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Post Info TOPIC: The Studebaker - a clue?


Legend

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The Studebaker - a clue?
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Further to the many discussions about the Studebaker, I came across another version of one of thetwo pics of it.In Pic 1 there's some sort of vehicle in the background, and Pic 2 is usually cropped so you can't see the other vehicle. However, in this version you can see what looks like the rear sprocket of a rhomboid Tank. I've used the pic of the Mk IV from an earlier thread that is, conveniently, at roughly the right angle, and scaled it to match the bit of the background Tank. If it is a British Tank, then this might give us some idea of the size of the Studebaker. A lot of ifs, I know, but the Studebaker might have been a big thing after all. Feel free to disagree.


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Legend

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I've now scaled Pic 1 to Pic 2 and superimposed it on the MkIV. All very rough, I know, but this could be the size. The rivet spacing doesn't look wildly wrong. I've moved the officer along a bit.

Something else that has struck me is that if it had as low a profile as the Newtons,the photographs would have to have been taken from a very low angle, practically lying down,to make it loom the way it does. Why would anyone do that? More likely that the camera was 5 feet or moreoff the ground.



-- Edited by James H at 13:20, 2007-09-11

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Legend

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Hi James H, I think you need to take perspective into account a bit more maybe reducing the size of the studebaker by 10-15% this might be too much but my overall impression at the moment is that it "looks" too large, note rivet pitch is dependant on the thickness and type of material used, thinner plates require smaller closer spaced rivets to prevent buckling/distortion........

Cheers

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Legend

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I'm doing my best with this - I need a whiz-bang computer like you see on CSI. In the absence of that, I've reduced the image to 90% and 85%. Difficult tojudge the perspective because the pic of the Studebakeris like a wide-angle shot and I can't find a pic of a rhomboid that fits the bill.

Some time ago I tried to makea case for the Studebaker being just a Newton with an armoured hutch at the front, but now I'm thinking it was a lot bigger.

Anyway, here goes.


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Legend

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Hi James,I think thefirst one at 90% looks best ... from where I'm sitting I think it looks good at least for a general size comparison shame theres no dimensions available... thinking about it, it must be no wider then a rhombiod for transport by rail ......

Cheers

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Legend

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Ironsides wrote:


thinking about it, it must be no wider then a rhomboid for transport by rail ......


Of course! Never thought of that. I'll do some more tinkering. If any Member has got a ginormous computer program that does this sort of thing, then it's your duty to volunteer.

References to this thing are dotted around. In the Profile on American Tanks it says "designed for mass production and generally following the layout of the British heavy tanks. One was completed in late 1918 and there was talk of supplying it to the British under the Anglo-American agreement. The British had ideas of using the Studebaker unarmed as a Supply Tank and tractor, but by this time the War was over and interest evaporated, though not before the prototype was demonstrated in France."

That strengthens my belief that the vehicle in the background is a British Heavy and the extrapolation from the bit visible in the photo is valid.



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Legend

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Hi James in the first picture you posted there appears to be another vechile to the left of the picture(establishing the fact)...looking at this and bearing in mine that rhomboids have already been mention,I swear I can see the distinctive triple mountings of the road wheels for a mkIV(i assume this a IV and not an earlier Mk cos of the date).....both 1+2 appear to have been taken at the same time just from different angles.....both pictures show the slope of the background... just food for thought

Cheers

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Legend

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I think the vehicle in the background may be a supply carrier rather than a rhomboid. I have been looking at the two photos, especially the first one, and couldn't make the rivet and gear cap positions add up compared with a Mk IV or an earlier Mk. Externally, the rivet and gear cap positions were the same for the hull sides on Mk I's to IV's with very few exceptions. After reading James' post about the British testing it as a supply tractor, I wondered whether that mightmake a supply carrierthe mystery background vehicle.

P.S.: The section of the carrier visible is the front ahead of the cab viewed from the starboard side.

