There is still a lot to be done with regard to the Tiger's turret. Much of the structural modifications have been done but we have still to replace the barrel, muzzle brake, apply additional weld detail , and install a gun rail and machine gun mount to the cuppola. Let's get started.
Pictured to the far right we used our Maxi Tool to remove the old barrel and most of the barrel sleeve. Yuck. The middle picture shows the underside of the turret and how the old barrel was secured by three pieces of PVC pipe. Gone!
Finally, we test fit the barrel sleeve to the mantlet and will add sculpting cement and JB Weld to secure the aluminum sleeve to the mantlet.
One of the most prominent features on the turret are the spare track links which are secured to both sides of the turret. We used an after market track link bracket set to mount the spare track links only to discover that we did not have any spare track links. Not willing to fork over an additional $35.00 for ten spares we kit bashed some metal track links from an old Verio Tiger tank. Good enough. We applied a two part rust treatment coating and mounted our new links to the turret.
Once we removed the old barrel sleeve, we epoxied the newaluminum one to the mantlet and reinforced the narrow opening with Apoxie Sculpt. We inserted a one inch dowel into the base of the barrel and ran it through the mantlet to secure the barrel to the mantlet. Finally, we added an aluminum cross member to the turret and secured the base of the barrel to the cross member to keep the barrel always pointing up.
Once the barrel and muzzle brake are installed, the impact on the overall appearance of our Tiger is dramatic.
We have a great deal of weld detail to add to the turret lid and we decided to change our approach to this daunting task. Drywall paste makes an excellent zemmerit coating and is also useful for welds. We applied an eight inch strip of drywall paste and will see how well it looks and feels once it has dried overnight.
Early version of the Tiger taken at the Bovington museum. We did not take this picture but shamelessly harvested it off the Internet.
The Turret Cont'd.
The original barrel is made from PVC pipe and the muzzle brake leaves a lot to be desired. This important feature definitely needs an upgrade but replacing the barrel may be far too ambitious for this amateur. We gave Wes some specs on a late Tiger muzzle brake and barrel. He milled an amazing replacement but we are concerned about the weight of the barrel/brake and how to anchor the barrel to the existing mantlet which is made from plastic.