Latil TL Tractor build

Badcrumble

Supporting Member
A long time lurker and occasional poster, this is my first attempt at a scratch build.
Me being me, I haven?t made it easy on myself in my choice of 1:1 vehicle on which to base my build.

A couple of years ago I went to a local Steam Fair.
As well as honouring steam-powered vehicles, there were processions and displays of vintage farm machinery, military vehicles and classic cars.
One little tractor caught my eye. Well, two actually ? two very similar models!

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It was unusual in its compact stance and same-sized tyres front and rear.
?That would be cool as an RC? I thought to myself.
And then it turned.

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I had kittens...4WS!
It did a little donut in the centre of the parade ground and I was hooked.
What was this mechanical marvel? Research was required.

I discovered that this little tractor is French, a Latil, and a later model of an illustrious line.
They have been used in general farming, forestry, with snowploughs and reworked as commercial vehicles.
The two 1:1s at the steam fair are garaged not too far away from me.
Unfortunately, the 2021 and 2022 fairs have been cancelled in due to COVID.
I managed to get some scale drawings and measurements of the earlier models, not much changed over the iterations.
The model with the most information in the public domain is the TL10 but the ones I had seen were newer models, perhaps from the 1970s.

http://www.avant-train-latil.com/TL31.php

The TL10 has even featured in a magazine and had its own scale model. So I picked up a couple of those for reference.

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I started amassing parts (one of my favourite things to do), starting with RC4WD 1.9 Mud Basher tyres.
The tractor is quite unusual - not only is it 4WS, it has portal axles.
I wanted to do this on the cheap. Cheap portals? That meant looking at SCX10ii axles and 3rd party portals.
So I got two stets of Xtra Speed portals with steering hubs, a clone SCX10ii gearbox, transfer case and driveshafts as well as some leaf springs.
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I used the little 1:43 model to get some scale measurements and try and work out the dimensions of this thing.
I created a spreadsheet as I used an online calculator to work out 1:43 to 1:1 and then to 1:10, 1:9 and 1:8, trying to work out what was right for the tractor.
Of course, what works at 1:43 doesn?t necessarily work at 1:10.

And then I stopped, I put it all in a box so I could concentrate on other things and get some practice in.
To be honest, the scratch building scared me and I had no real idea on how to proceed.
I got a little disappointed when I realised that the axles I had spent money on weren?t accurate ? the real thing has ?top entry? axles (have I got that right?)
Having got my GCM Skeleton JK to a running state (including a bit of styrene work and soldering ? new skills to me), I have come back to the Latil.
Reading multiple build threads on SBG by amazing creators has really helped.

I have taken the scale drawings from the interweb and inexpertly blown them up on the PC.
Printing them out, I got the tyres to match the diameter of the Mud Bashers but the wheelbase is slightly out ? 240mm would make it 1:10 scale.

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I might need to tweak my scaling slightly.
This build is not likely to happen overnight.
I expect to try and pull it together in cardboard templates first to see how it looks, then transfer to styrene.
I have no access to (or ability with) 3D printing or metal working facilities so everything needs to be off-the-shelf or buildable in styrene.
One potential issue is the width.
Adding the portals to the SCX10ii axles increases the width and will likely take it out of proportion so I may have to look at narrowing the axles.

I?d say stay tuned but who knows when I?ll get to the next stage ? the JK needs finishing!
Any guidance will be appreciated - this is all new to me!
 

Badcrumble

Supporting Member
Thanks @Dagabba.
One reason to start a build thread was to try and get my thoughts together on how to proceed and spur me on to make progress (rather than have it languish in a box forever).
My eventual goal is to run it at the Fair with the 1:1 (as long as the organisers and owners are happy).
I have broken one of the 1:43 models down to get a better idea of how the tractor is put together.

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I'm not particularly mechanically savvy so it is an education in itself!
I put together some top-down scale drawings but need to re-size a couple of pages slightly as they don't quite line up.

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I think that once I have brought them in line, the wheelebase will likely match the side-on view.

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I need to get the axles back out and see what I'm looking at width-wise, then move on to chassis frame construction.
 

Frizzen

Active member
Cool looking project!

Were these like field tractors that work with big attachments, or some kinda special use vehicle?
 

Badcrumble

Supporting Member
Thank you @Frizzen , my version is a forestry tractor (it has a rear mounted winch) and quite often tow logs, there is a standard agricultural version and I have seen them fitted with snowploughs. Unfortunately, most of my source material is in French and my grasp of the language is limited! I’m not certain but the origins may have been a military field gun tractor.
 
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