Waltzin' Matilda

The challenge: build any kind of hover tank without using a tank kit's hull or turret - because nothing saus 'fun' like 70 tons of floating mayhem.

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Waltzin' Matilda

Post by Scotaidh » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:49 pm

I've been wanting to join this challenge - oh, for quite a while now! And now I have. :)

A quick note about RI. RI has one landfill, and each community has a transfer station where the locals can go to get rid of stuff they don't want; said stuff is put into skips and then transferred to the landfill. It costs nothing to bring in recyclables - general trash costs $7 per hundred pounds. Our transfer station has a CONEX where folks can leave computer stuff, and another for televisions and monitors. I can help myself, with the staff's full knowledge and approval, to anything in the CONEXs. So far that's just been a few tilt-swivels.)

Here then is the Waltzin' Matilda. Her name is a personal whimsey - the first word refers to her motion across the landscape, the second is a nod to the only British tank able to stand up to the German panzers early in the war. Also, since this is for the Hammer's Slammers world, she must have a name. :)

Her general layout is conventional - driver in centre front hull; gunner in the turret beside the main armament; commander in the top rear centre of the turret. Her back-story is that she's a local mechanic's home-built attempt to protect home and hearth. Her power-plant and main weapon - a large power-gun - were 'acquired' clandestinely; her close-in anti-personnel belt - not yet in place - will be a series of Claymore-type mines wired to the close-in threat detector; two gatlings - 20mm and 13mm - complete her anti-personnel armament.

The Matilda's computer cannot compete with those used by the Slammers, being of local manufacture, but within its limitations is completely capable of low-level autonomous activity, such as close-in defense, and using the gatlings against determined threat air or ground targets.

Her hull is formed from two tear-drop-shaped tilt-swivel basess. One base is pretty much as found - I have yet to drill the fan housings and install the driver's hatch. Mostly, I'm still trying to find fan-like greeblies that suit me.

Her turret is made from two of the bits that attach to the monitors themselves.[/i] I decided on the 'coolie-hat' configuration because it's distinctive and lends itself well to protection. (The EB Green tape is just covering something that needs covering. As soon as I get the commander's cupola installed the tape will go away. )

Matilda 001

Matilda 002

Matilda 003

PS. Bar made the gatlings. Aren't they good? :) Thanks, Bar! :)
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Post by Dr. Yo » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:58 am

Disc-licous! Looks like a cool design-looking forward to seeing her in paint. Good backstory, too.
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Post by HWR MKII » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:57 pm

Good idea overall. You do have one hell of a shot trap on the lower edge of the turret though. ANy good shot hits that lower angled surface and it will go through the roof of the lower hull. Maybe a slat ring or ball and chain rig around the turret to help with that?
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Post by publiusr » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:30 pm

Those tilt-swivels look to have other uses--/Constellation/Stargazer-esque.

The insides of some fax machines have a nice roller core that has vertical slits if I'm not mistaken. With a smaller tiltswivel atop a large base, you have your turret mechanism pre-fabbed.

True you can have turret-less designs, but there is a certain charm to found parts that might lead in interesting directions hard to pre-visualize beforehand. With very large models, having a tilt sweivel on either end of a cylinder for a hammerhead design allows gun ports to either side of a Blockade runner nose.

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Post by Old Wombat » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:31 am

Yep, Bar has done you good gatling guns, but the vehicle is looking pretty bloody interesting, too!

Waiting for more! :)
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Post by Scotaidh » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:31 pm

HWR MKII wrote:Good idea overall. You do have one hell of a shot trap on the lower edge of the turret though. ANy good shot hits that lower angled surface and it will go through the roof of the lower hull. Maybe a slat ring or ball and chain rig around the turret to help with that?
It's the oscillating turret ... <sigh> I think I'm going to go with a chain-mail skirt suspended from the turret overhang. I like the balls-and-chains the Israelis have on the Merkava, but I think it's a bit sparse. Chain-mail, I think, may solve the problem.
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Post by Scotaidh » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:11 pm

Anyone know where I can find 1/35 scale chainmail?
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Post by Kylwell » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:58 pm

