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Everything posted by FourFox

  1. I am making some accurate reproductions of the 19 set canvas radio covers for the wooden and steel baseboard installations. I have been using the dark green canvas (rear cover flaps) from Bedford MK that I have used as a ground sheet for some years now, which have proved an ideal match for the 1950s original that I am copying. I have now run out and need some more slightly worn canvas in dark green and also in olive drab (or near) colour for the wartime ones. Can anyone help? It takes about 2 square metres for each cover. Any old damaged tent covers will be perfect as new canvas of this weight is difficult to find, expensive and not the right image for 80 year old radios, even in good restored condition. I have owned quite a number of 19 sets for many years and have decided it is time to begin assembling complete outfits for display. I have found a local source of second-hand oak floorboards which has proven to be excellent in reproducing the wooden base-boards. The steel fittings are not much of a problem for me as those that have seen my workshop or my other steel reproduction projects will understand! One other thing that is proving difficult to reproduce for the base boards is the soft rubber angle mounts for the 19 set and the shorter ones for the power pack. Has anyone seen real or reproduction ones...or do I have make a mould and cast silicone rubber ones? Regards Jon
  2. Hi Diesel1 Yes. Chris Goulding and I have a stand at Stoneleigh. We are a couple of retired engineers who share a common interest in military vehicle restoration, especially the manufacture and development of realistic looking and feeling legal GPMG. 30cal and 50cal replicas. We have stand 123, which is a corner plot, straight ahead from the main entrance.
  3. Oh...I also just found a box of fire extinguisher brackets (the narrow type). Second-hand take offs but many in good condition. Any use?
  4. Try Stoneleigh on the 3rd February. There will be 30 cal, 50 cal and GPMG available. I have a surplus co-ax GPMG that will be perfect for Sabre or Fox that will be there. Have you got a radio set-up for your Sabre? I have a complete installation that would suit Fox or Sabre. It has correct radio tray with 4 rail mounts and 4 x anti-vibration rubbers, 2 x Clansman VRC 353s in working order, 2 x TUAMs + ARFATs and a pair of very rare genuine Racal TUAM+ARFAT handed mounting brackets for Fox turret, lots of connecting cables, 2 x NOS Racal aerial mounts, 3 section aerials, commander's chest piece and NOS 12 way flex , some hull boxes and good headsets with pressels. If you are interested I can bring them to Stoneleigh. Has your Sabre got the 2 rear 7.62 ammunition bins that fit either side of the radio installation? I have a spare pair of good second-hand ones I no longer need. Here is a photo of a QCB M2 HB 50cal and tripod I made last week. It has full cocking breech and cartridge feeding mechanism for stripping and demonstration purposes. (Tripod is replica of UK special forces aluminium lightweight). Also a photo of my workshop last week where you can see that 50cal on trial assembly before stripping and phosphating. If you look carefully you can also make out an L7A2 GPMG, an A6 1919 Browning and several A4 Brownings.
  5. Here is a photo of the AFV group fitting my barrel into Saladin number 2 at W&P Beltring in July 2009. The breech ring was fitted by manual effort later. We didn't have a breech support attachment but it's not a big lift for 2 people.
