Author Topic: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)  (Read 8315 times)

Dave Winfield

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Technically the first "Tank" ever produced (in 1915)



Little Willie is actually just a prototype - a test bed for a new track drive system (among other things).
The design will eventually produce the British Mark 1 Tank for WW1 use.

The original Willie now sits on display in the Bovington Tank Museum in England
however it is virtually stripped of all its internals.



While working on my Autocar Armored Car, I met a fellow over at the Landships Forum (Chris Gresham)
who is building his own 1/4 scale version of Little Willie (in steel).  He was the first to suggest Willie as
a paper model and offered me his plans and drawings.

I have since done as much research as I can to find photos and information that will allow me to design
this paper model.  Unfortunately the amount of technical info and photos is limited to mostly photos of
the exterior and speculation by those involved in the saving of the Tank for the Museum.

As a result, I am speculating too...using the plans and photos I have gathered, and referring to Mk.1 Tank
details to create the basic elements of the chassis and the tank interior.  I am not claiming technical accuracy
and I am creating simplified and stylized components to create the basic layout of the chassis and drivetrain.

I'll recap my prototype build so far using the photos I have already taken and continue from my current point.
I originally had difficulty acquiring accurate measurements and working out an accurate scale size.
My intended goal is to produce a 1/18 scale model...however my prototype build works out to 1/16.6 scale.
I will be adjusting the scale of the parts once my design and build is finished.

Everything is 65 and 110lb cardstock...but a number of parts are laminated to double layer card and in some
areas, laminated to Bristol Board (showcard).

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Dave Winfield

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Re: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 07:51:25 PM »
Central Spindle and basic frame






Differential - Drive






First Chain Drives and Chassis Assembly




DAVE WINFIELD - GO TO WWW.CUTANDFOLD.INFO FOR MY DESIGNS AND LOTSA FREE STUFF!

Dave Winfield

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Re: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 07:53:38 PM »
Engine and Drivetrain installed




Second Drive Chains installed



Internal spacers for the Track Housings



Track Housing test fit



DAVE WINFIELD - GO TO WWW.CUTANDFOLD.INFO FOR MY DESIGNS AND LOTSA FREE STUFF!

Dave Winfield

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Re: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 07:57:18 PM »
Since I am going to continue with this prototype build (rather than scrapping it to build in exact 1/18 scale)
I will be removing the Engine and rebuilding using my updated parts.

As I design and build, I keep updating and tweaking parts...adding more details and such.
Sometimes the prototype doesn't show all changes made during the design process, so it
will be nice to throw some of that in my redoing the Engine.

And, I am preparing the rest of the Track Housing parts...
and then I will be assembly my Tracks!
Wish me luck...lots of parts will make up the flexible Tracks!

DAVE WINFIELD - GO TO WWW.CUTANDFOLD.INFO FOR MY DESIGNS AND LOTSA FREE STUFF!

Vermin King

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Re: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 08:27:42 PM »
Good luck with that.  This has been an interesting read already.  Thanks
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Dave Winfield

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Re: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 10:51:17 AM »
So, I have put a lot of thought (and hairpulling) into the idea of rebuilding the prototype.
Obviously there were some scale size miscalculations...my intended scale size is 1:18.
My prototype build is actually 1:16.6 scale.

I really didn't want to print, cut and reassemble everything I have done so far.
But then, theres the issue of recent Frame and Chassis changes...updates... added details.
Thats all a good reason to rebuild from scratch.

But...after more hairpulling (lol) I have decided to make the changes to the existing prototype
build and rescale the final model after this build is complete.
(So the final model will be 1:18 scale...just pretend that what I am building at!)

To the existing build I have:
-cut out an unwanted Frame Member,
-modified the forward Frame Member,
-built and installed a new Motor,
-installed a newly designed Driveshaft, Gear Box and mounting plates.




I am now getting ready to install the remaining substructure parts for the Track Housings.

But for fun, I tested out the Track links last night.
I will be creating a linked track...however the links will be glued together (not pinned or hinged)
The Track is still fairly flexible and should wrap around the Housing easily.
I am hoping my calculations are correct and the overall length of each Track will fit the Housing.
The Track should be a touch long, and I am installing the front Track tensioners so you can tighten
the Track to the Housing.

Heres a test link assembly...
Each link is folded and glued.
Then you have to shape the tread.
Attach the extra Tread part.
Then overlap and glue the links.





