Monday, 12 March 2012

Pegasus US Army truck to BM-13-16N conversion - Part 2

The first half of this conversion job is to make the platform on which the rocket launcher will sit. And this is where the first problem cropped up.

The Pegasus US Army truck is based on the GMC CCKW, in turn the Soviet US6 is a version of this American lend lease vehicle, BUT the BM-13-16N vehicle is a modified version of the US6. Short story - they ain't all exactly the same vehicle!

Above: The real BM-13-16N differs in configuration from the GMC CCKW truck on which the Pegasus Hobbies model is based. I have to work around these differences if I want to produce a 'quick build' model. Source: Wikipedia

There are small differences in the layout of the BM-13-16N truck in order for it to accommodate the large rocket launcher system. Most noticeably, the fuel tank and spare wheel are reversed, and the wheel is mounted vertically (on the right side) instead of horizontally on the left side as it is on the Pegasus model. Now I could spend some time chopping and sawing and remounting these components to be completely accurate, but bearing in mind my goal of producing a 'quick and dirty' Katyusha rocket launcher - that's easy to make for war gaming - I don't really want to muck about too much.

Were this a display model naturally I would take the time and effort to make this model as accurate a possible, but will the placement of the spare tyre really have an impact on the models intended use as a war gaming piece? Better that the conversion is easy to do with the minimum of structural changes (though this up to you - the modeller).

So, first of all I made a raised flat bed platform designed to incorporate the horizontally positioned spare wheel into it's framework...

Above: Here you see - in white plasticard - the simple box structure I built on the chassis so
that the spare wheel could be easily incorporated.

This method does means a inaccurately high platform, but it's a fudge I am willing to accept in order to make the construction something you can do with the 'out of the box' Pegasus model.

Next there is the rear wheel mud guards, and again we have to make a design decision based on ease versus accuracy. This decision is necessary as the real truck's mud guards had nicely curved fenders matching the shape of the wheels, not a very complicated piece of modelling I guess but thinking in 'quick build' mode it does seem logical that this element could be simplified to just a straight edged structure...

Above: I went for the easy option and simplified the rear mud guards with this angular shape. Three rectangles of plasticard glued together in no time at all.

Now, you will have to look at these two design simplifications yourself and decide just what level of accuracy (or rather inaccuracy) YOU can live with. My model is obviously the most simplified option based wholly on ease of construction over authenticity - just because I want to see how quickly I can do this - but you can adjust the level of detail to match your particular tastes based on just how much time you have to spare.

Next: The rocket launcher framework

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