Monday 24 April 2017

Of Magnets and Mine Rollers

Recently I have found that while I have been able to spend quite a bit of time making and painting models, I haven't been putting much of anything up on the blog - despite having every intention of doing so!

In an effort to correct this, I thought I should share my latest effort - the Trumpeter 1/72 T-55 with KMT-5 Mine Roller kit.

The finish model, painted green with a wash of brown.
I built the kit with the intent of using it as a test bed for an experiment with magnets. I have seen lots of other gamers use small rare earth magnets to allow for variable weapon fits on their wargaming models, so I wanted to see if I could do the same with mine rollers.

The installation of metal rods in the hull.
Part of the inspiration for this project was remembering that i had read that the French had purchased surplus former Warsaw Pact mine plows (some sources say ex-Russian, some ex-East German) for use with their AMX-30 tanks during the first Gulf War.

Holes to allow the magnets to recess into.
This made me think that if I used magnets to attach engineering gear, I could potentially use it across a wide range of tank platforms,without needing to reduce the number of gun tanks in the collection.

The rods were later replaced by pieces of thin metal plate.
The use of magnets would also make storage and transport easier, as engineering attachments are often prone to break at the point where they attach to the tank. Using this system would reduce stress at that point.

Magnets glued onto the attachment points on the rollers.
The initial concept had me using pins rather than metal plate inside the hull. Once I switched to using plate, the connection was significantly improved.

A test of the assembly. Additional tests lead to the use of plate before gluing on the top half of the hull.
I am now going to repeat the process on other tanks in order to have a wider range of platforms to attach the rollers to. At this stage I am planning on converting a T-62 and a T-72, with the possibility of a Leopard 1 and an AMX-30 to follow.

Completed model with detached rollers.
Of course, I am already thing of ways to improve the idea. One possibility is to reverse the location of the plate and the magnet. The magnet would be placed inside the hull, while the attachment would have the metal plate added to it. If this worked, then there would be no need to make holes in the glacis of the tank.