Looks good so far.
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Dave Winfield

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Re: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 09:00:43 AM »
The work continues on the Track Housings...

adding spacer and former parts
as well as adjuster wheels and axles.



This is the forward end adjusting drive wheel.
Just like on the real tank, this wheel slides to tension the track.
I'm hoping that my track will fit nicely around the housing and then
I will glue the tensioner into place.





All of the supporting wheels are hidden inside the frame, so I saw no point in adding them.
I also need to make sure the Track is supported and spaced properly away from the housing plates.
The internal blocks and formers will create the proper spacing for the track and give the illusion of
wheels and gears. 
(Everything is still pretty light here...I have added more colour to these internal parts.)



One more shot of the inside of the Track housing, shows the axle attachment for the drive sprocket/chain.
This will just glue flat to the chassis installed drive chain sprocket.



Need to finish up a few of the axle caps and then I can start on a Track.
46 Track plates/links make up each track...but I also have to design some Track guides.
Maybe a guide element on every other track section? Just to keep the track centered.
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Dave Winfield

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Re: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2012, 09:39:29 AM »
Track work continued last night with a full track assembly.
Starting with cutting out, creasing and folding 46 plates.



I decided to drop the additional raised "strip"
in favour of creasing the ridge in the Track plate a little taller
(and running a bead of CA glue into the crease from the back side).

After the CA glue had dried, I ran a bead along the ridge itself (topside)
which gave it a slightly shiny look (good!) and toughened the ridge even more.

The add-on strips are so thin and hard to fold into shape
and the look isn't any better than the newer crease and glue approach.
I might leave the strips in the kits and leave it up to the builder.

Next step is to start gluing the Track Plates together.
I glued three plates together, using one edge on the cutting mat to keep them in line.

After the glue had dried, I started attaching groups of three plates
into longer sections.



And eventually into a full Track.



My calculations were good - the track slips over the Frames easily.
And the front tensioner Wheels can be pushed out to tighten up the Track.

(I have a few other parts to sort out, so I haven't fixed the tensioners in place yet.)

DAVE WINFIELD - GO TO WWW.CUTANDFOLD.INFO FOR MY DESIGNS AND LOTSA FREE STUFF!

Dave Winfield

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Re: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012, 08:48:55 AM »
I finished up one of the Track Frames last night...

Before adding the Track to the Frame I fitted some small centering blocks.
Four at the ends to line up with the large end Sprockets
and three more along the bottom.



I also found I needed a couple of spacers at the front (adjustor end - not shown)
to stop from crushing the side plates when gluing the tensioners.
I'll add something to the kit.


Then slip the whole track over the frame, spin it into the desired position,
tighten the track against the frame creating excess at the front and then
extend the tensioner to take up the slack (and glue into place).
-You need three hands for this, but it works!

Lastly, adding the smaller details, the bracketry and supports for the Tracks wheels.
Some small parts requiring some careful cutting, but the 3d parts are necessary here.



Final look is quite good I think...I'm happy with this.
Now, to do it all over again for the other side! (sigh)

DAVE WINFIELD - GO TO WWW.CUTANDFOLD.INFO FOR MY DESIGNS AND LOTSA FREE STUFF!

Vermin King

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Re: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2012, 10:48:43 AM »
That looks very, VERY good
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Dave Winfield

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Re: 1/18 Scale Little Willie - First Tank (No.1 Lincoln Machine)
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2012, 09:18:28 AM »
I have been working on Instruction diagrams, so not much else on the model yet.
However I did finish the second Track for the tank.

Important lesson learned...and I will be making a note of this in the instructions...
assemble both tracks at the same time, and try to make sure they are the same length.
Even though the parts are all the same and the indicated folds and connections are
consistent, slight variations in the assembly of each Track Link can result in a slight difference
to the overall length of each track when finished.

My second track is almost half a link longer than my first Track assembly.
And although the tensioner takes up the slack, the tracks are a little different in how tight
they fit to the frame.
This won't be visible once the body goes on...but I think its a better idea to assemble the track
links and full tracks all at once and try to maintain equal lengths.



I am going to add front seats, radiator and few other details, but those will install into the body.
I've got a few more chassis related items to deal with, but I will move on to the body design very soon.
DAVE WINFIELD - GO TO WWW.CUTANDFOLD.INFO FOR MY DESIGNS AND LOTSA FREE STUFF!