Started by Wardukw, May 07, 2022, 04:00:44 PM

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Now ages ago and i am talking a decade or more here plus i got my 3rd M88 from AFV Club and it got me thinking...this is a damn old machine..been around since Vietnam and with the introduction of the M1 entering US service in the late 80s how would if fare on a modern-day battle field..well it turns out pretty well actually  :lol:
But it still needed to be brought up to modern standards...hence the M88A2 Hercules was born but at to me it needed more..it was technically specking still a M48 under that armoured hull ..still M48 tracks..road wheels and the rest of thr drive train even tho its mixed with alot of M60 parts aswell its still a 52 yr old machine.
This is where the thinking became a reality and its all thanks to Old Wombat..my mate Guy sent me a few model he didnt want and amongst that lot was a Tamiya M1A2 Abrams MBT.....Tamiya cheated their arse off here..one frame is all that was included to turn their old as hell model  (1982) into the A2 ..which was exactly what i wanted to build the A3-1...the -1 or dash 1 or in military terms Delta 1 is the frist stage in the upgrade process.
-2 is a newer drive train ..gearbox and engine as the dash 1 is based the on the second  generation of the M1 which is the M1A1.
-3 is a massive upgrade which will include all the drive systems from the still being developed M1A3/4 Abrams MBT .
On the dash 3 it will get brand new suspension..tracks..brand new engine and gear box and cooling ..both for engine and crew ..it wasn't hard to see the air con and filter systems which the M1 had to have to deal with a desert environment ...this will no longer be needed as it will now to built into the vehicle not stuffed into the turret bussel or hanging of the rear of the tank as before.
For the first faise was to remove the entire lower hull of the M88 and replace it with the lower hull of the M1A1 MBT ..the M1A1 has largely been replaced with the M1A1HA1 now so that left a few M1A1 hulls surplus to requirements for a awhile .
The main reason for this upgrade was the speed of movement on the modern battle fields and the ability for the supporting troops to keep up or get to where their needed .
With the strength and speed of the Abrams it was only a matter of time that it was realised that the ol 88 was to slow and the biggest issues rasied by many was the noncommonailty of parts between the heavy armoured forces.
As the M60 family of vehicles have mostly been completely replaced now both in US Army and Marine Corps services with Abrams based machines parts were also becoming a problem hence the need for a common fitment of parts.
It was thought of building a ARV or AEV solely on a M1 which was built and was called the M1 HARV ( Heavy armoured recovery vehicle ) but at the time was not expected for service which im figuring it was either to expensive or they thought the M88 was still more than up for the task.
So the go ahead was issued to build a M88/M1 ARV and one thing which was wanted was to deal with the A frame..troops using the vehicle wanted a more useable crane so taking a spare incomplete crane from the M1HARV prototype the boffins set to work..they had to remove the entire left hand side for the upper hull to mount it which in itself wasnt hard to do at all as the upper hull is just a big box .
A mount was built to the hull and chassis for added strength for the crane and a entirely new hydraulic system was installed as was a entirely new electrical system.
Retaining the M88s nose kept the front 75 percent of the hull complete which ment no need to redesign anything saving time and money which kept the penny pinchers happy.
New winches were installed for the crane and main winch just to save any future issues with age.
The newly finshed vehicle entered the testing faise and passing with flying colors ..the crane which can lift 8.5 tons and 360 degrees rotation has given the vehicle a new direction which wasnt for seen sooner..its now a Armoured Engineers Vehicle ..engine replacements are 7 times faster as the vehicle doesn't need to move at all to pick up the new power pact or anything else for that matter and its still fully capable of getting even the heaviest tanks unstuck.
Of course the moment it entered service the crews added their own little ideas to make their lives even more comfortable and easier to use the vehicle..adding more storage for gear was the first thing ..adding storage of traps on the crane itself and adding a large rack over the engine ..the biggest problem was self defense..the commanders turret and hatch didnt cut the mustard so the Deacon replaced the turret with a ACAV one borrowed from a destroyed M113 APC and the .50 from a M1A2 which didnt need it anymore  ;)

Now after all that to the model  ;D
Alot of what i did is mentioned above ...it all just started with alot of mesurements and once happy i started cuting into 2 brand new models..once i got the layout i wanted i had to put thr upper and lower together which is easier said than done..i had to make new track guards beacuse the M88 is narrower than the M1 and getting them square was quite time consuming but once done i just glued them together .
Then the real fun begins.
Making the parts look like they were ment to be there ..i had to cut the engine deck from the M1s upper hull and remove the same from the M88 and then graft them together which worked out really well .
Before i worried about anything else ibhad to address the crane..this i would have to make from stratch .
I first needed a mount..a round one and it needed to be big but the right size big and that came from a 1/16th scale M1A1 from Trumpeter..a spare road wheel in fact..cutting a 1/4 of the wheel in half also gave me the base for the crane itself.
The rest is just sheet styrene and tubing for the hydraulic rams.
Next was the pulleys..the cranes pulleys are very small wheels from a rail car pressed onto a steel pin..easy done  ;D
Then i just started playing with the parts from the M88 kitset..winch blocks and other parts were put almost in their original places with a couple in new places.
The new parts needed for the M1 converison like the road wheels and drive sprocket rings came from the spares box .
The luggage rack is just model railway bridge parts..smaller than HO or 1/76th scales they proved perfect for the idea i had ..added Meng nuts and bolts to make look like it can be removed which of course it would need to be.
Mounted one of the access doors to the new side and fore you guys peace of mind if the poop hit the fan and the crew couldnt get out of the right side door the crane can be lifted up by a hand operated system inside the vehicle..like hand cranking a turret.  :lol: yup i thought of that  :wacko:
The ACAV is from an old ..well M113 ACAV    ;D
Pics will follow very shortly once i hit to town and use their WIFI which will be today.