-- Edited by Mark Hansen at 04:43, 2007-09-13

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Legend

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Mark - I bow to your knowledge of detail here, but I'm still inclined to think that the background vehicle is a British Heavy. From the available pics, the rear end of the various Newtons was virtually semi-circular, whereas the bit glimpsed in the pics of the Studebaker is more . . . . pointy.

On that basis, I've tried to make the Studebaker fit various shots of Mks I-V. Bearing in mind that I was hopeless at maths, I've used a system of my own devising,combining Photoshop, squinting, and what could be trigonometry for all I know. Remember, they laughed at Isaac Newton at first. I've traced it, overlaid it, shrunk and expanded it,distorted it, and used Ironsides's observations about maximum width and the landscape. No two have come out alike.

However, one result does suggest that the height to the top of the front horns could be about 5' 7" - about the height of a modern car. The ratio of width to height seems to be roughly 1.4:1. The cab and the box amidships would be somewhat higher than that, maybe 7-8 feet.

Just one verifiable measurement would be the way into this. As we know, the rivet spacing is a matter of conjecture. The leaf-springs supporting the tracks might be some off-the-shelf size. But how about the driver's flap and vision-slit? There can't be much variation in that. If you alter the brightness/contrast some of the details become a lot clearer.

Back to Photoshop.

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Sergeant

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David Fletcher in "British tanks 1915-19" says that "The Studebaker appears to be quite large but in fact it was propably not much bigger than the Newton Tractor from which it was derived"... and in another text from this book there is: "it is very difficult to judge the size" .. I think there must be some clue to figure out how big it really was... maybe the width of its tracks.. the tracks looks pretty wide.. so maybe it was just photographed from a very short distance... ?

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Legend

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We've previously had a long discussion about this, and Iargued thatthe Studebaker couldn't have been much bigger than the Newton. Now, though, I think it must have been considerably bigger, though perhaps not as big as a British Heavy. At the time, Churchill was pressing for Supply Tanks, and was not impressed by the Gun Carrier. He thought Stern & co were wrong to build a machine just to "lug great big guns about", despite their insistence that it could also carry cargo. This difference of opinion played some part in Stern's dismissal.

If you study the picture of the Studebaker, the horns are at a considerable height, and it is able to accommodate something very similar to a Mk IV cab. That just wouldn't have worked with a Newton-sized vehicle. The fact that it was armoured indicates that it was intended for use in the combat area, and the structure amidships looks like an attempt to provide headroom for troops. Maybe it was a cargo/personnel carrier. Remember, at the time tracked vehicles were beginning to prove their worth, their role was being reassessed along modern lines, and all sorts of design ideas were emerging, so this could have been quite a departure from what had gone before. The Mk IX was on the drawing board by this time, so I think we've got to be prepared to accept concepts that were very different from what had gone before. Maybe we're falling into the trap that claimed some Generals in 1916 and into which even Stern and "The Old Gang" eventually fell.

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Legend

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Hi James I've been playing with these pics on and off all day, trying to get a better view.. it occured to me it might be possible to get an approximatewidth to length ratio from the rivet pitch, the axle caps may be a further clue as to size theres also a piece of what looks T angle on the front horn, I think it unlikely this would be of a small dimension but again it may be a clue....overall I'm of the opinion that its a fairly big vechile unless of course the photogapher was standing in a trench...some more thoughts

Cheers

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Brigadier

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I'm wary of any speculation regarding the Studebaker Tank.

There is so little information to go on!

Personally... At the time the Studebaker Tank was built, there would have already been experience with British rhomoids as well as the Newton Tractor from which it was clearly derived.

Why then, would the designers scale-up the Neweton design, going so far as to include the odd Y-Frame double return rollers? I simply don't see it. Generally designers scale-up smaller designs if they don't have a larger vehicle to pattern their design after. This was not the case with the Studebaker. They could have patterned the tracks and frame after the British tanks. They did not.

