R/C Tank Combat

Tank #T023


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Type: IS-4 Armament: 130mm
Built: November 2003 Armor: 250mm
Builder: Erik Kump Rating: 40/4
Status: Under Construction Battles: 0
Owner: Erik Kump Points Earned: 0
Call Sign: Nomad Points Given: 0
  • Welded stainless steel construction
  • Cast aluminum tracks
  • Independent suspension

  • I am building a 1/7th scale (putting the hull length at 38") Soviet IS-4. There were 250 made toward the end of and after WWII. I can't seem to find the web page that had stats on it to confirm, but if memory serves it had a 130mm main cannon, and a luxurious 250mm of armor at the thickest point of the turret.

    The hull is welded .048" stainless steel (not sure what gauge that would be). The tracks will be cast aluminum, though I haven't decided whether to emulate real track links or to go with a variant of the TTS. Each road arm is individually suspended. I have EV Warrior motors that I planned to use, but they may be too big to fit, in which case I have some high-power drill motors I could use. I am toying with the notion of coaxially mounting a 6mm (paint) BB cannon with the main cannon and possibly wireless video. My major sticking point right now is trying to find some inexpensive batteries that will fit in the low profile hull I chose without sacrificing capacity.

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    This is one of the line drawings I came across when I was trying to decide which tank I wanted to make. I just loved it. Nice and wide, wide tracks, not too tall, and it has a roomy turret.

    I scaled off the drawing and made this CAD model to give me hard data on the compound angles.

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    Here's a pretty good shot of my hull so far. It still needs cleaned up and painted, but it's done. The upper and lower hull will bolt together. Shown with universal scale. I have the suspension components half done. I'll send details and pics of that when it's done.

    Another view. No, that isn't my floor. I've been working on it at work after hours. My wife is starting to get mad at me I think.

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    Here is a view of the rear. I'll shoehorn the drive train in here. The cover panel is shown to the right.

    I didn't have a lot of weld experience when I started this project, and what I did have was MIG. I knew I needed TIG, so I had one of the welders at work give me a crash course. After practicing on some scrap for a little while, I started assembling. Mostly I've been able to fit the pieces well enough that I could just flow the edges together, but in this case there was a big gap. The "weld" on the left shows my first attempt to flow extra material into the gap to close the seam. Ick. So I tried laying the weld rod in the gap and flowing over it. As you can see by the stitch on the right, this worked much better.

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    The left center area here had a slight gap, and I tried my hand at "dabbing" the material into the weld. You can see by the lumps that I was pretty ham-fisted about it, but it's still a solid weld. I took a Dynafile to it, and it looks much better now.

    I got compliments from the welders for this bit. I'd hardly call it professional, but they said it was very good considering how little experience I have. (Okay, this one isn't part of the tank. It's the burner for the foundry I'm putting together to cast other parts for the tank from aluminum. I figured that it was close enough.)

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