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M60 AVLB conversion Complete.

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  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
M60 AVLB conversion Complete.
Posted by HeavyArty on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 8:30 AM

My latest project is an M60 ALVB.  When Dragon first announced their M48 AVLB kit, I had the thought to build an M60 AVLB.  To make it, I would use the Dragon AVLB parts and an M60 hull.  The two vehicles used the same bridging gear, so it shouldn't be too hard to do.

So I started gathering the parts I needed.  I needed the Dragon M48 AVLB, which I was able to order as a Christmas present to myself for an OK price from Japan.

 

I next needed an M60 hull.  I chose to use the Takom CM-11 (M48H) Brave Tiger kit.  This is a special Tiawan variant that combines an M60 Hull w/an M48 turret mounting an M68 105mm main gun, updated fire controls, optics, etc.  It is basically an M48A5/M60A3 equivalant.  

 

Another option this leaves me is to use the left over Dragon M48 hull and the left over Takon turret parts to build an M48A5, so a win-win. 

This is what I will build; an M60 AVLB that was built in the late '80s upon an M60A2 hull.  These were left over hulls that were used in one of the last batches of M60 AVLB builds.  Many of these are still in use today.  

  

For the A2 parts, I have collected the "O" sprue from the AFV Club M60A2 kit, which includes the CBSS bulge and rear doors with extended bottom edge. 

 

So far I have the hull complete with the cover for the turret opening and a few other parts added to it.  I am now starting on the AVLB parts and have found a happy surprise.   

I will describe the surprise and post pictures later today.  It is going together really well so far though.  

More to come later.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 8:50 AM

Following your new project with great interest Gino.

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Southeast Kentucky
Posted by The Drifter on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 9:14 AM

Very interesting subject and I will definitely be along for the ride.

Jeff

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:39 AM

Hello Gino!

Another of your famous conversions! I'm sure lookin' forward to see that baby being built! Can you say something more about that -A2 specific rear end? Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:41 AM

I was wondering why you didn't start with the M60A2 hull until I saw the final photo of the A2 sprue at the end. Now it makes sense.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 8:08 PM

Here it is so far.  I have the hull pretty much complete.  I built it pretty much straight by the Takom instructions.  I blanked off the driver's hatch with the plate supplied in the Dragon kit (J57) and filled in the driver's periscopes. 

I added the M60A2 rear parts from the AFV Club M60A2 kit.  These include the CBSS (Closed Breech Scavenger System) bulge and the rear doors with added shelf-like lower edges.  The AFV Club parts fit the Takom kit like a glove and required no modification at all.

On the plate that covers the turret opening, I cut open the driver's and TC's hatches.  I am not sure why Dragon molded them closed, but they were easy to open up.  I gently cut around each dome-shaped hatch with an xacto knife.  Once cut open, I cleaned them up and then built the hinge mechanisms per the Dragon instructions.  The hatch pops up and then rotates to the outside and rear to open. To accomplish this, on the rotating base (F9), cut the key off the bottom and it can be glued in any position. I then added handles and lock mechanisms to each hatch.

For the rear bridge supports, I added details Dragon missed.  These include closing in one side of the guides with strips of styrene.  I also added strips along the horizontal supports.  Lastly, references show that this later version also has a box ans conduit on the front side of the support.  I built this using a block of resin, sheet brass, sheet styrene, and a styrene rod.  It was glued onto the rear deck with a rearward tilt, as per references.

  

Ready for the surprise??  OK, it isn't that big, but...

For the elevating mechanism mount at the front of the hull, it looks like Dragon is at least thinking about an M60 AVLB kit.  On the inside of the front mount parts that meet the hull, there are score lines that match the profile of an M60 front hull perfectly.

I had to do a little more to it though.  On these later version M60A2-based vehicles, the mount does not overhang the horizontal line where the upper and lower hull come together.  By continuing the cut, you have the correct angle to mount it on the upper part of the hull.  This does shift the whole mount back a coupe of millimeters though, as it is on the actual vehicle.  I also had to raise up the pivot point for the lower hydraulic cylinder (per references) and shorten up the piston by about 2mm to get it all to fit.

Here is the full elevation mechanism awaiting to be added to the hull.  On it, I filled in the back sides of the square bars as they were hollow and should be solid.

It has been fun so far and not that hard to do.  Next up is mounting the elevation mechanism and starting on the bridge sections.

By the way, there is a great walk-around of this vehicle at Toadman's Tank Pictures website:  http://www.toadmanstankpictures.com/m60a1avlb.htm

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, January 31, 2019 8:41 AM

Looks friggin' awesome! Funny to see the goofs Dragon made but glad to hear they weren't too hard to correct. And great that the different kits fit together as well as they did, on reading your first post here I was wondering how much putty you'd end up using.

