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Old 10-26-2017, 05:25 AM
James Langham2 James Langham2 is offline
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Default FV499 Hover APC

I am looking for some help in developing the article on this fictitious APC. The problem with this article is a lack of illustrations, there is the image below from the cover of book 1 in the series (UK edition). There is another on a US edition but this looks nothing like the description in the book (and is more like a GEV from Ogre). Is there anyone who can manage technical drawings of the vehicle (or even better art work?).

I am in the process of writing rules for hovercraft to help differentiate them a little (in particular the momentum issue).

Currently I have the following variants:

* Prototype with Scimitar/Fox turret
* Prototype FSV with Scorpion turret (failure - never manufactured)
* Standard version
* Command version with MG turret

The book notes popularity with special anti-tank units so maybe an ATGM version?
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:31 AM
James Langham2 James Langham2 is offline
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Looking at the only picture of the FV499 I have a few thoughts and would welcome your views:

* The turret appears a little too small for British doctrine of a two man turret

* Any ideas what the items below the licence plate on the driver's position are?

* What are the two pods on the hull sides?

* The driver has a vision slit and what appears to be a cupola? This seems a waste unless the cupola is for the vehicle commander as per the FV432/30 - but this seems odd in a vehicle designed from scratch not improvised.

Any thoughts welcome.
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2017, 07:59 AM
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Taking the point of view that the artist looked at different military vehicles from the 1980s for inspiration (including the SR.N6 hovercraft used by RM), I'm going to hazard a guess or three...
Keep in mind that I've only read the first few novels of The Zone series and I don't recall any of the descriptions of the APC.

The various objects below the driver's viewport could be any of the following: -
A. Large box shape -
1. additional armour plate for protection of the driver
2. hatch cover for maintenance access of the driver's controls etc.
3. hatch cover for access to the NBC filtering system - something like that on the FV432

B. Small rectangle -
1. hatch cover for external switch for halon fire suppression system
2. hatch cover for the battery box
3. hatch for the infantry telephone like that found on the rear of some tanks so that troops can communicate with the tank crew - I'm speculating that with a ramp in the front of the vehicle (most likely in imitation of the accessway on the Royal Marines SR.N6 hovercraft), squaddies would want a phone near the main entry/exit rather than placing the phone at the rear of the vehicle

C. Large rectangle -
1. hatch cover for winch (if fitted?)
2. hatch cover of tool box
3. hatch cover for some other maintenance access e.g. for the front ramp

D. The two small round-ish objects -
1. night driving lights

The two pods on the hull below the engine intake grills look as like they could be either exhausts or combined exhausts/smoke screen layers (like the Soviet practice on older tanks, inject diesel vapour directly onto the hot exhaust). I'm assuming due to what little I did read, that the FV499 wasn't meant to traverse large bodies of water like the hovercraft used by the Royal Marines and thus doesn't need the inflatable liferaft pods that the RM hovercraft do (besides, they look too small for liferaft pods). But it's also possible that the artist took some inspiration from those pods on the sides of the RM SR.N6 hovercraft.

The turret looks too much like it's inspired by the turret from the West German SPz Lang (AKA Schützenpanzer 12-3) to "look" like a British design.
The turret on the 12-3 is definitely a one-man setup but it has the same sort of angled front so could very well be the inspiration for the FV499.
However it does look as though there are vision ports for the gunner (behind the spotlight) and also vehicle commander on the FV499. Given the width of the vehicle and its role as an APC, the turret would be big enough for a two man crew.
SPz 12-3 turret can be seen here : -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3...uiza_HS_30.jpg
Wiki page for 12-3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3...zer_Lang_HS.30

From the image, it seems as though the driver has a side vision port, which then assumes that the cupola is for someone else, like the vehicle commander (as you mentioned) but if their is a commanders position in the turret then this cupola could be for the Infantry Section leader to view the outside. Can't think of the vehicle offhand but there were some APCs from the 1970s-80s that had something like that. For example, the earlier versions of the German Marder had an infantryman's seat behind the driver that was equiped with a periscope.

It's really frustrating that there was no other art for the Iron Cow so we could get a side profile. I think that would have helped determine if the cupola was an "extra" so to speak and the turret was a two-man job with gunner and commander. Guess I'll have to drag out my PDFs of the series and read them again... any excuse hahaha
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:35 AM
James Langham James Langham is offline
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Really detailed answer thanks.

A - 2 or 3 are possible,I don't think 1 as it looks flush to the surface. I will probably go with 3 as that seems to fit well and I can't think of any other vehicle that has needed access to the controls that way.

