M16 Half Track "Meat Chopper" Korea 1950 - Build

This section is for builds that are not strictly Tamiya or Heng Long. For instance, replacing the electronics from a WSN or Matorro, or even a scratch-build.

Postby lmcq11 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:53 am

Hi,

This is my new build. I know, I've been busy lately. I should be on a 3 week roadtrip in Portugal but I am now enjoying my summer vacation at home with not much to do.

The subject: The M16 half track equipped with the M45 AA quadmount with M2 .50 cal machine guns. It was also popular against enemy infantry. This is how it got the nickname Meat Chopper. These .50 rounds can cut a man in half and were especially effective in massacring communist infantry wave attacks in Korea. It is surprising the Chinese would create a model of such a terrible former foe.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


At one point in Korea, the M16 and newly build M16A1 were equipped with "Bat Wings" to protect the loaders against enemy snipers. It is undetermined if I will reproduce them for this build. It does not make the M16 very good looking.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build
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Reference for this build is essential because the web only has a few fussy pictures, and I found that some restored vehicles are not necessarily authentic and could create mistakes during the build. In addition to the Squadron Signal Walk around that has a section on the M16, I am lucky to own the fantastic Gun Power books of the half track from AJ Press. Both volumes add up to more than 460 pages of pictures and drawings, its a modeller's dream. Volume 2 in particular has 36 pages of 3D detailed color drawings of all areas of the M16. They also have a 1/16 scale M16 unfolding poster with 1/16 blueprints in the back.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


Samples of the 3D drawings. Purchase of these 2 books is highly recommended for US half track modellers.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


The model is based on the WSN M16, purchased 2 years ago on a web sale. It looks like a good deal from far away.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


Closer inspection reveals poor craftmanship, low level of details and many issues. My M16 has a 3mm gap between the cabin and rear section. The builder did not try to correct and did not even bother putting in the screws for the cabin because they did not align. So the rear of the cabin is actually loose...

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


The M45 quad mount is interesting at first. But then, I became disappointed. The detail on the M2 machine guns is really basic. The builder did not align the machine guns when gluing them on the mount, so they look bad shooting in all directions. It is critical for the look that a squad weapon mount has its guns shoot in the same direction. This could be fixed though.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


The mount is provided with rotation and elevation, this is great. However, it is designed in such a way that makes maintenance nearly impossible without breaking something else. When there is a failure on this thing, its probably the end of it. I guess this is why so many owners convert their M16 into an M3. I nearly have.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


A small LED is installed in each barrel. There is a trench like cavity on each barrel that certainly show then the guns are raised.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


Continuing on following post

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Postby PainlessWolf » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:23 am

Good afternoon sir,
You must have received a Friday ( or Monday ) build of this vehicle. I have one that I purchased from 'The Commander' ( Bob up in New Jersey ) some time back ( Torro listed as the manufacturer ) and it exhibits none of the flaws show here. I have it on my build list slated for detailing and upgraded electronics. I will be following your Build with great interest! ( as usual ;o)
regards,
Painless
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Postby lmcq11 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:24 am

Despite all my attempts at trying to make it work, its doesn't. The emitter and binding process is good, but that board is dead. No big deal, after seeing it in action on YouTube, I made my mind to replace it anyway. I have decided to replace it with my 35RCTANK MTC-2 control board and ACU unit. As it is, I did not think this model is worth buying an expensive Elmod control board, well maybe later. For now, the task is to adapt the rest of the electronic to make it work with the new MTC-2 control board.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


View of the front and cabin interior. I am a big fan of AFV with open fighting compartment. Although the side doors are not detailed, they can be made detailed. I was happily surprised that a full interior is possible without something major or unrealistic in the way. So, there is potential for a very good model here, with figures and equipment.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


That battery box for the 8 AA batteries in the back is huge and will be dramatically reduced with the planned battery.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


The chassis is excellent. It has a metal frame, rubber tire, servo direction, good transmission, rubber tracks and flexible rear suspension. Lots of good stuff here.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


The model is being disassembled.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


2 figures are provided. They are caricatural in nature, not 1/16, and looking more like monkeys that anything else. Definitely not the look I want on my model, but some body parts could be reusable.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


I am pleased with the chassis.

