Tank Transporters

by GunnerJim

The Russian made Maz 537 with a T54 Medium tank by Zelmax

The Corgi TK Bedford with M60 Medium tank

Two Corgi Macks and the King tiger tank on the one without the bull-bar

Matchbox Battle Kings transporter with the M48 tank

 the Budgi International A160 with Centurion tank.

One Kemlows and the rest Matchbox Majors.

Well no collection could exist without the great Dinky version of the Mighty Antar.

Then there is the Airfix Mighty Antar anyone got some spare ramps.

Not to miss out on the home homogenise inspirations for a look alike Maz.

Wooden model boats home made.

by GunnerJim

The small fishing craft is cheese and butter built and is of a Tasmanian Hooker long-line or cray boat from the 1950's.   Actually it is from memory and I worked on the Wendy a long time ago.  The larger one is of a Schooner yacht design and is now more of a fishing boat when its finished.  The large hatches  and wheel-house are for the radio control and batteries,  if I ever get around to finishing this craft off.  It is a plank on frame and tree nailed together.  The only thing is that it does float and I suppose that is a plus when the batteries were put inside the hull and didn't sink.

The deck is of Meranti or Philippine pine recycled from packing case timber from a glass supplier. The hull planking is Tassie Oak and steamed into position and tree nailed with very small dowels into Meranti ribs.

The Yawl to the left is the Stoertebekeer 111 designed by Henry Rasmussen for Captain Schlimback, who sailed single handed in 1937 from Lisbon to America. This model is of solid timber cheese and butter carved to the plains, which I found in a very old book on yacht design.   "Thoughts on Yachts and Yachting" by Uffa Fox published in 1938.

The yacht to the right is a plank on frame design and is like many of my models awaiting for the stranded and running rigging, although I would like some sails on this model but cannot sow for nuts. 

Another view of these two yachts.  Like the drops of water dribbling down the side of the hull.  They just got a wash after I had to blow a ton of dust from them accumulated from my hobby workshop that they have collected over the last 10 years of so.

So I do have an interest outside of die-cast toys.   Actually I think I have always been somewhat of a boat builder since I was able to use a hammer and saw,  that any bit of timber was fair game for my little hands back in those golden days of my youth.

That's it friends although there maybe more to come.

21st Century 155 mm Gun

by GunnerJim

The 155 mm has stripped off its transport wheels and in base firing position.  They usually have concrete pads laid down for this type of firing in fixed locations around main base like airports and such.  They also can fire with the wheels jacked up and spades on the trails as well, so when the are on constant maneuvers or on they are firing on the run.

This close up look below shows some of the detail that 21 Century does include, although made of mostly plastic this model does include some fine detail of the real gun.

I think the full kit included the loading try for the rounds, but I am not sure so someone can advise on that asI got this one from the US as is.

Ready for transportation

Something doesn't look right here.

Its OK Marilyn has checked from underneath to make sure we are ready to Rock & Roll down the highway.

There is a little story about a 44 mm bofors being towed by a GMC in the mid fifties along Beach Road Melbourne Australia and this bloke in a car comes along blasting his car horn and waving frantically.  The driver being a regular soldier decided something must be wrong, but doesn't remember running over anyone, slows down to a stop and jumps out to speak to this white faced  in fear car driver.  The car driver stutters you have lost a wheel off the gun. The Gunner Driver takes a look at the bofors, which is sitting square as a floating duck in a pound without a ripple. Then noticed one of the rear wheels had fallen off or was never ever put on in the first place.  Must be true as I have never ever heard SM Bone tell a lie.  The car driver reckons he had travelled for about 10 miles like trying to catch up with Sergent Major Bone who was only a gunner at the time. 

Happy hunting toy collectors for that really hard to find one that we all are chasing.

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.

Britain's 155 mm Gun repairing breach

by GunnerJim

                      Above is the finished replacement of the breach in place.

I had searched for ages on the web to see if anyone had or made replacement breach parts for the 155 mm Britians Gun. and when a odd one became available from a damaged gun on eBay, every collector under the sun was after them.   So in the end I gave up hope and I decided to make my own.

The cost of the Silicone rubber mould cost about $60 dollars and if you follow the instructions supplied, then there should be no problem in making replacement parts.  I had to put in some spew vents to allow the metal to flow without air blocking the metal flow, after the first couple of pours as the the parts were not complete in form.   Plus by using centrifugal rotation spin casting method, thus allowing the metal to be forced into those hard to get cavities.  So it took a few goes to get the mould working to produce the desired parts that I required.