  6. Hi Steve, Progress PM sent. Jon
  7. Hi Donegalpatrol, Here are a couple of pics just sent by Andy of the L37A2 convertible I made for Scimitar. L43 is similar but has a barrel bearing. Electric solenoid for Scorpion is missing as Scimitar is different. Jon
  8. Welcome 1943ht. My ideal vehicle. I have wanted one of these ever since I saw one being used to push scrap in a yard near Skegness in the 1960s.. How great to see a fantastic restoration of an M16 in its original paintwork. I have had the privilege of driving Andrew Baker's M16 a number of times around the arena at 'Tanks Trucks and Firepower' and have always wanted the opportunity to make some proper realistic replicas to complete this fantastic vehicle. Sadly it is now being sold/exchanged to a new owner. However, I have managed to acquire a set of 4 electric solenoids for the M2s and would love to equip a Maxon quad. mount with good replicas, preferably gas fired ones. That would be quite a show stopper! I have discussed fairly recently with Patrick at Kahki Imports the possibility of exporting replica GPMGs to the USA. Apparently they are very sensitive about certain components of machine guns (replica or not) being imported. Namely the engraved side plate of the receiver. This is more of a problem for me as my replicas are not easily distinguished from the real thing by those officials not familiar with these weapons. One solution we have discussed is to make the whole thing as a 'metal' construction kit for assembly by customers or agent in the US. We have not yet resolved this matter as it requires some delicate feelers with your authorities. We are all anxious to comply with the relevant laws and do not wish to have valuable work confiscated....or worse! Over to you! Jon
  9. I have just taken 3 more photos of bits from my stores to illustrate some of the differences in s-h parts available for special variants. Picture 1 shows an early (round boss) type top cover with some slight wear rubbing. Many of these have almost no black anodising remaining. Others have 'squad markings' or restricted function colours. Like the price tag from some years ago now. Wish I could find them at that price nowadays. The pistol grip frame and trigger guard are similar, as are most of the plastic grips. The top carry handle is current British army type and comes in aluminium frame (which easily breaks) and cast steel frame (which is much stronger). The lower handle is FN type and has different latch mechanism and plastic handle. Picture 2 shows a 'Norwegian' type bipod. Notice the ice spikes and the lack of angle adjustment. Now I come to think about it, if you widen the angle it would no longer grip a flat bit of ice or packed snow! The middle one also has no height adjuster and may have been early British or Israeli issue as the are quite a few of them about. The bottom one is current army issue and shows much use. There are at least 5 manufacturers judging by the different rivet patterns and the differing locking bar arrangements. The 3rd picture shows an early wooden stock from the 1960s. It has oval butt plate and screwed on swivel. The other wooden one is similar to the current plastic shape and has a M240B type butt plate. I suspect these type are made up from bits and have no idea if they were used. Again the 3rd stock has a M240B type butt plate on a plastic 2 piece moulding. The but plate is almost certainly a later addition. This stock has the earlier aluminium buffer, which has a tendency to break the locating flanges when roughly treated, thus rendering the weapon useless. The last stock is the current army model with steel buffer housing . Much stronger but heavier. Almost all of the parts used in these variants are interchangeable with the other types. I have a prototype folding stock with some bits missing. I hope to complete it in time to display it at the W&P show. It was to be used with a shortened barrel and could be used in close combat, fired from the hip.....at 650 rounds a minute, that's over 3 tins of ammo! Strong bloke...although I think it was to be used by the Israeli army...so it might not have been a bloke after all. It was probable more likely to be used by troops in armoured vehicles were a 1m long weapon gets in the way a lot. If there is any interest I can post more parts detail. Please comment so that we can all get the details correct. Jon
  10. I agree. There doesn't seem much point in making a replica if you can tell it from the real thing. I found a picture of my 50 Cal. gunboat prototype for 'Dunkirk' and one of a finished 50 Cal. that was used on the boat in an anti-aircraft role for the Sandwich 40's weekend. There was a 20mm Poulsen, three Lewis Guns and my 50 Cal. all making a lot of noise...great. The other two 50 Cals. shown on the boat were also made be me. The mount was made by a local blacksmith. The third picture is an 'empty shell' 50 Cal. and mount made to complete the weaponry on a mates Alvis prototype seen at Tanks Trucks and Firepower last year. Jon
  11. Hi Yeoman. I have at least 4 off 1155 receivers and 2 x 1154 transmitters in my stores. Also I believe there is a well made more modern mains power unit. All of which are for sale as I am now downsizing my collection. Note that 1155 (and some 1154) sets were used in many ground, air and sea roles during WW2. The real aircraft ones are worth more money. Look for the aluminium casing as well as the A M plate on the front. PS I also counted at least 20 off 19 sets, all with power packs, dog bone and ATU and piles of accessories. Plus 4 or 5 Larkspur backpack sets, all different (valve sets of course). Jon
