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Armor/AFV: What If?
For those who like to build hypothetical or alternate history versions of armor/AFVs.
Hosted by Darren Baker
IDF Panther Tank?
tankmodeler
#417
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 06:06 AM UTC
Duncan,

If you are using an L7 105mm (as you show in the photo), make sure you add a honkin' big muzzle brake. The Panther turret ring really isn't large enough to manage the recoil. Remember, for the M51 the Israelis both moved the trunions forward and used a modified French 105 that was both shortened and had the brake to reduce the recoil enough to fit into the Sherman turret ring.

Regards,

Paul
Klinker
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Tasmania, Australia
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Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 11:16 AM UTC
Good point Paul about the muzzle break, I know I'm pushing it with the 105 but I looks good and this is 'What-If' .
I was looking for a M51 to kit bash but the M60 came up wayyyyy cheaper but a M51 105 was my prefared choice, we shall see!
mmeier
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
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Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 05:19 PM UTC
Upgrading the Panther to a Diesel can be done without enlarging the engine bay. Even more so if you go the "Tschechoslowakien" road since IIRC Skoda actually worked on a Diesel for the Panther and had a prototype that would fit. And after some more checks: The Leopard I powerplant (850HP diesel) fits the Panther engine room and would be a nice fit HP-wise. Or use the somewhat smaller 680HP plant from the french AMX-30 (Another Panther follow-up after all)
Klinker
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Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 10:16 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Upgrading the Panther to a Diesel can be done without enlarging the engine bay. Even more so if you go the "Tschechoslowakien" road since IIRC Skoda actually worked on a Diesel for the Panther and had a prototype that would fit. And after some more checks: The Leopard I powerplant (850HP diesel) fits the Panther engine room and would be a nice fit HP-wise. Or use the somewhat smaller 680HP plant from the french AMX-30 (Another Panther follow-up after all)



If I win the Lottery I'm getting me a Leopard powered Panther for sure!!! I remember at Duxford IMW (Red September = I think) years ago, Bob Fleming telling of a Chieftain with an Leopard power pack in it ! which out performed the original, but things being the way there way wasn't approved!

I tried a mocked-up M60 engine deck / back-end today and it looked shocking, soooooo after reading this I'm going back to the original set-up with a few tweaks.
I keep the center engine access lid but change either side where the radiators, oil coolers and fans etc... would go!.... and for the exhaust I thinking of using the Panther flame trap exhausts, but a horizontal 2 into 1 affair with a single flame trap running high across the back of the rear, below the rear deck line, but still out of harms way!

This engine deck option also opens the way for the JagdPanther with the 120mm gun, (as I doubt I could get lucky again and score another M60 for cheap) so all being well this Panther will get a stablemate latter on!

Graywolfgang
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Louisiana, United States
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Posted: Sunday, May 22, 2011 - 04:58 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Duncan,

If you are using an L7 105mm (as you show in the photo), make sure you add a honkin' big muzzle brake. The Panther turret ring really isn't large enough to manage the recoil. Remember, for the M51 the Israelis both moved the trunions forward and used a modified French 105 that was both shortened and had the brake to reduce the recoil enough to fit into the Sherman turret ring.

Regards,

Paul




It was’t so much the length of the recoil of the L7. The turret of the Sherman couldn’t handle the recoil pressure of the L7. The French 105 is a low pressure gun, where as the L7 is a High Velocity Gun / high pressure. When they installed the L7 the turrets cracked around the trunions on recoil. The L7 would be a much better choice for the Panther. The turret ring of a standard Panther is large enough to handle the L7.
tankmodeler
#417
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 05:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The turret ring of a standard Panther is large enough to handle the L7.



Good info. The French 105 was, indeed, a low recoil weapon. For the L7, maybe add some gussets on the sides of the Panther gun rotor to indicate some reinforcement of the trunnions.

Similarly for the engine deck. Keep the bulk of the Panther deck and make new air inlets & outlets to indicate a new engine. Same with the exhausts. New exhausts are a frequent sign of a different engine and easy to make, to boot.

A simple brake could be made from flat styrene sheet put together like a welded one in real life, much like the actual M51 brakes.

All that aside, though, putting a 120mm into that turret ring might be pushing things just that much too far. .

Paul
mmeier
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Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 06:18 AM UTC
As far as 105mm guns are discussed: What gun is the Argentinian TAM using? That thing is essentially a "Marder IFV with an attitude"
gogs007
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Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 06:30 AM UTC
i am looking forward to seeing how this gets on
tankmodeler
#417
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Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 10:33 AM UTC

Quoted Text

As far as 105mm guns are discussed: What gun is the Argentinian TAM using?


