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We're building a tank!

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by t.ankmann, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. t.ankmann

    t.ankmann New Member

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    Greetings, Tankers!

    I represent a group of young engineers and WWII enthusiasts who are setting out to build, from scratch, a Panzer38(t) Ausf.D! That's the goal! I'll be periodically updating this page, so stay tuned!

    So, to catch you up, I thought it'd be fun to keep a discussion open on WarThunder because, well, hey that was our inspiration! We've done a ton of networking and research before heading this project up, including contacting authors and historians in search of the original blueprints. We've got scans from the CKD archives of several parts of the vehicle, along with users manuals for the Jagdpanzer and Panzer38(t), but we're blind to a lot of the details and have to do our best to recreate them from models and photographs. There are no examples of the Pz38(t) in the United States. Currently we're working on reverse-engineering the structural elements and 3d-modelling the drivetrain, running gear, and final drive. I myself am in charge of building the turret and turret ring assemblies. Once this all is done we'll be pretty much set to talk about building.

    If you want to catch up on old news (we've been at this for over 300 man-hours, the 4 of us), visit us at our (somewhat experimental) webpage! We've got photos, contact info, and tank information.
    -T.ankmann
     
    JJWilson, lwd, KodiakBeer and 6 others like this.
  2. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Now this is very interesting.

    Nice first post, what a good way to join the site! Please keep us updated, I know you have a website, but I'd be happy to be your surrogate discussion area if you'd like one.
     
  3. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    Awesome. Good luck in your quest.
     
  4. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I look forward to following your progress. The Pz38(t) was quite a good tank at the war's beginning so a great choice.

    Gaines
     
  5. t.ankmann

    t.ankmann New Member

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    Greetings Tankers!

    Thank you for your patience, I’m very excited to bring you this update!
    (more on our website, too)
    First order of business, progress reports!
    Framework: Beckett has done an outstanding job working and reworking his framework drawings to maintain the highest level of accuracy, after all, it’s off of this frame that the shape of our tank is based. He even worked a little bit in AutoCad’s 3d function to bring us the wireframe orthographic view. Looking good!

    [​IMG]
    Seen here are Beckett’s frame drawings and new business cards!
    (we also got business cards, they’re sweet, more on that down below)

    Turret: Tristan has come very close to a final design for the turret drive mechanism! In this design, the housing is made from 3.5″ schedule 80 steel pipe and pipe caps, with some cuts and holes. Round, compact, and at exactly 4 degrees of turret rotation per turn of the handle. Well, 4.007 degrees of traverse per turn but I think that’s close enough. Historical accuracy is his “thing”.

    [​IMG]
    (not a true section drawing but I just threw everything in there to give a good overview of the mechanism)
    Steve put in many hours on the running gear this week, mostly modeling the wheels so that the internals can be calculated. I’ll have screenshots/printouts of his final product for next week I assume.

    Business and Business cards!
    Our paperwork has gone in to officially make us an LLC! Replica and Restoration Works LLC is the name chosen by the team, mainly so as not to limit ourselves to tanks, but also because it sounds a bit more. . . . [safe?] than Das Kriegsministerium, let’s be honest.

    We also got 200 business cards in 3 different variants (see below). We’ll be needing them because tomorrow we go to Fort Indiantown Gap! That’s right, we’ll be at the Battle of the Bulge reenactment tomorrow and Saturday! Super exciting and I can’t wait to talk with some of the tankers/actors there.

    We also have access to Solidworks, so maybe more 3d items will come your way? Who knows? It’s all very exciting.

    That’s all for tonight! I’ll post pictures of the reenactment on Sunday!
    -T.Ankmann
     
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  6. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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  7. t.ankmann

    t.ankmann New Member

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    We hope to use some 3D printing to help us prototype pieces. Very interesting idea, I hope it goes forward. If we can get good at 3D printing ("we") then yeah, parts can be custom printed with no tooling costs. I know Norsk Titanium is doing something like that for aircraft parts these days.
     
  8. t.ankmann

    t.ankmann New Member

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    Greetings Tankers!
    It’s March, that means we have 243 days before November! Time flies when you’re having fun. We’ve been very busy and productive the past few weeks, working on all sorts of subprojects within Project38. So let’s get you all caught up!

    Events and PR

    Members of the team went down to Fort Mifflin to help the 193rd Rifles to clear up the hidden gun batteries south of the fort. A lot of work got done and we met with some amazing folks. Everyone was excited about the project, and in the evening we spent time talking with the 193rd and crew in the barracks talking about different aspects of the project. Thanks Don and John for your enthusiasm and support, and if you ever need a hand down there call us up!
    (full album of pictures here)

    [​IMG]
    About half of the work crew that weekend. We had just come off clearing brush and are tired, but happy with the work that got done.


