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M29C Weasel amphibious carrier - Studebaker - case report

      Hi, Tankers !!!
      This project was based in a partially and poorly built kit that I bought with pennies on eBay. The beautiful junk arrived at my house in a plastic bag. These plastic parts were forgotten in my closet until last week when I was looking for a kit to build. I decided to reincarnate this classic. I will not do anything too far-fetched, but I'll try to improve something in the little monster ...the M29C Weasel amphibious carrier, built by Studebaker. Let's see more...
Hello, Yankees !!
      The M29 Weasel was a World War II tracked vehicle, built by Studebaker, designed for operation in snow and water.
The M29C Weasel under trials...
WWII era Studer's poster
     The idea for the Weasel came from the work of British inventor Geoffrey Pyke in support of his proposals to attack Axis forces and industrial installations in Norway.
      In 1943 plans were made to invade German-held Norway, and it was appreciated that some form of snowcrossing cargo carrier would be required.
      Pyke's plan to hamper the German atomic weapons development became Project Plough for which he proposed a fast light mechanised device that would transport small groups of commando troops of the 1st Special Service Force across snow. In active service in Europe, Weasels were used to supply frontline troops over difficult ground when wheeled vehicles were immobilised.
      After a series of trials a tracked vehicle known as the T15 Weasel was selected for service and this was later developed into the T24, still named Weasel and developed for use not only over snow but over mud, rough terrain and swamps.
Studebaker T15 Weasel
Studebaker T24 Weasel
      In time the T24 was standardized as the M29 Cargo Carrier and from this evolved the M29C amphibious light cargo carrier. The name Weasel was once more carried over, even though the official name Ark was promulgated.
M29 Weasel
      The first 2,103 vehicles had 380 mm tracks, a later version had 510 mm tracks. The M29 was amphibious, but with a very low freeboard; the M29C Water Weasel was the amphibious version, with buoyancy cells in the bow and stern as well as twin rudders.
M29C prototype amphibious under test
      The M29C amphibious carrier was a simple conversion of the cargo carrier M29.
based in George Bradford drawings
     Changes were made to the flexible rubber tracks to enable them to provide propulsion in water, flotation chambers were provided at front and rear, and twin rudders were added for steering in water,

M29C rear - Notice the twin rudders
      The land M29 had already demonstrated its abilities to cross just about any type of terrain, including snow, sand, muddy and rough stony ground, and the M29C retained all these qualities.
M29 in snow...
the wide tracks allow large fluctuation
M29C in the mud...
...and in the sand !!!  Awesome !!!
      In water it was somewhat slow and it could not operate in other than inland waterway conditions, so its use in surf or rough water was very limited. But when used correctly the M29C soon proved to be a valuable vehicle. Its uses were legion, especially during the many island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific theatre.
The M29C moving perfectly into a flood in the Netherlands ...

.. as in a swampy area in the Pacific. The Weasel was unstoppable.
      Rice fields were no obstacle and the M29C was equally at home crossing sand dunes. The M29C and the land-based M29 Weasels were used as ambulances on many occasions.
M29C as ambulance...
...another "medic' Weasel in the crossing of the Rhine 
      Another use was for crossing minefields as the Weasel's ground pressure was very low, often too low to set off anti-tank mines, A technique was even evolved whereby the Weasels could be controlled remotely using hand-operated cords, but this technique had its limitations. The Weasels were also very reliable: they rarely broke down and their track life was later found to be far in excess of anticipations.
      Once ashore they were used to cross terrain that no other vehicle could attempt, and they carried men, supplies and even towed artillery using their rear-mounted towing pintle.
M29 towing a 57mm AT gun leaving a landing craft during
the Rhine River crossings on 24 March 1945
  • T-15 prototype
  • M28 (G154)
  • M29 (T24) without float tanks (G179)
  • M29C with float tanks
  • M29C Type A: with center-mounted 75 mm M20 recoilless rifle
  • M29C Type B: with (T106) rear-mounted 75 mm recoilless rifle
  • M29C Type C: with center-mounted 37 mm Gun M3
  • M29C Wasp: fitted with Wasp flamethrower

M29C Wasp flame carrier
     The Weasel used a petrol engine Studebaker Model 6-170 Champion, a 6 cylinder 169.6 cubic inch 4-stroke engine running on 72 octane gasoline delivering 70 bhp at 3,600 rpm. Fuel capactity was 130 L. Under average conditions typically  could range 266 km.

