DIY: Tank, SU-76m (rated PG-2 ... lots of milk drinking and cartoon watching)

Discussion in 'Build it Yourself' started by Boris, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Boris

    Boris Son of Kalashnikov NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    14,822
    Likes Received:
    4,693
    Location:
    Back from Motherland
    PART 1 - this post
    PART 2 - post #25 (http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/266308-DIY-Tank-SU-76m-(rated-PG-2-lots-of-milk-drinking-and-cartoon-watching)?p=4227194&viewfull=1#post4227194)
    PART 3 - cannon test fire (

    I am making an exception by posting a build that's not yet "done" because after 1.5 years I realize that it will never be trully done. I will try to post a bunch of write-up and photos as I hunt them out from various places, every week. I will keep the table of content on this page/post so that people can see the progress and find other relevant posts.


    Last year's sumer, my then 2 yo and I decided to get together some father-son project. We considered a bird house, a pine derby car ... and then we decided to build a tank.


    [​IMG]


    SU-76m is not a tank, it's the most produced self-propelled artillery by Soviets in WWII. Built on the extended chassy of light BT tank, it was designed to make the "God of War" agile, following in the lockstep but slightly behind the advancing army. Not something typical artillery setup could do.

    [​IMG]

    The lightly armored body wasn't meant to defend from anything bigger than small arms fire. But in reality it frequently went to the heart of battle.

    [​IMG]

    hence of nickname: "grave for four brothers". In terms of nicknames, it's most common nickname was "sooch-kah" (little female dog ... yeah, B-word) based on Su pronounced as "soo" Reality is that Soviet soldiers have outstanding propensity to nickname just about anything without rhyme or reason, even German nebelwerfers were "little Ivan's" ... go figure.

    We figured that we wanted to make a scale copy, small enough to fit into a car (for a trip to the range) but big enough to help around the house with moving lawn or clearing the snow while packing something at least 50cal, so 1/4 scale seemed like a good place.

    The frame was made from inch square tube, something real Sus never needed, because boxed heavy plate could support it's shape just fine.

    [​IMG]


    A lot of goofing off delayed production

    [​IMG]

    until the snow was on the ground

    [​IMG]


    Once inside the house, there was no retreat on this project. Electric engines make controlling both tracks infinitely easier ... but don't worry, there will be noise and smoke.

    [​IMG]


    Actually the engine location is something that can let you distinguish variations of SU. Original configuration SU76 had two automobile engines on each side of the driver. Hence the front of the SAU had two transmission access hatches.

    Later M-modernized models had two engines working in tandem to the right of the driver, so you can only see the driver's hatch and a single transmission access plate.

    [​IMG]

    They also went from completely covered gun grew compartment on 76 to partially covered on 76m

    [​IMG]

    This is actually the post-war production 76-m when back was covered again with steel

    [​IMG]

    Wheels were stamped out, so we did the same thing starting with blank steel.

    [​IMG]

    The original forming was slightly different

    [​IMG]

    I stamped the basic shape

    [​IMG]


    and rolled the rims

    [​IMG]

    then joined them together

    [​IMG]

    here are the all stages of the wheel being made

    [​IMG]

    One thing to keep in mind when building tanks, you will have to make a lot of identical parts

    [​IMG]

    and mount all of them

    [​IMG]


    As a joke we moked up what would a 50cal barrel look like on the tank. It immideately attracted cat's attention

    [​IMG]

    taking all the measurements to evaluate potential for world domination

    [​IMG]


    parts constantly needed to be taken off and on to fit various components

    [​IMG]


    finally "plating" was put on and like any real tank it immidiately started to rust

    [​IMG]

    each side was assembled from two plates, joined by a set of giant rivets that was duplicated

    [​IMG]

    like I said, fitting requires parts to be constantly put on and off

    [​IMG]


    so having enthusiastic comrades eager to build tanks is a big plus


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    well, the story is faaar from over, but I need to get some sleep

    [​IMG]


    continued on post #25 http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/266308-DIY-Tank-SU-76m-(rated-PG-2-lots-of-milk-drinking-and-cartoon-watching)?p=4227194&viewfull=1#post4227194
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
    6 people like this.

  2. speedy

    speedy NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,593
    Likes Received:
    333
    Location:
    495 / Rt 9 corridor
    Woa! You got my attention. Looks like another epic build. My son and I cannot wait to see this progress. Very cool
     
  3. kc6623

    kc6623 NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    south of boston
    NIce job Boris Your son will be taking out Barbi Jeeps all over your Nieghborhood.
     
