Author Topic: A34 Comet  (Read 11806 times)

Offline Feldmarschall Zod

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A34 Comet
« on: April 29, 2012, 07:07:24 AM »
A few days back,I visited what Jeffry Fontaine calls a McHobby Shop. Hobby Town USA. In the bargain bin was a Bronco A34 Commet going for $19.99. It is missing the D runners/sprues,two each. Those are the suspension parts.

I went and bought the thing. I am thinking about which kind of suspension to add to it. I would like to add  T34 like suspension. I was thinking of the Crusader series,or Cromwell. My concern is,will the Comet tracks fit onto a Crusader,or Cromwell sprocket. When I get home in about three weeks,I will have to test fit the Comet tracks onto the Crusader sprockets. I can always spread the Cromwell sprockets out if it is a question of width.

But the sprocket teeth of the Cromwell vs the Comet is another question. Jeffry Fontaine suggested maybe using the M41 suspension bits.
If all works out,I am thinking of a North African variant.
Every time you eat celery,an angel vomits in a gas station bathroom. Tanks rule. I know the load is late,but the voices tell me to pull over and clean the guns.

Offline dy031101

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Cruiser Tanks
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 10:05:48 AM »
Going quick-and-dirty again, but I got thinking of it after the "No M4 Sherman" scenario being mentioned in the Ideas and Inspirations thread......

I know I should factor-in hull widening à la Avenger, but I thought the lack of return rollers can emphasize a up-gunned hull better.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 07:20:30 AM by dy031101 »
Forget about his bow and arrows- why wait until that sparrow has done his deed when I can just bury him right now 'cause I'm sick and tired of hearing why he wants to have his way with the cock robin!?

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Re: A34 Comet
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 06:42:18 PM »
Interesting.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Feldmarschall Zod

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Re: Cruiser Tanks
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 05:10:53 AM »
Going quick-and-dirty again, but I got thinking of it after the "No M4 Sherman" scenario being mentioned in the Ideas and Inspirations thread......

I know I should factor-in hull widening à la Avenger, but I thought the lack of return rollers can emphasize a up-gunned hull better.

Interesting combo. 8)
Every time you eat celery,an angel vomits in a gas station bathroom. Tanks rule. I know the load is late,but the voices tell me to pull over and clean the guns.

Offline dy031101

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Re: Cruiser Tanks
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 07:21:44 AM »
Interesting.
Interesting combo. 8)

Should have added this to the subject heading: M46A2, US Army's last Christie-type tank.  ;D
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 07:23:22 AM by dy031101 »
Forget about his bow and arrows- why wait until that sparrow has done his deed when I can just bury him right now 'cause I'm sick and tired of hearing why he wants to have his way with the cock robin!?

Offline Feldmarschall Zod

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Re: Cruiser Tanks
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 07:33:02 AM »
Interesting.
Interesting combo. 8)

Should have added this to the subject heading: M46A2, US Army's last Christie-type tank.  ;D
When I get home next time,I will have to see if an M46,or M47 turret will fit onto a Comet hull. ;)
Every time you eat celery,an angel vomits in a gas station bathroom. Tanks rule. I know the load is late,but the voices tell me to pull over and clean the guns.

Offline dy031101

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Re: Cruiser Tanks
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 12:08:58 PM »
When I get home next time,I will have to see if an M46,or M47 turret will fit onto a Comet hull. ;)


Looking forward to further observation.

I am expecting a hull-lengthening and -widening similar to the Avenger to be in the order but am looking forward to your further observation.  ;)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 10:54:02 AM by dy031101 »
Forget about his bow and arrows- why wait until that sparrow has done his deed when I can just bury him right now 'cause I'm sick and tired of hearing why he wants to have his way with the cock robin!?

Offline Feldmarschall Zod

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Re: A34 Comet
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2012, 05:47:44 PM »
here are the measurements from a Comet hull,and M47 hull. They are in 1/35 metric.

Comet.
Hull is 6.5 M wide
3 M wide.
The turret race is 1.3 M in diameter.
 
The road wheels on the Comet are just under 80 CM in diameter..

The M47.
Hull is 6.4 M long
Hull is 3.4 M wide.
Turret race is 2 M in diameter.
Road wheels are 60 CM in diameter.