B - all seem possible. I'm guessing the front hatch is to avoid the fans at the rear. This makes the phone possible but I think unlikely as nobody will stand in front under fire to communicate....

C - all plausible

D - it would be an odd configuration but I'm not sure what they are.

My guess is the artist drew things so as not to have big flat spaces on the front of the vehicle. To me anything recessed is compromising armour.

Pods - I'm at a loss for these, they look too far from the engines to be linked to it. My first thought was warp drive off Star Trek!

Turret - good spot, I had considered it based on the BTR60/70/80. It could be two man as you say from the size but would be SEVERELY cramped.

I need to reread the books - from memory the Iron Cow gets destroyed about book 3/4 so not too much to read...
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Langham2 View Post
Currently I have the following variants:

* Prototype with Scimitar/Fox turret
* Prototype FSV with Scorpion turret (failure - never manufactured)
* Standard version
* Command version with MG turret

The book notes popularity with special anti-tank units so maybe an ATGM version?
Don't forget the transport version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgpfYBMqURw

(I believe this particular example was used in anti marauder ops in rural Oxfordshire under the command of Captain JCR Clarkson, RCT)
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:50 PM
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I agree that the telephone idea is a bit of a stretch and overall, the artist did a decent job of giving us something that at least looks plausible but all those "hatches" on the front are a pain in the backside. I'm inclined to think that they added them just so the front plate didn't look so bare!

I thought of night driving lights because while the FV499 image seems to have normal headlights (although the image does look as though they might be fitted with some sort of shroud), it doesn't have anything resembling the night driving/convoy lights/blackout lights typically found on many Western military vehicles.

The position of those two round shapes on the FV499 is a problem for that idea though, it doesn't make a lot of sense that they would be stacked vertically when the more sensible placement would be horizontally. But I can't think of anything else that they could remotely be. The only other thought I had had was that they could be covers for electrical/comms sockets but that strikes me as even less likely than the blackout lights idea!

The turret is a problem, even thought its base is quite wide, it narrows so much at the top and with that sloped front plate, the roof is going to be about 2/3rds or half the size of a more traditional turret.
So yes, very cramped for two people, close enough to whisper in each others ear! The other aspect of the image that makes me think the turret is meant to be two-place, is what appears to be a machinegun next to what is presumably a crew hatch ringed with periscopes.

Another idea about those pods on the side of the hull, they could be countermeasures systems for missile i.e. chaff launchers perhaps?
The more I look at them though, the more convinced I am that the artist saw similar looking pods on the hull of some RM SR.N6 (without knowing what they were) and thought it'd be a good idea to add them to the image. A lot of the image seems as though they looked at various military vehicles and drew all the things that "looked right". For example, the smoke grenade launchers on the turret are very Chieftain MBT or FV432 APC style even though the turret looks like it was lifted from the SPz 12-3.

Actually, looking at a bog standard FV432 from head-on with all the hatches closed, I'd be willing to argue that the artist was told to take it as a base starting idea and turn it into a hovercraft APC

Again, I'll say the artist drew something that looks military enough without going into the silly Mad Max styles of some of those 1980s pulp war/post-apoc stories but it just doesn't have enough to really look like a properly designed military vehicle. So I guess what I'm saying is that you've probably got plenty of room for artistic licence

P.S.
For anybody reading this that isn't familiar with them, night driving lights are more properly known as blackout lights (I've also heard them called convoy lights). Some modern versions are shown on the wiki page along with an explanation of what they are used for,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackout_light
There's a good example of the earlier "shrouded light" style on the following eBay link, this particular example was apparently from a Ford GPW jeep.
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/172324...-1/s-l1000.jpg
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Old 10-26-2017, 01:53 PM
James Langham James Langham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Six View Post
Don't forget the transport version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgpfYBMqURw

(I believe this particular example was used in anti marauder ops in rural Oxfordshire under the command of Captain JCR Clarkson, RCT)
A version of this MIGHT just make it into the article.
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Old 10-26-2017, 01:59 PM
James Langham James Langham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
I agree that the telephone idea is a bit of a stretch and overall, the artist did a decent job of giving us something that at least looks plausible but all those "hatches" on the front are a pain in the backside. I'm inclined to think that they added them just so the front plate didn't look so bare!

I thought of night driving lights because while the FV499 image seems to have normal headlights (although the image does look as though they might be fitted with some sort of shroud), it doesn't have anything resembling the night driving/convoy lights/blackout lights typically found on many Western military vehicles.