Looking forward to more. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Thursday, January 31, 2019 11:10 AM

Thanks Gamera.  I hope to have more progress over the weekend.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Thursday, January 31, 2019 11:41 AM
Gino, after reading about this vehicle you're building I watched a couple of YouTube videos and read the specifications, it's amazing how two men can place a 60-foot bridge in 2 to 5 minutes that will support 70-tons of equipment.
 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csC5jtvKjM0
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Thursday, January 31, 2019 2:06 PM

Yes, it is a pretty awesome vehicle.  Hard to believe the technology is almost 70 years old.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Southeast Kentucky
Posted by The Drifter on Thursday, January 31, 2019 2:35 PM

Wow Gino you're off to a awesome start!! YesYes

Jeff

  • Member since
    June, 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Thursday, January 31, 2019 7:45 PM

I agree with everyone else Gino, this is a really neat conversion. 3rd Armored Cav had some of these whern I was stationed with them (in the 80's). Your attention to detail is fun to see; keep up the great work....

Ben

I am a Veteran; to all other Veterans thank you for your service. Retired now and living well

PROJECTS:

- 1/350 USS Alabama - Staged

- 90mm Achilles Resin Figure - WIP

- 120mm SS Panzer Officer - Done

 

 

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, February 01, 2019 9:00 AM

Thanks Ben.  Still plugging away at it.  More to come over the weekend.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, February 01, 2019 11:29 AM

Sergeant
Gino, after reading about this vehicle you're building I watched a couple of YouTube videos and read the specifications, it's amazing how two men can place a 60-foot bridge in 2 to 5 minutes that will support 70-tons of equipment.
 

It was part of my original MOS in 1983, 12F combat engineer vehicle crewman. At AIT we trained on the M60 chassis, but I couldn't tell you if it was an M60/A1/A2 hull. My unit had the M48 AVLB. The controls inside were different between the two versions, but as far as the bridge and launcher fittings, they are common between the two.

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, February 02, 2019 11:08 AM

Rob Gronovius

 

 
Sergeant
Gino, after reading about this vehicle you're building I watched a couple of YouTube videos and read the specifications, it's amazing how two men can place a 60-foot bridge in 2 to 5 minutes that will support 70-tons of equipment.
 

 

 

It was part of my original MOS in 1983, 12F combat engineer vehicle crewman. At AIT we trained on the M60 chassis, but I couldn't tell you if it was an M60/A1/A2 hull. My unit had the M48 AVLB. The controls inside were different between the two versions, but as far as the bridge and launcher fittings, they are common between the two.

 

 

Rob, you have another title too... You are a Mustang. In my book that makes you a super-Officer. Mustangs and Chief Warrant Officers are generally the most knowledgeable and specialized leaders in the military.

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Rifle, CO. USA
Posted by M1GarandFan on Saturday, February 02, 2019 2:45 PM

I'll second Sergeant's comment about Rob and Mustangs. That is an accomplishment.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, February 03, 2019 7:09 PM

Work continues on the M60 AVLB.  I have completed the erector mechanism and mounted it onto the hull.

I added details to the top part of the erector arm where the bridge attaches.  

I also changed out the rear tail light assemblies for armored ones after looking closer at reference pics.

I also completed the bridge sections.  They were pretty straight forward, with no major issues.  By the way, these things are huge.

I did change out the stiff metal cables that Dragon supplies for the piston on the bridges to separate them.  They were way too stiff and wouldn't sit right.  I swapped them out for waxed thread used in ship model rigging.  It worked out well in my opinion.

Mounted on the chassis.

I will be off on a business trip all week, so I won't get any more done on it for a while.  Next up will be some of the final details such as the smoke grenade launchers and their storage boxes.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, February 04, 2019 11:32 AM

Oh wow very cool! Dang straight about the size of the bridge- it's dwarfing the M60! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, February 04, 2019 2:04 PM

Hello Gino!

One thing can already be seen - you've got yourself a beauty of a tank!

I've benn always fascinated by this design - had drawings of one in the book I've learned to read from. And from these drawings I couldn't quite figure out how that baby works, but it was impressive, none the less.

Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Monday, February 04, 2019 4:49 PM

Gamera

Oh wow very cool! Dang straight about the size of the bridge- it's dwarfing the M60! 

 

That 60-foot scissor-type bridge in reality weighs 14.65 tons (13.28 metric tons) that is over 28,000 pounds.

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, February 04, 2019 5:35 PM

Hello!

I wanted to check out the operation of a bridgelayer, and I have found a very nice movie about just the machine Gino is doing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWMrY49qqDw

I bet hooking that bridge back up takes some really precise driving!

