Friday, December 31, 2010

Making a Toy WW1 Tank (German A7V Part 3)

Hookay, entering the home stretch now. The rear of the tank has the same angle cuts as the front, but you don't have to worry about the center cut and dowel plug for it. Instead, the rear had two machine guns, one on each side facing straight back.

This just shows the layout for the cut. I taped it securely to a board before I made these cuts and the angle cut on the bottom. Making toys - fun. Hurting fingers - not so fun.

For all six firing ports (two on each side and two at the rear), I marked a line at the proper height on the armor and then marked the center where the gun will be. I took a 1/4" forstner bit and drilled through on each side of the center line.

I then took a 1/4" rat tail file and joined and smoothed the holes to make them into one oval opening.
I painted the pivot dowels and the wood around them black before the armor was glued into place. It would be more difficult if I waited until after the tank was assembled.

I test fitted the armor and put sample gun barrels in place to make sure that they could rotate properly.

I glued and clamped the side armor first and then the front and back. The fit didn't need to be perfect because the belt sander is going to take care of any overlaps. I was also able to use the original main gun hole as a convenient place to seat a clamp.

Like I keep saying, I'm not trying to make a scale model, I'm making a toy. However, there are certain aspects of the tank that capture "the look" and I want to try and capture them when practical. The German machine guns that were on the tank were copies of the original Maxim machine gun. (Oh hey, Hiram Maxim the inventor of the modern portable machine gun also invented the mouse trap. Seriously. Look it up. Pretty sure he had nothing to do with the magazine "Maxim" though... ) The tiny part sticking out of the bottom is the barrel for the machine gun. The large cylinder surrounding it is actually a metal jacket filled with water to help cool the machine gun barrel. Without it, the barrel would heat up rapidly and cause the weapon to jam or become so hot that it would literally start to melt and droop. So to capture that "look" I used 3/16" dowels for the water jacket and a small piece of 1/8" dowel glued off center to be the barrel.

I used the pattern for the tracks and taped them to some wine crate wood.  The space above the pattern is what will be "hidden" under the armor and glued to the bottom of the chassis. Future versions will be a little larger so that I won't have to cut the wheel wells out of the chassis piece. I measured and drilled 5/16" holes that the 1/4" dowel axles will fit into.

On to Part 4 - Final Assembly.

  1 comment:

  1. Hi there. I don't suppose you accept commissions do you? Ive been trawling the net trying to find some wooden toys of WW1 tanks and I came across your site.

    my email is



Just Saying...

While we don’t necessarily need more objects, we just might benefit from more making.
- John Dunnigan


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Regular guy who likes to make stuff who lives with a very patient wife, three daughters and three cats.