The position of those two round shapes on the FV499 is a problem for that idea though, it doesn't make a lot of sense that they would be stacked vertically when the more sensible placement would be horizontally. But I can't think of anything else that they could remotely be. The only other thought I had had was that they could be covers for electrical/comms sockets but that strikes me as even less likely than the blackout lights idea!

The turret is a problem, even thought its base is quite wide, it narrows so much at the top and with that sloped front plate, the roof is going to be about 2/3rds or half the size of a more traditional turret.
So yes, very cramped for two people, close enough to whisper in each others ear! The other aspect of the image that makes me think the turret is meant to be two-place, is what appears to be a machinegun next to what is presumably a crew hatch ringed with periscopes.

Another idea about those pods on the side of the hull, they could be countermeasures systems for missile i.e. chaff launchers perhaps?
The more I look at them though, the more convinced I am that the artist saw similar looking pods on the hull of some RM SR.N6 (without knowing what they were) and thought it'd be a good idea to add them to the image. A lot of the image seems as though they looked at various military vehicles and drew all the things that "looked right". For example, the smoke grenade launchers on the turret are very Chieftain MBT or FV432 APC style even though the turret looks like it was lifted from the SPz 12-3.

Actually, looking at a bog standard FV432 from head-on with all the hatches closed, I'd be willing to argue that the artist was told to take it as a base starting idea and turn it into a hovercraft APC

Again, I'll say the artist drew something that looks military enough without going into the silly Mad Max styles of some of those 1980s pulp war/post-apoc stories but it just doesn't have enough to really look like a properly designed military vehicle. So I guess what I'm saying is that you've probably got plenty of room for artistic licence

P.S.
For anybody reading this that isn't familiar with them, night driving lights are more properly known as blackout lights (I've also heard them called convoy lights). Some modern versions are shown on the wiki page along with an explanation of what they are used for,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackout_light
There's a good example of the earlier "shrouded light" style on the following eBay link, this particular example was apparently from a Ford GPW jeep.
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/172324...-1/s-l1000.jpg
It was only when I started to look carefully at the picture after all these years that I started to wonder about the hatches, etc.

I wonder if the turret was made to look different due to the write up stating it was Chobham armour?

Pods are still bugging me.
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:30 PM
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As a comparison, here is a "proper" but unremarkable hovertank from 2300 AD

M9 hovertank
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:55 PM
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The commander position is behind the driver:

"As the skimmer whirled round almost in its own length, Libby hauled himself into the cramped cannon-armed turret set in the centre of the roof. Hyde sat immediately behind their driver in the command seat, while Clarence leant back on a bench and began to clean his rifle." - from Hard Target
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:43 AM
James Langham James Langham is offline
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Actually brings out a few bits:

* command position (just like the FV432/30)

* the CRAMPED turret

* bench seating (not individual as most APCs)

Thanks
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:54 AM
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There's quite a few APCs that have bench seating, both the M113 and FV432 use benches (they don't require the troops to face outwards so centreline seating or individual seating isn't necessary).
Having the FV499 use bench seating for the troop compartment would be in line with the most common NATO APC (i.e. the M113) and the FV432 at the time of writing. Individual seating become more common in the West with IFVs/MICVs such as the Marder, Warrior and Bradley.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:07 AM
Silent Hunter UK Silent Hunter UK is offline
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I can't even think of hovercraft without recalling a certain Monty Python sketch. Please work in a reference for me.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:42 AM
James Langham James Langham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
There's quite a few APCs that have bench seating, both the M113 and FV432 use benches (they don't require the troops to face outwards so centreline seating or individual seating isn't necessary).
Having the FV499 use bench seating for the troop compartment would be in line with the most common NATO APC (i.e. the M113) and the FV432 at the time of writing. Individual seating become more common in the West with IFVs/MICVs such as the Marder, Warrior and Bradley.
The 432 is actually individual seats but they do look like a bench - each location has its own seatbelt.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Langham View Post
The 432 is actually individual seats but they do look like a bench - each location has its own seatbelt.
Ah okay, I've never been inside one so I'm using pictures for reference.
The main image I used is from the wiki page and shows two-place folding bench seats https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FV432
I'd hazard a guess and say that the wiki page image is of the upgraded FV432 (i.e. the Bulldog) perhaps, or it's simply the wrong vehicle?
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Old 10-28-2017, 01:34 AM
James Langham James Langham is offline
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A bit more research and we may both be right! It appears the bench seating is in pairs with three pairs on each side.
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Old 10-28-2017, 01:35 AM
James Langham James Langham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Hunter UK View Post
I can't even think of hovercraft without recalling a certain Monty Python sketch. Please work in a reference for me.
It might well appear.
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