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The gun mount is too complicated and fragile in my views. It is designed for continuous 360 degrees rotation, when it works...

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Gun elevation is provided by a motor unit exactly the size of a micro servo. I decided to replace it with a 2-way 360 continuous rotation servo that will be connected directly to the Flysky receiver on a available channel with the VRA knob.

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The motor unit gear connecting to the mount elevation gear is not the same as the servo. But they looked exchangeable. So, I switched the WSN elevation gears to the servo, a perfect fit.

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Last edited by lmcq11 on Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:44 am

The gun mount now has servo elevation, and tested. Working well.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


The servo fits perfectly where the old motor unit was, even the screw is reusable.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


Gun mount rotation connects directly to the MTC-2 board with a new connector, and tested. Working well.

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The main motor is connected to one of the engine port on the board, and tested. After changing its connector, the steering servo is connected directly to the Flysky receiver on a available channel, and assigned the VRB knob for driving the vehicle. All good. I prefer driving with one of the two knob on the emitter than a stick. Its like a driving wheel.

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The new battery size and the needed room for the receiver will allow me to cut the former battery box in half, so it won't show from the back and side. Great !

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I could not wait to remove that battery box.

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The machine guns and their LEDs will be discarded.

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These will be replaced by Tamiya M2s. The Tamiya guns are a bit smaller than the WSN ones.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


I have experimented with Tamiya M2s in the past, with the M551 and M48 build in order to give them gun flash using fibre optics connected to a good LED. I will not use ABER detail kits because it would mostly be waisted on naked guns. The plan is to simply embed a 3mm LED fully inside the body of the M2, and use a 2mm brass tube as a barrel with a 1mm fibre optic running through it, as seen below for the M551 build. It worked well. The connections and wiring though the gun mount will be the bigger challenge as I have decided to discard the 360 wheel for the connector and go with direct wiring to the control board.

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Each brass tube will be reworked with a barrel appearance, and I can tell you that all guns will be aligned and shoot strait.
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Well, that's the plan, and I also did most of the Proof of concept, so it seems this can be a good build.

Next step, start of construction.

Louis
Last edited by lmcq11 on Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:57 am

PainlessWolf wrote:Good afternoon sir,
You must have received a Friday ( or Monday ) build of this vehicle. I have one that I purchased from 'The Commander' ( Bob up in New Jersey ) some time back ( Torro listed as the manufacturer ) and it exhibits none of the flaws show here. I have it on my build list slated for detailing and upgraded electronics. I will be following your Build with great interest! ( as usual ;o)
regards,
Painless


Hi Painless,
Yeah, I got it from Toucanhobby for about $100, I never had a problem before with his items. I have a feeling he got a batch of rejects and decided to liquidate them at half price.

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Postby Kaczor » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:04 pm

Great build. It will be very helpful with my M16.
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Postby jarndice » Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:33 pm

In my case I found the WSN/Torro M16 a delight to rebuild,
The plastic body is made of tough stuff and the metal chassis provides stiffness that is sadly lacking in many models,
Everything came apart very easily,
The glue holding the spare ammo cans the cab radio and other ancillaries in place was easy to remove and the only challenge was separating the Armoured windshield from its frame but the doors of the cab were simple to cut out and hinges fitted,
The two side storage bins make a natural location for a couple of Mato speakers only the receiver needing a little thought about where it is best fitted.
I think that the Elmod M16 board is very good value,
It is one of those rare models that positively welcomes modifying and when it is finished it really looks the part.
Peddinghaus make a number of different decal sets for both American and British M16s including Korea.
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Postby c.rainford73 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:05 pm

Louis this is yet another amazing build. I really enjoy your engineering skills!

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Postby Tiger6 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:37 pm

Yikes! My original pair of 'rejects' were much better built, with only a couple of broken gun barrels each (hence why I bought 2 of them ;) ) to complain about. Also, my (old WSN branded ones) had the guns screwed into place, so misalignment wasn't such a issue to fix (but still a pig to get apart...)

