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VS Tank 105mm M4 Sherman converted to FOV electronics

I purchased a VS Tank and pulled the electronics out of it to replace them with the FOV electronics. The reason was that I wanted to have the newer Sherman chassis with the T23 turret and 76mm gun. The turret came from the Franklin Mint M4A3E8 die cast model. I made silicone molds of the turret and then cast resin pieces for this build.

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Here the chassis is gutted and the FOV electronics is about to be fitted in. The running gear is kept intact as I wanted the VVS suspension, the Franklin Mint model has the HVSS and I probably could have swapped it out if I chose to go that route.

As you can see I labeled all the connection on the wires. I do this in place of making a list so when the list is lost I’m not. No matter when I get back to the project I know what wires go where.

The next photo shows the battery compartment. Note that only six batteries are installed, the FOV circuit board runs off six batteries, not eight like the VS Tanks. I don’t know if the extra voltage from eight batteries would harm the FOV board so I just kept the power at six cells.

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Here the gun elevation unit is installed into the resin turret. I made an aluminum  bracket to go from the gun mantlet to the elevation gear. The gun barrel is from plastic tubing and I used a small hobby lathe to create the taper. A T1 infrared LED is placed inside the barrel as the FOV LEDs are glued into the barrels and hard to remove without destroying the model.

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Power switch mounted toward the rear. I ended up disconnecting the FOV speaker shown here and using the VS Tank speaker that’s mounted in the hull. There’s plenty of room in here for the electronics. Many of these wires will need to run up to the turret.



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Here is the bottom of the turret. I placed it on a flat surface and sealed the bottom of the turret ring to prevent leaks. Then poured some resin on to create a “floor”, which was then drilled through using a hole saw near the approximate middle (not quite exact middle but that isn’t critical in this case). The ligth gray is the new resin, the green is putty where I needed to build up the trurrent ring to work on the new chassis.

Here you can see the original die cast turret (camo colors) and the resin parts are cast in black. I didn’t go crazy and cast the hatches and smaller parts separately, not yet anyway. This will be a battling tank so I will not go crazy on detail. The upper turret mold is quite hefty, the gun mantlet was a little tricky but overall I’m happy with the results. The large blue blocks are the silicone molds and should be good for several pieces.