  12. Hi Steve. The GPMG on D&B website is one of the best I have made. Even the transport box is a replica of the correct British army issue. The cost represents the work involved in sourcing, purchasing and manufacturing all the parts needed together with the many hours of assembly, fitting and finishing the replica to a realistic finish, and even D&B have to make a profit. You should always see and handle goods of this price range as photos and descriptions do not always give the full story. A good test is to see if it fits in the vehicle mount you use. I know my ones fit as they are assembled on a fixed mount with the correct mounting pins and the first rivet holes drilled in situ....so it will fit. I suspect that the price of these replicas will not depreciate as they will only be made in small numbers and even my stock of parts is limited to what is available on the rapidly diminishing market with subsequent increase in prices. I believe that some time ago a real GPMG from the Manroy factory was priced in the region of £12,000 but that is another level of manufacturing! Each replica is individually made (usually to a given specification) and can be built to many different variants. The side plate is engraved on my CNC mill and I can write whatever numbers and wording required. There is a vast array of many of the items involved in the construction and the weapon can be configured to replicate a specific model and even an cherished serial number. I have recently done an L37 and L8 for tanker use with interchangeable barrels, sustained fire butts, tanker top covers and electric, manual and pistol grip triggers. I have 2 versions of wooden stocks, second-hand (a bit bashed about) narrow neck ones (early British and FN) and also new wooden versions in the same shape as the later plastic ones. There are 2 slight variants of the plastic one (presumably from different subcontractors) and the sustained fire butt. Then there are both new and used on most variants, aluminium and steel main buffers (ally is good for lightness but steel is better for durability) and 3 different butt plates (early oval, British army type and m240B type). As all these parts are interchangeable and can be assembled to requirements. There are variants of barrel, feed tray, sling swivels, rear sight viewer, front sight blade, gas block, gas regulator, carry handle, top cover, bullet feed mechanism, ejection trapdoor, barrel latch, top cover bolt, pistol grip assembly pin, cocking handle, bipod, flashider, bipod latch, gas piston tube, and many others. So the list of variants is endless...and don't forget the finishing touches. You can have new condition, slightly used, battle scarred, phosphated, original Suncorite baked finish, camouflaged and even a Herefordshire SAS green all over. Accessories include sustained fire tripod, vehicle mounts, slings, various transport boxes, ammo boxes, Picatini mounts, 50 round clip-on magazine, practice rounds, de-act rounds, and many more. I think you should consider if the one at D&B is the right spec for you and buy it if you can afford it. Its still available now, I think. You could PM me with your requirements or come and visit my workshop in Kent. You may end up with more than you bargained for as I also do 30 an 50cal to the same standard. 3 of my 50cals were recently used in 'Dunkirk' film. Jon
  13. The GPMG replica offered by D&B has a very complicated specification in order to comply with the current requirements of various British and EEC laws and sensible requirements. The de-act law changed early last year and has the effect of reducing newly de-activated machine weapons to historical ornaments with virtually no moving parts. It also made it uneconomic to re-certify older de-act machine guns so that they may be legally sold or transferred between collectors and re-enactors. The last GPMG de-activated to the previous specification that I saw sold in excess of £4000 at a well known military fair in February last year (before the show even opened). I have not seen a new spec. GPMG on the market yet, but I am assured there have been one or two that comply with the current legislation. I suspect that the price remains high due to the scarcity of GPMG parts and the very good strategy of destroying all ex-service weapons to keep them out of the wrong hands. This left a great hole in the market for many new and existing collectors, re-enactors and film makers who wish to acquire realistic weapons that would stand up to close scrutiny. There was (and probably still is) further legislation planned to extend the firearms and shotgun laws to bring them into line with other EEC countries. This would also probably include replicas as well. I have taken the view that this is likely to be some time in the future as the government has quite enough on it's plate without going out of it's way to antagonise several hundred-thousand voters at the moment with new laws that come from an organisation we are committed to leaving. I have been purchasing legally available new and used parts of GPMG, 30 cal and 50 cal weapons for the past 15 years from military fairs and dealers and used them to fabricate satisfactory replicas to adorn my military vehicle