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Post Info TOPIC: K-Wagen: What data do we have and is producing a replica possible?


Private

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K-Wagen: What data do we have and is producing a replica possible?
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Hello everyone,

I go by IronPeregrine in most online spaces, and have as of the last couple weeks have found this wonderful forum and am now making my first post with this one (Almost accidentally posted to the general Tanks page by mistake). I have been researching the tanks of WW1 to make a game to play with my friends (an online version of a tabletop game played in an Excel spreadsheet, to keep it short) and in the process have found a particular fascination with the vehicles, especially the K-Wagen superheavy tank of the German Empire. It's quite incredible that the vehicle was not only planned, but actually started production! Two prototypes were made and nearly ready by the time of the war's end, but as it came they tragically had to be scrapped to comply with the Treaty of Versailles. Even more depressing, the vehicle's history seems to be very hard to research given its lack of interest from the internet and in turn amount of available material regarding it to look at, with other vehicles like the British Mark tanks or the A7V taking center stage on the topic of WW1. Surely if the war had lasted even three months longer we'd know every little thing about the K-Wagen, as horrible as continuing the war would be. Regardless, does anyone have any documents regarding the K-Wagen that they can link here? It is a wonderful machine and it would be amazing to learn more about it.

On another note, after seeing the "Fiat 2000 Replica" topic, I was struck with a thought: Could we make a replica of the K-Wagen? I believe if we put some elbow grease into it, got our community together, and tried to follow in the footsteps of the Italian team we may just give the world a chance to see the great beast in all its glory. If we can find the right platform to make our plans and get the word out, we may be able to draw the necessary resources and people to get together and make a real, in-the-steel replica. Of course, this is an exceptionally ambitious proposal, but if a ball bearing company could take on the task of building one of those monsters, then I feel a dedicated team of us enthusiasts could make it happen again. If we managed to build the replica successfully, we could take the title for the largest tank ever fully built and ran! Such a claim would certainly get the attention of the public eye and in turn support and donations for the project. Imagine seeing that monster in the Tankfest Arena one day! What are your thoughts on it?

With great spirit, 

-Iron

Note to the moderators: I apologize for my multiple previous post attempts. I am making another submission with this post as I have decided to make an account for the forum and feel it is best that this is posted under my actual account for the forum rather than as a guest. I am new to forums in general and have little experience with them, so please forgive my clumsiness. I look forward to my time here in the Landships Forum and am excited to see what knowledge I can find and share on the board!



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Sergeant

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K-Wagen Montagebeschreibung red.jpg

:D

 






-- Edited by TankLibrary on Thursday 18th of November 2021 06:20:05 PM

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Corporal

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What a ambitious project that would be indeed. I would imagine the start up capital costs would be quite substantial. The work force and shop space would be problematic even in the best of times. Despite all that negativity I just wrote, I to would definitely love to also see it running again across the ground.

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Wow, thanks a ton for all those images! Hilariously I haven't seen a single one of them before despite all my efforts to look into this machine. Honestly, I can't see many people that *wouldn't* want to see a K-Wagen in person! But of course, it's gotta start somewhere if we want to make it happen. As I mentioned earlier, if we can get the right outlet to show the world our plans we would without a doubt see support fly in. I'd say the best place to start is to get in contact with the Italian team that made the Fiat 2000 replica and to ask them about what their process was. Considering their replica came out so fantastically, I'd reckon they'd certainly be a good source for us to learn from to chase down our own ambitions. Cut it down into enough tiny steps and we can make it really happen. I'll try to get an email out to them, I'll update if I get a response anytime soon. Considering the fact I'm still making my way through my last year of highschool, however, I doubt I'll be able to actually be part of the work for a long time. Regardless, I can certainly help get the ball rolling. There's no doubt that this will take everyone with idle hands to get it done, but if we want our K-Wagen we'll have to earn it!

For those who are onboard for this great endeavor, remember these words my father taught me: "Never surrender before the battle has even started." Our battle to build a K-Wagen is yet to begin, so we have no reason to back down just yet! While I try to contact the Italian team, for everyone else here please continue adding data to our pile so we can be sure we have as much as possible, as well as any comments or thoughts that you feel should be brought up. For all we know it could be a walk in the park, let's not let ourselves be spooked. To specify on the data we're looking for, I believe that going with the 120 ton design is the best choice considering it was the design that was actually built and therefore probably the most fleshed out and trustworthy design to replicate.

With great spirit,
-Iron

Note as of 20 minutes after the original post: I am struggling to find any contact information for the team. I can see the Facebook page of the Fiat 2000 project itself as well as its founder, but can't get a link to an email. Does anyone know a specific email I can use to contact them?



-- Edited by IronPeregrine on Friday 19th of November 2021 02:59:55 PM



-- Edited by IronPeregrine on Friday 19th of November 2021 03:30:44 PM

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Commander in Chief

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Their Paypal email is comitato@fiat2000.it


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Colonel

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Along with youthful enthusiasm it seems useful having the right balance of

experience, maturing skills, potent donors and… good connections.

