Author Topic: FV431 Excalibur  (Read 19042 times)

Offline Claymore

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FV431 Excalibur
« on: November 17, 2023, 11:42:00 PM »
As an entry into this GB, I am hoping to cobble together something a little different and is a direct response to a challenge laid down by our very own Admin Ninja and goaded on by Buzzbomb.

As the name suggests, this is going to be a variant of the classic FV430 series of vehicles, but the entire project almost failed at the start line when I discovered to my horror that the current availability of Tacom's FV432 model is rarer than Unicorn poop.  Fortunately, after several unsuccessful searches of the interwebby, I finally discovered a small retailer in the darkest depths of Englandshire (just outside Blackpool) who, so it would appear, specialises in Unicorn poop!! So, 4 days later, I am the proud owner of ...



So far so good.  In real life the FV431 was an unsuccessful cargo carrier (flatbed) version of the more common FV432 APC.  However, my FV431 will, all going well, be an air defence variant of the series which will mount 4 x Red Top (Excalibur) missiles - more details to follow in due course.

My next pre-build challenge was to see how difficult it would be to build the Red Top missiles - although, to be fair, having previously scratch built a couple of Bloodhounds, said missiles would probably have been relatively straight forward.  However, before I had given it a second thought, I stumbled upon a free set of downloadable files to 3D print guess what? - yup, a Red Top missile!!  Not being one to let my complete lack of a 3D printer and/or any associated skills get in the way of a good thing, I Facebooked a local grapevine page and asked if anyone could help out.  My faith in humanity has been well and truly restored and, for the price of a bottle of wine, I now have 4 x Red Top missiles in 1/35 scale - bargin!!  :))


(Proof copy left and centre - final on right - not the greatest quality print available but for something that fell into my lap, they will do!  :smiley:)

The Tacom model is going to need some major surgery including stretching by a 6th road wheel.  Easier if I had a second kit but that look on Mrs Claymore's face said it all... C:-) :o 

Me thinks the trusty razor saw, plastic card and even some casting will be required - joy!!!  ;)
Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2023, 12:23:38 AM »
Off to a good start on this project.  A definite plus in finding someone to assist in the 3D print effort and the end results look presentable once a good coat of paint has been applied to hide imperfections imparted by the printing process. 

The scarcity of the FV432 series kits is a damned shame.  I know Emil the Enabler at Skyway Models has at least one sitting on the shelf here in Renton, Washington as I saw it myself the last time I was at his shop. 

As far as the concept goes, I would consider it to be valid considering all of the other proposals that have been made for the M728 Chaparral in years past that included AGM-114 Hellfire among other things so a Redtop/Excalibur should not be out of place.   
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Claymore

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2023, 12:46:54 AM »
 :smiley:
Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2023, 01:48:57 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Claymore

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2023, 02:00:48 AM »
 ;D
Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2023, 03:37:31 PM »
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Frank3k

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2023, 12:43:06 AM »
This is going to be a great project!  The FV432 seems to be available (and cheap) in the US.

The missiles are probably in PLA and about all you can do is to go several rounds of PSR with primer. If they're in ABS, a light swipe with Acetone will help melt away some of the print lines, but PSR will still be needed.

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2023, 02:49:40 AM »
This does sound neat-the Chaparral has been a favorite for ages, and the concept is "so why didn't they try this?

Offline Claymore

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2023, 07:59:09 PM »
Thanks for the tips and encouragement! :smiley:
Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline Claymore

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2023, 12:28:35 AM »
Great tip re the Acetone (guess the missiles are indeed printed in ABS)!  :smiley:

I’ll be needing some extra running gear (road wheels, suspension arms, track, etc) for my extended hull and have decided to try casting them.  Simple enough but sadly my supply of mould making rubber is slightly out of date - 8 years out of date to be precise! Still waiting for it to set…  :icon_meditation:
Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2023, 01:49:03 AM »
It is interesting to consider how this would compare with the MIM-72 Chaparral which was based upon the AIM-9D:

MIM-72 Chaparral   AIM-9D   Red Top
Length2.87 m   2.87 m   3.32 m
Diameter127 mm   127 mm   230 mm
Weight86 kg   88 kg   154 kg
Warhead11kg   11 kg   31 kg
SpeedMach 1.5   Mach 2.5+   Mach 3.2
Range5 km   18 km   12 km

Assuming that ground launching would reduce range and speed on the Red Top similarly to the AIM-9D to MIM-72, we would probably see something roughly the same class as the MIM-72 in terms of range (maybe a tad less), though probably faster and certainly with a bigger bang.  It would however be heavier to man handle etc.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Claymore

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2023, 03:37:17 AM »
Quite so!

