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Hope everyone is well in these trying times and its been a while since I have been on here and apologies if this is duplicate thread I did search it and could not see anything. 

Wondering what is the general view of building replica vehicles that are either totally wiped off the surface or existing only on paper now. 
Would there be the support of persons like there is the many restoration groups and collectives? What would your opinion be if you saw this vehicle at a show? Would you donate to the construction of such a vehicle? 

With many hours on my hands through all these lockdowns like all of us I would assume been mulling over all the potential projects I could get involved with, and one that has been on and off my mind for at least a few years is the creation of a replica vehicle that is seldom seen, with the sole purpose of being used and enjoyed at shows for re enactment etc. 

I am guessing just scoping out the opinions of the wider community and your thoughts. 

The limits of the vehicle could be that it would be as close as possible to the original however using modern powertrain and creation of all new parts, as not to use existing parts, the focus on purely being the end product to be used and enjoyed for the community. 

Let me know. I look forward to hearing the responses. 

Stay safe all! 

 

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Hope this is not too far of topic, but an interesting guidance article by the CAA regarding Aircraft restoration or replica, ----------------------------------------------------------

An early inspection from CAA design and airworthiness surveyors will allow us to make a decision on whether the aircraft will be an original or a replica.

There is no set minimum amount of the original aircraft required to allow the project to be considered a restoration. However, there must be something recognisable from the aircraft for it to be classed as original, normally primary structure and generally from the fuselage, even if these parts are subsequently replaced.

The aircraft's data plate will be key in establishing its original identity. Where this is no longer available evidence from historians or published material can be used and a replacement data plate made. This should include the serial number and manufacturer. We will check that a restoration has not previously been approved for the same airframe identity.

Where there is no record of the manufacturer's serial number but a military serial is known then this may be used.

In some countries a registration may be re-used on more than one airframe. This can result in an aircraft in existence where only the paperwork remains from the original and it is in fact a 'donor' aircraft. In the UK this is not accepted and genuine provenance of the actual airframe will need to be shown. However, if no other aircraft on the UK register is currently painted with the same markings then a donor aircraft does not have to be physically marked as such but it must be recorded in its paperwork.

Edited by k2lofty
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An emotive topic...   They who are without sin can only throw the first stone comes to mind!

It's the classic trade off between authenticity, and reality, Original Pattern, and Original Parts:

Original Renovated Vehicle (totally original parts)

Original Restored Vehicle (parts replaced, but restored it's original state)

Original Pattern Vehicle (original vehicle rebuilt to match a genuine vehicle)

Replica Vehicle (built to match exactly a genuine vehicle, bar some 'swap over' parts)

Look Alike Vehicle. (built from outset to only depict an original vehicle. 

Take an example of a Willy's Jeep. You can change everything, with new parts, so if you do that, is the vehicle truly original? but then if the parts are 100% exact copies, then is that really harmful?  The thing really lost is petina, and service damage. But a lot of restorations take most of this out anyway.   

How many Jeeps would be with us now if we didn't have these shiny new parts?  far fewer!,  so extensive part replacement isn't a bad thing, as long as sellers are honest about originality.  

Almost no spitfires would be flying now, unless substantial replacement was acceptable. 

And when restoring a vehicle, sometimes you have to fit used parts of the same type, but in better condition, for example fitting an engine from another vehicle that is in a running state.  For our Morris C4, we are fitting a running engine from a later (postwar) vehicle, as it saves about £4000 on the bill.  The original engine will be kept, and restored at a later date, if the 'temp' unit is wears out.

If a vehicle is so rare it's totally gone, then a replica is fine, but to what extent do you copy the original?  I think a very close copy is acceptable, but there must be a will to eventually create a 100% exact vehicle. If you don't have an original engine and drivetrain, then maybe ensure the vehicle is built in a way to eventually retrofit one. 

Another example is our Morris. It was a Radio truck, but nearly nothing remains of the Back Body. Not even information, or patterns. The whole vehicle is so extensively deteriorated, there is a huge amount of work just building a rolling chassis,  so we are building a GS version for now, but in a way where any future owner could simply swap parts for the correct items, or build to 100% original spec. 

So the day our Morris is finished, it will look amazing, but only be 30% of the original vehicle by weight?  but 100% authentic to an original WW2 vehicle, 70% to it's original build.  It will be capable of being 100% one day, with about 50% of originally fitted parts. 

Some things can be acceptably altered, like a design that was weak, or unsafe, but the alteration should still look as close as possible to an original. 

I've seen some WW2 vehicles with 8.8 metric fasteners on them, and even steel sizes vary, and can be spotted. 

But for our Morris, even though it deviates in some ways, it will still have original pattern steel, fixings, wiring, ect, ect.  

I think building a Replica, and not bothering to even try and keep to original pattern design, and fit, is a lost opportunity. It is possible to make something as accurate as it can be, with an approach to allow later alteration.  