If it aint broke ,,fix it until it is .
Over kill is often very understated .
I know the voices in my head ain't real but they do come up with some great ideas.
Theres few of lifes problems that can't be solved with the proper application of a high explosive projectile .


As promised guys heres the pics and like normal theres a few for your viewing pleasure  ;D
Its of course it starts with the cutting and continues from there ..
DSCF3430 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3431 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3432 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3433 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3437 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
Now the crane is mounted and for some reason i forgot to take a pic of the building of it but here is it anyway .
DSCF3438 by Phill Harrison, on FlickrDSCF3439 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3440 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3442 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
Now with the magic of just getting on with it here it is complete ....wellll complete so far ..the crew gear is yet to be added and the gear which is in the rack is just there to see how with things in it ..alot of it will be replaced with much more modern gear .
DSCF3443 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3444 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3445 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3448 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3449 by Phill Harrison, on FlickrDSCF3450 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3451 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3452 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3453 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3454 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3455 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3456 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3457 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
DSCF3460 by Phill Harrison, on Flickr
Next is painting...its going to be in tan which is pretty much the standard colour now for US military gear ,,as for weathering its going to be dirty which is to be expected but not over done ..dry mud and dust with dirt mixed in for good measure  ;D
and i get to play with Ammos new oils which i have been slowly getting a good pile of ,,kinda looking forward to this guys  <_<

If it aint broke ,,fix it until it is .
Over kill is often very understated .
I know the voices in my head ain't real but they do come up with some great ideas.
Theres few of lifes problems that can't be solved with the proper application of a high explosive projectile .


Way cool! Respect!  :thumbsup:

Old Wombat

Am I impressed? :unsure:

Hell, yes! Very, very good work, Phill! :mellow: :mellow: :wub: :thumbsup:
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est


Mind boggled.  I may give up building armour now.    :o

Can't wait to see it painted.

- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..

Steel Penguin

looking very good so far  :thumbsup:
the things you learn, give your mind the wings to fly, and the chains to hold yourself steady
take off and nuke the site form orbit, nope, time for the real thing, CAM and gridfire, call special circumstances. 
wow, its like freefalling into the Geofront
Not a member of the Hufflepuff conspiracy!


Wow, fantastic!

And you can play....ahh....I mean conduct important engineering simulations, with the crane!
Dave "Sandiego89"
Chesapeake, Virginia, USA


Quote from: sandiego89 on May 08, 2022, 09:34:12 AM

And you can play....ahh....I mean conduct important engineering simulations, with the crane!

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



Good morning gentlemen  ;D
Its early coffee o clock here in NZ and chilly..bout 9^c..lovely .
Thanks guys ..gald ya like this ..wasnt a hard build by any means but i am happy with the results until i realized one thing last night ...the amount of painting is gonna be damn near as much as the M60 digger but this is more restrained which makes it more time consuming and the crew gear and other bits like chains and stuff  :o
No Dave i cant do any experimental work with the crane  :lol:
I thought about it then forgot and when i remembered it was to late   ;D
Dont ya dare give up armour Fred ..i wont hear of it young man  :wacko:..the more the merrier matey   <_<
Cheers Penguin mate  :thumbsup:..took freakin long enough to come to life..just had to bite the bullet..happy i did  ;D
Bloody chuffed your chuffed Guy ..told ya i had plans for that M1  :lol:...now i have a heap of parts left from both models ..already got my thinking cap on  🤔😃
Thanks Dizzy mate 😁...gald to be playing with armour agian😊 .
The next machine to go with the beast is going to take alot more thinking and work and im looking forward to that but i still have a curtain plane ..well 2 of them which i want to build..oh decisions decisions  :lol:
If it aint broke ,,fix it until it is .
Over kill is often very understated .
I know the voices in my head ain't real but they do come up with some great ideas.
Theres few of lifes problems that can't be solved with the proper application of a high explosive projectile .


Really nice conversion work.  Looking forward to seeing it in color.
Phil Peterson

Vote for the Whiffies


Cheers Phil....ya me to.its gonna look terrible with its main colour..cant wsit to weather it tho  ;D
If it aint broke ,,fix it until it is .
Over kill is often very understated .
I know the voices in my head ain't real but they do come up with some great ideas.
Theres few of lifes problems that can't be solved with the proper application of a high explosive projectile .


Terrific bit of work  :bow: Can't wait to see the paintwork
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.


Your conversion reminds me a lot of the German Pionierpanzer Dachs and its predecessor, the Pionierpanzer 1, based on the Leopard 1 chassis. And that's nothing bad!  :lol:


That's am amazing and detailed amount of scratchbuilding, Phill!

Do you have the AFV Club M151 Remote Weapon Station in your stash? The M151 part is nice, but the real treasure in that kit are all the various Stryker parts on the associated sprues! Great for a project like this.


I'm totally impressed also with this build. I'm not aware of your build process but it certainly looks very well thought out. I don't think you missed a thing. And that scratch built crane is awesome! Looking forward to the paint job!
" Somewhere, between half true, and completely crazy, is a rainbow of nice colours "
Tophe the Wise