A new year, a new postage. I'll introduce you guys to something very uncommon, but it was built.
A Bedford "Bren prototype". This truck was an attempt to install tracks in a Bedford QL. The prototype showed excellent performance in the tests, but was not put into production. The single prototype was built later reconverted to the normal pattern and disappeared.
|Bedford Bren - halftrack prototype|
I found this beast in the excellent book "Bedford to Berlin and Beyond (Trucks)" , from Robert Coates (see image insert above). The book's description:
"With the threatened drying,up of supplies of rubber after the capture of Singapore, and in a general attempt to save raw materials. The Ministry of Supply carried out an experiment in which a Bren-gun carrier's running gear was mated to a standard QL cargo lorry. Surviving photographs indicate that, as with the “Giraffe”, a QLD chassis was used but it was, nevertheless, most certainly a ‘special type’. The track and suspension assembly from the Bren carrier was modified, mainly by shortening it and exhaustive tests were carried out at the WVEE.
This hybrid QL performed even better than had been hoped, and certainly better than existing halftracks . unlike lhe earlier marques, the QL had a driven front axle. Several reasons combined to prevent the design going into full production: its initial cost was obviously higher than two simple wheels; it was far more, complex than an axle with wheels and, of course, huge strides had been made in developing synthetic substitutes for rubber which, effectively removed the reason for developing the idea in the first place."
Well, to do my model, I follow the recipe from original prototype: Pick up a Bedford and a Bren carrier and mix the two ...Bingo !!!
|Bedford QL - standard version|
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Used by||British Armed Forces|
|Wars||Second World War|
|Manufacturer||Bedford (General Motors)|
|Variants||QL1, QLB, QLC, QLD, QLR, QLT & QLW|
|Weight||3,277 kg (empty)|
6,985 kg (loaded)
|Crew||1 + 11 passengers|
|Engine||Bedford, 6cyl 3,519 cc petrol|
72 hp (54 kW)
|Payload capacity||3 tons|
As I said, the kits were:
|Italeri's Bedford plus Tamiya's Universal Carrier|
(notice the bag kit from Accurate)
|Accurate Armour conversion kit|
The first thing I did was this template to guide me through the constructive steps ....
|Bedford halftrack in detail|
The job in progress: Transforming the truck´s rear suspension in halftrack. I could not get details about the rear axle of the Bedford prototype, but I opted to use the Bedford's rear axle for two reasons:
- 1st: The synchronization of the front and rear drives (do not forget that the front wheels ALSO have traction, ie the gear box of the rear axle of the truck has the CORRECT GEARS for this synchrony ...).
- 2nd: The robustness of the rear axle gearboxes. Although the empty weight of the two vehicles is similar (Bren Carrier and Bedford weigh 3,200 kg empty), the maximum capacity of the Bren was 3,700 kg and the Bedford (because it was a cargo truck ...) was 7,000 Kg... That is, more than double...
If the Bren's rear gearbox were used, the front and rear axes would have different spins ratios and the Bren's rear gear box would not withstand the excess load coming from the work of a truck.
If we compare the size of the gearboxes of the two axles (Bren and Bedford) we will notice the different size and sturdiness.
|Rear suspension - notice the size difference between |
Bren and Bedford gearboxes and the two plasticards discs
to transform the sprocket wheels.
|plastic surgery in the sprocket wheel|
|the italeri's transmission axle with Tamiya's sprocket wheels|
|The rear suspension in place.|
Notice the awful gap between the door and cabin frame
|Notice the cooper wire, for cargo canvas.|
The vinyl tracks are Tamiya.
I fixed the flaw of the door with putty and made a new chute door with stretched sprue ....
|fixing the door's gap|
|fixing the defect - left door|
|fixing the defect - right door|
|the rear suspension|
|the girl with primer|
|and painted in green...|
|tonal variations and details...|
|Decals...I love that part !!!|
After markings, I started the canvas, using tracing paper with diluted white glue
|superglue to stabilize the canvas in position...|
|and the white glue...|
|Bedford halftrack - belly view|
But my friend Alan McNeilly warned me that the canvas folds were wrong. The correct was...
|Bedford QL with folded tarp|
|Notice the folds...Thanks, Alain !!!!|
So, I made a new tarp above the older one...with correct folds...Thanks a lot, Alain !!!
|the tarp made with tracing paper, again...|
|tarp under construction|
And I stretched the tarp with ropes:
|Bedford QL halftrack - prototype|
Thanks and all the best !!!