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Vickers Bl 8 inch Howitzer cannon of 1917

Vickers Bl 8 icnch Howitzer

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mal webber02/05/2019 23:14:11
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81 forum posts
202 photos

Hello all ,next part on the Howitzer build are the stub axles ,now started on the first one going on the drawings in picture 2 and all was looking good to me, until I looked at a couple of pictures where I noticed the hubs look a different size, maybe it's because the one in the picture is a later model made in the U.S and the one in the drawing is an early model made in the U.K ,what do you think go with the one i've made or back to the drawing board and have another go with different sizes to match the stub axle in the picture.

Thanks Mal. img_20190502_152941.jpgimg_20190502_155519.jpgimg_20190502_194948.jpgimg_20190502_195006.jpgimg_20190502_195936_5.jpg

Simon Collier03/05/2019 00:56:04
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297 forum posts
52 photos

Wonderful project Mal. I hope to see it on the cover of Model Engineer when it is finished.

Mick B103/05/2019 08:17:47
1127 forum posts
62 photos
Posted by Simon Collier on 03/05/2019 00:56:04:

Wonderful project Mal. I hope to see it on the cover of Model Engineer when it is finished.

Huh? You're easily pleased!

I was hopin' for the release of a full set of drawings and a kit of materials so's I can build one!

laughwink

Simon Collier03/05/2019 09:24:08
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297 forum posts
52 photos

Only because I know my limitations Mick.

Mick B103/05/2019 10:15:34
1127 forum posts
62 photos
Posted by Simon Collier on 03/05/2019 09:24:08:

Only because I know my limitations Mick.

Ah, yes. I've got those too - maybe I was forgettin'... blush

SillyOldDuffer03/05/2019 10:56:46
4536 forum posts
971 photos
Posted by mal webber on 02/05/2019 23:14:11:

... all was looking good to me, until I looked at a couple of pictures where I noticed the hubs look a different size, maybe it's because the one in the picture is a later model made in the U.S and the one in the drawing is an early model made in the U.K ,what do you think go with the one i've made or back to the drawing board and have another go with different sizes to match the stub axle in the picture.

...

This is a difficult question: are you modelling an existing gun, working from a drawing, or doing your best with a mix based on detective work, books, web-photos etc? However you approach the model there are bound to be inconsistencies.

'British Artillery Weapons 1914-1918' (Hogg & Thurston) gives a good overview of the history of the gun. Marks 1 to 4, plus 'Howitzer B' were made by cutting down and boring out obsolete 6" naval guns and then mounting them on one of 5 different carriages. These were a rush job based on what was available, and there were huge differences.

The Mark 6 was a purpose-built design, delivered from Requirement in about 6 months by Vickers, but: 'Although a good enough weapon it was soon to be replaced by even better ones'. In practice, it's likely that the gun and carriage started to change almost immediately it was used in action because that's when things bend, break or otherwise misbehave.

The Mark 7 is similar but has a longer barrel and no guide ring. There are a shower of Mk7 variants, but most of these are internal; modified chamber and rifling etc. However the Mk7++ was adjusted slightly to strengthen the barrel and improve the gun's balance. Mounted on a modified carriage this became a Mk7A, finally the most up-to-date guns and carriages manufactured as a unit became the Mk8.

Hogg & Thurston don't say were the guns were made, but Wikipedia steps in. Most of them were made in the UK by all four major armament companies, and also by Midvale in the US. When the US entered the war, they adopted the American version of the Mark 6 and improved it to the Mark 8½. Wikipedia also quotes form the US Manual : 'Due to the combination of British and American manufacture, there are several types of breech mechanism in service...'

On top of this confusion it's likely that a museum gun isn't contemporary because the guns stayed in service long after WW1 and might have been updated, modified or repaired later.

My feeling is that none of the photographs, drawings or real guns are completely trustworthy or authoritative. If you have a complete set of original Mk6 drawings, you can say 'this is a model of the Vickers design', but it would be unwise to claim that the model was a completely accurate representation of a real gun later in the war. Likewise, in copying the actual Mk6 parked outside the War Museum in Helsinki, you would have to remember that this example was US made, bought from the US in 1939 and used in Russia until 1944 and then kept in reserve until the 1960's. It isn't a completely trustworthy representation of a real gun in 1918 either.

I suggest the best thing a modeller can do in the midst of such real-world chaos is avoid impossible combinations, like an American Breech on a British Gun, and to document what he's done and why. If a Rivet Counter criticises the model, you can always quote facts at him...

To answer the question: I'd leave the axle alone!

Super work. smiley

Dave

Neil Wyatt03/05/2019 11:01:03
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16277 forum posts
679 photos
74 articles

I guess the drawing and photo will both be right. If the drawing is what I was following for other detail, I would stick with it unless it is clearly in error.

