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Armor/AFV: What If?
For those who like to build hypothetical or alternate history versions of armor/AFVs.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Landkreuzer P-1000 Ratte
sdk10159
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Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 05:39 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for the input Dan.

You know, every tank has a commander and their own cupola. This though, goes beyond. Waaaay past the norm.

Ah...I could put a Commander's cupola here or there..but, looking at this thing, from the variety of images, WHERE would the overall commander be? Where would his post be? On top of the main turret? Nah, to high, too noisy, too out of the way.

I can see a Commander of Maneuver and Commander of Armament (self defense), and a Commander of Offense. And THE overall Commander. Four. A Colonel and three light Colonels? LOL, should be interesting.

Mike



The way the Germans thought, this being a Landkreuzer, they probably would have manned it with Kriegsmarine! Then, you'd have a Kapitan zer See for a CO and then FregettenKapitans for department heads (Deck, gunnery, navigation, etc....). Who knows.

Good luck with this and keep us posted. It's gonna be interesting.

Steve
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Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 06:10 PM UTC
Thanks for the input Steve.

Supposedly the crew for this was pretty large. Yeah, that's a given. Take a Tiger, or Panther, or a Pz. III...WHERE would the cupolas go? Heh..good question. Something that will be considered down the road...

Mike
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Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 12:15 PM UTC
So, I've run into a bit a "problem." My intent to use 1/25th running gear has left me with a dilemma.

I've taken the full set of Academy's 1/25th JP running gear and laid them out. From Sprocket to Idler, and giving some play in the spacing that's not fuggly, I've come out to about 19 inches. At 39 inches overall length, I need another 16-18 inches of road wheels.

What that means: most pictures show 14 or so road wheels. The 19 inches are (in a Panther layout) 15 worth.

I know a Ratte was never built, but would it look stupid if I had 30 road wheels?? If I go this route...theoretically...I could do return rollers (tho they'd never be seen) like a Pz. III or IV....?

Thoughts? 1/6th road wheels would cost me about $100 for a Tiger's worth. $600 for this build in WHEELS alone? I think not.

Hopefully the text and this make sense to you:



Mike

p.s For a 1/72nd, this might work fine...but, heh, been done before.
corsair924
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Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 03:58 PM UTC
might be time to look into home casting of your own parts

I suppose either way is acceptable.
But personally I'd be looking at few larger not a centipede
TacFireGuru
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Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 04:29 PM UTC

Quoted Text

But personally I'd be looking at few larger not a centipede



That's a very good point. Dunno, wallet says seek further options.

Mike
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Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 05:45 PM UTC
Mike you are whetting my appetite to tackle this again in 1/35th scale, I stopped as I could not figure out how I would be able to afford the tracks. The wheels I was going to scratch a wheel to suit my needs and then duplicate it in resin or plaster, as I can no longer work with resin they would have to be plaster and bulky with the rubber portion being an internal feature of the wheel. I looked at it from that aspect due to the loading that would be put on each wheel and how strong it one would need to be. The drive aspect of the tracks was going to be via a series of drive cogs where the return rollers would normally be but they would be above and below the track surface, so the track would snake over the first and under the second and so on. The benefit of that approach is that the vehicle is not trying to apply all of its drive at one point and reduces the strain on the track/s itself. As I said that meant unique tracks were needed and killed the idea for me as I have no idea how to design a track link and I dread to think what it would cost to have them made for me.
Bavarian
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Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 07:14 PM UTC
Hi Mike,

just checked the Fritz Hahn book (but the 1992 Edition) against Wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-1000_Ratte
The book states a length of 36,0 meters and has a top view besides the front view that you already used. Additional measurements: height 11,0 meters, tracks were 3,6 meters wide per side (all three together). For power 8 E-boat engines were planned.

Later in the design process eight 2cm were planned to be installed. As the design was done in 43 with the Kugel already on the way (because of the bad experience with Moebelwagen, etc.) I would assume that all would be Kugel. And as such also the anti-infantry weapon for mid-range.