You don't want to knit it yourself? :D

Might try the fabric store, look for fine loop knits.
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Post by onezero » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:37 am

Scotaidh wrote:Anyone know where I can find 1/35 scale chainmail?
I went looking for something similar --- Mark Yungblut suggested mesh purses, which routinely turn up on eBay. I found something that worked for a 1/16-ish figure. Not sure you can get something that is fine enough for 1/35 (or even 54mm) figures ... but something that looks the part on a tank? That should be do-able.
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Post by HWR MKII » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:53 am

Could bridal veil work? If the ball and chain thing wont work for you how about slat armor with a wrap around of the veil to act as a smaller projectile stopper.
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Post by Scotaidh » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:13 pm

Kylwell wrote:You don't want to knit it yourself? :D

Might try the fabric store, look for fine loop knits.
Oh, good idea! I haven't been to a fabric store since I left the SCA, but IIRC they sometimes carry metallic meshes and related such-likes.

:)
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Post by Scotaidh » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:24 pm

While I'm waiting to get to a fabric store, I've been busy - gotta love those rainy weekends! :)

Lift Fans

I finally decided how I wanted to do these. Instead of drilling holes into the hull, I'm going to paint the white discs black, and put grilles on top. These are actually drain strainers I got at the local hardware store. The shoppie couldn't understand why I wanted six of them! :)
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Post by Scotaidh » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:09 pm

I'm still wondering how to, (or if I even need to) show the directional control vanes under the skirt, in the plenum chamber. I think my decision will ultimately rest on whether or not I find suitable greeblies. :)

I joined the turret upper and lower halves tonight, and sealed the plenum chamber.

Now I need to put some bolt-heads around the plenum access plates, invent some 'feet' for the tank to rest upon whilst the power is off - the skirts are far too flimsy for that, and decide what the vanes shall be. :)

Stand back - I'm about to go into the Greeblie Vault!

:)
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Post by Big Hank » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:52 pm

Sharp design! I can see it snaking it's way around corners. Your approach to the fans is great too! Will the landing gear be retractable? I'm still tossing ideas for gear on mine, but I may have a somewhat novel workaround.

Keep up the great work! :D

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Post by DOMENECH1776 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:39 pm

Love the use of the old monitor base, I actually have one, I'm planning to make into a Federation starbase. Someday.

For the directional vanes, are they in the lift fan grills? If so you could use some plastruct roofing sheets, the kind with over lapping planks. Just cut out a circle and I think it would give the impression of vanes louverd for lateral thrust.
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Post by Scotaidh » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:23 am

Hank, welcome to the challenge! I look forward to seeing your design. :) I won't be using - something more like helicopter skids - to support the tank at rest.

DOMENECH1776, that's a good idea. The vanes will be under/inside the skirts (which are metal, ala Hammer's Slammers), and so not seen unless someone turns the model over. Hence my musings on whether or not to actually install them ...

I think I will put something there, just to say that I did. Unless I find something absolutely perfect, though, they'll be pretty basic - one might almost say "vestigial". ;)
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Post by Scotaidh » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:49 am

Found it! :) ... and I even have enough of them on hand! :)

Work continues apace, since I'm home today. The substation that powers 'my' office is underwater, so no work today. :)
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Post by DOMENECH1776 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:45 am

Those are those milk tops right? I like.
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Post by Scotaidh » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:15 pm

DOMENECH1776 wrote:Those are those milk tops right? I like.
Yes - milk tops, with a disc of styrene glued in on top of the threads, painted flat black and acid-etch primer (commonly a yellow color). It does look a little like an egg platter ... so I might have to paint over the primer.

There was an unfortunate gap between the upper and lower parts of the turret, and I spent considerable time trying to make it go away ... yet there it stayed. So I've glued in a piece of small tubing - I'm thinking it will turn out to be the sensor ring for the close-in threat system, or something. ;)
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Post by Buzzbomb » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:50 pm

Interesting shapes.. I cannot recall seeing lids/tops that interesting down here. They are probably out there.. so I must look harder
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Post by Big Hank » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:54 pm

Buzzbomb wrote:Interesting shapes.. I cannot recall seeing lids/tops that interesting down here. They are probably out there.. so I must look harder

See if you can find plastic quart sized milk jugs, that's where I recognize them. Also pint sized milk "chugs" from McArthur and Velda Farms, 2 U.S. dairies.

