The first big project publicized here. And one of the biggest and most complex I have ever undertaken. But it is a fitting start considering that this was also my first true passion project in a long time. Here we have: the T55 AMV in 1:16 scale – a first to my knowledge.
First of all – what do you need to recreate this?
T55 – hooben
polystyrene sheer (0,5 and 1,0 mm) and tube
3D printed Kontakt 1 era
Henglong tk7.1, speaker, 2 servos, smoke module, gun smoke module, 5 LEDs
Parts from your usual bits-and-pieces box (wire, cable, connectors, metal sheets and similar)
As the pictures give away – this was not made in any straight forward way. It all originally started out with an exchange of two projects with another scale modeler close to me. After taking a closer look into this tank in particular, it became very apparent that a complete overhall was required. Thus new electronics were needed.
The Build begins – the electronics
The old ones simply were at the end of their lives. The MFU was upgraded to a TK7.1 The speaker was replaced, exhaust- and gun-smoke was added, the LEDs renewed and a new turret ring had to be made, since the former one was worn out. Next up I still need to replace the main drive motors since they are really noisy, which is also the reason why there is no video yet, but it will follow as soon as they are replaced. Lastly a new battery pack with a corresponding controll unit was added. The old one would have been perfectly fine, I simply opted for one that lasts longer in time since I intend to take him to conventions once he is completed.
The change of course – How a T55 became a T55 AMV
The elctronics now perfectly finished and in working order (except for the main drive motors noise, but I will get to that another time) The project was technically finished. The paint was already in great order thus I could just let it be as is. But could I really? By now I atleast know that I do not like to do any projects in the ordinary and i ideally wanted to keep it this way. A little bit of late night chatting with my GF and we both came to the conclusion of the T55 AMV.
How do you even turn a T55 into a T55 AMV?
First step was to design the Kontakt-1 bricks and 3D print them. I am not very experienced with 3d-modeling, but it was enough for something like that. Next Thing to overcome: the fenders or to be more exact – the side-skirts. The middle parts could easily be bought from a small German site (ludiwgs-hobby-seite.de) but the Front and rear had to be build from scratch using styrene sheets. Same was done for the Mounting of the ERA-bricks on the Turret, UFP, LFP and Side. Afterwards the tube had to be relocated to the left side of the turret with new mountings. The coupolas also had to be remodeled to fit to the new version. This was also done with styrene sheets, greensuff and a lot, a lot of sanding. The last things I had to do were a new mounting for the HMG, new Fuel-lines, the replacement of the hooks on the rear of the turret and at the very last new mountings for the Log on the rear to fit the new fenders. And last but not least a small bucket had to be added to the rear hook.
Next steps – Towards the finish-line
The construction is now, excluding the new motors finished. Next up will be the painting and testing. For the paint-job I intend to use green as the base-colour with beige strips, but I still haven’t really made my final decision on that matter, so I will keep on looking for some time now.
There is not that much to tell here since most things are scratch build, but it was great fun, which is understandable since it was a passion project for a long time. But a project like this is certainly not a simple undertaking. So do yourself a favour and make some simpler projects. This has now taken a total of appoximatly 180 Hours and 350-400€ (excluding the exchange in the worth of 450€) But for experienced model-makers? It is great – In this particular a case it is the only T55 AMV in 1:16 and RC, atleast to my knowledge.