In order to get over the ground launch delta-v limitations, I am envisaging the Excalibur missile being a slightly redesigned Red Top II with a slightly smaller warhead, updated electronics and, therefore, more space for a larger, two-stage Linnet III motor which will have an integral boost motor - not unlike the later Rapier missile.  Trade off might be a slight reduction in max speed (Mach 2.8-3.0?) and a reduction in range (8km?) but still very capable for a SHORAD system. 

Unlike the purely optical and later IR cued Chaparral, my system will have a surveillance and target acquisition radar (inc IFF) to cue the missile’s IR seeker - in other words a ground-base version of the aircraft system, giving a 24-hour operational capability.

More on the backstory later…
« Last Edit: November 20, 2023, 05:07:32 AM by Claymore »
Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2023, 03:46:33 AM »
 :smiley:

Will you include an integral crane to assist with loading missiles?
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2023, 03:51:09 AM »
the later Rapier missile. 

Hmmm...now I am thinking of a US Army tracked Rapier as a supplement for the MIM-72.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Claymore

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  • Alt Hist AFV guy with a thing for Bradley turrets
Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2023, 04:00:05 AM »
:smiley:

Will you include an integral crane to assist with loading missiles?

Yup, there is no getting away from the fact that the missiles are big.  Consequently, I see the launcher will coming with a dedicated support vehicle (think M548 but likely a flatbed FV431) which will carry additional missiles, a crane and the rest of the detachment crew for 24 ops.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2023, 05:04:09 AM by Claymore »
Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline Claymore

  • It's all done with smoke and mirrors!
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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2023, 04:10:42 AM »
Hmmm...now I am thinking of a US Army tracked Rapier as a supplement for the MIM-72.

Remember of course that Tracked Rapier did not enter service with the British Army until 1983. 

The FV431 Excalibur will effectively fill that same requirement from 1968-1985 - a time when the UK had no such capability.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2023, 05:06:56 AM by Claymore »
Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2023, 02:16:36 PM »
Pretty sure buzzbomb did a tracked Rapier didn't he? ???


Quick search &, yep, definitely tracked & definitely Rapiers:


https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=10672.25
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Claymore

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2023, 01:03:48 AM »
Well not an entire loss with the 8 years out of date rubber.  Although looking (and feeling) more like bubblegum, the mould has produced some useable additional parts - amazing what body filler can be used for! Will produce another set of wheels from this mould and use the new rubber to cast the extra lengths of track...   :smiley:

Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2023, 06:22:43 PM »
Win! :smiley: 8)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2023, 05:57:57 AM »
Oh, this is right in my zone... looking forward to this one.

Like you finding a Takom FV432 is difficult. I saw one while I was at SMW 2023, but space considerations to get it home and still have a partner meant I left it where it was. Cowardice.. yes, but prudent decision making ;)

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2023, 07:00:51 AM »
Oh, this is right in my zone... looking forward to this one.

Like you finding a Takom FV432 is difficult. I saw one while I was at SMW 2023, but space considerations to get it home and still have a partner meant I left it where it was. Cowardice.. yes, but prudent decision making ;)
If the seller were a true "Enabler" they could have offered to ship it to you.  Then the only obstacle would be getting it past SWMBO once delivered :smiley:
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Claymore

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2023, 08:27:05 PM »
Oh, this is right in my zone... looking forward to this one.

Like you finding a Takom FV432 is difficult. I saw one while I was at SMW 2023, but space considerations to get it home and still have a partner meant I left it where it was. Cowardice.. yes, but prudent decision making ;)

 ;D ;D ;D
Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline Claymore

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2023, 12:55:34 AM »
Front hull coming along. Rear hull extended and hacked around a bit - getting there!



Pass the razor saw, there is work to be done!

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2023, 01:31:52 AM »
Looking good
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: FV431 Excalibur
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2023, 10:22:53 AM »
 :smiley: :smiley:
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."