Recent Posts

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21
Profiles and Pixels / Re: AXU's profiles
« Last post by AXOR on Yesterday at 05:22:56 PM »
Latest works :













22
Land / Re: Aussie Racing Sedans
« Last post by ScranJ51 on Yesterday at 05:18:54 PM »
Ian "Pete" Geoghehan's classic Mustang.

pete mustang 1 by David Freeman, on Flickr

pete mustang 2 by David Freeman, on Flickr

pete mustang 3 by David Freeman, on Flickr

Might need to tidy up  side green stripes - but close to done
23
Scenarios / Re: Australian WWII Armour options
« Last post by Volkodav on Yesterday at 05:15:36 PM »
I'm a fan of the M-24 and Australia did trial them.  The only doubts I have are that the M-3 Stuart light tank also served and though used in combat was found to be generally inferior to the matilda in terms of mobility and combat effectiveness (I'm not sure but I believe concerns over the Grants performance in the types of terrain in the theatre were such that it was never deployed in combat by the RAAC). 

Multiple trials led to the adoption of the Churchill over the Sherman and Cromwell (even though there had previously been a preference for cruiser / medium tanks) suggesting that actual combat experience highlighted protection and mobility through difficult terrain over speed and mobility over open (or less challenging) terrain.


Perhaps there was a case for an infantry tank providing close support to the infantry divisions and different vehicles, cruisers/mediums for cavalry/armoured regiments/brigades, and light tanks in divisional reconnaissance regiments.
24
Profiles and Pixels / Re: ysi_maniac's drawings
« Last post by AXOR on Yesterday at 05:14:35 PM »
Bouth bubble versions are great,but the one with Griffon is....woooow !!
25
Land / Re: Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 Tanks
« Last post by Rickshaw on Yesterday at 04:54:00 PM »
Leone MBT

The Carro da Combattimento Lion was developed at a time when the serial production of the Leopard main battle tank was still underway in Italy and West Germany. The need for such a vehicle was born from the strong desire from both Italian and West Germany industry to be able to offer a tank for foreign export, specifically for the Middle-East and third-world markets.

OTO Melara had already been heavily involved in the serial production of the American designed M60A1 main battle tank (MBT) and had also worked on various upgrades to the M47 Patton. Those M47 were to remain in service in Italy until production of Leopard was completed and fully in service with the Italian army. The first information about this new project came out in 1976. The project started in 1975 as a consortium was formed from Krauss-Maffei, Blohm and Voss, Diehl, Jung-Porsche, MaK, Luther-Werke, OTO Melara, Fiat, and Lancia with the single purpose to construct a cost-effective tank for export. Namely, a cost-effective version of the Leopard.


Artwork advertising the Lion Main Battle Tank (It is a retouched image of a Leopard 1). Photo: Caiti
A Consortium is Formed

In Italy, this project was initially known as the ‘Leopardino’ (“little leopard”) and then as the ‘Leone’ (Lion). The split for manufacturing would be 50-50, with the hull, engine, transmission, and running gear made in Germany and the turret, armament, and electrical equipment by the Italians. Assembly of all of these components was to take place at the OTO-Melara plant at La Spezia with the goal of having a functional prototype by March 1977 and the goal of serial production pending orders for 1978 and beyond. It is unusual that the turret, bearing a striking similarity to the new Leopard 1A3 turret from Germany would be made in Italy just a few years after the development of it had started, in around 1973.
Protection

The hull was essentially that of the Leopard 1 but it was tropicalized, optimised for use in hot, dry, dusty conditions with improved ventilation and filtration systems. With improved cooling, the tank could operate in temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius. Like the Leopard 1, the hull was made from welded rolled homogenous steel armor plate. The distinctive angular rippled side skirts from the Leopard 1 were retained for the Lion.

The turret, like that of the Leopard 1A3, was also made from welded rolled homogenous steel armor and featured spaced armor across the front arc for additional protection. The only major difference in the turret was the traverse system. The Leopard was using the Cadillac-Gage electro-hydraulic system but the Lion was instead to use a new, cheaper, and less complicated Swiss system


Fiat Lion still in the factory, circa 1975-77. Photo: Pignato

Armament

The Lion was fitted with a 105mm rifled main gun made by OTO-Melara which would have been capable of firing NATO standardized 105mm ammunition. Based on the fact the sights of the OF 40 MK.1 were only graduated for Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS), High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT), and High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) and that the OF 40 was heavily based on the Lion it is likely that only APDS, HEAT, and HESH were to be the primary ammunition types. The number of main gun rounds carried is not known but if compared to the OF 40 Mk.1 which followed this design closely it is likely to be 19 rounds in the turret and 42 rounds in the front left of the hull next to the driver. A coaxial machine gun was fitted, likely 7.62mm caliber and a mounting point on the roof for an additional machine gun for anti-aircraft defense.

