R/C Tank Combat

Tank #T012

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Type: SdKfz 166 Brummbar Armament: 150mm
Built: July 1991 - June 2003 Armor: 100mm
Builder: John Pittelli Rating: 40/4
Status: Operational Battles: 27
Owner: Desert One Points Earned: 45,000
Call Sign: Desert Dog Points Given: 34,000
  • Second Oldest Tank In The Hobby
  • Originally built/battled as Panzer IV
  • Converted to Brummbar in 2009
  • Panzer Lied Lyrics

  • Click Photo For Enlargement (67 Kb)
    The Panzer IV hull was built in 1991 with the intent of waging war with Tiger Tank #T001, but was set aside for a short time period (approx 11 years) while waiting for high priority projects to subside. Then, it was dusted off and the hard work of making it operational began.

    The hull is constructed of 3/8" luan plywood and will be eventually coated with epoxy and reinforced with fiberglass where needed.

    The Panzer had relatively small bogie wheels and some hard wood hobby wheels just happened to be the right size. Two wheels have been glued and nailed together to operate as a single wheel. Both sides of the wheel have been bored out to 3/4" to accept 1/4" ID bearings, which ride on 1/4" bolts as axles. With a total of 16 wheel axles carrying the load, 1/4" axles should suffice (besides, the 1/4" bearings were free).

    Each axle is bolted through a piece of 3/4" square aluminum rod, which is bolted through the bottom of the hull. The axles are also supported by the external horizontal support, which keeps all axles aligned and makes the structure more rigid.

    Click Photo For Enlargement (113 Kb)

    The 4" diameter drive wheels were made out of 3/4" thick Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) by rough cutting them on a bandsaw and then finishing them on the lathe. Two 3/4" disks were glued and screwed together to make the 1.5" thick drive wheels, which are the same thickness as the bogie wheels. The drive wheels are secured to the drive shaft using homemade flanges, consisting of a standard 1/2" nut which has been brazed to a standard 1/2" fender washer. Two flanges are mounted on either side of the wheel using a couple screws going through the fender washer into the wheel. The flange was bored out to a full 1/2" to accept the steel drive shaft and an 1/8" steel spring pin locks everything into place.

    A close-up of the rear idler wheels shows a fixed axle that has been mounted to the side of the hull with a sliding joint. This allows the rear axles to be moved back and forth to adjust the tension on the tracks. The slider was made by cutting a long slot in two pieces of 1/8" thick, 1.5" wide steel flat stock, which is through bolted to the side of the hull. Then, two pieces of 1/2" steel angle stock are through bolted, with the outside piece facing backwards and the inside piece facing forwards. This allows the axle to project backwards beyond the end of the hull, which is how the original axle was mounted. By loosening the bolts that connect the two outer pieces, they can be slid along the slot.

    Click Photo For Enlargement (360 Kb)

    The Panzer turret has lots of interesting angles and slopes, and it doesn't hurt to make things operational along the way. Here, the box hanging off the back of the turret is partially done, awaiting the layout of the turret systems before it will be finished. A liberal amount of filler and finishing will make everything look great when it's done.

    Click Photo For Enlargement (336 Kb)

    The Panzer drive system has definitely benefited from waiting a few years. The setup shown here is well organized and the entire assembly can be lifted out of the tank when the two front drive shafts are removed. This makes working on everything much easier. The kiddie car drive motors are mounted on a single fixed bar that spans the drive assembly and is mounted in slots on each side. Turnbuckles on either side of the assembly allow the motors to be moved back and forth to tension the belts. This is an important feature, because different pulley ratios require different motor placement. In this case, a Twist-Lock 1/2" drive belt is used, which eliminates all vibration between the motors and drive shafts. At the present time, a 2:1 pulley ratio is installed, pending field trials to determine the proper ratios for speed and endurance. The motor pulley is mounted to the motor using a 1" diameter Delrin spacer that is held inside of the motor drive cog using a stainless hose clamp. Two bolts secure the pully hub to the Delrin hub.

    Click Photo For Enlargement (365 Kb)

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