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An inside look into Development - Frostbite Grizzly


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MaxChaos24 #1 Posted 29 June 2017 - 01:45 PM

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Inside Development - Frostbite Grizzly

The creation and release of the Frostbite Grizzly sets a new milestone for the WGCB Development studio. The Grizzly has been the most player-requested tank and we wanted to turn the requests into reality. It was a fun challenge since there was no existing model for us to use, we had to create one. This is the first tank that we've built from scratch and was a new experience and process for us all; we hope you enjoy the results!

This process started in February with having Wargaming's historical services research and provide documentation on surviving Grizzly tanks. They collected information and photographs on 47 different Grizzly tanks from various museums and private collections around the world, providing us with 204 reference photos of various angles and aspects of the tank to base our models on.

From the moment we had all the information needed, the tank took about 5 weeks to build. The building process took multiple steps for modeling, model accuracy, textures and additional research.  The modelers used actual blueprints of the Grizzly to work from, along with the reference photos. For the texture work on the tank, artists used a 600mb text document providing all of the necessary references for paint wear, metal scratches, damage and surface characteristics. The tank then received a paint job to get the Maple Leaf design onto the hull in celebration of Canada's 150th Anniversary.  Then, the tank was rigged and set up for use on the Xbox One and PS4, and later got "baked down" for use on the Xbox 360, which is a one to two day process. We had a blast building this tank and we think the final result is pretty darn cool.  O Canada!

More behind-the-scenes facts:

The Grizzly started off in the US Nation but after some discussion we decided change it to the UK. We came to this decision based on the following:

  • The Grizzly is a Canadian-made tank and is part of the Commonwealth, which would fall under the UK.
  • The UK lacks Premium tanks compared to the US. We always hear players asking for more UK Premiums and we're glad to deliver.
  • The US has three Sherman-based Premium tanks, two of which are tier 5s with similar guns. Adding a third tier 5 US Sherman seems like 1 too many!
  • The UK only has 1 Sherman-based Premium tank and it is a tier 6, so a tier 5 Grizzly is a nice addition to fill in this spot.

What makes the Frostbite Grizzly different from the M4 Sherman?

The Canadian-built Grizzly had quite a few modifications with one of the most noticeable modification being the suspension system. The Grizzly used a 17-tooth drive sprocket along with the Canadian Dry Pin tracks which didn't require rubber. This suspension provided a wider base which you'll see reflected in the terrain resistance and rotation values on the Frostbite.

Frostbite Grizzly

M4 Sherman

frostbite4.png

sherman4.png

              (Click to enlarge)

 

There was also multiple changes in the the turret with the inclusion of a 2-inch smoke mortar (1), blade site for the Commander (2), rear mounted gun mount (3), stowage boxes (4), gun mount lifting rings (5), gun mantle (6). We also went with the post-war modification of the all around vision cupola (7) instead of the original split hatch to keep the view range at 370m instead of 330m. 

Frostbite Grizzly M4 Sherman
Frostbite1.png Sherman1.png

              (Click to enlarge)

 

The hull also shows some modifications. The hull was cast by General Steel's foundry with the noticeable General Steel logo on the front, often referred to as the "Grizzly Badge" (1). Other noticeable additions are the gun travel lock (2) and the applique armor welded over the ammo storage bins (3). 

Frostbite Grizzly M4 Sherman
frostbite2.png sherman2.png

              (Click to enlarge)

 

On the rear you will see the signature "groove" from hulls cast by General Steel (1). On the left side, the equipment layout was change with the shovel's orientation reversed (2), the track tension wrench and sledge hammer were located alongside the shovel (3), and they also added additional tie downs (4).

Frostbite Grizzly M4 Sherman
frostbite3.png sherman3.png

              (Click to enlarge)



DecoNoir #2 Posted 29 June 2017 - 10:08 PM

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So built from scratch eh?

 

So we don't necessarily have to wait for PC to implement tech trees before we bring them over?

 

I'll go fetch those Joco threads...

 

 

And question: Is there a standard version modeled as well? I mean could we see a regular Grizzly in the future without the paintjob? The model itself actually looks quite nice, so it'd be cool to see it in all it's standard issue glory.


Edited by DecoNoir, 29 June 2017 - 10:12 PM.

 

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ScottRey97 #3 Posted 29 June 2017 - 10:50 PM

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I'd also love to see the tank in it's natural colours

 

And well done guys! You have set the bar very high as this is your first tank you've made yourselves, Great work.



greyweasel UK #4 Posted 29 June 2017 - 10:58 PM

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First step toward building the Merc tree... And maybe a 'Jagdchieftain'?

There's a handle on the upper glacis, I take it that's for clambering up?

LeftTurnus #5 Posted 30 June 2017 - 12:28 AM

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Thank you for this post Max. Very interesting and informative.

Made up my mind for me ... I will get one.   :)



SteampunkPagan #6 Posted 30 June 2017 - 12:54 AM

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Thanks Max good information and a fun read. Will buy mine on the 10th for sure!!!!

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KilroyWasHere17 #7 Posted 30 June 2017 - 12:56 AM

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If all this research was done why wasn't this tank given it's major advantage over the standard m4a1 Sherman as in the armor. The hull of the m4a1 was 2.0 inches thick which comes out to just about the 51mm it has in the game. Now what I have managed to find on the internet regarding the grizzly is that it had a hull thickness of 2.95 inches which would be about 75mm of armor and could have made this tank different then the m4a1.

 

 

http://www.militaryf...sp?armor_id=292



MaxChaos24 #8 Posted 30 June 2017 - 12:59 AM

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View PostKilroyWasHere17, on 29 June 2017 - 07:56 PM, said:

If all this research was done why wasn't this tank given it's major advantage over the standard m4a1 Sherman as in the armor. The hull of the m4a1 was 2.0 inches thick which comes out to just about the 51mm it has in the game. Now what I have managed to find on the internet regarding the grizzly is that it had a hull thickness of 2.95 inches which would be about 75mm of armor and could have made this tank different then the m4a1.

