R/C Tank Combat

Tank #T001

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The forward-reverse switches and one of the analog throttle controls are shown here. With Panther Tank #002 using a digital control mechanism, this analog approach was taken to see how the two approaches differ under battle conditions.

The main drive motors were used to power kiddie cars and were bought from a surplus catalog complete with heavy-duty plastic gears. The motors are directly connected to the drive shafts for the front drive wheel of each tread. The treads themselves are driven by friction, which has proven to be sufficient and far more reliable than cogs.

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The Tiger tracks were built (2nd generation) as separate assemblies that are bolted to the bottom of the hull. That allows them to be easily removed for modification, testing and maintenance. Alumininum square stock (3/4") was used to mount the fixed 1/4" axles. An additional right-angle piece adds strength to the hull mounting.

A close-up of the track mounting assembly shows the various nuts, bolts and lag screws used to hold everything together. With a couple of wrenches, the entire assembly comes apart in a few minutes. Double-nuts and washers are used between the mounting assembly and each wheel to lock the axle into place and provide a uniform spacing between the assembly and all wheels.

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November 2001: Tiger Tank #001 is shown here immediately after the first-ever R/C tank battle, with all of its accumulated damage. With a little bit of soap and water, and a lot more system tinkering, it will be ready for more battles to come.

May 2003: The Tiger-1 finally gets a camo paint job and some details to make it look a little more like the original. (Good looks don't help much during a battle, but it can't hurt either.)

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May 2003: The original straight magazine didn't feed reliably enough, so it has been replaced by a tubular magazine. See Tubular Paintball Magazine for more details about the construction of this magazine, including detailed photos of each component.

June 28, 2003: The Tiger proudly wears a coat of paint after a day of battling against the Tyng Regime. Fortunately, frontal hits on the Tiger don't count. (See First Tyng Invitational for details)

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October 12, 2003: Based on extensive field testing and battlefield experience with T001, T002 and T012, the original bicycle-chain track developed for the Tiger 1 has been deemed too unreliable for long-term purposes. Therefore, a new track system, based on the Tyng Track System (TTS) was built (see Tank T005 for details). The modified design uses a molded inner tread that incorporates two teeth, instead of the single tooth in the original TTS. This photo shows the stages of development including (from left to right): male plug, female rubber mold, molded inner tread, plate drilled to accept rivets and oak outer treads.

The mold was made using Evergreen 40 molding rubber and the tread was made using Smooth-Cast 300 polyurethane resin, which cures in 3-5 minutes. Both materials are available from www.smooth-on.com.

The inner treads are 4 inches long, 1.25 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. The teeth are approx 3/8 inch tall and are placed so that there is 1.5 inches between their bases, which is the thickness of the drive and roadwheels on Tiger 1. The outer treads are 1-3/8" inches wide because that was the width of the pre-cut molding at the lumber yard which eliminated a couple of milling steps. The oak molding strips were planed down to 1/4" so that the rivets would be long enough to attach them to the inner treads.

The molded inner treads were tinted gray to eliminate the need for painting them, while the outer treads were sealed with lacquer and will be painted black or gray. The outer treads were made out of wood instead of plastic because oak has excellent durability and they could be made faster and cheaper. More experience is needed with the plastic resin before it will be considered for use as the outer tread, which needs to take a lot of abuse as the tank travels over rough terrains.

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