    Schedule of Events

    We have received word that we will have a table/display at the Army Heritage Days at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC). The coordinators there were happy to host us and we’re excited to be a part of their event! Look for us there, May 19 and 20. The event will host hundreds of living history impressions and reenactors and always is an impressive display.

    We will also have a table at the Memorial Day Weekend event at the Allentown fairgrounds. All weekend long from the 25th to the 28th we will be there networking and spreading the word.

    We’re in contact with 6 other events this summer to possibly attend with a booth/display. If you know of an event we should go to, let us know! Our Schedule has the events that we plan on attending.

    BUILD UPDATES!
    Ah but this is what you’re really here for isn’t it? How much closer are we to the final engineering product? Much closer!

    Turret:

    Work on the turret has been steady and encouraging. While some parts have been difficult to accurately dimension, overall I think the faithfulness to the original is pretty close. While none of the internal parts are made up, what you see below is an accurate 3D representation of the externals of the turret.

    [​IMG]
    Many details are still missing,but overall we’re making good headway. If you spot any glaring inaccuracies let us know.
    We’ve also neared completion on the turret drive. A few details to be worked out but as it stands, the turret will turn 4 degrees per turn of the handle. The design allows for the drive to disconnect from the turret ring to freely rotate the turret if need be.

    [​IMG]
    This mechanism will allow a disconnect from the drive with the switch of a lever operating above.
    Of course, it wasn’t always easy. Learning the 3D modelling is fun, but every now and again we run into problems. Often we turn to Beckett, the lead engineer, to help solve them. Shoutout to him for having the patience to put up with the rest of us.

    [​IMG]
    After a seriously long day, Beckett troubleshoots a part in Solidworks on Tristan’s computer. I’m still not quite sure what he did but he fixed the problem.
    Armor Plates

    Armor plates have come a long way! While the internal framing is not yet created, having the armor plates will allow us to do so easily and quickly. See below what the hulking Panzer looks like stripped of anything useful! Even this image is already outdated, with rivet holes having been added to the engine hatches and rear topside as of this writing.

    [​IMG]
    Beckett has done an amazing job with the armor plates, going so far as to reach out overseas for the dimensions of the curve on the front plate. 10/10
    Of course, even now the above image is outdated. Here we see Beckett working on the drivers viewports.

    [​IMG]
    With the classroom empty, we’ve taken over the front speakers and put on our own music. Not that Beckett knows. I wonder what he’s jammin to.
    Running Gear

    Because of the large amount of calculations and bearing requirements of the running gear, what we have to show isn’t so much on paper as it is in design. We’ve received help from a kind fellow overseas who gave us detailed images of the swingarms and suspension collars. Many thanks to you sir!

    [​IMG]
    Two different sources gave us images of the suspension and running gear, many thanks to you both! This is what keeps it a Grassroots Tank Project, we couldn’t do it without you!
    If you have any images of the tank or its parts, let us know!
    We do also have a 3D file of the roadwheels, as you’ll see below. It’s beginning to look sort of actually like a maybe tank?

    Final Drive

    The calculations for the final drive are nearing completion, but as with any engineering project, the closer we get to completion the more there is to do.

    [​IMG]
    Nate and Beckett working on linkages for the steering mechanism and final drive. It’s on the same board as some notes from class, but the show must go on.
    AS IT STANDS:

    Below is the whole shebang as we have it. We’re working on a 3D viewer to put on the website but are having trouble with it, we’ll let you know when it’s up.

    [​IMG]
    Goofy looking without the fenders, tracks, and everything else that we’re missing. Still, it’s beginning to look a bit like a tank!


    Other News

    Seth is working on finding land for us to put this whole project on. He’s agreed to head up that entire wing of the project, allowing us to focus on the tank itself. A huge thank you to Seth, and welcome to the team!

    We’re 1 step closer to a steel and iron foundry willing to help us with steel and iron castings. Details to come as we get them.

    Over on the Test and Test2 pages you can see us mucking about with 3D viewer plugins. Still having trouble with creating a .mtl file that shows up nicely. I like the first viewer’s smoothness but the second has the color better matched to the .mtl files. Well that’s something I’ll have to mess around with for a while.

    All in all, we’ve made a lot of progress, connections, and friends. We look forward to moving forward on the project, stay tuned for the next update!

    -T.ankmann
     
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  9. t.ankmann

    t.ankmann New Member

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    ~Greetings, Tankers!~

    So Project38 has this auto-publish updates feature that I was using on our website, but apparently it hasn't been copying over to WW2F.

    Anywho, we're still chugging along, slowly and methodically. We've been doing a lot of research to please the rivet-counters out there and to keep the tank accurate. we have a guy going to see Bob Graebe about a transmission and final drive, so we'll soon have some photos of that as well as updated website and schedule.

    I'll come back periodically to say hi and give y'all a what's what, but for weekly updates follow us at Project38.net and our Facebook page.

    Thanks!
    -T.ankmann
     
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