This leads me to believe that it is simply a modified Newton. However,thisbegsthequestionastohowtheStudebakerhadthedriverscab
in"front",whiletheNewtonhadthedriversstationattherear.I'mnotsure.
Inthisdayandageitwascommontohavetheengineeasilyservicablebythe
crewman,so,ibelievethattheStudebakerissimplyaNewtonre-gearedtodriveinreverse.Thisseemstomakethemostsensetome.

Theotheroptionisthat,inallthepictures,thereisenoughthatyoucan't
seethatthereverywellhavecouldbeenasmallreardrivingposition.Or,
forallweknow,therewasnoencloseddrivingposition,andtherearofthe
vehiclewasexactlyasitwaswiththeNewton.Likeisaid,thereissimplytoo
muchspeculationwiththisvehicleforanyconclusionstobemade.

---Vil.

-- Edited by Vilkata at 06:25, 2007-09-14

-- Edited by Vilkata at 06:28, 2007-09-14

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Legend

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Hell fire. I've just written a lengthy piece, which was promptly dumped when I tried to attach a pic.

Take 2:

The Studebaker Museum, sadly, confirms that there is no paperwork and no more pics.

I was in bed last night, and the words "Little Willie" came to mind. I don't know why. Anyway, I was struck by the similarity between the cab on Willie and that on the Studebaker. If the latter had anything like a decent ground clearance and the cab was big enough for a man to sit upright, then it must have been about the same height as Willie, which was eight feet. If you imagine a cab round the driver in the pictures of Newtons, it would be getting on for that height anyway, and the box amidships, whatever it is, is higher still. In the earlier thread, I tried to make a case for it being what Vilkata suggests; a Newton with a forward driving position, but I'm going off that idea now. I think it must have been a major rethink, though inspired by the Newton.

I take the point about the return rollers, but it might have been an attempt to save weight or materials compared to an all-round frame. Pity we can't seewhat they're attached to.

The tracks do look wider.It could be that they were deliberately widened to reduce ground pressure, or perhaps it's because of the low angle and the possibility that the cab wasn't a full two seats wide; the cab does seem to have a glacis rather than go across the full width.

In this pic I've scaled the rear ends of the Studebaker and a Newton to match. If they were the same, then only a Lilliputian would fit in the Studebaker cab. I think it must have been greatly scaled up from the Newtons.

If only we had one measurement and a bloody great big computer. Give me a place upon which to stand, and I can move the Earth.

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Legend

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Hi james does the museum have a better quality picture? I think more could be done with clearer detail...In any case heres a pic of the studebaker-newton copy .... the studebaker prototype supply carrier is clearly based on the above concept, however I think its longer to account for the increased hieght of the horns and definatly higher on the sides let alone the cab hieght making it altogether a much more substantial vechile...
second pic is an attempt to make hidden details clearer.... anyone notice the writing on the rear, the opening in the side may contain a door where some rivet detail is visible...

Cheers

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Legend

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Sorry, the Museum's got nowt.

However, your mention of the axle-cap got me thinking. I've made them the same size. If they're standard, then look at the heights off the ground - quite a difference. If the standing man is 5'8", then the height of the hull side beneath him is getting on for two foot, making the axle a foot from the ground. On the Studebaker, it's nearly as much again, making the height at the rear about 3'6" to four foot. Of course, it then depends whether the S slopes up towards the front like the N, and what part perspective is playing in all this.

Is that something to go on?

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Lieutenant-Colonel

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Hello,

I think comparing the rear horn of the Newton to that of the Studebaker tank in order to estimate its size might be problematic as it assumes that this feature was the same on both vehicles.

I did a perspective analysis on the Studebaker photo followed by image rectification to eliminate the distortion due to perspective. In the resulting image you can see that the rear wheel/horn appears to be larger compared to this feature on the Newton.

091446ead2e813267.jpg

<091446ead2f3d0cda.jpg

Note that in the rectified image the distortion is eliminated from each plane that is parallel to the side of the vehicle but features that are recesed relative to the vehicle's side are shifted to the left while features that are raised from this plane are shifted to the right. The side view plan that I drew corrects for this and should be fairly accurate.