Maximum gradability: 100 %
Turning radius: 3.7 m
Fording depth: Will Float (M29C)
Maximum width of ditch vehicle will cross: 91 cm
Maximum vertical obstacle vehicle will climb: 61 cm
Maximum allowable speed: 58 km/h
Maximum allowable towed load: 1,700 kg

      The M29C was also used by signal units, for its ability to cross water and land impassable to other vehicles made it a very valuable wirelaying vehicle. But it was as a supply or personnel carrier that it was most useful.  
      Although unarmoured, M29Cs were often used to carry armed troops across water obstacles and land them in front of an enemy position, other M29Cs then following up with ammunition and supplies, By the time the war ended about 8,000 M29C Weasels had been produced, and orders for a further 10,000 were then cancelled. But the M29C concept had been well established by then and since 1945 many follow-on designs have been produced. M29Cs were used by several of the Allied armies. The British army made use of a number during 1944 and 1945 and for a few years after that.
A M29C of British Signal Corps, outskirts of Namur, Belgium, January 1945
      Some European armies used them for years after the war, and numbers can still be found in civilian hands, hard at work over swampy terrain.

M29C  Weasel
Tracked amphibiam vehicle
Place of origin                                United States
1,700 kg dry
combat: 2.020 kg
4.80 m
1.68 m
1.30 m
1.80 m to top of windscreen


Electrical sys.
Transfer case
Studebaker Model 6-170 Champion 6-cylinder
70 hp (56 kW)
12 V
3 speeds
2 speeds
Ground clearance
Ground pressure
1.9 Psi
Operational range
266 km
58 km/h (land)
6,4 Km/h (water)

The kit:
      Now, in 2014, talking about this kit is interesting. This kit is one of the dinosaurs of military modeling, having been manufactured by Monogram in 1957. This beast is two years older than me, which is amazing. This is the art box:
Monogram's kit art box
       My kit arrived like this;
The built kit and other parts...from scrap box...
The booklet; old times...
the vinyl tracks...
      The tracks were resected and contracted, but in good shape. After gluing the seam, the tracks just do not fit in the Weasel's suspension.
Track too tight
      In desperation, I had an idea: put the tracks in boiling water and pull the tracks, expanding its length. As soon as I could stretch the plastic, plunged the tracks into ice water, keeping the stretch ...
tracks stretched
      As the tracks was already glued, its diameter increased. Adapted the tracks on the bogies and wheels and the track was relatively loose. 
Tracks was too large for the suspension
      I heated the water again and put this warm water in a deep dish. Then, dipped the lower portion of the kit in the boiling water. The plastic softened and tried to return to the old length, stretching the track bogies without much tension: Voiláá´
The heat softened the plastic and the tracks tried
to return to the initial length ... 
Perfect !!!
The hull, after bath to remove the dust ...
      Well, Gents... The new steps in the recycling of this old kit: As the kit was very old and very bad details, I decided to take a new "spice" in this representative of the early days of modeling. The interior is very poor and my idea is build the canvas to disguise the interior deficiencies. First of all, build the canvas frame with metal wire...
Improving the old kit...Notice the canvas frame...
Notice the details...
The pilot station: new levers made with metal pins
New steering systems for the rudders and new exhaust
apparatus, made with metal scraps from old PE's.
I decided to keep the "casted" tools on the rear deck, as
an example of how things were done in the old days ...
Front view
       After that, Olive drab and decals...
Weasel with colors...