The book states that in a later stage the mounting of a Dora was planned with a weight of 1.500 metric tons. This version should have gotten two turrets with 15 cm-guns.
Apperently there were two designs (an early and a late).

Bavarian
barkingdigger
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 12:47 AM UTC
Hi Mike,

Can I play? It's a neat "what if?" idea ("What if the Reich actually had enough resources..." being the real fantasy component!) and I applaud your courage. My own thoughts on the matter are that fewer bigger wheels are better than more little ones - if only to reduce the number of bearings needing maintenance. And I doubt they'd be interleaved - the complexity of digging in to remove an inboard wheel just ain't funny. In fact, I doubt it would have got to trials stage with three tracks per side. More likely, they'd admit a little common sense and design a single wide track per side, or even two that could be dismounted (like the US T28) for access. If they did keep the three runs there would be a nightmare if the middle run broke! (Can't drive out the track pins with the other tracks in the way...) I'd look towards the NASA crawler at Cape Canaveral for inspiration.

And whatever wheels they used probably would have been all steel - the damping effects of rubber on a beast this big wouldn't justify the use of so much irreplaceable rubber.

Still, it's a what-if, so going with the JP wheels is ok. I'd space them wider, so there's clear daylight between them. That way it would be possible to jack up and pull a single wheel without removing the ones either side. (And they would be doing so very frequently, to replace overstressed wheel bearings...) Interleaved wheels were meant to provide the maximum number of load-bearing wheels in the shortest length, but wide spacing is ok here - the weight is spread over three times as many of them per side as a normal tank! Given the close track spacing, I assume each crank arm held all three wheelsets on a long axle, instead of having separate arms for each wheel of each track. That'd require massive tree-trunk torsion bars! I'm beginning to see why Speer canned the project...

By the way, anyone know what the MPG would be? I'm guessing it'd be a nasty shock at the pump!
Paulinsibculo
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 01:32 AM UTC
Thanks for sharing this, Mike!
For sure, the LARGEST what-if project on this forum.

Remains only a few questions, some of them already mentioned at the beginning:
1. was it mechanically a feasable project? I doubt if Germany was able to maintain this in the field or even getting it there. No railway transport due to its size, an enormous logistic system would be required to keep it running etc.
2. And if it was, where on earth they would going to use it? Europe, certainly, offers no battle field for this kind of equipment due to the limits in both battle ground type and urbanization. And in eastern Europe, read: Russia, this monster would have been killed by aircraft within a few strikes.
Does somebody know where we might find out more about the strategical idea behind it?
I just imagine that the show up on a battle field would only have moral effects for a few hours..................(If one was able to get it there unnoticed)
So, dear fellow modelers: who comments?
Bavarian
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 01:45 AM UTC
Paul,

until close to the end of the war the German high command hoped to find a wonder weapon of any sort. The crazier the proposal the better for the designer...
I once read a plausible logic behind it (don't remember the book): if you design regular things your project might fall behind some other idea because of standardization. If it looks gigantic AND promising you have a follow up project to Detail your idea...

Such a project does not make much sense end of '42 with a lack of total air supperiority. But along that thought a project like "Maus" was already questionable.

Bavarian

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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 04:01 AM UTC
Hey all, thanks for visiting and for the input.

@Darren: Over-thinking it I see. LOL! Kind of like the RammTiger. I’m all for “will it really work?” but my desire to build this in this scale will require that I forgo some of the reality for what my wallet will allow. The concept of a cogged drive system makes good sense but very complicated. I have to look at this as just a tank; albeit a really, really BIG one!

@Bavarian: Shoot…an additional meter in length? The 1/25th Panther tracks are just over a meter in width in 1/35th scale, so I think those will work. I really love Flak 38’s, but a bit of reality here would be the Kugels…of which I hope to have four soon. I also found some Kugelblendes for the front and possibly the sides. That’s still in the air. Received your message and responded. Thank you.

