3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

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MilitaryMetalMagnut
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3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:37 am

Hi all,

I’ve been a bit quietly busy lately, preoccupied with a project that I’ve just finished today! (A lot of typing and a lot of pictures here, chaps!)

First of all, I must stress that everything in my post was known to be 100% empty before I started work on this. It is not recommended mess about with ordnance unless 100% sure it's safe!!! It was also found on an area where MOD bylaws DON'T apply, so all safe, and all legal. ::g

About 18 months or so ago, I came across a surprise find of a 3.5 inch Anti-Tank practice (dummy) rocket, and I must stress that I knew it wasn’t live when I found it. (A practice dummy is painted blue with a white band on the rocket motor, a high explosive version is dark green all over).
The rocket was an M29 training dummy, which doesn’t contain any high explosive, and would have been fired from the M20 rocket launcher, for recruit target practice. As this one was broken in half and has been left in a box for the last year and a half, I decided to build it as a commemorative lamp!

The M20 rocket launcher was entered into service in 1950, so these are very much post war. Whilst cleaning this particular rocket, I found a manufacture date of 1956.

Here's what it was when I found it. I used the head section in the middle of the pic next to the near whole one, and one of the three motors at the top.

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When I started...

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When I started taking the rust off it, I found the stamped markings on the head section. Marked "3.5 P MK1 M.M.S 1/56 CL."

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The aluminium tail fin section was in awful condition! That awful blue 'Daz' stuff, and parts of the fins had crumbled off. It also had a nicely marked British war department broad arrow. ::g

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All ground off ready for car body filler!
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Tail fins all 'built up' with filler and ready for primer and paint...

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Getting there!!!

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The wooden replacement fuze section, all painted and ready for stencilling.

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The wooden nose cone I had made. As you can see, the original on the right is a little bit worse for wear!!

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After a bit of fiddling and a few steps I forgot to photograph, it's finally done! It's a really big 'un, with the total height from the bottom of the plinth to the top of the bulb measuring at 32 inches! Being a cast iron head and a HSS steel rocket motor, it's rather heavy, too.

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Next on the agenda is a shade. As it was found on an area where the Royal Marines train, I’m thinking of a dark green one, so it looks like it’s wearing a green RM beret. Lol.

It has taken over a month and a half of grinding the flaking rust off, filling in the pits with car body filler, sanding smooth, primer and paint then and making the letter stencils.
I asked a local wood turning club to make a plinth on my behalf, and a nose cone out of hardwood (I had an original metal nose cone, but 60 years in the ground hasn’t been too kind to it!). A friend helped me turn a fuze section out of oak (The cylindrical piece in the middle between the green motor on blue head section), as the original one was far to ‘flakey’ to restore.

Really pleased how well it came out ::g

Hopefully this might inspire someone to do something useful with some of their un-displayable old relics just stored away somewhere. ::g

Best regards,

Simon


Military Firearms and Ammunition Historian, and published author to that effect! 12 years experience of collecting, researching military ordnance and weaponry!

https://wartimedalditchcamp.wordpress.com/about/

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Re: 3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

Post by sweepstick47 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:46 am

Absolutely stunning result on what must have been an immense restoration project ::g That will be an interesting item to show on one of your many display days ::g Superb job! Regards ss47
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Re: 3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

Post by Easylife » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:37 am

Wow, what a transformation. ::g
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Re: 3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

Post by Dave The Slave » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:25 am

That must be unique Simon, lot of time and effort went into it.
Great talking point.
Well Done ::g
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Re: 3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

Post by fred » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:58 am

Wonderful rebuild. ::g
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Re: 3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

Post by shaggybfc » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:13 am

That is fantastic. ::g
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Re: 3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

Post by Jeffdsolo » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:25 am

Great job! Well done!

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Re: 3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

Post by Lowland » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:39 am

Very impressed with the transformation,
It looks superb-hats off ::g
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Re: 3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:58 pm

Many thanks, chaps! ::g

It took quite a bit of effort indeed. The tail fin section was time consuming, having so many surfaces to prep and paint. It took me nearly two weeks to do that alone. lol.
sweepstick47 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:46 am
Absolutely stunning result on what must have been an immense restoration project ::g That will be an interesting item to show on one of your many display days ::g Superb job! Regards ss47
That’s a good idea! I hadn’t thought of displaying it in a show. ::g ::g ::g

Best regards,

Simon
Military Firearms and Ammunition Historian, and published author to that effect! 12 years experience of collecting, researching military ordnance and weaponry!

https://wartimedalditchcamp.wordpress.com/about/

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Re: 3.5 Inch M29 Practice Rocket Project.

Post by Wansdyke44 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:28 am

Really nice bit of up-cycling that you won't be seeing on any TV show any time soon!

You might start a new craze!

W ;)
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