  4. Chevy 2 65

    Chevy 2 65 NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    10,600
    Likes Received:
    1,556
    Location:
    Somewhere in the sands of time
    Very nice, your son will have great memories and fun riding that tank.
     
  5. xtry51

    xtry51 NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    17,994
    Likes Received:
    4,792
    Location:
    NH (CT Escapee)
    Boris you are truly awesome.
     
  6. the_shootist

    the_shootist Banned

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    10,121
    Likes Received:
    1,566
    Location:
    Nowhere near Mass!
    Amazing work and something you and your son will always be able to share!!!! [thumbsup]
     
  7. atilla

    atilla Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    30,799
    Likes Received:
    8,634
    Location:
    free hampshire
    dad of the century.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. jonw

    jonw Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Central MA.
    Now that is so cool!
     
  9. RImike

    RImike NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    502
    Location:
    Middletown, RI
    Why is your son wearing a life jacket, testing the tank for water immersion?
     
  10. edmorseiii

    edmorseiii Navy Veteran NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    16,867
    Likes Received:
    5,488
    Location:
    NH
    You never cease to amaze.
     
  11. Sir_Macadoo

    Sir_Macadoo NES Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    452
    Location:
    Boston MA
    Amazing, comrade.
     
  12. warwickben

    warwickben bubba Kalashnikov

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    19,912
    Likes Received:
    2,580
    Location:
    Kyben pass (tewksbury ma)
    Been waiting for this lol .
     
  13. Infinite Jester

    Infinite Jester Navy Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,218
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    Location:
    North of the Notches NH
    That's unbelievable. I envy people who have the ability to accomplish stuff like this. Can't wait to see more.
     
  14. mclina

    mclina NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Messages:
    7,554
    Likes Received:
    2,462
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Fantastic. What a lucky kid.
     
  15. JuergenG

    JuergenG NES Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    7,234
    Likes Received:
    918
    Location:
    3,660 miles East of Beantown
    Nice, but didn't you want to build a Tiger?
     
  16. Gillham

    Gillham NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,504
    Likes Received:
    789
    Location:
    Peoples Republik of Massachusetts
    When will we be seeing these up on Amazon? In for 2.
     
  17. Iggy Z

    Iggy Z Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    North Shore
    Too cool, looking forward to more.
     
  18. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    5,538
    Likes Received:
    894
    Very impressive, and what great father-son time!
     
  19. Pudge

    Pudge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    21
    Exciting.....can't wait to see this build
     
  20. johnnymac101

    johnnymac101 NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    260
    Group Buy???
    Looks great, cant' wait to see the finished product and the smile on your son's face!
     
  21. Boris

    Boris Son of Kalashnikov NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    14,822
    Likes Received:
    4,693
    Location:
    Back from Motherland
    that's a Spiderman swimming west ... makes little sense, but he is into superheroes, so function has little to do with symbols on it.

    I did, and after a lot of thought tanks just don't offer the same utility at the same size. Most tank have long barrels that stick far out and smaller bodies. I specifically wanted something that's more than a toy to play with but something that could be tasked to do some work around the house like clearing snow or hauling things around. Scale tanks really suck for that. Su-76 has that nice back section that could be used as storage, access point or have a seat so that kid can ride semi-on-top vs be completely in the tank. There will be pics about that. Basically I can ride in that tank ... albeight standing up. When we started, he was considerably smaller than he is now. This trend will continue, so it's important to have that flexibility.

    No need to wait, 1/4 scale tanks are for sale. In fact a few companies do just that, although I'm not sure how active they are or who is still in business. There are 1/4 scale Tigers, King Tiger, T34 ... just to name a few. Most of them come with amazing details. I believe that there are kits that go for several grands, more like toward 5k and some already built 1/4 scales that are in 10k-15k or up range. That sounds like a lot of money and it is. However, making all these things yourself takes a boat load of time. One small, little thing can take a weekend to make ... assuming that you make it right the first time [laugh] ... because a lot of times you won't and you have to re-make it. Honestly, even at 10-15k, I don't see how these sellers make any cash. It takes incredible amount of time and effort and buyers market in that range is pretty small.
     
