battson »

Hi John,
Before adding the swing arms etc, I've found the the basic suspension housings make very useful 'legs' for the otherwise awkward V shaped hull to sit on - so recommend getting yours out of storage.
I proportioned the size of the bump stops from the real thing and you are correct, they are a little longer than the kit. I found the tyres could rub against the bazooka plate support before reaching full upward travel, so hopefully the longer stops will help solve that problem and also reduce the amount of metal to be removed internally to address the spring clearance issue.
The question of bazooka pates on or off is a tricky one. My preference would be to leave them off, not just for the added interest of seeing the suspension detail, but also because, as per the real thing, track clearance is is very tight. The slightest hint of track misalignment or riding the sprockets when running at speed and I fear the bazooka plates could easily start removing themselves.
Maybe others could advise when it was acceptable/normal to run Chieftains without them ? One example seems to be when playing the role of the enemy during exercises, so maybe I'll have to swap side skirts for red coloured tape and foe identification panels on the finished model.
David

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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by Stephen White »

David, yes we did run without side plates when acting as OPFOR ("enemy") but it was pretty rare. For all training and operational use otherwise, we always ran with plates on, after all they were a key protection against shaped charge warheads. On the real thing there was never a clearance problem unless you picked up a large log, which did happen.

To my eye, Chieftain just doesn't look "right" without them but hey, we need more experience with running to see if they cause a problem.

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Charles A Stewart
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Re: Chieftain MK3 Build

Post by Charles A Stewart »

Hi all.

Hope to have a go fairly soon with the "plates" fitted. I have found that alignment can be a issue, I've had to make 2 new forward plates, my choice BTW, as I want to move the most forward attachment lug back a bit.

I have moved the tank back & f'wd on bench, seems OK. We'll wait for a run in the garden to see how it goes :wink:

34 out.

Charles

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