Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Bombardier sidewalk plow: planning stages

Now those of you who live in climates with real winters may well be familiar with the sidewalk plow made by Bombardier (inventor of the Ski-Doo) and others. This little tracked vehicle barrels down city sidewalks after a storm, scattering everything in its path (including pedestrians). The basic unit is a compact little thing, powered by a rear-mounted 4-cyl Perkins Diesel; overall width is just over 4 feet. Drive is by individual hydraulic motors to each track; steering is managed by altering the power to left and right tracks, with the result that they can turn donuts by reversing the drive to one track. Click here for more info.

So it occurred to me that it would be interesting to build a hot-rod version of something similar in 1/25. It further occurred to me that the world of 1/35 tank kits would be an excellent source of bits, such as tank treads and wheels.

On investigating this option, I discovered that 1) there is a huge selection of tank kits out there, and 2) they tend to be expensive. So when I found a stash of cheap, opened kits in a local hobby shop, I decided to grab one and see what's inside.

This 1/35 Japanese light tank from Tamiya scales to a bit less than 13 feet long at 1/25, or less than a new Mini. It's about 5 and a half feet wide, wider than a sidewalk plow but 9 inches narrower than a Mini with the mirrors. Track width is 9". The kit is pretty simple, and the fact the instructions are entirely in Japanese won't be a problem.

The figure of the soldier scales to a child-like 3 feet 9 inches. (At 1/35, he's a slim 5'3"). The pictures show the Diesel V8 from AMT's Ford LN 8000 kit, to give you an idea of scale.

The louvered rear engine compartment is a perfect spot to locate some form of big block with a blower, while the forward structure under the gun turret will be cut away to build a cabin. I'll need to scratch-build a plow, or find one online; there is a Revell pickup with a plow which can be found on eBay.

So this won't build an exact replica of the Bombardier SW4S, but then there isn't room for a big block in an SW4S. Yeehaw!

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