Landships II

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Post Info TOPIC: Layout of Little Willie.


Colonel

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RE: Layout of Little Willie.
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Traction engines where steered by a steering wheel, and not 'brake levers', as most tanks would come to use. As Fosters, (a well known traction engine manufacturer), was building Little Willie, would they have used a steering wheel to steer it?

That was the point I was asking....and the Killen Strait tracked tractor used a steering wheel to act on the front tracked unit, by which it was steered.

Grant

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Major

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As I said, Willie had a steering carriage added...cable operated.
There is a steering box with a wheel attached, bolted flat to the underside of the front plate (in front of the drivers seat).

The driver has two foot pedal levers.

The "co-driver" has two hand operated levers.

My guess...and this is just my opinion...
Driver has steering control of the tail carriage (cables - steering wheel)
and drive control over each track unit by foot/lever control.
Co-driver has braking control over each side of the drive/differential.

?

P9097633_792x600.jpg



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General

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Perhaps they used the same supply of tiny contortionists for the driver's positions as they did for manning the "turret"??



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Major

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On a the same topic as my last post, I had earlier questioned (in another thread) whether these brackets
on either side of Willie's interior, might have catered to a floor or floor boards.

They are in fact the guide/mounting brackets for the steering cables that run down either side of the interior
and out the back wall of the vehicle (to connect to the steering carriage).

In a couple of photos of Willie's interior, you can also see what looks like part of a cable wrapped around the steering box up front.

[This photo has been posted before...I have edited out the section I wanted to show.
I believe this is one of Chris' photos...I have copyrighted it that way...so I hope its okay to repost it for this purpose.]

Little_Willie_27_1.jpg



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Major

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Tonys wrote:

Perhaps they used the same supply of tiny contortionists for the driver's positions as they did for manning the "turret"??


Can you imagine what it must have been like for a crew of...six? seven? inside this hot and noisy vehicle?!

And, trying not to fall through any gaps in the chassis while it was moving!



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General

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Not much better in the later tanks either, except the height was better, so taller contortionists could be used!



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Colonel

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airdave wrote:

My guess...and this is just my opinion...
Driver has steering control of the tail carriage (cables - steering wheel)
and drive control over each track unit by foot/lever control.
Co-driver has braking control over each side of the drive/differential.

 

 


Sounds like a very complicated arrangement? The driver and co-driver would need to be very 'in-tune' with each other just to make sure they were heading in the right direction!!!

Imagine that in a combat situation!!! The mind boggles!!

Grant



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Commander in Chief

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Hi Grant,   here is the image Dave may be referring to. 

 

Hi Dave, I'm happy for you to share any photos I sent you with the usual acknowledgments.

 

Chris 



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The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (Dorothy Parker)


Colonel

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Thanks for that Chris...but this view opens up another line of questioning!!

If the circular hole between the two visor slots/ports/cut-outs was intended to be for the placement of a machine gun, (and I'm thinking Lewis gun as opposed to something like a Vickers, which was used in the early armoured cars), then it must have been cramped up front with the driver, co-driver and gunner all 'crammed' into that space?

My mind is still boggling!!

Grant

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General

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Fortunately, it looks as if their seats had built-in commodes - getting out of there in a hurry would have been impossible!



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Major

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I don't think that circular hole in the front is anything more than a slightly larger "gun port".
Large enough to swivel a rifle.
The side "pistol ports" are much smaller, but there are more of them.

But I don't think the forward opening was intended for a fixed gun.
There's also no evidence of any additional bracketry, mounting points, etc in that area
to support an MG.

There have been some references to a rail mounted forward elevating gun or cannon
and I believe this was the whole intention of the upper bunker.
Nothing more than a raised housing for such a weapon.
The "bunker" has a vertical, rectangular slot facing forward.
It was built circular because that would be the simplest construction
and circular allows easy 360 degree view and defense for the occupants
...four smaller round viewing/gun ports are added around the perimeter.

I think the reason the upper bunker did not stay in place, was because the fixed gun idea
was never completed or installed.

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Major

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This is a (sort of) Koolwheelz project I started a long time ago.
(Koolwheelz models are a collection of miniature vehicle paper models I produce and share on my card model website.
They are usually vehicles of special interest or meaning to me...and they follow some special rules, like simple design,
as few parts as possible, and all on one sheet of cardstock.)