  22. ColdDayInHell

    ColdDayInHell Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    23,424
    Likes Received:
    4,637
    Location:
    North Shore
  23. Boris

    Boris Son of Kalashnikov NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    14,822
    Likes Received:
    4,693
    Location:
    Back from Motherland
    here is a Russian site that sells through some dude in UK who adds some work on them, check these out:

    http://www.rctanks.ru/radio-controlled-model-tanks/radio-controlled-tank-tiger-1-4-scale

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [video=youtube_share;pRer3Ql8PqE]http://youtu.be/pRer3Ql8PqE[/video]


    You can buy this (chassy + electronics) for 3900GB pounds or something like $8000 US (whatever exchange is)

    [​IMG]


    Honestly though, if someone wanted to give me $8000 to do another one, I'd say "no way" (except using many vulgar and colorful non-PG-2 expressions) It's really IS that much work.
     
  24. shotgunwilly870

    shotgunwilly870 NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    halifax,ma
  25. Boris

    Boris Son of Kalashnikov NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    14,822
    Likes Received:
    4,693
    Location:
    Back from Motherland
    Well comrades, it's time to write the next chapter on building mobile artillery, so re-fill your lemonade glasses and put on Best of Curious George Soundtrack and let's go!

    [​IMG]

    You can tell that this was a live shot from a moving tank. How? Look at the tracks, the top is stretched out. Once you work with tracks it becomes second nature to notice those things.


    Let's talk about paint. Model makers are obcessed with replicating exact camo tones and go to extremes lengths to get it right. The reality is that it came from factory coloted 4БО (which varied due to chrome colorant coming from two different places)

    [​IMG]

    When armor left factories, crew had to repaint parts with proper paint to match surroundings or simply fix some parts. Were they issued a special paint? No. To this day, you may see armor colored in "funny" colors because it was whatever the segrant could steal locally or trade for. In other words, there were no special paint for a tank in use.

    [​IMG]

    Manuals called for repainting armor to match the surrounding with locally obtained materials. Thus, in a city, oil base would be mixed with sut and crushed brick and that was the paint. No designer hues.

    [​IMG]


    I used some of the color samples of 4БО to match my paint at a local hardware store, telling the flower-child woman in the paint department all about the glorious Red Army armor, the crushing steel fist of the Zis-3s firing, scortched earth in infernal flames ... the awesome.


    [​IMG]

    The floor jack is there for a reason, with tracks, motors and batteries this thing was impossible to lift.

    [​IMG]


    Next step was going to add even more metal. As a real tank, it lives outside, rain or shine or snow.


    [​IMG]

    I tried to paint some parts as they were added though.

    [​IMG]

    Even more steel.

    [​IMG]


    And now the fenders

    [​IMG]

    Driver's hatch was pretty hard to make and I belive that the original was cast

    [​IMG]


    I first made replica in foam

    [​IMG]

    packed it in sand

    [​IMG]

    and poured some remelted beers cans, lawn chairs and AR receivers

    [​IMG]

    is acceptable

    [​IMG]


    the SAU is a 1/4 scale of the original, so all the little tools had to be made the same quarter scale

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    maintaining tanks is a constant work fixing things as they brake

    [​IMG]

    At this point motors are controlled by tethered throtle. Kid wasn't very happy about not being able to drive the tank or ram over 200# of steel into my car.

    [​IMG]

    ok, to be continued ...
     
    2 people like this.
  26. Fixxah

    Fixxah NES Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    24,283
    Likes Received:
    3,187
    Location:
    Norwood mostly.
    Pretty effing cool. My only concern would be if junior drove under something very low or rolled the thing. Wouldn't end well.
     
  27. warwickben

    warwickben bubba Kalashnikov

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    19,912
    Likes Received:
    2,580
    Location:
    Kyben pass (tewksbury ma)
    Want to adopt a 28 year old?
     
  28. Boris

    Boris Son of Kalashnikov NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    14,822
    Likes Received:
    4,693
    Location:
    Back from Motherland
    true, any motorized power wheels have that problem of kid running under a jacked up truck or low deck. In terms of rollover, the tank is pretty stable, center of gravity is low, probably 3-4" to the 30" width and heavy as heck. This is the reason I am at controls all the time, few feet away. Younger kids don't really have any notion of consequences so they tend to try things that are fun without thinking too far ahead. Hopefully that changes with age [laugh]

    Angelina Jolie may be looking another kid or two, have you checked with her first?
     
  29. ldp82

    ldp82 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    29
    very cool build!
     
  30. inerlogic

    inerlogic NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    5,153
    Likes Received:
    1,194
    Location:
    New Bedford, MA
    i know you know better than that.......
     

Share This Page