Just out of curiosity, what is so special about the new 'digital' version? I'm not really seeing why El-Mod needed to make a new board that is incompatible with the older version of the model, every connection and motor looks identical?

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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 am

Hi,

jarndice wrote:In my case I found the WSN/Torro M16 a delight to rebuild,
The plastic body is made of tough stuff and the metal chassis provides stiffness that is sadly lacking in many models,
Everything came apart very easily,
The glue holding the spare ammo cans the cab radio and other ancillaries in place was easy to remove and the only challenge was separating the Armoured windshield from its frame but the doors of the cab were simple to cut out and hinges fitted,
The two side storage bins make a natural location for a couple of Mato speakers only the receiver needing a little thought about where it is best fitted.
I think that the Elmod M16 board is very good value,
It is one of those rare models that positively welcomes modifying and when it is finished it really looks the part.
Peddinghaus make a number of different decal sets for both American and British M16s including Korea.

Thank you for your feedback. I definitely got a lemon. The model had heavy gluing and was difficult to disassemble. Half the screw heads were also stripped in trying to unscrew them. There have a weakness it seems. Some i had to pull with plyers. I am planning to do a bit of cutting myself as well. The Peddinghaus decals are in the mail. I agree, it will look great.

Kaczor wrote:Great build. It will be very helpful with my M16.

Thank you ! Hope it will go well.

c.rainford73 wrote:Louis this is yet another amazing build. I really enjoy your engineering skills!
Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

Thanks Carl

Tiger6 wrote:Yikes! My original pair of 'rejects' were much better built, with only a couple of broken gun barrels each (hence why I bought 2 of them ;) ) to complain about. Also, my (old WSN branded ones) had the guns screwed into place, so misalignment wasn't such a issue to fix (but still a pig to get apart...)
Just out of curiosity, what is so special about the new 'digital' version? I'm not really seeing why El-Mod needed to make a new board that is incompatible with the older version of the model, every connection and motor looks identical?

The machine guns were screwed and glued...

Continuing with the build.

The 35RCTANK MTC-2 and ACU units have been installed and the running gear has been tested and working well.

Here is a short YouTube video of the model running with the MTC-2, minus the gun mount.

https://youtu.be/BzA9-wIm39g

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


One centimeter in depth has been removed from the top of the battery box, and then glued back in place. Two compartments at the bottom of the former battery box have been created and separated with plasticard, one for the Zippy Compact 850 two cell 7.4V battery, and one for the MTC-2 unit.

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The battery section is enclosed so that the receiver can be placed on top of it.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


View from the top. The ability to lift the lid and do easy maintenance on the electronic was important to me. When I tried that the first time to disassemble the model with the WSN electronics, I ripped two cables at the same time, the wires were so thin, short and had no slack.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


Flysky 10 channel receiver is on top of the battery section on the left, MTC-2 unit at the bottom of the battery right section, ACU unit attached to the top. The WSN speaker was connected to the ACU for engine and gun sounds. Its quite powerful for its size. My wife had to tell me to reduce the volume during testing because she saw it was annoying the neighbours and their dog.

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The MTC-2 unit is resting on the door of the battery pack and can be serviced from both sides to disconnect batteries and check things out.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


Overview of the model.

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A rear view showing the reduced depth of the battery box. It is a bit less obvious now. I wanted to remove more but decided to keep a few extra mm so that there is extra room above for all the wiring inside, a wise decision.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


The rotation motor unit has been connected and can be seen in the video above. It is quite slow... Not sure if it is the MTC-2 doing that or if the speed is the same with the WSN electronic or the Elmod. It would be hard to shoot at planes at that rotation speed. In this picture. I removed all the WSN 360 connectors that seemed problematic in my case. I made about 6mm of room between the walls of the rotation gear and the bottom of the quad mount above so that a good length of cable can be let loose in there, allowing for easy rotation of 180 degrees (more actually) on both side, similar to a HL tank turret. At the speed that this thing is turning, there is limited interest to make it rotate with continuous 360s. As this vehicle is a Meat Chopper, slow turning is ok.

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Next step, the gun mount and its M2s.

