After renovating this 1/5 scale Chieftain to working order, I have been trying to find why it was built and what it was used for. So far the only solid lead I have been able to come up with is this picture of the model being used by the army, taken some time towards the end of the 1970's. On the back of the photo is the developer stamp, British Aerospace Dynamics Group Fulton House Bristol. The search goes on.
Again, this might not have been much help but I'd imagine the stamp would say Filton House!
Tamiya 1/16 Pershing, Scratch Building 1/6 T-34 85.
Thanks for the reply, I think U and I are too close together on the key board for my sausage fingers, my mistake. I was'nt sure If the place was still open. I suppose I could drop them a line and see if any one there could shead any light on the model There may even be more pictures but it's difficult to know how sensitive it could become.
I remember when I was a child my fathershowing me a news paper article about a group of army apprentices building a Chieftain, I remember that there was a photograph of a group of them photographed with the model. It later went on to appear on TV (Blue Peter I think) The newspaper would have been the Daily Nail as that was the only paper our family bought. The story made quite an impression on me as I can still remember it.
Well I've spent ages looking though old picture only finding this supposed apprentice model from the Yorkshire Evening Post. As usual looks to be the smaller 1/10 or 1/12 scale. The search continues though I'm almost sure this is one of those good ideas at the time to some one but a burden to others. It had been polished and Varnished, a show piece, not like any painted apprentice model I've ever seen. In the end it I think it became a get rid because of size and weight, saved by the skin of her teeth by a civilian who took a liking to her.
A picture from last years Haywood show with mini me Chieftain chasing her big brother.
Recently finished reading the excellent The Tank Factory by William Suttie charting the British Military Development and Chobham Establishment published this year. The author helped me understand why a 1/5 200kg scale all metal Chieftain Tank that I now own had been built. The only evidence I had for years before reading this book was an old picture of it from the 1970's from a nice chap from the HMVF forum.
Although there was no picture of the Chieftain in the book, it does show a highly detailed T94 used for radar recognition. This was the clue! So after an email or two from the author the enigma was solved.
The model was indeed built for radar related purposes and almost certainly at Chertsey. It was built before I joined Chertsey so I do not know the full details. I am not an expert on the exact details of all the different Marks of Chieftain but this looks like an early Mark 3 as it has the old No1 NBC pack on the rear of the turret – the bee hive as we called it.
I believe it was built for developing radar systems. There is a one to one relationship between the model size and the radar frequency and so you could test a 1/5 scale model with a radar 5x the frequency and get equivalent results. There used to be an in-door radar range at a place called Hutton Moor near to Bristol where testing was done and being in doors with a scale model it was easier to control what was going on. This model is unusual because as far as I know it was the only model of its type that was motorised in order to look at the Doppler radar signature of a moving vehicle.
So an early type of speed camera test bed or more likely a targeting system.......
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