Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sherman Tank bar completed and ready for fundraiser tonight


The work involved in completing the tank consumed all my time for weeks, distracting me from posting as I usually do. Right in the middle of the effort, I had scheduled a helpful medical procedure but it left me dependent on others to do the lifting, further complicating everything.

We did finish construction of all the parts and modular assemblies in time for transportation yesterday. Due to the large size of the tank and the limited size of gates and passageways around my property, we built this as eight major assemblies which could be moved independently. 

A crew of 5 people came to help, lifting and moving each section. The top sections were the hardest to handle - 11 1/2 feet long, 5 feet wide and a height that averaged more than 3 feet. In fact, to have the room to maneuver them, we first had to move the three bottom sections upon which they rested.

To allow for this, I built four tall stands which fit in between the top and bottoms, so that we could lift the tops slightly and leave them suspended up in the air while we removed the bottom assemblies. The first truckload carried the bottom assemblies, all the wheels, suspension boxes, sections of tread, the cannon and other parts with the exception of the suspended top pieces and the tank turret which was still being painted. 
Suspended tops, after removing bottom sections
We returned to move the tops down off the stands and out to the truck. The turret barely fit inside, jutting out the back of the truck slightly and roped in place. I carefully drove with the open truck, unloaded, and assembly began. 

About five hours of work were needed to put it all together, the first time that it all could be assembled because there wasn't enough room in the yard space where we built everything. We had a few snags and needed some improvising. A few bits of wood broke and had to be repaired. Still, it came together in the end.

Tank assembled in place
Actually half a tank, split side to side
Today, after I post this, we will go back and do some minor paint detailing for artistic effects. I have a 48 star US flag (period authentic) to attach to the antenna on the turret, then the tank is complete. I can install my model 15 teletype next to one of the decorative army tents nearby, get it operational, and fine tune the 'green screen' photography setup in the library where we will provide digital pictures of attendees standing in front of period pictures such as a B-17 bomber. 

Example of green screen photography results

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