All of these Britians 155 mm Guns above have had some repairs done to them apart from the one with the front wheel towing dog, which was missing the spades and travelling locking mount only. The other two had breaches and flash eliminators ends missing and a broken suspension or buckle wheel axle or two, not to miss out on a broken barrel that had the breach still intact. Then another one which need some straightening too. I was lucky to pick up another barrel for the broken one and some spare wheels and carriage body that gave me enough for repairs. Well almost anyway.
In the picture above you can see the broken suspension which gave way when cleaning off the old paint and the new replacement part to be added in the foreground.
The new axles are made from bicycle spokes which are the same dimension, well near enough for this bush bloke. The end has been crimped by using a pair of pinches or tack pullers that had been ground flat for the purpose of crimping. Just like if you had used a drop forge hammer, only you use a heavy hammer or even a mash hammer if you know what I mean and bash the end of the pinches. Well not quite like that, the movement is only enough to give weight with shorter strokes from a lower distance. Tap tap tap tap sort of thing. The same operation is used on the other body mounting pivoting axle which holds the suspension into place.
As this picture shows the process of gripping the end of the axle that has to be gently taped until you have squashed the end so that the wheels don't come off. You cannot hurry this process and make sure you have the gun platform cushioned with a rag or something that will take the shook out of the banging process. I am using a one inch or 25 mm plate steel by three feet or one meter and sits neatly on top of my welding bench. Nice and strong for belting things on.
As the suspension axle is larger than the wheel axles, I used a pop rivet which all ready has the knobby or domed end. Good idea but the only catch is that those rivets are as hard as hell to flatten just like those bicycle spokes. So if you want to use a mild steel instead then go for it.
Rubber tyres back on and ready to rock and roll. By the way those suspensions are not easy to cast and I have nearly wreaked the mould in doing so. Looks like I will have to invest in another mould, Although I will be changing the layout and venting so the metal will flow a lot better. The old mould is for drop pouring only which is not as good as centrifugal process.
So that is that the only job left is to match up the paint and re-spray those parts that need to blended into the original paint work on the guns.
The spades and travelling barrel locking arms or stay can be brought on eBay, so no need to re-make the wheel with those spare parts available.
The home made spin mould casting machine after a pour you can see the slag on top of the mould.
That's it folks, so happy hunting for those really hard to find collector items well thats if I don't get there first.
Oh the plastic tracked troop carrier is made by Durhams Industries Inc USA.