@Tom: Play? Certainly! Here’s where reality really wants to hit the wallet. I’ve looked at 1/16th kits; specifically the manufacturers and the likelihood of a kit still being in production. The Panda Hobby Pz. 38(T) may be an option as would the Trumpeter KT. Another possible might be Tamiya’s Gepard as I’m seeing parts on eBay. Heck, I could go with a combination. Your thoughts on the interleaved road wheels makes sense (it’ll still look like a Centipede as corsair924 mentioned) and may be the least costly. I’ll send feelers out to Panda and Trumpy and see what happens. Academy has already indicated I can’t buy spare sprues. MPG? The old M-88’s were 8 gallons to the mile IIRC…one could only imagine.

@Paul: Mechanically feasible? I think it could be. Had the war gone differently, it’s possible. Russia would be the most likely theater for this and again, had it gone differently, the Germans would have had air superiority. I think this would have been a siege engine more than anything else; the two 280’s pounding cities and the rest of the armaments protecting it from pesky T-34’s.

More to follow.

Mike
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 07:28 AM UTC
Hi Mike,

Hmmm. If you are ok with DIY resin casting, you could keep the costs down to a reasonable level. I'd go for say 14 sets of paired wheels (the wide set from the JP?) per track, but even so that's 42 pairs per side! Alumilite do decent RTV rubber for the moulds, although I find their resin sets a bit quick and is a tad expensive in bulk. Of course, if you know a friend with a lathe and a LOT of time on their hands...

I wouldn't rationalise it too much - otherwise you'd start wondering how they planned to get it out of the factory (let alone across the German border) and give it up as totally impractical. Maybe this was "disaster planning" Nazi-style, making a monster tank to await the inevitable coming of the Russians in '45? That'd certainly save on fuel!

I think this is going to be the coolest build on the Web!
TacFireGuru
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 08:02 AM UTC
Hey Tom! I've got a lathe...Could cut one out like I do on bowls...Tichy Train Rivets for some of the detail, cut out of plastic stock and turned. That way I could do Steel Wheels...mmmm...dunno...more thought needed.

Mike
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 09:43 AM UTC
Hi,

just my 2 cents, and I know it's not mentioned in the documentation available: In my opinion, Kugelblitz-turrets will look tiny (if not ridiculous) on such a huge vehicle. Maybe you should consider "Coelian" turrets, which would also have been available at some point in 45, and have give the FLAK some serious punch...
TacFireGuru
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 02:17 PM UTC
Nicolas,

The Kugel's are 30mm. Tear some stuff up! Coelian's are overkill for AA and ground attack I think. AA because of rate of fire and ground; well...like taking an AK-47/M-16 against a Thompson. Mind you, only an opinion.

Mike
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 02:49 PM UTC

Hmm . . perhaps you could use this as a prototype:

http://www.forgedinbattle.com/product_info.php?products_id=209

I think the machine you describe with the Gustav gun was called the "Monster"
Its an even more outlandish, more fictional and less documented than the Ratte.
A simple search of Google images will show several drawings and commercially available models in smaller scales.
TacFireGuru
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 03:12 PM UTC
Ah, the "Monster." Dora on tracks. No, no desire to build that beastie.

I'll stick with the "Ratte" in 1/35th. I've seen commercially available "Rats" in 1/144 or so. I've only seen 1/72nd in scratch. My "main" scale is 1/35th...tho huge, this will allow for a lot of attention to detail.

This'll be fun for all the participants.

Mike
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Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 08:08 PM UTC
Well, maybe you coulod mix "Kugel"s and "Coelian"... I suppose such a vehicle would be surrounded by a myriad of support vehicles, including for close range protection, so anti-ground capacity in close-range would not be the most important. Also, I'd like to see the infantry willing to attack that beast... Well, with the Soviets you never know I guess
TacFireGuru
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 04:08 PM UTC
Nicholas,

Heheheh...
Quoted Text

Well, with the Soviets you never know I guess

Somehow I can see that.