Essentially the same as pictured here, the Royal Ordnance L7.

Paul
Graywolfgang
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Louisiana, United States
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Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 05:05 PM UTC
As for as the engine and engine deck goes, I wouldn’t change much. I would leave the exhaust alone to, or maybe add some sparkaresters to them. The Israelis used the Cummings V-8 engine in the Sherman’s to replace the old radial engine in the M-4A1s and the Ford GAU-V-8 engine in the M-4A3s. The Cummings engine was just small enough to fit. Got to remember the Sherman is a lot smaller than the Panther. The engine room is a lot larger too. You could get a nice V-12 Caterpillar engine in there. That would be much better. Only a little pluming work to do.
The main problem or weakness the Panther really had was in the final drives and Transmission. If you could get your hands on a good supply of Tiger II type Tranies and final drives like what would have been used in the Panther II.
Graywolfgang
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Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 05:31 PM UTC
Hey Duncan, if you really wanted to through them a curve ball add an OT-810 APC in with your Panther. The OT-810 APC is nothing but a Czechoslovaken / Skoda works built Sd Kfz 251D.
Klinker
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Tasmania, Australia
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Posted: Saturday, June 04, 2011 - 11:53 PM UTC
Firstly thanks for all your suggestion they are greatly appreciated and welcomed, valid and useful please keep them coming....

Fred..... The OT810 is a good call I'll see how we go...? ... as I'm tempted by the '120mm JagdPanther' suggested on here! maybe for the Tamiya Campaign????? ............. but to more important matters.

I had a real drama getting the turret right (3 versions and this might get the chop) and I'm only early doors on this thing I tried a few ways but looking at the way the IDF build stuff and alter I notice some are just slapped with storage boxes etc e.g the T-55/62's Tiran's etc (pre-Achzarit-ification)??? but others receive a more refined/designed approach, so this is what I've gone for.






Still early days as the turret extension will receive a storage box/sill up to the pencil line and towards the original turret, with this being as wide as the turret at its widest point? = if that makes sense? sort of mimicking the Merkava MK1 plus a basket of sorts around the back.
The hatch behind the cupola will be cut and shut a bit and the ventilator shroud will go to make way for the M60 style rangefinder/sighting system......

Phewwwwwwwwwwww.... first build and first scratch-imication = no pressure lol!

Regards Duncan.
Klinker
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Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 12:02 AM UTC
Better view of rear of turret ....

Klinker
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Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 12:32 AM UTC
Well I think the silence spoke a thousand words! .... I knew the 'Shed' turret (we shall not speak it's name again) was all wrong! but I was on MK3 turret at that point and was getting very disheartened.
I realized I was trying to keep it toooooo like a Panther and getting precious with it! the IDF would chop and cut for function over form every time so..... I took a break and kept checking out images of the Merkava prototypes and such etc .... and now we have the MK 4....







I'm a lot happy with this version and the folks on the 'What If' ? Campaign seem to agree, there's still a bunch of stuff to do ... basket, M60 sighting, more storage etc... but I feel it's going in the right direction now!

Regards Duncan.
tankmodeler
#417
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 09:30 AM UTC
The turret looks nicely balanced. That's a large bustle, larger than normal for a 50's/60'sconversion, buit it does look good. Perhaps the radio is on the right and several ready rounds are on the left? Anything fielding the L7 can never have enough room for ammo, the rounds are quite large.

The changes to the engine deck are looking good as well.

Carry on, regardless!

Paul
barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
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Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 09:59 AM UTC
Duncan,

That's an interesting turret - by following simple logic instead of aesthetics you've evolved the Panther to look a lot like the later Leopard 2! And that's no coincidence - the Leo 2 was also designed around the L7 gun...

The big question in this "what if" is what the IDF would have done about the weak tranny/final drive. Certainly they could have considered replacing it with the tranny from an M47 (available by 1954-ish?) or possibly something Russian, but the fun question is what visible changes they would have needed to the outside of the hull. I'm thinking possibly odd fittings around the driver-hatch plate up on top, since it'd still need to be winched out through that hole for servicing.

By the way, there are big red Xs where some of your earlier photos should be. If you move or delete a pic it breaks the link to the post...

Tom
Klinker
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Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 06:00 PM UTC
Paul..... The Turret is a bit BIG I know I got a bit carried away but this is my first real scratch/build and I wanted something to really go at but .... please carrying on ready and I'll make things more real?