Regards, Louis

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Postby jarndice » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:36 am

What a brilliant solution to the lack of space for both a battery and a receiver :thumbup: I shall be taking another look at my M16,
I knew I was making the right decision about changing the control board because like you I discovered the cheap and very nasty wiring attached to it.
I was warned off of using the original speaker because it was supposed to be at the limit of its electrical abilities,
I pin vised a multitude of holes in each side stowage bin and put a Mato (Actually Chinese Rip off :{ ) rectangular speaker in each one,
They give the Elmod sound chip room to breathe :haha:
I await with interest your plans if any for the winch.
With 1/16 working electrical winches now available @ Banggood it is an area I might revisit.
I think your build is going to get a lot of interest from lots of Forum members :thumbup:
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Postby Tiger6 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:24 am

The machine guns were screwed and glued...
Clearly making a pigs ear of the job just once wasn't enough for the assembly folks :wtf:

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Postby lmcq11 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:21 pm

Hi, thank you Jarndice for your encouragements.

Guys that have seen my previous builds know about my fondness for the M2 machine gun. I must have built 30 of them in past decade. Although the US half track is the star of this build, the four M2 .50 machine guns on their quad mount are the co-star and delivering the punch. As such, I have decided to make an effort to make sure the machine guns are equally treated. They need to have the same quality of build that I will give the rest of the model.

Instead of getting an Aber detailing set, these M2s absolutely need to be functional with gun flash and sound. So today I developed a prototype of the M2 that will feature on this build.

Below are two of the WSN M2s. They are well detailed but lack finesse. The barrel is their main weakness. Small LED wires are running through them in a trench like feature that makes them weak and easily distorted. If I was keeping them, I would simply replace the barrel by a brass tube and some fine tuning of the rest.

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But the goal is to go a step further and replace them completely with the more detailed Tamiya M2. A new metal barrel is made using K&S 8126 (2.38mm) brass tube. Flash is provided by a large 1.5mm fibre optic. A nail file is then used to gradually reduce the brass tube in size up to the muzzle to give it a barrel look and feel. A larger brass tube is then glued over the tip to create the muzzle and sanded to the proper diameter and feel.

In the picture below, the Tamiya barrel is cut right after the sleeve and discarded. The Tamiya parts for the sleeve are then transposed on the brass barrel. At the bottom is the WSN barrel which is a bit bigger than the others but not as much as picture seems to show as it is closer to the camera.

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A 3mm LED has been made thinner and a 1.5mm hole has been drilled into it so that the fibre optic can be solidly glued to it for a good connection without going too deep into it. In the picture below, the parts are being prepared for the assembly of the chamber. The LED will be fully enclosed within the body of the machine gun. I am aware that the flash of the LED will also come out of the chamber through the openings. Before I apply material that will hide it, I want to see how it will look when operating. It might provide interesting flash action coming out of the chamber as well...

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It is important to be aware that two of the M2s on the quad mount have their mechanism reversed because the feeding mechanism is inward whether the M2 is on the left or right of the quad mount. This was properly reflected on the WSN machine guns.

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Therefore, two of the Tamiya M2 need to be modified as well. To make this simple, the left modified WSN cranking mechanism has been carved out of the body and made ready to be transposed on the Tamiya M2.

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And here we have the finished prototype of the new M2s for the build with the original WSN below it. The Tamiya cranking handle was used.

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The front and rear mounts were also carved out of the WSN machine gun and transposed to the Tamiya.

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Notice the two LED wires that will go into the mount without being too apparent. The positive wire is always the longer one, and also the one to which a 200 Ohm resistor need to be connected to somewhere along the way to the control board. I have already tested that the MTC-2 flash port can lit up 4 LEDs at the same time.

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These new M2s will be strait shooters and strong. If ever one of the barrel is not fully centered, its brass so a little but strong bending can correct the situation. These barrels will never break.

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Now need to make 3 others but I am out of fibre optics so I will not be able to complete them until the order comes in. Overall, the prototype took 4 hours to build but I expect the others to be made faster. Need some kind of assembly chain to ensure they are all created with the same process, length and size.