May be this link helps puts the whole idea into perspective :

https://www.agi.it/cultura/news/2020-06-02/come-era-fatto-primo-carro-armato-italiano-8790947/

 

Maybe it should be kept in mind, that the political climate in Germany makes such intentions rather risky. No entrepreneur will set himself into hot water…

https://www.businessinsider.com/germany-senior-wwii-nazi-tank-in-basement-fined-293000-2021-8?r=US&IR=T

 

 

 

 

 

 



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So far I've found that the biggest problem we need to address is building a set-in-stone team and finding a real, in-person HQ somewhere for our project. Since this is just an online forum, we could technically pick almost anywhere in the world to be our base of operations. This probably is best done by determining where those who are able among the team we make are based themselves. There's a great amount of "digital-end" work that can be done like designing blueprints or models, spreading word around the Internet, and working on setting up fundraisers to get funding for the project. Another good idea to move forward is to build a mini K-Wagen of sorts first, perhaps just a meter long RC version or just a wooden mockup. We can then do what the Italian team did and get some roots for our project set down by taking the model on tour, having a little display about our plans and presenting the ambitious idea of building the full-sized behemoth, and then fetching some spare change for it bit by bit. As word spreads we could try to make a page on a social website or even a site of our own, perhaps a Patreon where members can see updates on our progress for a monthly fee.

Another good idea is a YouTube channel where we make little "vlogs" of our progress so the whole world can watch, which is without a doubt sure to get attention if we do it right. We can start this as soon as we take our first step even, and we would probably start to gain traction once we start the tour for the small model. But first things first, it's best that we set up an online location like a Discord server for a more organized hub for our work. All we need is some people to join and then we can take the first little baby steps towards our goal.

As I mentioned before, I unfortunately can't say that I have what's needed to be a real part of the work for the project. But I sure can get the ball rolling and work on making the foundation for it!



-- Edited by IronPeregrine on Monday 29th of November 2021 03:45:08 PM

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"We only live one time, so we ought to go 100% of the way with the one shot we get!"



Corporal

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Another question I have among many would be are you planning to do this machine in steel or would it be wooden hulled similar to the A7V replica? Would you plan on manufacturing it with the originally designed drive or one that is commercially available the putting your wooden mock up on the the system? This question would alos apply to the power plant. Just some more questions to add the list. LOL

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Private

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That would most likely depend on how well the fundraising efforts go when the project kicks off. Ideally we should try to be as accurate as possible, but also using components that permit reliability. Another matter is logistics: after all, the biggest goal that our replica will have will be to visit Tankfest at some point. Hell, we could probably just give them the thing once we're done with it considering that they'll be much better equipped to maintain it than ourselves, let alone the effort needed to transport it back to its "home" from Bovington. Given that goal, if we do decide that it's where we should send the finished machine, the vehicle will need to be capable of transport by rail and then by ship for the best odds of success. Making the replica as close as possible to the original design would actually support this need, given that it was designed to be separated into components for transport.

There is a port designed for cruise ships in Portland towards the southwest corner of the UK, which isn't too far from Bovington. Bovington is only about 9 kilometers north in a straight line from the shore of the UK, so it could be possible that when the components arrive from the port we could load them onto a caravan of sufficiently heavy-duty hauler trucks to drive them the rest of the way and have equipment for reassembly waiting at the destination if we can collaborate with the Museum for the effort. If we do successfully shake hands with them and tie our efforts together, then all we need is their voice to get our word out with one last push to raise funds for the transport operation. Surely the week or so that the transport operation takes will be full of buzz and cheer from the tank enthusiast community, and all the work we put into our machine will finally pay off in those moments.

Another consideration is long periods of rest time: while we plan to give The Tank Museum a runner she still is going to be resting in the facility for months at a time. A wooden hull is less likely to hold up to all the demands of the full plan for the machine, as well as damaging a bit of the authenticity of the replica. Making it in real steel would promote better resilience to the environment such as rain or mud as well as making the replica a lot more authentic. As for the drive, going for a design that at least matches the performance of the original K-Wagen would be optimal for our purposes, with the internals of the machine trying to match the design of the original and then adjusting ever so slightly to ensure reliability. Keeping the vehicle out of repair shops would certainly be among our top three concerns for our replica. It would be quite an operation to take that beast to somewhere it can be properly maintained, so a design that permits a bit of "hot swap" capability for necessary repairs and maintenance to avoid needing a whole workshop for her as well as all the equipment to tow a 120 ton fortress on treads, lol.

Of course, these are only my opinions for now. The real answers will be decided when the project is really under way. However, for now I believe until we deem it truly too troublesome to make it in steel we should shoot for the stars with our goals.

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"We only live one time, so we ought to go 100% of the way with the one shot we get!"

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