Here is the M47 turret on the Comet hull




The Comet hull will definatly be needed to wider and longer.
Every time you eat celery,an angel vomits in a gas station bathroom. Tanks rule. I know the load is late,but the voices tell me to pull over and clean the guns.

Offline dy031101

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Re: A34 Comet
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2012, 12:52:39 AM »
Here are pictures of the Avenger, another Cromwell-based tank destroyer armed with a 17 pdr, attached for reference purposes.

Found here.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 01:12:10 AM by dy031101 »
Forget about his bow and arrows- why wait until that sparrow has done his deed when I can just bury him right now 'cause I'm sick and tired of hearing why he wants to have his way with the cock robin!?

Re: A34 Comet
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2012, 09:47:44 AM »
I know that WW2 vintage British tanks tend to be a bit small but I'm shocked at just how HUGE the M47 turret appears on the Comet hull. Especially interesting since I've always thought the turret of the M47 looked a bit small compared to its hull. Even more interesting since that turret was originally designed for the somewhat smaller T42.

Offline AGRA

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Re: A34 Comet
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 04:58:17 PM »
In the late 1950s, early 1960s there was a significant debate about the type of tank in Australian Army service. The army was converting from a “WWIII” Middle East role to a SEATO regional security in South East Asia role and was equipped with Centurion tanks acquired for the former. The argument based on ‘perception’ rather than any operational or scientific study was that a light tank was needed to provide mobility within South East Asia. At the time the Australian Army was given an operational mission to send a significant force as part of 28 Commonwealth Infantry Brigade to Thailand and the Plain of Jars in Laos. The Australian component, originally known as Operation Ambrose, included a medium tank squadron (Centurion), armd recce sqn (Saladins from the ARA A Sqn, 4/19 PWLH) and an anti tank sqn (106mm M40s from the ARA A Sqn, 2/14 QMI).

Because of the debate that heavier tanks couldn’t be used in theatre the British and American armies offered Australia alternative tanks. The British offered their force of Comet tanks that had been used by 1 RTR in Hong Kong up until 1960. When this unit was disbanded their 69 Comets were surplus to requirements and as a 33 tonne tank it was much lighter than the 53 tonne Centurion. The Americans sent a sales team to Australia and NZ for the M41 Walker Bulldog light tank which the Kiwis eventually brought (order for 24 reduced to 10 actually brought).

Part of the debate was a Joint Intelligence Bureau report that Thailand was unsuitable for tank warfare. The Australian Director, Armoured Corps at the time, Lt. Col. Ralph Eldridge, countered the report by asking JIB to nominate specific areas of Thailand unsuitable to tanks. He then found similar terrain in Australia and deployed Centurions there to prove they could operate in this terrain (which they did). The US was sparked by the Australian trials to do their own including actually in Thailand which overturned much of the ‘perception’ that tanks couldn’t be operated. Later trials in Vietnam showed that medium tanks (M48A3) could operate in 61% of South Vietnam in the dry season and 46% in the wet. Which is pretty amazing when one considers that about a third of South Vietnam is the Mekong river delta which is impassable to any land vehicle.

So what if the Australian armoured corps was unable to resist the light tank mantra? Comets or M41s or gawd forbid the self-harming M551 Sheridan? Comets is most interesting because it is a WWII generation tank and as a light weight medium tank at least has some decent armour so it wouldn’t be a death trap in theatre. The Comet, as long as it had a canister shell and could bash through jungle, wouldn’t be too much worse than the Centurion (though its thinner armour would mean more casualties from RPG penetrations). The fifth crew would help with maintenance and the hull MG would come in handy in some situations. The driver's position would be better protected but have worse vision to the flanks. The Comet would look cool with a brace of roof mounted .30 Brownings, surrounded by some diggers in greens with SLRs and the odd M60.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 05:10:22 PM by AGRA »

Offline Weaver

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Re: A34 Comet
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 07:00:20 PM »
I've thought about an updated post WWII Comet a few times. My take:

1. Lose the bow MG and driver's direct vision hatch. Fit a slab of sloping armour in their place, roughly copying the external lines of the Centurion. Give the driver modern periscopes to compensate and use the bow MG gunner's space for extra storage.

2. Fit WWII German-style spaced armour outboard of the tracks and around the turret, in a scheme generally remeniscent of a late Pzkpw IV. This is mainly an anti-RPG screen, since shaped charges were the latest new threat to emerge in the timeframe.

