The making of...a DOOBI D9R IDF Military Bulldozer

Custom scale model builder Ad Gevers has this week started with his next project by building in 1:48th scale of the:

  • DOOBI D9R IDF Military Bulldozer

The Israeli Armored D9—nicknamed "DOOBI" (Hebrew: דובי‎, for teddy bear)— is a Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer that was modified by the Israel Defense Forces, Israeli Military Industries and Israel Aerospace Industries to increase the survivability of the bulldozer in hostile environments and enable it to withstand heavy attacks, thus making it suitable for military combat engineering use.

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The DOOBI D9R in IDF service, has a 410 Hp and drawbar pull of 71.6 metric tons (about 716 kN). The DOOBI D9 has a crew of two: operator and commander. It is operated by the TZAMA (In Hebrew: צמ"ה‎ = ציוד מכני הנדסי, mechanical engineering equipment) units of the Combat Engineering Corps.

The main IDF modification is the installation of an Israeli-made vehicle armor kit which provides armor protection to the mechanical systems and to the operator cabin. The operator and commander are protected inside an armored cabin ("the cockpit"), with bulletproof glass windows to protect against bombs, machine guns, and sniper fire. The IDF also developed and installed slat armor add-on to deflect rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) rounds. The fitted armor package adds roughly 15 additional tons to the production-line weight of the DOOBI D9R. The modified Caterpillar D9R bulldozers can be fitted with disparate features, such as crew-operated machine guns, smoke projectors, or grenade launchers. The Israeli armor and durable construction of the DOOBI D9R makes it impervious to landmines, IED and large belly charges.

The IDF uses the DOOBI D9R for a wide variety of combat engineering tasks, such as earthworks, digging moats, mounting sand barriers, building fortifications, rescuing stuck, overturned or damaged armored fighting vehicles, clearing land mines, detonating IEDs and explosives, handling booby traps, clearing terrain obstacles and opening routes to armored fighting vehicles and infantry, as well as structures demolition, including under fire.

In this "Making of a ...DOOBI D9R IDF Military Bulldozer" he shows how this custom model will be achieved. Ad shall share his building skills through its construction photos with little notes from me. Gradually it shows you the making of a unique model of the DOOBI D9R IDF Military Bulldozer.

Enjoy reading & watching!

Ad and Wouter

What preceded...

imageFor this project Cypmodels could perfectly use the book "Doobi D9 Variants: D9 bulldozers in IDF service." This book is part 7 in the "IDF Armor Series" of authors Michael Mass and Adam O'Brien series and is released by Deserteagle-publishing under ISBN 978-965-91635-3-3.

These series are published for modellers, mostly of 1:35 and 1:48 th scale military models, to assist in the reonstruction of 1:1 military vehicles used by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

The Book "Doobi D9 Variants: D9 bulldozers in IDF service" is all about the Caterpillar D9 Bulldozers D9L - D9N - D9R and it even includes already 2 photos of the Caterpillar D9T in military version. The book is 80 pages long and contains more than 200 color photos. In this book there is a lot of attention for the Caterpillar D9R and therefore ideal for research for this custom project in 1:48th scale. But given the availability of Caterpillar D9G, D9H, D9N, D9L, D9R D9T “donor” scale models in both 1:48 and 1:50th scale, there are also plenty of opportunities for you to custom built the D9 of your own choice and get started.

Additionally Ciprian had also purchased the D9R Armored Bulldozer kit in 1:35th scale released by Meng Models and this kit was simultaneously (partly) built and is therefore a perfect reference in terms of design, dimensions and proportions for his project in the 1:48th scale.

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The kit

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The Kickoff

Despite the craftsmanship of CypModels and the quality of the supplied resin tracks in the kit Ad absolutely wanted to install metal tracks because they ultimately show much more realistically.

Fortunately CypModels was willing to provide a kit of DOOBI D9R so Ad can entirely build his own custom model and equipped with metal tracks.

It should still be noted that it is quite clear that the models and kits of CypModels since the first custom model of the Caterpillar 527 Tracked Skidder have become much tighter and more accurate and that the DOOBI D9R absolutely is a superb and high quality scale model.

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Ad soon discovered that after completing the kit to full scale model it is unfortunately not possible to actually run the metal tracks and therefore the DOOBI D9R will not be able to drive. (So this time no YouTube video with music-))

The attachment of the running wheels has namely too little material in order to connect a small axle.

In order to be able to position the metal tracks Ad has chosen to make the Sprocket wheel rotating so that during the assembly both tracks can be placed as desired. In both Sprocket wheels holes are drilled and subsequently connected with a small axle.

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The bottom plate of the DOOBI D9R kit fits so beautiful that it seems like he is part of a professionally produced military 1:48th scale kit.

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Because the metal track links are ± 1mm wider than the rollers of the original kit, the rollers need to be filed on the inside to the right size and thickness.

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Next, both the undercarriages can be glued to the machine frame.

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The supporting spring (equalizer) of the kit is performed somewhat fragile and vulnerable. Ad decision, therefore, as a precaution in order to strengthen the support spring with a brass strip, mainly because during the construction process, the construction several times and has to be taken apart for test fitting, and thus preventing the support spring will break.

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The shoes

To be able an easily assembly of the metal tracks on the scale model for the last and final time, there is a connecting link, made by drilling a hole in one of the links. Now that the entire metal track chain can first be mounted on the chassis, and if it does fit well it can be finally located and with a small pin connected to each other.

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In order to ensure that the metal tracks are not too tight nor hang too loose Ad has invented an alternative to bring the running wheel at the proper distance. Normally, the tracks are kept on tension held by a small spring, but that was now not possible. Therefore, with the help of a small ring, Ad has determined the center of the undercarriage, and drilled a hole in it.

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At the running wheel is constructed a small pin that will automatically falls into the drilled hole. By now adding on or more small rings in place or filing off some material from the running wheel the required distance can be created until the tracks fit nice and tight.

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In the next step both running wheels are glued while the model is placed on the metal tracks.

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Very satisfied with the achieved result:

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Of course, in this "making of ..." the YouTube Video shall not be missing: Just 100% NL!!

To be continued...