Tom..... Your right about the Panthers transmission being week I don't know what tanks trans would work but lets assume they did some how find one. I know that after the War the American Army carried out an evalution with a Panther and 7 Shermans ... the Panther out performed the Shermans but broke down!!!!

I don't know what happened to the pictures ??? I re-post them




The 'Shed'

As I said to Paul I have gone way-over the top with the Turret and so after its done I may build a more feasible version with a standard Turret with a less radical approach.
I know people have a soft spot for the old Panther and I'm trying to do it justice but also trying to enjoy myself at the same time.
tankmodeler
#417
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 - 07:49 AM UTC
Duncan,

Don't sweat the bustle. It looks fine. It may be a tad large, but it does have a good look to it.

Now, regarding the tranny & final drive. One option might be to add an additional plate to the lower section of the glasis and the lower front hull plate to make it look like the tranny section now comes out the front, like a Sherman. It could still be welded plate, but now it's a separate unit, like the Sherman casting, and is bolted onto the hull front towards the bottom of the main glacis plate and around the sides. After all, it just has to look reasonable for a What If, and not be exactly correct. The new section could have a couple cast lumps & bunps to indicate the new design & then you could let it go at that. You wouldn't have to cut the hulol, just add additional sheet plastic on top of what you already have and add appropriate bolts & flanges.

Add welds on the hull top to have the old tranny access plate "welded shut" and the "upgade" is complete.

Easy peasy.

Paul
Captin_Caveman_III
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Posted: Friday, July 08, 2011 - 09:35 PM UTC
As an IDF builder my self I'm going to kiip up with your build log!
barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
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Posted: Friday, July 08, 2011 - 10:58 PM UTC
Duncan,

I like Paul's idea about the tranny! If the front plates could come off then you could fit pretty much any final drive inside before sticking the plates back on, so the only "visible" change would be a bolted joint across the nose somewhere below the MG aperture (just like on a Sherman?). Then add vertical bolt strips behind the final drives on the side and across the hull bottom. I'm figuring they'd want to keep the thick Panther plates (including the interlock detail at the front) and just rework the edges to make it removable as a lump. Oh, and maybe a couple lift-rings on top of the nose to make removing it easier?

As fot the turret, I was very happy with your later larger design! Like I said, it makes sense just like a Leo 2 turret. (Form follows function, as they say.)

Keep those pics coming!

Tom
Graywolfgang
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Posted: Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 10:58 PM UTC
I wouldn’t have done much to turret. Add your box’s to the sides of the turret instead of the rear. Got to remember the rear hatch is not only for grew access but for getting read of spent shells. The final drives rear the Panthers weakest point. Thay had more problems with the final drive gears breaking. Put another hatch in the turret top so the gunner has a better way out. If you go with the French 105mm gun you will lose maybe 10 rounds.
Klinker
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Posted: Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 11:36 PM UTC
Paul..... Thanks for you input much appreciated.
Tom..... See above, thanks for the encouragement.
Captin_Caveman111.... Been a big fan of your work, your Abrams beach assault wagon is excellent, I can only hope to strive to reach your level.
Fred..... Good points again but already addressed, first off the spend cartridges would drop out of a hatch/shoot under the bustle/turret bin, plus look closely there is an extra hatch up top! also I've taken on-board what Paul & Tom have said about the final drives and will work on this area (eventually)... I've done away with the radio operator and bow machine gun for extra storage for the big 105 rounds.



Basically I've rebuilt what I cut out! could have saved myself a rake of work but I wasn't happy with my efforts (I'm my own worse critic) so it's nearly back to what Mr Panther Tank envisaged? but as MBR posted up the Panther that the German Army still operate has a Leopard diesel with the standard engine deck. Another reason for this is that I'm building for a campaign and I was slowing me up and I wanted to get on with this thing.
Progress is very slow at the moment my work is very, very hectic but bare with me, I'll get a new update in eventually.

Regards Duncan.
barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
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Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2011 - 01:12 AM UTC
It's looking real good!

(If you wanted to add any other turret stowage, you could always tack-weld some Centurion turret bins to the side! The IDF had plenty kicking around...)

Tom
recceboy
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Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2011 - 06:17 AM UTC
Like the look.

Anthony
mmeier
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Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2011 - 07:55 AM UTC
What about a french transmission? The french AMX50 borrowed quite a few ideas from the Panther and Tiger and came in at 50+ tons and used a Maybach engine of up to 1200HP. Most elements where ready in 1955 but the engine delayed production. So the french industry would have surplus capacity for transmissions. And maybe fuel injectors for upgrading the Panther engine to HL234 standards (at around 900HP)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMX_50