Why is a Replica being built? is it simply as part of a bigger display, when it's inclusion, helps tell a story?  (i.e. an important historical event, or to show an activity) For example a Fibreglass Spitfire on a genuine queen Mary Trailer, to show how they were recovered. 

But building an entire WW2 tank hull with welded 12mm steel, instead of rivetted 50mm plate, is changing it's historical context from the original so far, it's no longer possible to 'back engineer' it. 

If a Replica's design, from the outset, ignores the aim to upgrade it later to an authentic pattern vehicle, it is not even worthy of the term 'Replica', and the term 'Look alike' is more accurate. 

Sometimes a Lookalike is totally fine, for instance for re-enactors, who don't want to spent £2million for a German Tank! 

But if the Replication, is going to be the centre of any long term historical collection, then to spend fortunes, building it incorrectly, is a bit of a waste. Yes, we can't afford to build it 100% correct for now, but we can build what we can, with an aim to one day, someone else improving it to a more authentic replica. 

The future for restoration is bright, and with modern tech, even the most impossible to recreate parts in 50 years, will be within reach of restorers, so why not think about the future, and build a Replica, than can easily be upgraded? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Bob Grundy said:

I and some friends made two vehicles: German A7V and a Carden Loyd MG Carrier. Nothing wrong with that at all. Just don't pass them off as real ones.....

Cannot find how to edit !

It was three vehicles, the other was a Hillman Gnat, now in the USA

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I think the Hillman Gnat replica is a good thing personally. In this case there are not know to be any survivors so a replica to show what it would have been like is good education. I recall only 3 or 4 were ever produced in the first place.

They make no instance that it is anything but a replica which is good for me, I dont agree with trying to peddle a replica as original etc.

Also noting some points, plenty of us who restore could say that very little of the original vehicle ever survives, we 'replicate' parts and that is essential if we are to preserve these machines for future generations.

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I personally don't have a problem with replicas as long as they are not portrayed as originals. I think that anyone who puts the effort into restoring anything is worthy of praise, the only exception, in my mind, are those who pay to have the work done and the then tell everyone that they restored the item themselves, why not just be honest.

 

As for not using the correct thickness of steel, sometimes there seems to be little point, unless it can be seen and the in a lot of cases it can be packed out to look correct if you are using thinner material or ground back, if it is slightly too thick. If you take my Panzer 2 for example, what would be the point of using the correct thickness steel, apart to help rigidity, it only adds weight, increases cost and adds stress to the the running gear, apart from which even if I were to use the correct thickness steel, it still isn't armoured. I could of course spend a fortune on original fittings but why bother, it is after all a replica and everything that I produce is copied or built to scale. Apart from which, the whole project was purly an engineering exercise, for my own pleasure, to see if I could produce the components at home.

 

If you have the ability, motivation and the imagination, build what you like but like what you build and when you have finished, take satisfaction in what you have achieved and don't worry about the rivet counters, most of them have neither the ability, motivation or imagination to start, let alone finish, a project.

 

Jon

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1 hour ago, johann morris said:

I personally don't have a problem with replicas as long as they are not portrayed as originals. I think that anyone who puts the effort into restoring anything is worthy of praise, the only exception, in my mind, are those who pay to have the work done and the then tell everyone that they restored the item themselves, why not just be honest.

 

As for not using the correct thickness of steel, sometimes there seems to be little point, unless it can be seen and the in a lot of cases it can be packed out to look correct if you are using thinner material or ground back, if it is slightly too thick. If you take my Panzer 2 for example, what would be the point of using the correct thickness steel, apart to help rigidity, it only adds weight, increases cost and adds stress to the the running gear, apart from which even if I were to use the correct thickness steel, it still isn't armoured. I could of course spend a fortune on original fittings but why bother, it is after all a replica and everything that I produce is copied or built to scale. Apart from which, the whole project was purly an engineering exercise, for my own pleasure, to see if I could produce the components at home.

 

If you have the ability, motivation and the imagination, build what you like but like what you build and when you have finished, take satisfaction in what you have achieved and don't worry about the rivet counters, most of them have neither the ability, motivation or imagination to start, let alone finish, a project.

 

Jon

I agree with everything you have stated.

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15 hours ago, Bob Grundy said:

I and some friends made two vehicles: German A7V and a Carden Loyd MG Carrier. Nothing wrong with that at all. Just don't pass them off as real ones.....

....and damn good they were too!

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so basically there are three types of replicas;

1. ones that try to replicate originals, built by enthusiasts

2. those built to order by professionals for film or museum

3. those built by an enthusiast, to please themselves, built in their own style, with a certain artistic licence, without having to religously  mimic another

trouble is

1. people will always pick fault with it.

2. big budget replicas are beyond the reach of most of us

3.what the hell, I like it. I built it and I'm enjoying it

 

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