Notice the casted tools: very primitive !!!!
In background, the hull of my next project...
Well, the kit is ready for the canvas...left side
right side...Notice the MIG pigments...
      The inspiration for the canvas building...

The recipe: tracing-paper, scalp, metal ruler and tweezer.
       First of all, paint the "inside" of the paper with khaky in airbrush, because after glued in position, it will be impossible to paint the interior.
The tracing paper painted. Thewrinkle is due to the moisture of the ink.
When the ink (and paper) dry, the paper stretches again ...
       Firs step: applying the canvas (with the painted portion inward ...) in the rear portions of the rear hull and windshield with white glue...
The canvas being applied...
       Now, it's the top part of the canvas...
the paper is wrinkled by the white glue layer...

rear view...
      And the Girl finished. Indeed, the kit was old, primitive and rough, but provided tons of fun and it's almost a fossil compared to today's kits. but enjoyed the experience as it is a new model in my collection. And modeling for me is, above all, fun !!!!
Studebaker M29C amphibious carrier Weasel - Germany, 1944.

Studebaker M29C amphibious carrier Weasel  - left side

Studebaker M29C amphibious carrier Weasel  - rear view

Studebaker M29C amphibious carrier Weasel   with Kojak and Rover, the dog.
Kojak proud with his new toy !!!
Stay in touch, my Friends !!!

10 comentários:

  1. Hello.
    Fine publication.
    Very rare model
    I have never seen before

    This proves too, there's nothing new under the sun.
    After this was (next?) Bandvagn 206
    Both use old Sitroen-Kegresse (1908) rubber track system
    Like many (all) half-track ww-2 and before or after this

  2. Here is one rare tip: Tiger Train

  3. Danke, Maximex....Next ??!!! It's a surprise !!!!
    But will be another oddball, no doubt !!!

    Thanks for the link...Very good the What-if Tiger !!!

    Hugs, my finn friend !!!

  4. Moi.
    Good morning too..

    What's next, you say...
    Well, for example: Su-7, Su-1, Su, 57, AT; 1,
    T-34 de-mining, IT-28 bridge wagon (T-28),
    SU-76, SU-85, SU-100, SU-101, SU-100B
    R-50, R-60, R-70, R-80,
    SMK, T-100, T-111
    KV-6 (all 3 versions)

    Heavy French FMC 2 (two turret) and small AMX-33, 34, 35, series

    Question: Do you know, which country on this page has most visitors per / day
    FAF / Finnish Air Force

  5. Wow again a dinosaur ! I've build this kit in the 70ties but I'm sur you will build a nice model with this poor base.
    Great idea fo the fitting of the tracks ! It works !!! Have a lot of fun to build this kit my friend.

  6. @Maximex, I built the IT-28 Bridge years ago ...I'll write an article as case report, soon !!!
    Thanks for the tons of suggestions !!! Take care !!!

    @Alain: I'll tryput in this old little beast the tarp...let's see...Big hug, my belgian friend !!!

  7. Hello, my friend.
    It is really rare vehicle
    I have never seen monogram other than / only airplanes
    one tip more.
    Tractor CHTZ S-65 + Gun

  8. Maybe Monogram / rewell?
    M42 Twin Forty Tank w/5 Crew (SSP)

    © 2014 Elm City Hobbies.
    Hawk Mobile Anti-Aircraft Guided Missile System w/4 Crew (SSP)
    US Army Atomic Cannon w/7 Crew 60th Anniversary

    M42 Twin Forty Tank w/5 Crew (SSP)
    Revell USA 1/32 M42 Twin Forty Tank w/5 Crew (SSP)
    1779 Route 640 (Hanwell Rd)
    Hanwell, New Brunswick,
    E3C 2B3
    Phone: 506 454 8273,-66.720915&spn=0.013269,0.033023&sll=45.928645,-66.718817&sspn=0.013268,0.033023&t=h&gl=ca&hq=Elm+City+Hobbies&z=16

  9. Hi, Maximex...Thanks for the tips and suggestion...Stay alert, my Finn, soon !!!!!