3. Fit a modern commander's cupola with a remote-controlled MG.

4. Replace the 7.92mm BESA MG with a 7.62mm equivent IF that produces a logistics advantage.

5. I'm torn about replacing the engine. On the one hand, it's petrol, which is a generally bad idea, but on the other it was powerful and reliable, so maybe better the devil you know etc...? There's also the issue of total cost: tank rebuilds can end up like Trigger's broom* if you're not careful.

6. One big and not easily fixed (in the 1950s) problem with the Comet was weak belly armour, making it particularly vulnerable to mines. This would be particularly significant in a Vietnam-like COIN scenario. All I can see to do with that one is add some applique to the underside, but you're have to be careful about ground clearance. Maybe the suspension could be modified to compensate but there again, Trigger's Broom....


Incidentally Finland had Comets in war-reserve stocks until 2007!


*For the uninitiated, Trigger's Broom was from an episode of the UK sitcom Only Fools and Horses. Trigger (whose nickname is ironic: he's actually not very bright) remarks that he's had the same broom for 20 years, and it's been perfectly reliable, only needing 17 new heads and 14 new handles in all that time. It's a modern version of the Ship Of Theseus paradox, i.e. if an object has gradually had every component replaced by new ones, is it still the same old object or a new one?
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 07:14:55 PM by Weaver »
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Offline AGRA

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Re: A34 Comet
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 07:10:37 PM »
1. Lose the bow MG and driver's direct vision hatch. Fit a slab of sloping armour in their place, roughly copying the external lines of the Centurion. Give the driver modern periscopes to compensate and use the bow MG gunner's space for extra storage.

If you were to wall over the direct vision hatch you would have to provide the driver some other means of relaxed forward vision. The big problem is the driver of the Comet doesn’t have a roof hatch he can stick his head out of on an adjustable seat. It has a side hatch for access only. So the direct vision port is the only means of driver vision other than the periscopes.

5. I'm torn about replacing the engine. On the one hand, it's petrol, which is a generally bad idea, but on the other it was powerful and reliable, so maybe better the devil you know etc...? There's also the issue of total cost: tank rebuilds can end up like "Trigger's broom" (seven new heads and four new handles) if you're not careful.

A powerpack change wouldn’t hurt just like when applied to the Centurion made them much better tanks. But at least unlike the Centurion the Meteor isn’t as stressed driving a much lighter tank about.

For an Australian 1960s Comet medium tank I would imagine upgrades to be limited to replacing the Besas with .30 Brownings. Replacing the cupola with a Centurion model and maybe the fire control system with a Centurion one as well (if they can fit it in). Plus of course a 77mm canister round if one doesn’t exist already. I think they would keep the hull MG crewman as a co-driver because of the limited view of the driver.

Offline Weaver

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Re: A34 Comet
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2013, 07:29:03 PM »
1. Lose the bow MG and driver's direct vision hatch. Fit a slab of sloping armour in their place, roughly copying the external lines of the Centurion. Give the driver modern periscopes to compensate and use the bow MG gunner's space for extra storage.

If you were to wall over the direct vision hatch you would have to provide the driver some other means of relaxed forward vision. The big problem is the driver of the Comet doesn’t have a roof hatch he can stick his head out of on an adjustable seat. It has a side hatch for access only. So the direct vision port is the only means of driver vision other than the periscopes.

Fair comment - hadn't thought of that. Maybe the vertical strip of armour with the driver's port and the MG in it could be removed entirely and replaced by an armoured "wedge" with an early Panther style direct vision hatch in it..... (not convinced though...)

Or maybe you just put a cast wedge over the left 2/3 of the mantlet and live with the fact that it isn't perfect.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 07:30:58 PM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline AGRA

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Re: A34 Comet
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2013, 07:50:38 PM »
Maybe the vertical strip of armour with the driver's port and the MG in it could be removed entirely and replaced by an armoured "wedge" with an early Panther style direct vision hatch in it..... (not convinced though...)

If you did that then you could stick the periscopes through this new hull front plate and provide a conventional hatch in the roof that the driver can stick his head up through on an adjustable seat. But it’s a major rebuild of the vehicle but might be worth it if you are totally rebuilding the front hull like with a new drivers fitout for new engine and transmission and bow storage of ammo where the fifth crewman used to be. Cutting out the bow top plates might make it much easier to do all this work.