This restoration short is about 8 minutes long.  I started this project towards the end of January of 2009, and my friend Kent and myself worked at it full time, 5 days a week (sometimes 6) up to July 4th.

I’ll post some additional pictures of the restoration, but some things you will notice in the video:

1 - The two shots of the ‘garage’ are actually the same garage - one is pre-tank remodel, the other is post.  We had to raise the roof higher, vault the ceiling and then push out the back of the shop, extending it about additional 20 feet.

2 - Yes, that’s a Range Rover pulling the tank.  If you put it in low, rock-crawler mode, it will pull it slowly, occasionally spinning the tires and leaving black marks on the cement..

3 - The stop-motion camera work was somewhat of an experiment.  I set it up sometime in March and it took a photo every 5 minutes up until July.  It ended up taking over 200,000 photos, and stitching them together took a lot of time.  For the geeks out there, I used convert to crop to HD format, and ffmpeg to encode in H264 some perl scripts I wrote to put it together.  Post processing, I ended up with 800,000 HD quality images, and about 20 hours of stop-motion video.  It turns out, that most of it is incredibly boring (4 hours sped up to 20 minutes of me at the sandblaster or in the paint booth is not very exciting.)

We had a lot of help.  Roger (of Tank Overhaul fame) was a big help.  Ray and Roly were did all the canvas and leather work.  The usual suspects helped out with random parts here and there.  The engine work was an unpleasant adventure, but eventually we ended up getting it worked out and we now have a perfectly rebuilt engine from the folks in Georgia.

Wasatch Abrasives did a fantastic job on sand blasting and painting the hull and turret.  The TM9 paint is good, but very difficult to work with on large surfaces.  I’ll do an article on the paint at some point to discuss this, and the interesting question of “what was the original color?”

More restoration information to come.