<091446ead2fc7a09b.jpg

Since the back of the vehicle does not appear in either of the historic photos, we cannot be sure what it looked like. I have dotted in the underside of the vehicle assuming that it is flat and then at the rear I dotted-in a conjectural hull profile up to the axel level based on that seen on the Newton. The hull from the back of the cab to the rear of the vehicle is completely unknown so I haven't even hazarded a guess in that area.

As to the size of the vehicle, you can add a scale figure to the drivers cab and make an estimate of at least the minimum size that would fit a person. - My impression is that it is larger than a Newton but a bit smaller than a MK tank.

MarkV

-- Edited by MarkV at 21:03, 2007-09-14



-- Edited by MarkV at 21:09, 2007-09-14

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Legend

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Hi MarkV, Excellent work ...however correct me by all means if im wrong, but the five lines on the side from the ground up are not in the same plane as the line of the cab roof......
in order for to this to be corrected a line must be taken outwards from the front corner of the roof inline withits front top edge(assuming this is square)..
when this line reaches a distant the width of the track, this should give you the correct height of the roof above the track .......
I would estimate that the cab roof should be at least double its height above the track if not more......
this will also give you the position of the front of the cab relative to the side of the vehicle,and will effectivly move the cab rearwards....
I hope you can make sense of this

Cheers

-- Edited by Ironsides at 22:45, 2007-09-14

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Lieutenant-Colonel

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Ironsides,

Yes you are right, I neglected to account for perspective in determining the height of the cab. I do think that I corrected for its position front to back, however.

Here are the corrected/updated images:

<091446eafdcae8fd9.jpg091446eafdf1d719e.jpg

MarkV



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Legend

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MarkV - that's fantastic. I had got round to thinking about vanishing points, but that was when all the years of looking out of the window while Mr. Harris was explaining about Pythagoras came home to roost. There's a line in, I think, that forgotten series Soap where someone says, "Since you left school, when have you ever needed to find x?" Well, this was it.

You are Wilson; Ironsides is d'Eyncourt; I am either Stern or, more likely,Crompton.

If I could venture to suggest this, the only bit that doesn't quite fit is thealignment of the engine compartment and cab. As the pics show, the corner of the engine compartment is square, whilst that of the cab is a glacis on the port side. Could the cab have been set lower than the engine housing?

It's pity we can't make out the murky depths of the interior, but it looks as if theaperture(s)in the side(s) gave access to the driver's position, and the rear area may have been shut off completely. Based on your drawing, and if it was intended to be a supply/tractor, the rear could have been an uncovered
platform or tray for stores.

Either way, I think David Fletcher should be informed. What a magnificent effort.

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Legend

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If the driver is in the right place, then this is how the S compares to the N. The S looks a bit taller and narrower than I was expecting, but what a cracking bit of detective work.

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Legend

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Hi there appears to be an object dead center in the pic is it a hinge?

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Legend

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Re: there appears to be an object dead center in the pic is it a hinge?

I've stared at this until I can see all sorts of things, some of them quite disturbing, but I can't make it into a hinge. What do you think it would do?

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Legend

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James H wrote:

Re: there appears to be an object dead center in the pic is it a hinge?

I've stared at this until I can see all sorts of things, some of them quite disturbing, but I can't make it into a hinge. What do you think it would do?



Hi James, for what its worth heres my impression sorry about the really poor image...

Cheers



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Legend

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One scaling element could be that inverted leaf spring on the upper track run. I would guess that it might be an ordinary truck spring (I think the use of standard commercial components was encouraged on the carrier designs). I havn't seen any one using this to get an idea of scale. Scale asuming a car spring and then a heavy truck spring and this might give a sort of possible size range.

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Legend

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To me, it's always looked very similar to the spring on the little Ford tank, though the idler wheels look different. Perhaps a careful comparison might be in order?

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