Leichttraktor Paper Model

The paper model of the Leichttraktor tank(German Tractor) is a German light tank of the 1930s, also known as Kleintraktor and VK31.

Materials and tools:

  1. scissors, paper knife, drawing ruler
  2. tweezers;
  3. glue brushes and paint;
  4. watercolors (or pencils), toothpicks;
  5. clear acrylic glue ("Moment", etc.);
  6. to print the model matte photo paper with a density of 170-180 g / m2; for small parts - 70-80 g / m2.

Build Tips:

  1. Before you assemble the part, read the drawings and instructions. Determine the place of each part and imagine its assembly;
  2. Make holes in details before cutting out the part;
  3. Cut only the part (s) you need right now. Unpacked items in a box, and unused sheets in a closed folder (as an option). Throwing out trash after work, carefully inspect the scrap paper;
  4. To better fold the part, it is necessary to hold the ruler along the fold line, pressing lightly with the blunt side of the knife or a toothpick so as not to damage the paper surface. Better to do it from the wrong side of the part;
  5. Keep your fingers clean and be sure to use wipes to wipe your hands, because hands may get dirty in the process;
  6. wind up cylindrical parts before gluing onto a round object of a suitable diameter, this will give them shape;
  7. Before gluing it is necessary to paint the ends of the part. White crop lines spoil the overall look of the model. To paint the ends, use watercolors or gouache paints. After selecting the desired color, apply them in a thin layer, then allow the paint to dry. About markers better to forget;
  8. Take your time with gluing. First, cut out the part, paint it from the end, wait for the paint to dry, assemble the part. Attach it to the place where it should be to make sure everything is done correctly. And only then stick. Do not forget to let the glue dry.

A bit of history

German light tank Leichttraktor (Rheinmetall)

After the end of World War I, Germany was «thelosingparty»,andthecountrywasimposedstrictconditionsofsurrender.TheReichswehrunderwentatotalreduction,losingalmost90%ofheavyweapons,butitdidnotgoasfarascompletelossofcombatcapability.In1919-21,Germanywasseizedbyrevolutionaryspeeches,andinordertopreventthefalloftheWeimarRepublic,theAlliedCommissionofthevictoriouscountriesdecidedtosatisfyGermany’srequesttobuildasmallbatchofarmoredvehicles,thetotalnumberofwhichwasthenbroughtto150.Butwithtanksitwasmuchmoredifficult.AfterthesuppressionoftheBerlinuprising,theGermanarmywasforcedtodestroybothitsownserialtanksA7V,andthecapturedEnglishMk.IV.Inaddition,theAlliesorderedthedestructionofprototypesofheavytanksK-Wagen(«Kolossal»), as well as light LK-I and LK-II. But despite everything, the Germans managed not only to preserve their valuable engineering experience, but also to adopt some innovations from former opponents.

Work on the light tank, which was held in the documentation under the designation VK 31 (VK - «Versuchskonstruktion»/«Experimentalsample»),topreservethesecrecyofthenamed«Kleintraktor»/«smalltractor», began for two years than over heavy "grotraktor". The initiator of its creation was the supreme command of the Reichswehr, which on March 28, 1928, announced a tender for the development of a caterpillar fighting vehicle with a mass of up to 12 tons.It was planned to receive prototypes at the beginning of 1930. The cost of one tank should not exceed 50,000 German marks. The tank that won the contest was supposed to be built in at least 17 pieces.

The technical assignment was given to three large companies (Daimler-Benz, Krupp and Rheinmetall-Borsig) in May 1928. However, by this time, the Directorate of Arms demanded that the tank mass be reduced to 7.5 tons. Among other requirements, the thickness of the front and side armored plates was 14 mm, the crew of four. Armament "small tractor" »Itwassupposedtoconsistofa37mmsemi-automaticcannonandone7.92mmDreysemachinegun.Inaddition,tanksshouldbeequippedwithradiostationswitharangeofvoicecommunication2-3km,telegraphicupto7km.Itwasalsoplannedtoinstallanti-chemicalequipmentforoperationsinthepresenceofgasattack.Themaximumspeedwhendrivingalongthehighwayshouldbe25-30km/h(accordingtootherdata,upto40km/h),cross-country– 20 km / h.

Daimler-Benz almost immediately refused to participate in the competition, so the design of light tanks was carried out only by Krupp and Rheinmetall-Borsig. Both firms developed the development of "Kleintraktor »(renamed“Lechttraktor”-“easytractor”bythistime)together,soitisnotsurprisingthattheirprototypesturnedouttobeverysimilarinappearance.Nothavingmuchexperienceintheconstructionoftankchassis,engineersRheimetalldecidedtousethechassisfromatrackedtractor-conveyor.Ononesidetheundercarriageofthetankconsistedof12twintrackrollers,interlockedbytwotosixcarriages,onetensionerandtwosupportingrollers,afrontguideandareardrivewheel.Toprotectthechassis,anon-boardscreenwasretained,inwhichthreerectangularcutoutsweremadetocleantheundercarriagefromdirt.Thecasewasrivetedandweldedandassembledfromsheetsofrolledarmoredsteelwithathicknessof4to10mm.Thelayoutofthetankremained"tractor"». In front of the combat vehicle was the engine compartment, where the Daimler-Benz M36 carburetor engine of 36 hp was installed. In the middle part there was a management department (driver’s seat on the left side while moving). Above the driver's head was installed a small rectangular turret with observation slots.

Krupp engineers did not trust the tractor chassis too much and therefore decided to develop their own chassis. «Kruppovskie»carshadabodyslightlylongerandtaller,whichallowedtocarryalongthesidesoftwosmallhatchesforlandingthetankmenandtheirevacuation.TheprototypeofKruppreceivedauniquerunninggearconsistingofsixtwinsmall-diametersupportrollersonboard,withverticalspringcushioning,interlockedintwogroupsofthree,twolargersupportrollersinfrontandbehind,twosupportingrollers,afrontguideandareardrivewheel.Interestingly,Rheinmetallwasresponsibleforassemblingthetowersandinstallingthearmamentofbothprototypes,andallVK31wereequippedwithradiostations.TheSovietUniontookanactivepartinthedevelopmentoftheGermantankforces.TreatyonthecreationinKazanofaSoviet-Germantankschool»wassignedinMoscowinDecember1926.ItsheadwasLieutenantColonelReichswehrMalbrandt,afterwhomtheprojectreceivedthecodename«KaMa»(KAZAN&Mdash;Malbrandt).Intheyears1930-1931,allfourprototypesoflighttanksweredeliveredhere,receivednumbers37and38(Krupp),39and40(Rheinmetall).Atthesametime,aspecialTechnicalCommission(“laquo; TECO”) began to work on the exchange of scientific and technical information in the field of tank construction.

By the beginning of 1933, each of the prototypes of the VK 31 had passed from 1,660 to 1,865 km, but in the end, Soviet engineers and military experts agreed that these war machines were not of interest to the Red Army.Soviet engineers were interested only in the construction of the suspension and the layout of the turret (in particular, the installation of twin guns and machine guns), as well as a tank radio station. German representatives were also not impressed with the received tactical and technical characteristics of light tanks. In addition, the increase in booking was impossible without increasing the mass and worsening the already mediocre performance of cars.

All four «Leichttraktor»weresentbacktoGermanyinthesummerof1933,when«KaMa» was eliminated. In 1934, the tanks were transferred to Münster for “wintering”, and from 1935 until the beginning of World War II they were used as training machines in the tank school in Pultos.