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From: Rick Dulas <rick.dulas-at-oracle.com>
Subject: Re: Scale tires [TANKS]
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 13:41:45 -0500
Reply-To: tanks-at-rctankcombat.com

I understand about wanting the vehicle to look "right". To my knowledge, the only scale tires in 1:6 are found on the 21st Century vehicles. And those are only approximations. The other problems with the 21st Century tires are expense and material. Most people that have these vehicles want to sell them for "collector" prices. And the larger tires, as found on the White Scout Car, Dodge Command Car, and Greyhound Scout Car, are blown plastic. Similar to the tires on a kid's Power Wheels vehicle. This means that they would not be durable in operation, have no elasticity, and have poor traction.

However, there is a potential solution. Suppliers of tire recapping materials sell an unvulcanized rubber which could be used with a mold to make tires. The vulcanizing temperature of this rubber is only about 325 Degrees F. Well within the range of home ovens. To make this all come together, you would need to create a master tire out of whatever material works for you, plastic, wood, etc. Then make a mold out of RTV, probably in halves with the parting line around the circumference of the tire. Into each half of the mold pour casting investment. After this sets up, you will have 2 high temperature resistant masters. Bed these investment masters in some casting sand and pour aluminum into the cavity. You now have 2 aluminum mold halves. If you have maintained registration through out the process, these halves will fit together. Into the mold cavity inject unvulcanized rubber. This would probably have to be done with an injector made out of pipe fittings and use a small hydraulic press to force the rubber into the cavity. Put the filled mold into the oven at 325 for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Strip the mold, inject more rubber, cook and repeat until you have all the tires you need.

If you decided that the 21st Century tires were sufficiently accurate, then making the master is taken care of. If you have a CNC mill with a 4th axis, you could probably make the aluminum mold directly and bypass most of the fiddly bits of this process. And if you were really ambitious, there are lots of people that would pay $5 to $10 per tire. The material costs per tire are about $1.50. Depending on what your time is worth, you could break-even selling as few as 25 to 50 tires. One Deuce and a Half requires 10 tires on the ground and 1 or 2 spares. The Greyhound, M-8 or M-20, require 6 tires.

Just some thoughts


Aahz. wrote:
Why not build it to the scale of the tires?
I'm something of a stickler for scale and I want it to match my tank.




Rick Dulas, Ph.D., Sr. Service Delivery Engineer, 
MidWest Solution Support Center, Advanced Product Services, Oracle

The opinions expressed herein are not those of Oracle, Advanced Product Services or any other responsible party.