restorations. A few have been passed on to other restorer friends but most have been retained for my own use. I have noticed that most parts are now very hard to come by and those parts available are becoming prohibitably expensive. It is illegal to purchase any part of a real weapon that contravenes section 5 of the firearms legislation. This is a somewhat complicated area, but in simple terms, if it is pressure bearing (especially the barrel), if it is part or all of a real receiver, breech block (or bolt) and including for some obscure parts...then it is a very serious offence to buy or sell such items. It is however quite legal to purchase other parts and accessories that are not included in the prohibited list but be assured that there is little room for error in interpreting the law and the consequences of a wrong or foolish purchase will certainly alter your lifestyle for a number of years. I now manufacture many of the parts required to complete a whole replica in my workshop. This is a slow time consuming task as there are almost 600 individual parts in a GPMG (honest). Even the rivets have to be individually made (they are modified so that a receiver cannot be converted to withstand the load of live firing). The main components are all very slightly different in size and tolerance so that parts of my replicas will not fit real weapons and vice-versa. Any internal parts are only there to facilitate coking and dry firing and will not transport bullets. Barrels are made from solid bar and are drilled from each end with 8mm drill. The joint invariably does not meet true so that it cannot be used to effectively launch a projectile. I do need the through hole however for those who need a gas banging conversion. Very realistic for film use. Final weapons finish is as near to the original as possible. I have my own phosphating plant and use original plating and paint finishes where possible. Many of the accessories I use are new real parts from the original suppliers. I have quantities of scarce plastic parts purchased when they have become available. I have had to wait years to obtain some parts. I take the view that there is no point in spending a fortune on a vehicle restoration getting every detail correct to period and specification only to ruin the whole effect with poor quality weapons. I know they are expensive but they take a lot of cash to buy the thousands of bits and many hours work. This project has taken many years to perfect, with thousands of hours of drawings (several hundred) and hand made prototype parts. The results were shown to the public for the first tine at W&P last year and we had a great reception....including fooling many people who should know better into thinking they are real weapons. The GPMG was stripped and closely inspected by the authorities who were inspecting many stalls at W&P looking for illegal and stolen weapons and components. The gave us the thumbs up with a worthwhile comment...great. PS The Manroy factory in Medway closed over a year ago. Manufacturing of the GPMG was transferred back to FN in Belgium (the patent holder). The site is now a housing estate. Many of the components were sold to legitimate dealers upon the closure of the factory and are now becoming increasingly scarce (and expensive). VCR act applies to all replicas. You know what to do to comply. Jon
  14. Hi Saleh Nice Humber! I have recently finished a year long project restoring my 1933 Humber Snipe 80 Sports Saloon. It's not much related to your model but I may be able to offer some Humber tips. Firstly...the Post Vintage Humber Car Club (PVHCC) has been most useful in assisting with spare parts and advice for this (also) very rare model. They were also successful in winning a battle with the DVLA to let me retain the original registration number. It has been quite a change for me restoring a civilian vehicle after more than 10 years full time restoring British armour. My wife dictated 'anything you like so long as it's not green!' The Snipe 80 has some military connection as it was used during WW2 as a towing car for the local garage, and into the 50s on trade plates. It had not been taxed since the war, and certainly never had an MOT. Most of the chassis for this model were converted to civilian ambulances and were used throughout Britain, especially in Coventry. Here it is now. And a year ago! It will now be used for shows and local weddings. Incidentally I have recently visited the Coventry Transport Museum, which has an extensive collection, and is free. The Imperial War Museum in London has one of Monty's convertible Humbers in their new refurbished WW2 hall. I presume this is the one from Duxford.
  15. Highly reccomended. Here is my daughter having just passed her H test thanks to Terry. A complete novice, she had never driven or even been in the driving seat of a Scorpion. After 3 hours instruction from Terry (no input was allowed from me!) the Examiner arrived on schedule and the rigorous test was completed in about 1/2 hour. Needless to say she passed with flying colours. By the way, the examiner was quite miffed that I had taken a picture including him as it is apparently not allowed (something to do with anonymity in case of disputed failure I gather). He relented upon seeing the photo with fortuotous rainbow...the weather that day in February was foul. Her memorable Quote was 'fantastic', best day ever, just like a hundred birthdays!