Above are the three parts cleaned of slag and spew and ready for assembly.  The spring was cut from a larger one and made to fit.  The firing lever was made from a pop rivet shank with the rivet removed and bent to shape.  You can use these also for axles too, if you like.  Just  be careful when assembling the breach together or the spring will take off and you can lose the rivet shaped firing pin as well.  I found that clamping the breach together with some super glue first before attempting to hone the locking spigots together with a gentle tap tap tap with the hammer until the spigots are flush with the front of the breach. With one of the breaches the spigots didn't protrude enough due to air lock in the molding process.  So I drilled out enough for placing small rivet into the outer casing and into the body.  Then you all guessed it didn't you,  I super glued it into place. This holds the spring and firing pin and actuating firing lever into fixture place allowing to be hammared down.

After the assembly of the breach, it is time to place the mechanism into the breach end of the barrel.  There are two brackets on the side of the breach end of the barrel, which you can gently prize apart with a blade screw driver.  Make sure you soften the die-cast metal with a heat gun, just enough to allow for the separation of the two parts of the barrel.  You can tell by touching the metal and if your fingers don't stick to the metal then you are hot enough, otherwise the metal might just start flowing onto your workbench. Ouch! that was hot.

The screw drive blade is pointing to the gap between the two parts of the barrel. Just above the barrel, near the trail leg of another 155 mm gun is the firing pins which holds the spring around it. Ooh not the screw by itself just to make sure you are looking in the right direction.

You can see the two brackets better here, along side another barrel that had too much of a gap and would not close with heat, so I filled it with my favorite bog and with a bit of paint and that one will be ready for re-assembly.

In the first picture you will see two shiny parts, which are the tandem spring and axle housing which are positioned at the front of the gun carriage turn-table. A while back I had purchased on eBay a couple of wreaks for spare parts and one of those was broken.  So that was my first cab of the rank to repair.  Again more costs for moulding rubber which was about  $50 Australian bucks.  I will keep that for another blog I think on how to replace the axles.

Information:  The High temperature Silicone moulding rubber two part mix m4470 and was purchased on eBay from Aldaxmoulds.  They also have a video clip on how to make your rubber moulds.  Thats saves Gunner Jim trying to explain it for you.

Happy hunting collectors.

What a way to spend a lovely Sunday afternoon, listening to the Footy in the Man's Shed and getting your fingers burnt at the forge.   After so many attempts I finally got one of those replacement breach's for the Britain's 155 mm gun made. It has to be a gun, as it is supposed to be a breach screw loading mechanism, which entails pushing the round into the riffling and then placing the charge bag behind the round in the ignition chamber of the breach end.  Just as long as the breach loader closes the breach before the layer elevates the barrel. If not the charge bag usually will slip out onto the ground when elevating.

Although the firing mechanism inside the breach may differ from the real gun, as the Britains has a shell casing spring loaded with projectile locked into the casing at the open end.  When the actuating lever on the breach is moved into the firing position, the firing pin hits the outer casing on the base of the round case inside the breach chamber and sets off the spring inside of it.  Thus the projectile is released and out the other end it comes the round flying threw the air at the proposed target.  Last time I fired one inside the house my wife nearly hit me over the head with it (155 gun). Why! as she was the proposed target. Missed anyway!

You never know I might just have a real good clean up in this Men's Shed and I just might surprise myself in what I may fined. I found a couple of tank transporters that I forgot I had.

This is some views of the 8 Wheel Crane No 30 converted to a tank transporter with the Convoy Float trailer adapted.  First off.  I trimmed the rear of the crane to allow for the turning of the semi and and welded back on the rear plate.  Also I had to chop the front end of the raised area of the semi, as to lower the height so that the eighth wheel hook up into where the King Pin swivel of the crane became a nice mounted fit.   OK you can super glue it and by using some metal filler to finish this process off if you like.  Or you can silver solder the peaces together.  The latter is not that easy trust me on that one. Next time I am trying those low temp aluminum rods.

So what do I get up to on Sunday afternoons that depends what strikes my brain. Like sometimes the lights are out and sometimes they switch on and anything can happen to my collection.

Happy hunting collectors around the world.