Lots of nice details for a modeller, too. Gino, check this out - the 1:1 bridge has preshading on it. Will you do the same thing to your bridge here? For me? Pleeese? :-)))

Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, February 04, 2019 10:02 PM

Thanks guys.  It has been fun so far and is a huge bridge.  I am not sure how I will finish it yet.  I may do the chassis sand and bridge camo, or chassis camo and bridge green.  It will not be preshaded though.  I still don't think it is realistic.  The one in the video to me looks like it has paint tochups that don't match, not preshading.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 3:01 AM

HeavyArty

Thanks guys.  It has been fun so far and is a huge bridge.  I am not sure how I will finish it yet.  I may do the chassis sand and bridge camo, or chassis camo and bridge green.  It will not be preshaded though.  I still don't think it is realistic.  The one in the video to me looks like it has paint tochups that don't match, not preshading.

 

Gino and Pawel, I’m not sure that it makes any difference, but the video that Pawel referenced is a group of US Marines. I looked at other videos that had US Army engineers using the M60 AVLB. In each video the bridge was painted different; green, camouflage and sand color. I’m guessing here, but this bridge system was probably Army equipment the Marines adopted and repainted for their mission in Afghanistan.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 7:55 AM

Sergeant

 

 
Gamera

Oh wow very cool! Dang straight about the size of the bridge- it's dwarfing the M60! 

 

 

 

That 60-foot scissor-type bridge in reality weighs 14.65 tons (13.28 metric tons) that is over 28,000 pounds.

 

 

Not surprising considering the weight of the vehicles it's designed to handle. But still dang it's friggin' gigantic!! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 7:45 PM

As a curiosity, does anyone now how one of these bridges is recovered?

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 11:00 PM

The bridge is recovered the same way it is deployed, just in reverse.  The carrier crosses, then turns around, lowers the erector arm, attaches it to the bridge, then lifts and folds it on top of the carrier.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 6:49 PM

CapnMac82

As a curiosity, does anyone now how one of these bridges is recovered?

 

CapnMac82, I read that it take 2-5 minutes to deploy the bridge and 10 minutes to recover it. I think that means load, secure and moveout in a non-combat environment. If the team was taking incoming fire it may be different.

Harold

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, February 09, 2019 2:04 PM

Sergeant
it take 2-5 minutes to deploy the bridge and 10 minutes to recover it.

That makes some sense, now that I think about it.  Was a bit of a mind bender about how to reconnect the hydralic connections to the bridge hinge without having to dismount (and we all know how armor types feel about dismounting [Smile ).

So, I'll imagine that the disconnect has a way of operating quick disconnect fittings to the bridge, which will reconnect as a default on recovery. 

My fault was in not imagining enough engineering complexity, juat a super-simple break-away system.  Mea culpa.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, February 11, 2019 7:40 PM

I have finished construction.  It is ready for paint, which I will probably not get to until next weekend.  

I finished up the details on it.  First, I redid the water/fuel can holder on the rear of the turret ring.  The kit one was chunky and undersized.  I used a resin water/fuel can holder, some sheet styrene, and a resin footman's loop at the top.  A resin water or fuel can fits into it nicely.

Next, I added the smoke grenade launchers and their storage boxes.

Then I added hydraulic lines for the piston on the bridge and the two on the erector mechanism.

I also added stiffening ribs on top of the erector arm.  I also had to rebuild the hinge on it after a super glue mishap locked it up.  You can also see the smoke launcher and its storage box below as well.

Lastly, I added the tow cables on the left side of the turret ring.

Paint is next, hopefully soon.  I still haven't decided how I will paint it.  I am leaning toward a NATO camo M60 chassis and green bridge so I can use the decals from the kit.  Or I may do a sand M60 chassis and camo or green bridge w/homemade decals.  We shall see.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, February 18, 2019 4:03 PM

I have been working on some new details that I found after receiving some good images of the bridge sections.

I added the hydraulic lines and connectors to the end of the erector head.

On the bridge sections, there are quite a few missing pieces.  

Both sections should be identical, with the exception of the piston and its parts used to raise them.  The rest of the basic structure is the same though.  First is a missing box brace (1), I rebuilt one and added the second missing "X" brace (2), then there should be a box and hydraulic hoses on each piece (3), not just one side as Dragon modeled.  Lastly, there is a rod at each pointy end of the bridge (4).

I also added the curved hydraulic hoses between the upper and lower bridge sections out of flexible tubing.  Dragon gives you a hard plastic part for these, which will not allow the bridge to move if installed. Lastly, inside the section behind the first brace on the bridge, I extended the hydraulic line back to the second bulkhead with a piece of styrene rod so it wasn't just floating in mid-air.  You can just see the white rod in the below shot. 

Now each bridge section is identical, which will allow either bridge section to be picked up.

I think it is now ready for paint.

 

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

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