Crew

A crew of four consisting of a commander on the right-hand side of the turret and in front of him the gunner. The loader was the third member of the turret crew and was positioned on the left of the gun. The fourth crew member was the driver and sat in the front right-hand side of the hull.
Automotive

The engine and transmission were to be German although Fiat had a contract for the license construction of the German engine for the Leopard. This would be a version of the Motoren und Turbinen Union MB 838 CA M500 multifuel engine which was supercharged to produce 830hp at 2200 rpm producing 19.3 horsepower per tonne.


Fiat Lion during trials. Photo: Pignato

Conclusion

The Lion was a perfectly good MBT at the time and was effectively a license-built Leopard 1A3 made in Italy for the sole purpose of obtaining export orders for both German and Italian industries. Why the sales did not materialize is hard to gauge as the Lion does not appear to have been offered widely for sale. The only interest from an export point of view had come from a delegation from Pakistan who was looking at modernizing their own tank fleet at the time. Machinations over export controls and the price of the tank are most likely either together or combined to have killed it off. No serial production ever took place and only the single prototype was ever completed. The whereabouts of the vehicle are unknown.

The project though reappeared by 1980 as the OF 40 project, a collaboration between OTO-Melara and Fiat. The lack of major German involvement in the OF 40 (the engine for the OF 40 was still a German engine but built under license in Italy) suggests that the reason the Lion project failed was that the Germans pulled their support. With no German support, the Italians would not be able to export the Lion on their own as their Leopard manufacturing license specifically prevented them from doing so. The outcome was a delay of a couple of years for the project to be reworked with a newly designed hull with very similar features but different enough to work around the license restrictions. The OF 40 would still look very similar to both the Lion and the Leopard but this time was an Italian project.


OF 40 Mk.1 Photo: OTO Melara

Leone Main Battle Tank
Total weight    43 tons
Crew    4 (driver, gunner, commander, loaders)
Propulsion    Motoren und Turbinen Union MB 838 CA M500, 830hp, multifuel
Speed (road)    37 mph (60 km/h)
Armament    105mm rifled main gun
coaxial 7.62mm machine gun
turret roof mounted 7.62mm machine gun
26
Land / Re: Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 Tanks
« Last post by Rickshaw on Yesterday at 04:48:05 PM »
Sabiex HIFV

Experimental heavy infantry fighting vehicle/armored personnel carrier.   Developed between 2005 and 2010, as a joint venture between the UAE and Belgian firm of Sabiex. The project involved the reversing of the vehicle with the engine at the front and the former driver’s space and area under the turret repurposed for troops. Vehicle fitted with BMP-3 turret. One vehicle made.

Built using an OF40 MBT hull, which in turn was actually a Leopard I, license produced in Italy, designed for use in the tropics, the Sabiex was an interesting experiment that was not taken up.







27
Aero-space / Re: F4U Corsair
« Last post by ysi_maniac on Yesterday at 11:08:32 AM »


What if installing a Chrysler IV-2220 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_IV-2220 in a Corsair?

Do I need to stretch more the nose?

All your comments will be wellcome.

Thanks.
28
Land / Re: M24 Chaffee
« Last post by ysi_maniac on Yesterday at 11:06:02 AM »
Lovely!
Thanks for posting
29
New Model Kit News/Reviews / Re: SpotOn Designs resin models ...
« Last post by The Big Gimper on Yesterday at 08:07:44 AM »
I just received my first kits and bits from SpotOn Designs.  Thanks to Joe and Karen.

They are the RAE OR.9001 Space Fighter and the Vulcan AEW dome.

I put my Anigrand X-20 beside the OR.9001 so you can compare their sizes.

The Vulcan AEW dome is massive. Joe and Karen provided a 1/72 drawing to help with placement and painting.


OR.9001
by Big Gimper, on Flickr


OR.9001
by Big Gimper, on Flickr


Vulcan AEW
by Big Gimper, on Flickr

30
Land / Re: M24 Chaffee
« Last post by Logan Hartke on Yesterday at 05:20:25 AM »
Here's a quick little something I threw together. An M24 Chaffee with 25mm Delco turret in Australian service circa 1980s.

Cheers,

Logan
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