I've got 4 Kugel's coming. I have one Coelian. I think I'll reserve that for the Panther chassis.

So, I've been spending a fair amount of time online seeking viable options for running gear. 1/6th will be just too expensive to consider. 1/25th really is too small (probably perfect for a 1/72nd build). I've pretty much come to the conclusion that 1/16th is the way to go. Cost, size, availability, et al. Right now it's between the following configurations:

King Tiger sprockets, road wheels, idlers, track;

Tiger I sprockets, road wheels, idlers, track;

King Tiger sprockets, Tiger I road wheels, KT idlers, KT track.

Any way I go, as both are interleaved, I'll have to spread them out. It what it is; can't afford 1/6th in the quantity I'd need (road wheels that is).

Mike
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 04:20 PM UTC
Good to see you making progress. I would look up the prices for the Tamiya 1/16th tracks. A quick look on ebay puts the prices from 9.90 for the Heng Long tracks, to 110 for Metal tracks....
TacFireGuru
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 03:59 AM UTC
I've sourced a place in Australia for 6 sets of KT sprockets and idlers, 12 sets of KT road wheels, and can get the track if needed. Right now I'm awaiting a quote for shipping (Australia is notoriously expensive when it comes to shipping). Seems like the UK and AU are the only places to get this stuff.

Mike
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 04:02 AM UTC
Mike; I would ask in the 1/6th site or the member who posts home made 1/6th scale armour, I cannot remember his name but I am sure he could provide something for you with tracks at a more reasonable cost.
TacFireGuru
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 04:37 AM UTC
Worth a looksee Darren. On eBay anyhow, ONE set of plastic drive sprockets, from AUS, $1.70 US for the set. $20.30 US for shipping. What the heck!????

Heck, I could get an Economy round trip ticket for less that what I have a feeling the quote will be. Pick 'em up myself! LOL.

Mike
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 05:07 AM UTC
I believe the person I am thinking of makes his own wheels and buys the tracks, I just cannot remember his site name which is bad as I know I edited a build feature for him on an M48 in 1/6th scale.
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 05:19 AM UTC
For something as outlandishly humongous as this will be, you're very probably better off turning masters on your lathe and then either casting them yourself or finding a small-scale casting guy to make them up for you.

Same with the tracks. If you can get one set of track that works for you, get someone to cast up as many as you need.

For something as huge as this, though, it is absolutely going to cost you money.



And as for any sense that this could ever, under any circumstances be built or fielded, no. Not possible.

You'd be stuck on the factory side of any river or mountain range you needed to cross, just for starters. You couldn't take it apart to rail transport it anywhere, so you'd be driving this monster, on its own tracks, into Russia or France. How many overhauls or track changes is that before you even get into combat?

Even at 1000t the enclosed volume was so large that the actual armour thickness on the hull could never be so great that it would be immune to armour piercing bombs and if the Dauntlesses of the US Navy could sink the Yamato,they could, and would, blow this thing to pieces. Drop 12-18 Tallboys or even "Cookies" on it from waaaay above the AAA range and even if you don't hit it, the ground wil be so torn up that it would never move again.

Add to it the logistical tail of how many people were needed to protect and support it, how wide roads and passes would have to be to allow it through and how firm the ground would have to be for it not to belly in every time you moved it and it becomes clear that it simply would never be a usable weapons system.

And what was the purpose for this thing? To bring 280mm naval guns to bear on an artillery target? In that case use teh significantly more useful railways guns that already existed. If you are firing indirect from 20 km away, you don't need any armour. If you need _thick_ armour, then you are too close to need or use a 280mm round. For sure, no-one will be firing 280mm rounds back, so it's not like naval warfare.

It has always surprised me that people who were supposedly engineers could ever actually propose such nonsense with anything approaching a straight face.

They probably only let the "Business Development" guys talk to Hitler, they can alway tell the most ridiculous lies with straight faces...

Paul