The beast waiting to get trackplates and cladding.

The beast waiting to get trackplates and cladding.
foto Marco Magielse

woensdag 27 juli 2016

Due to finally having found someone to try to build-in the JCB-motor, (thanks in advance Lode) we managed to convince JCB-UK to donate us the needed surrounding equipment, because in 2014 we only received the motor block. Thanks to Chris of JCB power systems who helped us, we saw yesterday morning arriving two packages in Ypres. A small step for some, for us a giant leap. Thansk to everyone to make this possible (Stephen, Gareth, retired general, JCB-UK, Chris, Lode, Luc and I hope I did not forget someone ...)


More than half a year of no news, but once more this does not mean nothing is happening behind the screens, only nothing physically visible. But a while ago the new motor we were donated in the summer of 2014 was moved away from it's shelter in Poelkapelle to a new place thanks to Lode who will try, with help, to get it build-in our tankframe to be used as a reliable power source so we will be able to label it effectively Powered by JCB-UK. We wish to express our thankfullness to the owner of the garage, we were able to use for almost 2 years. THANKS dad (in law) !


donderdag 26 november 2015

Finally a decent track plate produced and compared with the one on Deborah in Flesquières

Last weekend we attended the commemorationweekend for Cambrai-day where for the first time tanks were used in masse and proved their value after the hard lessons learned in the Salient.
We took advantage of this trip to take with us the freshly produced trackplate to compare it with the ones on Deborah. See for yourself. Better can't be done. It was produced by Steeno in Belgium using a dye and starting form a 3D digital model produced by Johan starting from a decent track we borrowed from Philippe of Deborah. In the design process we also 3D-printed the difficult corner to really see and feel if it was good .We promised him to give it back accompanied by a new one, but we are just not yet so far. But this test plate looks very promising indeed. Finally ...






vrijdag 20 november 2015

After a long period again some news !

The last year was not the easiest for the tank project. Hence no news.
Right now we have hope to get a new financial injection, but let's not sell the bears fur before it has been shot, as we have a saying in Dutch.
At armistice day we had our yearly Swindon-based visitors but also a French Airforce delegation around the Guynemermonument. Afterwards we went to the new tanklocation for a ride. At the current location the solid ground is not so vulnerable, so we are allowed to turn.
Getting the tank back under it's shelter, Jasper was asked to take over the control levers, which he gladly accepted ;-)
In the coming weekend we will attend as every year the commemorations in Cambrai.


donderdag 27 november 2014

Tankframework on the move

Recently, we experienced a problem in the left hydraulic motor. Seems the internal brake was blocked. JCB-dealer Vandaele Machinery came to pick up the tank and took it to their workshops.
I took advantage of the occasion to try to picture the framework at the side of the Guynemermonument, almost exactly on the place the original Damon II got ditched.
Working further on the project behind the screens. To be continued.

donderdag 7 augustus 2014

A phenomenal donation by JCB due to the RTR

It seems there is some confusion as if our tankproject is finished now with the yellow/brown tankdummy being placed at the outskirts of Poelkapelle. Nothing is farther from true and this message will show it. At the beginning of our project, already in 2004, we set our minds on a static light tankreplica and built a yellow light framework that was subsequently abondoned later when we headed for a moving tankreplica. Last summer we did make a new much stronger framework and the older one was getting dust at Georges workshop. It's this framework we got out of the dust and plated it to put it outside waiting for the real one to come in the next years.
Well, imagine a lorry stopping at your house in the morning asking where to put for free this motor below. Very warm contacts with the Royal Tank Regiment, and especially Stephen May and Gareth Davies lead to them asking around for a better, more reliable motor we already were using in the stronger framework of last summer. As most of the rolling material did come form an old JCB-excavator they managed to have JCB donate the motor shown on the picture already in Poelkapelle by now. I can only thank all involved and honour their help and generosity by trying to finish in time our "bus" with that new motor. Besides building in that motor the heavy plating and the trackplates are still on my to-do list and off course all the outer detailling including about 350kg rivets and their holes ...
But first I have to settle a bit my mind due to the amazement it went through last week by seeing this motor being donated.

A brand new JCB 6 cylinder gasoil motor, of 165kw (221hp) at 2000rpm and producing 1000Nm of torque at 1500rpm. With this motor we will be able to show what a MarkIV was capable of doing and this is from now on also our aim.
Once more a big Thank You to all who made this possible. Our tank will now effectively wear the slogan : powered by JCB  !

dinsdag 29 juli 2014

A dummy made of the first light framework

After last year we made a stronger framework for the exactorparts and the powerpack the yellow first light framework was a bit forgotten, but still around, waiting for a destination. A proposal of Olivier Pettillion to place it at the outskirts of Poelkapelle coming of Ypres however did emerge an old idea about a dummy.
Subsequently we were able to find someone who could provide lasercut painted plates to cover it.
The first idea was in december, the plates arrived at the beginning of july. Because the "Tour de France" was passing by in Poelkapelle I could convince some people to help plating the framework in time to have it outside just in time for the Tour. And there it is and will stay as dummy tank on a pile of debris, stuck and immobilised like a tankrelict after the war as there were numerous, waiting for the real riding tank to appear, in honour of all those tanks and  crews who so bravely tried to conquer Flanders fields full of mud, but had to wait for Cambrai to be show what they were able of and later on were so instrumental in turning the wave.

I want to express my sincere thanks to the volunteers who made this possible in one or another way and especially the newly involved people :  Olivier Petillion for the hospitality, Peter Seys for advice, immense help and his tools, Chris Courtens for the plates and the help, Jozef Courtens for the help and the moving with his oldtimertractor,  Stijn Butaye for the help and of course Dirk, supervising the works as he made the plans also. In the photo's you will see I did for once also use my hands ;-)
I may not forget the firma Parrein for lifting the tank on the debris, just at the opposite side of the road !

After the small tank on the roundabout made bij Stijn P. and installed in 2012, we now have a second full-size dummy at the outskirts in a beautifull environment not so far away from the road the real tanks passed trying to pass the Lekkerboterbeek, the small stream nearby. We are  now waiting for the riding beast to be finished and indeed, several projects are in their planning phase to finish it. More news on it later.


a first trial plate, work of Chris and Peter

arrival of the beautifull lasercut and painted plates

Peter busy sorting them

positioning the plates


Johan, Peter and  Chris fastening the plates, if you don't see Stijn B. working it's because he took the photographs, but was working as much as us, believe me !

Jozef and Chris fastening

the most difficult positions, I tried to do a lot of them myself, did not feel my arms anymore afterwards, I know not used to physical labor ;-)

Dirk and Peter taking measurements for the sponsons

discussing intermediate results

finished in time in the workshop

Jozef moved it with his oldtimertractor

like a real landship, Chris taking the steerwheel

delivered, but not yet at it's place

firma Parrein from the opposite side of the road in action

and there it is in it's right position

what a beautifull environment at Oliviers

a dummy stuck on a pile of debris, waiting  for the real tank to come