Regards, Louis
Last edited by lmcq11 on Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:03 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Postby silversurfer1947 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:28 pm

Absolutely incredible attention to detail, only matched by the execution. Oh that I had 1% of your ability.
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Postby HERMAN BIX » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:36 pm

It’s like an episode of “Weapons Hunter” !!!!
I’d love to see what you could do with a Flakvierling !!
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Postby lmcq11 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:17 am

Thank you Silversurfer and Herman for your encouragements. I have 48 years of plastic modelling behind me but my hope is that the work and explanations here make it look easy for others to do something similar and better. I use very simple tools and basic techniques. Skills improve with practice...

This post is for the cutting of the cabin and rear compartment.

Like many Half track fans, I like to see the cabin armor windshield raised and flaps on doors lowered, and the flaps on the M16 rear section lowered in firing position as seen below. Notice the Browning M1919 machine gun at the front for defense, regular .50 cal ammo boxes pilled up on the raised armored windshield. You will definitely see these on this model as well.

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First task is to do an inspection and determine how to best do this. Time to put a new deburring blade on my hobby knife. The cabin plastic is quite thick and not easy to cut. Making headway into it will involve more that just scribbling the lines around the windshield and flaps. It requires heavy handling that can send you to the infirmary if not done carefully.

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The rear compartment is easier, the plastic is strait and a bit thinner I think.

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This is what I want to achieve.

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FYI, showing off the poor skills of the WSN employee that originally built my M16... I am showing a horizontal strait line under the base of the flap line. Red arrows show how the base part was glued, with lots of glue. The part was saved but I had to sand blast the whole interior.

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To help me scribe a strait line with the blade and metal ruler, I am making good use of simple vise grips purchased at the dollar store.

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That was easy enough. I few wounds in the plastic are filled with putty and sanded smooth.

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Work on the cabin flaps and armored windshield is slow and methodological to avoid personal wounds and damage to the parts as much as possible. The plastic is way too thick to be realistic but that's the way it is. If you are lucky, the WSN builder did not drown the windshield in glue and can be removed the easy way with a blade inserted in between, not mine.

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The windshield is thin and fragile and was damaged a bit in the removal process. The glue is removed by sanding.

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To give the armored windshield some integrity back, it was glued to a thin plasticard sheet, cut and sanded. Alternative is to redo it all in scratch. The two positioning holes at the bottom can be filled.

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Continuing on following post
Last edited by lmcq11 on Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:28 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby lmcq11 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:30 am

The basic body parts are made ready.

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The windows are carved out from the cabin main windshield.

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Looking at references make me realise how thin the half track cabin side armor is. I was about to make a mistake by reusing the flaps as is.

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The cut out parts are way too thick and need to be reduced in size. It would be simpler to replace them by new ones in thin plasticard but I am sentimental and after all the effort to salvage the flaps, I decided to make them thinner, but thick enough to be solid. It is my personal taste to glue them solidly in place and not try to put them on some hinges. I do not want to play with them, accuracy is more important and they will get a lot of details added to them.

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I am noticing what seems to be the machine gun anchor point where the Browning is located on the pictures shown in previous post.

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The armored windshield is reattached to the cabin.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build
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I am noticing that the base for the supports brackets are provided.

Capture16.JPG
1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


Overview of the cabin as it stands today. It will require a lot of detailing.

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1/16 RC M16 Half Track MGMC Meat Chopper Korea build


Regards, Louis
Last edited by lmcq11 on Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:31 am, edited 5 times in total.

lmcq11
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Postby jackalope » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:48 am

WOW! This is really looking good!
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Postby tankme » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:18 am

Having helped restore a real M3 half-track, you realize that the armor on these things were really only designed to deflect small caliber bullets or some shrapnel. Using the word "armor" is a bit of a stretch... :)

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Postby jackalope » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:36 pm

tankme wrote:Having helped restore a real M3 half-track, you realize that the armor on these things were really only designed to deflect small caliber bullets or some shrapnel. Using the word "armor" is a bit of a stretch... :)


That's why they were called a Purple Heart box. Cause you were gonna get injured in one.
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