Since I have been a little preoccupied this past week (with the death of my Father)
and I am also waiting on new files for other paper model projects
I decided to revisit this Little Willie project.

little%20willie%20paper%20model%20mini%202.jpg

My original plan was to do a small (KoolWheelz) version of the Little Willie Tank.

But my first problem was scale.
The average scale of my Koolwheelz models is about 1/60...and that would make the Little Willie tank a bit too big to fit onto one page.
So, I had to shrink it down below Koolwheelz scale...but I wasn't sure how much.

In the end, I settled on a common 1/72 scale.
So I am unsure if its going to be a Koolwheelz model now (or maybe just something else).

little%20willie%20paper%20model%20mini.jpg

One of the reasons I decided to revisit this project (and get it completed)
was because of recent discussions on the this forum
concerning the early version of Little Willie with its early Bullock Track design
and questions about the short-lived upper Gun housing(fixed turret).   (This thread in particular)

I thought it would be fun to modify the small scale Willie model with a set of Bullock tracks
and add the upper "turret"...but still keeping it simple paper model constuction of course.
(I already had the turret designed as an "add-on" kit for the big model!)

There are only two photos (that I know of) that show the complete Willie early version
(with the early Bullock Tracks and the upper housing in place
...but the vehicle is covered by tarpaulin and you can't see what it looks like).

A model version seemed like a logical idea.
So here it is...

early%20little%20willie%20demo%202.jpg

early%20little%20willie%20demo.jpg

I haven't decided how or when I will release the models...but I'll let you know.



-- Edited by airdave on Wednesday 1st of July 2015 12:58:22 AM

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Colonel

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Dave, firstly may I say I'm sorry to hear about your father, and secondly, I'm sure he's very proud of you and your creative skills.

Your models are helping me to understand a tank that I've been fascinated by since I first heard of it....and that was many years ago.

If I may be so presumptuous as to give you a bit of advice I got told from an old work colleague: family comes first, work will always be there.

So, take all the time you need to greave, mourn and honour your father...work will always be there.

Grant



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Hero

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Sorry to hear of your recent loss Dave x

Card models are great for visualising subjects that it would be unrealistic for the main manufacturers to take on. Scratch building in any material also helps give a feel for how and why a vehicle looks the way it does, so much more than a photo ever can.

Great work! keep it coming.

Helen x



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Major

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Thanks for the sympathy, its much appreciated.
Paper modeling is my escape from the world, so it helps to keep busy in times like this.
To be very honest, I didn't have a good relationship with my father and his illness (Alzheimers) has been a long one.
His passing is a bigger problem for my Mum, so she is my worry more than anything.


I only know of the one photo of the partially constructed Willie, with the upper chicken coop in place.
It is taken from a low extreme angle so not everything is visible.
We must guess at a few things.

Obviously we know the diameter of the opening in the Hull, so we can guess the "turret" diameter.

But I have no idea if the top is flat or vented in some way. (I doubt it)

I analyzed the height of what you can see of the "turret", and compared it against the various faces
of the main Hull....I think my 'turret" height is close to what it should be, even though it looks very
tall compared to a modern day "Tank Turret".
(I also used the images with the tarpaulin covered Willie to judge the heights)


I also surmized that the forward vertical slot was a lot longer than is visible in the photo, to allow a
good downward angle of the forward gun.

Heres another photo of the model.

little%20little%20willie%20%20early%202.jpg



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Legend

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I feel slightly responsible for this thread, in much the same way that H.G. Wells can be credited with the invention of the Tank, but I didn't expect it to take on these proportions.

I can't help but feel that the following must have some bearing. Stern wrote to Tritton on Sept 2rd, 1915:


"With reference to the gun in the turret: the ship will probably want to use its gun at an angle of 45 degrees pointing forward, upward or downward when crossing irregular ground and not on the flat, therefore it is necessary to be able to shift the gun forward as far as possible. It does not appear to me to be a difficult thing to run this on rails from the centre, where it is now, right forward.

I am also informed that it is not so necessary to protect the men from shrapnel, therefore a shield covering the front and the sides and the top partially seems to me to be sufficient."

Someone has already said on the Forum that Willie was never intended to have a turret (presumably meaning a revolving turret). Quite what Stern envisaged with the rails arrangement I'm not sure, but the whole thing together seems to describe some sort of partly covered cockpit rather than a standard fully enclosed and rotating turret. In which case, how and to what extent was the main gun supposed to traverse?

Feel free to argue.