 

 

http://www.militaryf...sp?armor_id=292

 

Thats was the thickest part of the armor but doesn't specifically say it was the hulls armor. You'll find that the turrets frontal armor is the thickest armor which measure out to ~76mm.

 

P.S. If you find something different for hull specifications, will be more than happy to pass along!



KilroyWasHere17 #9 Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:07 AM

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View PostMaxChaos24, on 29 June 2017 - 07:59 PM, said:

 

Thats was the thickest part of the armor but doesn't specifically say it was the hulls armor. You'll find that the turrets frontal armor is the thickest armor which measure out to ~76mm

Yeah I was basing it off Wikipedia as well (yes I know don't trust Wikipedia) that stated the tank had 75mm of armor and usually whenever they list armor for a vehicle it is the hull and not the turret they are referring to.



KilroyWasHere17 #10 Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:08 AM

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In the end though I'm a sucker for shermans and this will be a day one buy for me all I have to ask from you now is, is there a plan for the thunderbolt vii for console in the near future.

MaxChaos24 #11 Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:31 AM

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View PostKilroyWasHere17, on 29 June 2017 - 08:07 PM, said:

Yeah I was basing it off Wikipedia as well (yes I know don't trust Wikipedia) that stated the tank had 75mm of armor and usually whenever they list armor for a vehicle it is the hull and not the turret they are referring to.

 

We've all been there! Just as an extra tidbit, if you follow that grizzly wiki to the Skink which used the grizzly hull but replaced the turret with AA guns, you will see that the new armor thickness is listed as 50 (glacius) which is the front of the hull. :great:

https://en.m.wikiped...i-aircraft_tank



NinetyMIKE #12 Posted 30 June 2017 - 03:13 AM

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The totally unhistorical flag camo kills it for me.

Not worth it.

I can only see it as a "must buy" for Canadians 



KilroyWasHere17 #13 Posted 30 June 2017 - 03:36 AM

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View PostMaxChaos24, on 29 June 2017 - 08:31 PM, said:

 

We've all been there! Just as an extra tidbit, if you follow that grizzly wiki to the Skink which used the grizzly hull but replaced the turret with AA guns, you will see that the new armor thickness is listed as 50 (glacius) which is the front of the hull. :great:

https://en.m.wikiped...i-aircraft_tank

I did some more research on the grizzly based on the Skink you mentioned and found this which also refers to the upper hull of the grizzly being 76 mm 

 

 

 

http://www.tanks-enc...ft-grizzly-tank

 



Deuces WiId #14 Posted 30 June 2017 - 05:36 AM

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When can I get a unmolested version of the Grizzly?

 Give me a polished WoT gaming experience that feels like a finished product.

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Pontiac Pat #15 Posted 30 June 2017 - 06:10 AM

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Have one of those Grizzlies measured to see how thick the front glacis really is.  I too have read numerous reports of both the hull and turret being stronger than the regular Sherman.  I was totally expecting a tier V 'Jumbo'.  With the stock gun and M4A1 armor this should really be a tier IV, imo.  My only hope for it is that you buffed the gun handling and accuracy to allow it to use its buffed mobility to full advantage.

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leova #16 Posted 30 June 2017 - 06:45 AM

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View PostKilroyWasHere17, on 29 June 2017 - 10:36 PM, said:

I did some more research on the grizzly based on the Skink you mentioned and found this which also refers to the upper hull of the grizzly being 76 mm 

 

 

 

http://www.tanks-enc...ft-grizzly-tank

 

 

Block Quote

 

Sources

Steve Osfield
Canadian RCAC Skink TM Manual
“Ironsides”: Canadian Armoured Fighting Vehicle Museums and Monuments by Harold Skaarup
Blueprint for Victory, from 1981. by William Gregg.
M4 on Wikipedia
Grizzly Wikipedia

 most of that article is a transcription of the Wiki anyway



KilroyWasHere17 #17 Posted 30 June 2017 - 07:14 AM

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View Postleova, on 30 June 2017 - 01:45 AM, said:

 

 most of that article is a transcription of the Wiki anyway

Along with the actual manual for the tank is listed in those credits



Sovietdeath #18 Posted 30 June 2017 - 07:48 AM

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View PostKilroyWasHere17, on 30 June 2017 - 03:14 AM, said:

Along with the actual manual for the tank is listed in those credits

And the Dev team From what Max has posted

 

Went off the actual blueprints of the tank as well as many reference photos

 

Block Quote

 

This process started in February with having Wargaming's historical services research and provide documentation on surviving Grizzly tanks. They collected information and photographs on 47 different Grizzly tanks from various museums and private collections around the world, providing us with 204 reference photos of various angles and aspects of the tank to base our models on.

From the moment we had all the information needed, the tank took about 5 weeks to build. The building process took multiple steps for modeling, model accuracy, textures and additional research.  The modelers used actual blueprints of the Grizzly to work from, along with the reference photos. For the texture work on the tank, artists used a 600mb text document providing all of the necessary references for paint wear, metal scratches, damage and surface characteristics. 

 

 



DaffierPear6 #19 Posted 30 June 2017 - 07:53 AM

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Awesome article Max!!  

Brass Drag0n #20 Posted 30 June 2017 - 09:07 AM

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Great article Max, I hope players find it before writing off the Grizzly as bad Ripper clone.

 

Is there any chance that the non-Frostbite version will get added to the UK tech tree?

 

And how about moving the Ram II over from the very crowded US TT into the still pretty empty UK line?


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