R/C Tank Combat

Tank #T057

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Click Photo For Enlargement (129 Kb)
The upper hull is made of 4mm ply which turned out to be rather splintery. When I built this (it was the first thing I cut) I tried edge-glueing it, which wasn't strong enough. I then tried supporting it with wooden strips inside, which worked to an extent, but it was hard to get the angles right. I was considering covering it with fibreglass, but then remembered papier mache from my childhood... I mixed up PVA wood glue with water (about 50/50) in a bucket and then added torn-up newspaper. Soaked for a few hours, you can spread it over the top to make a smooth surface, or squidge it into a sort of putty which sticks to the inside of an angle and holds it rigidly in place. After it dried I could easily stand on the tank. Warning- I should have sanded it down before painting, as paper lines are still visible. The cat is "helping".

Installing the marker was pretty straightforward (although admittedly at the time of writing I haven't fired it, as I need an "O" ring). The marker pivots on the bolt which passes through the red brackets. The paintball tray (you can see its underside in brown) is attached to the top of the tank and fed through a hatch in the top which doubles as the commander's hatch. I did hope to be able to leave the gun unaltered, so that I could remove it and use it for paintball, but there wasn't quite enough room and I had to shorten the feed tube to make everything fit.

Click Photo For Enlargement (124 Kb)

Click Photo For Enlargement (139 Kb)
Others have explained how the hinge tracks and radio work, so I won't go over that again here. What I do want to mention is that practically everything you see here has gone wrong, dropped off, or needed improving before it worked properly. I won't bore you with all the details, but here is one example: I inserted this wooden centrepiece for the back axle as the rod I'd bought wasn't quite long enough. It lasted about 3 yards on grass before breaking. I replaced it with a steel tube used as a sleeve. Note to self- hardwood does not have much strength across the grain!

So now it works, sort of, and I made a video to show it off.

You can have a look at some of the bloopers too.

There's plenty more work to be done, but I've had a great time building this tank, and as you can see I couldn't resist adding some figures. What will yours be like?

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