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Major

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Correct me if I am wrong, but the original idea (or request from heads on high) was for a vehicle that could "traverse the trenches".
Either for troop transport or as a weapon intended to reach the enemy lines.

The initial design was built as a testbed for the Bullock Track drive.
A "carriage" was necessary to contain the drive system and operators.
Built from boiler plate, it was never intended to protect the occupants from "shrapnel" or gunfire.
(I think "shield covering the front and the sides and the top partially" refers to the building of the Hull itself.)

Its easy to realize why they ended up designing an entire body which could later be reconstructed in armour plate.

While designing a vehicle like this, it would be easy to start imagining and testing other experimental ideas.
Lots of people putting ideas to paper maybe.
Right from the start, pistol ports were added, so it was obvious someone realized "we could put men in this thing and
they could shoot at the enemy while the landship travelled!"
But at some point, someone suggested mounting a gun on top, where the high visibility was an advantage.

A "rail mount" would offer a way to retract the gun into the turret for protection, maintenance and servicing,
or extend the gun forward for increased firing angles.

But those were secondary ideas...maybe by secondary thinkers and designers. I would say the basic Hull design and Track testing
took precedence over any gun and turret ideas. and thats why those ideas never went any further.

Just my opinions.

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Colonel

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airdave wrote:


I analyzed the height of what you can see of the "turret", and compared it against the various faces
of the main Hull....I think my 'turret" height is close to what it should be, even though it looks very
tall compared to a modern day "Tank Turret".
(I also used the images with the tarpaulin covered Willie to judge the heights)

 


Could the height of the (supposed/implied) turret have anything to do with the crew inside having to sit above the engine??

With the engine being nearly in the centre of the tank, and virtually below the 'turret', would it make good sense to have a taller 'turret', thus making it easier to operate whatever gun was supposed to be in it???

Just a thought.

Grant

 



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Major

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The turret opening is not directly over the engine.
The engine is definitely to the rear of the vehicle.
This is confirmed by the engine mounts still attached to the frame rails.

In my model, I installed wooden planks down each frame rail for the occupants to stand on.
(There must have been something in there to stand on!)

P9047592_800x599.jpg

 

I also created a "bridge" across the gap between the differential and engine. (Over the gearbox)

I believe there is a similar thing in the later Mark tanks. Its also creates a standing spot for the Turret.

 

P9057594_792x600.jpg

 

mkIV_int002.jpg

 

There s enough space between the oil tank and differential to stand...as long as you have something to stand on.

This area is also where the engine crank is located. So there must have been enough room to stand and crank the motor.

P9067603_800x600.jpg

 

 

 



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General

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Stunning!!!



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Major

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Photo update...

Just finished replacing all my Photobucket images, in the posts in this thread.

If you are like me, you got screwed over in last years Photobucket debacle.

I have since dropped my Photobucket account and moved all my images (close to 5000) over to mediafire.  And I have been replacing (wherever I can) my image links...but there are so many!

If you don't already have the photobucket fix in your browser...get it!.

Its a simple extension available for any browser that works around the photobucket change. Stops that gray "3rd party" image from appearing and shows you the original image. (At least until photobucket figures out a way to "fix" that too!)

In my case, I am just trying to replace as many of my own images as possible and remove any connection to photobucket!

.......................................................

Just a followup on the small paper model of Little Willie...early version....that I posted above.

This model is now part of my "Koolwheelz Collection"
*small, single sheet, paper models of well known and significant (to me) vehicles.

You can download it...print it and build it yourself...from my website.

How to get the model:

Go to Dave's Card Creations (www.cutandfold.info and click on the Dave's Card Creations link).
Look for the Koolwheelz Collection link and go there.
Go to the Specialz page...and scroll down to the Military Vehicles section.
Click on the Little Willie banner and download the free model.


x4zyhdbd24xxpey6g.jpg

 

 



-- Edited by airdave on Wednesday 14th of March 2018 02:52:07 PM

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Corporal

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Hello All,

a couple of years ago I had been to Bovington and I took a series of pictures of Little Willie. Thought I might share them with you, maybe there is some interesting new perspective to people who have not had a chance yet to got there themselves.

best regards

Herbert



-- Edited by Herbschi on Sunday 18th of March 2018 09:12:17 PM

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Major

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I'm sure all your photos are available online.
I'm sure I have them all already.
...so...thank you! ...they were very helpful.



-- Edited by airdave on Monday 19th of March 2018 01:59:04 AM

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