Neil

Niloch03/05/2019 20:51:26
362 forum posts

This may be completely irrelevant, judge for yourselves:

making an 8" shell

 

Edited By Niloch on 03/05/2019 20:54:20

Mick B103/05/2019 22:07:04
1127 forum posts
62 photos
Posted by Niloch on 03/05/2019 20:51:26:

This may be completely irrelevant, judge for yourselves:

making an 8" shell

Edited By Niloch on 03/05/2019 20:54:20

Looks good to me! Thanks.

If it's from WW1, it's worth remembering that British and Empire navies didn't have 8" guns in service at that time (AFAIK), so it's very likely ammunition for the howitzer.

mal webber04/05/2019 13:00:35
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81 forum posts
202 photos

Thanks for all the input and thoughts guy's .Dave after reading your info on the history of Howitzer cannons I think your right, the cannons were probably updated from the first one that seen action, so to build a true replica of the Vickers MKVI Howitzer would be impossible so on that note its fair to say that what i'am trying to build is a representation of an early U.K version of the cannon based on the web ,photos and small bits of video to the best of my ability,so Dave,Neil your right and I will stick with the axle that i'am building.Simon,Mick now that would be something. Niloch very interesting watch thanks for sharing.

Thanks Mal.

mal webber17/05/2019 19:13:19
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81 forum posts
202 photos

Hello all, small update on the Howitzer not much done as work and garden has been sucking up all my shed time, managed to finish the basic pair of stub axles plenty more to do on them yet like holes drilled and cut to length etc, next will be the trail wheel pulling rings and hub caps.

Thanks for the interest Mal

img_20190517_184143.jpgimg_20190517_184153.jpgimg_20190517_184228.jpgimg_20190517_184238.jpg

mal webber22/05/2019 08:16:09
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81 forum posts
202 photos

Hello all, small update on the Howitzer build after a couple of attempts making the wheel pulling ring and cap to about the right size I settled with the one pictured below, next to drill a hole through the cap and fit a pin to hold it all together. I think next on the build will be the wheel braking bands.

Thanks Mal.

img_20190521_212712.jpgimg_20190521_212738.jpgimg_20190521_213019.jpg

SillyOldDuffer22/05/2019 09:23:30
4536 forum posts
971 photos

Seriously good work Mal. I'm admiring it in stunned silence!

Dave

mal webber22/05/2019 20:44:19
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81 forum posts
202 photos

Thanks Dave, but after looking at the pictures I think the depth on the hubs looks about right but the diameter is still slightly to big so Will take another mm of and see how that looks

Thanks Mal.

Edited By mal webber on 22/05/2019 20:45:14

mal webber16/06/2019 00:08:29
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81 forum posts
202 photos

Hello all, sorry to those following this build for the lack of progress on the Howitzer cannon but it;s because of work commitments which are taking up all of my shed time ,anyway managed a couple of evenings in the shed last couple of nights and thought i would tackle the part in the first photo, it's like a wedge which goes in between the stub axle and the trail so that the wheels line up straight , so tack welded a 6mm plate to the trail and set it up in the mill ,the welds will be taken of and replaced by bolts ,couple of pics below on how i got along.

Thanks for the interest Mal. img_20190615_225922.jpgimg_20190615_163958.jpgimg_20190615_164021.jpgimg_20190615_184127.jpgimg_20190615_194157.jpgimg_20190615_194224.jpgimg_20190615_200709.jpgimg_20190615_201310.jpgimg_20190615_200654.jpg

mal webber16/06/2019 17:37:55
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81 forum posts
202 photos

Hi all ,another small update milled the second axle wedge and the wheels all measure up good and straight to the trail , this was my main concern because if the trail was out of alinement this would show up in the wheels not being square to each other and the trail looking off centre, so next is to grind and clean weld marks get some bolts in them and the trail will be sitting on it's own wheels.

Thanks for your interest Mal.img_20190616_153230.jpgimg_20190616_153734.jpg

Jon Lawes16/06/2019 18:02:54
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313 forum posts

Very elegant.

mechman4816/06/2019 19:05:02
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2426 forum posts
372 photos

Quality shows... thumbs up I'm waiting to see how you tackle the interrupted thread on the breech block, a long way off I know but...

George.

mal webber21/06/2019 14:31:28
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81 forum posts
202 photos

Hi all, bit more done on the Howitzer cannon removed the ugly welds holding the wedges in place cleaned up around the trail, drilled some holes and now one side can be bolted on, used 4BA bolts for this thought they looked a bit out of scale at first but placed the wheel on and I think they look about right what do you guy's think.

Thanks for your interest Mal.

img_20190621_115751.jpgimg_20190621_115812.jpgimg_20190621_115902.jpgimg_20190621_133636.jpgimg_20190621_133754.jpg

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