  16. It's probably just a small quantity of oil gone into the engine via the carb and inlet manifold and will not have done any serious harm. Try cleaning the plugs. This may be necessary more than once as all the oil in the conbustion chambers will have to be burned off. A good long run at full working temperature is best. Incidently it can be very harmful to some engines (especially diesels) to overfill with oil. This can cause frothing of the oil when the rotating parts of the engine thrash around in contact with the high sump oil level. The crankshaft breather then can transfer a great quantity of oil froth (and sometimes just liquid oil) into the inlet manifold and hence into the combustion chambers. On 2 occasions I have had to sort out diesel engines that have 'run away' by consuming their own lubricating oil in this way. Jon
  17. Thanks Chris, I just had the barrel in the wrong way round and the strap is to hold the barrel handle from flopping about! Problem solved! Jon
  18. I have just recieved my GPMG transport box (after the third time of bidding for it on EBay). It is more like a piece of furniture than a packing crate and must have cost quite a bit to make. My question is this: What goes in the green webbing strap shown between the flash hider and the gas regulator? And were there any other items included with the weapon, such as cleaing kit or operating manuals etc. Any one else out there got one of these boxes? I am assuming every GPMG supplied was not delivered in such a grand packaging! Jon
  19. I believe that the B81 uses the same block casting as the B80 but has a bigger bore. To achieve this they have had to 'siamese' bore, making each pair of cylinders close together. Apparently this makes the cooling of the engine critical and they will often fail if the cooling system is not up to the job. Anyone who has driven a Saladin for an extended period will confirm that the engine bay cooling is not only poor, but dangerous! The exhaust manifold heat shielding is not good enough to prevent the red-hot mainfolds from heating the off- side fuel tank to an alarming temperature. It is also quite usual for any stowed iems on the rear mudguard to overheat and smoulder! A simple soution is to bypass the tank on that side (there are 2 others) and perhaps fill it with water instead. When I received one of my Saladins for restoration I noticed that the rear pinions had been removed from the final drive epicyclics. This was apparently to enable suspended towing, without the rest of the wheels thrashing about. I was told that it was reasonably common to leave these pinions in the toolbox whilst the Saladin was not required for arduous off-roading. It considerably reduced the 'wind up' of the transmission common to these 6 wheeled vehicles. The road-going performance was much better! It only takes a few minutes to 'pop' them back in. Jon
  20. So here she is...finished off with that nice new front bumper! And it's off to the show we go! And we might as well do it in some style! See the 'For Sale' forum. Signing off on this one. Jon
  21. The insides are now almost finished! There are still a few little storage boxes to paint in aluminium but the majority have now been re-fitted. As you can see, there is not much spare space when all the equipment is in place! She is now starting, running, steering and stopping as it should. I have had to re-adjust the gear linkage and bands so that all the gears are easy to change. So now it's today to fit the new front bumper and then it's 'off to the show'. Jon
  22. At last I'm nearly finished! The recent good painting weather has encouraged me to 'get on with' the outside painting. All the wheel stations and the wheels have now been painted and re-assembled. Final coat on the tops of the mudguards will not be done until I have stopped clambering all over them! Now to fabricate the new front bumper and she's ready for the W&P revival. The intercom is all working but I still have to fit the radios. They have already been bench tested, so it's just a matter of getting the wiring neat. I hope to sell it at the W&P revival. Advert will follow here in the next few days. PM me if you are interested. Jon
  23. Having battled for almost 2 weeks to restore the gunners night-sight to full working condition I have come to some revealing conclusions. There are at least 4 types of power supply boxes for these sights...and there are 2 distinct types of wiring harnesses for the sight. You need to have the right type of wiring harness with each type of box...otherwise it will not work...blows all the fuses...and kills the power supply. Unfortunately they are all very similar and all the plugs fit! A good tip is to fit the power supply to the hull before installing the sight as it is almost impossible to get all the fixing bolts into the turret wall with the sight in situ. Having just finished the installation for the 3rd time...and now got it working...having totalled 2 power supplies and 1 intensifier element...a total stranger walks into my workshop, attracted by my other Fox parked outside for it's pre-season wash. He turns our to be ex REME and spent his service time working on (you guessed it) L2A1 night sights. A bit late to help me much, but quite a co-incidence! The hull floor plates have now been restored (about half of them are NOS) and fitted. The new seats are now all fitted. This took 2 days to get all the bolts in the right places. I have since just about finished the installation of the turret centre ammunition storage bin, also the intercom amplifier and crew boxes. All now working in the vehicle. (they were previously bench tested to make sure all the bits are working. Most of the boxes are NOS.) I must get round to finishing the other side bin and then it will all look almost finished! More progress pictures later this week. Jon
  24. At last things are beginning to go NATO green. The turret is now finished on the outside and work is well under-way on the interior fittings. Gunners night-sight is now working (that's a long story) and has been installed with it's restored cowl. A few of the fixed periscopes need a touch-up of paint here and there but most are new. RH side bin has been painted and fitted. The fittings for the front outside have all been re-built or restored (again mostly NOS stock) and I now await the delivery of the new bumper. (I can't bend such a big piece with my local machinery). It's the other side bin today and then paint the new wheels next week (now we have some better weather). Keep you posted. Jon
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