They work exceedingly well for this purpose! Lookin' good!

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Post by Scotaidh » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:44 pm

These milk tops are from the 'single serving' size bottles sold at places like Dunkin Donuts ... the dairy equivalent of a 20oz Coke or Pepsi ... like this.
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Post by Scotaidh » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:21 pm

Updates, updates.

I wanted Matilda to have a CWIS like unto those of "Hammer's Slammers" (for which 'reality' Matilda is intended) - basically a belt of command-detonated Claymore mines attached to the flanks of the tank. These were fired by the AI whenever a close-in threat was detected - an RPG (or 'buzzbomb'), infantry, and so on. I wasn't, however, very excited about building all these little squares, so I've been looking for an appropriate greeblie ... and I think I found them. :)

These are wee rubber feets - called "Vinyl Bumpers" - intended to be stuck to the bottom of something to avoid a second something being scratched by the first something sitting on it ... or something. ;)

Anyway, I was ambling through a Home Despot today and spotted these, and you can see that they go on very quickly. Once painted, they'll look like they belong.

Also, there's been some discussion as to how long the main gun barrel should be ... My criteria was that the muzzle should protrude a wee bit past the farthest out piece of 'own tank' (in this case, the bow). Muzzle blast is a fearsome thing when it's too close.

The hull is pretty much done, other than painting. I just have to install the flamer nozzles - hostile infantry absolutely hate it when their concealment goes up in flames - around the hull perimeter. :)
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Post by Big Hank » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:46 pm

Those little bumpers are cool looking and fit the bill nicely. Are they made of silicone? Would you prime that with acrylic if it was silicone?

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Post by Scotaidh » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:47 am

Big Hank wrote:Those little bumpers are cool looking and fit the bill nicely. Are they made of silicone? Would you prime that with acrylic if it was silicone?
Hank, I'll find that out when I paint. :) I brush paint - never really got into the zen of spraying. This can make life interesting at times.


I'm thinking a field-grey mottle, although something desert-ish could also work ... I'll have to see what kind of mood I'm in when I reach for my paint drawer. :)
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Post by Scotaidh » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:46 pm

Today I added the turret top and drilled the holes for the flamers. I have to day, it's quite ... inspiring, I guess is the word I'm looking for, to see her finally 'together' at last.

Oh - I still have a lot of putty-work around the commander's cupola, plus the cupola itself, with the 20mm tri-barrel. But she's much more herself, if you know what I mean.
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Post by Big Hank » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:26 pm

Looks outta sight! Makes me sad.........I've not had a chance to start assembling mine yet...... :(

Your turret made me think of an AWACs rotodome. Which made me think of the practical advantages of your shape, I recall reading the rotodome generated as much lift as drag, making it aerodynamically nuetral to the plane. I wonder if this effect would allow your tank to move quicker.....Hmmmm...... :D

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Post by Halanar_D » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:01 pm

Interesting looking tank there
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Post by HWR MKII » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:15 pm

Looking much more tanky (is that even a word) Now the bits are coming together. More please.
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Post by Scotaidh » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:02 pm

Added more Aves to the commander's francis ford ('cupola' for those not keeping up). After sanding and fairing in, there were still some rough spots. :(

Matilda needed still more Aves - I'm stuck in PRS, and I can't get out! ;) (I had to go out to the garage to my tool box to get in a couple of coarse rat-tail files - that made things go much faster.)

Finally got the putty sorted out - time to open up a tin of Humbrol Slate Grey and see what it does for my fliegerPanzer

Well, the Anti-Personnel mines have taken the paint OK, I think ...

... and so has the rest of Matilda. She'll want another coat, of course, and there's some touching up to do - always is! :)

I may have put the shiny grills on too soon ... I can see those coming off for a cleaning, and for some details added to the intake areas ... hmmm.
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