Greetings Tankers!

Project38 is going to build a tank.

A rowdy crew of engineers, historians, reenactors, builders and collectors have come together to collaborate on what may be one of the most unique and interesting reproduction efforts this decade. Project38’s goal is to build with historical accuracy and faithfulness a Panzer 38(t), a historically significant tank with no running examples in the USA. If all goes well, it will fully operational and virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. The plan involves first engineering it in 3D programs to be accurate first before construction. This step is the longest and most difficult, as resources are few and details are hard to find. We hope to be finished engineering the first ‘prototype’ by December, with updates and fixes throughout 2019.
Over the last two years, we’ve grown from 3 young adults scheming about a tank to take to a paintball course to over 1,300 fans and participants helping out in all capabilities from around the world. From a simple backyard scrapmetal tank to an honest fullsized reproduction Panzer 38(t). We’re working with experts and hobbyists around the world to keep our efforts accurate to the real designs, going so far as to find original parts and prints to reference from the Czech National Archives.
As a grassroots project, our team is a conglomeration of all sorts coming together to make this crazy plan a reality. We would like to invite you to tag along and help keep the project running! To keep you up to speed, here’s our most recent update, shared to you with the help of our friends at Man The Line. I hope you enjoy our project!

Thanks!

PROJECT 38 UPDATE –

I figured to let you all in on what’s what of who’s who. There’s a number of exciting things happening (as they always are). We’re also getting a booth together for the first time for the Americans in Wartime Open House, read more about that below. Today, at the bottom of the update, We’ve thrown together a tentative schedule of future goal completion dates, so check that out too.

If these updates are a bit predictable, it’s because they are. I mean they consist of “We’re researching/engineering some more” and “We’re spreading the word” with some small surprise updates about maybe a reenactment unit or publicity stunt. But that’s half the fun is seeing it grow, predictably and slowly until one day we’ll start having proper BUILD and Reenactment updates as well as Engineering and Marketing.

Huge shout out to everybody over at Man The Line for their help in our publicity campaign. Hello all and welcome to Project38!

ENGINERDING

Nate has been doing the math and calculations for a Final Drive and steering assembly. The photos and videos brought back from the Graebe trip are still being picked apart while we reverse-engineer a beautifully complex bit of machinery. Most of that’s crunching numbers and whiteboard equations so I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say we’re making progress. It’s slow, and it’s one of the last items estimated to be completed. As the most complicated functioning piece of machinery in the tank we’ll be taking our time with that one.

We’re reaching out to possibly look at a Russian 37mm cannon for inspiration and a hands-on reference to what they looked like and gain some insight on how to design our own, keep watching for updates on the cannon!

Beckett has been working away at smaller interior pieces of the tank like the Track tension adjustment arm and the mounting systems within the tank.

And it’s a cool thing. Were still working on the details and the Turret is on the way. We’ve had to re-design most of the tank as we get more accurate measurements as well as having the engineers learn the program. Optimizing the pieces to be able to not just display properly but to be easily transferred onto blueprints for manufacture is a task that we’re devloping. So while the visible “wow” factor sometimes isn’t there, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work getting done.

He made a nice cutaway view of what the tension adjustment arm might look like with all the bearings and bushings in place.

It’s neat.

EVERYTHING ELSE

We have made plans to head over to a private collector Early October to get detailed measurements on a turret. As we get closer to that we’ll keep you updated but it’s going to be a fun field trip with some excellent expected results. With the turret measured up, we’ll be able to compare our model with the real thing and get a better understanding of where we could improve our engineered tank. I want to send a huge thank you to him for the invitation.

Below is a tentative projected schedule about the actual tank. This will, of course change as we continue working. It’s a fairly harsh  fast paced timeline that assumes everything goes smoothly, so of course this is a “best case scenario” timeline and will undoubtedly change. But hopefully not too much.
Ha.

Anybody who knows anything about anything knows how optimistic that is.

So that’s that.

A final note, one of the exciting things about this project is as we continue researching, asking questions, and learning about the tank, we’ve gotten to speak with some excellent people and we’re finding out that we’re becoming part of the conversation in ways that I certainly hadn’t expected. We’ve been asked to date/verify for sale items, asked to distinguish which model a piece may have come from, and been part of a conversation about how to utilize an early-war tank in US reenactments. A tricky subject indeed.
It’s been enlightening and thrilling to become part of a bigger world and we’d like to thank every one of you who’s been along for the ride so far.

Thanks for sticking around, see you in Virginia!

-T.ankmann

 

Man The Line will be featuring updates from Project 38 periodically over the course of their project, so keep checking in for updates.

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