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Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:26 am
by mutuhaha
The Tank Project

A year ago in 2006, our group had attempted to build an armoured water warfare vehicle for use in combat. Complications occurred due to the instability of the initial design’s wooden frame and the project was put on hold until a month ago when the project was revived.

In early May 2007, plans made over the first half of 2007 were carried out and a PVC pipe frame purchased. Currently, the pipe frame can be considered to be much more stable than the original wooden frame, even without gluing the whole structure together. Some joints will be glued to ensure additional stability, though others will be left alone to allow the vehicle to be separated into components and thus made easier for storage. Since the frame is easy to assemble, mass production will be easier as well.

The most challenging part remaining would be the wheels, as it is unsure whether the small office chair wheels will be able to withstand the weight of the tank. We will first see if the wheels can take the weight and look into some suspension solutions.

Armour plating seems to be straightforward, with ropes being tied across the frame to provide a surface for the armour plates to attach to. The armour plate on the hull, sides and ceiling consists of a low-density styrofoam layer sandwiched in between two corrugated plastic boards, providing protection even against water balloon launchers. For balancing issues, the rear armour is made of a single layer of cardboard, which can be destroyed by higher powered water guns and WBLs. Once the rear armour is destroyed, the crew would be easy targets in the confined space. To revive a tank, repair crews would need to fit new cardboard rear armour and the vehicle crew would need to respawn normally.

The use of styrofoam in the armour would make the interior of the tank extremely hot after long periods of time, therefore, a sliding roof will attempt to improve ventilation during non-combat situations. Crews would also be advised to open the gunports to further lower temperatures.

It would be inaccurate to call the vehicle a tank though, as it has more of an APC role. Armament would likely be an APH or two, while supplies for infantry can be carried to make logistics more efficient in the field, especially since the introduction of mass produced APHs would require large amounts of water and pressure magazines.

Different variants of the chassis have been designed though not under construction at the moment. These variants include: Main Battle Tank, Gun Platform, Field Gun.

Hence, I am pleased to announce the Tank Project’s “declassification” (actually more that it has progressed beyond the stage of “drawing board” rather than a need for secrecy). Many thanks to the people like daishii, pkslayer and all who have contributed ideas and resources.

EDIT: The vehicle has no floor. It is literally propelled forward by the crew's physical strength. While this may be a little weird, it is necessary as this is the safest propulsion method, so no one gets run over by engine powered vehicles in the heat of battle. The crews, which we already have, are trained in ceremonial drill and will be better prepared to keep up as a team.

Edited By mutuhaha on 1183362953

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:55 am
by cobralex297
Wow. I'm quite interested in this and would love to hear more as it progresses. I have one quick comment/question about the wheels of the 'APC', but before I ask it I feel that I should preface:

I have never tried to create anything of this nature before and am quite unqualified to really be the most helpful in any way. I'm gonna ask a question and there's a good chance it may seem ignorant, because I AM pretty ignorant, in terms of armored personel carriers... at least as they relate to water warfare. Knowing this, please don't be offended if i seem critical.

Here's the question/comment:

Office chair wheels are a pain for me, even if it's just trying to get up onto or off of a rug, carrying my own bodyweight. For this reason, I think that it might be difficult to use them when you are not only carrying the weight of multiple people, but possibly traversing rough terrain. What type of terrain do you think that you will be encountering, that makes the use of these wheels feasible? If you'll just be traveling on pavement, which seems unlikely to me, this might be possible, however from my extensive experience with these pain-in-the-butt wheels, it seems as though it might be a good idea to try elsewhere.

These are just my 2¢, take comments as you please.

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:52 am
by mutuhaha
Ah, you reminded me of a point I missed in my original post, I'll edit it in as it's rather important, thanks.

Actually, we will be travelling mainly on concrete/pavement, urban surfaces, because our battlefield is our school. Though there is a certain area in the road where there are many potholes, so likely we'll avoid that area. Anyway, it is meant for urban operations and has been measured to be able to fit through the corridors of the building. When going down stairs, it should be light enough for the 4-man crew to carry it. If not, the attached infantry squad could always help out.

Edited By mutuhaha on 1183368489

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:39 am
by wetmonkey442
Sounds promising, I look forward to hearing more as construction continues. It sounds like you've taken a n idea that's been thrown around for awhile, and made it feasible. Human propulsion really is the best method in a vehicle such. In addition your approach to "eliminating" the tank makes sense, and should handicap the vehicle and its occupants enough so the tank doesn't become an overly decisive piece of battlefield equipment. Evening the odds to make for more enjoyable game play is always encouraged.

Insofar as wheels are concerned, I would definitely think of some alternatives to office-chair swivel style wheels. While these hold an advantage in terms of price, simplicity, and that ability to turn quickly and maneuver faster, they are especially fragile. Granted, the terrain you'll be using it on won't exactly be the forest floor, but even smooth pavement, combined with only 50 or 60 lbs of cargo and jolting movement may be enough to cause the plastic wheels to crack.

Mobility is really the defining aspect of this vehicle, and with the wheels broken, it would become more of a hassle than a boon to your team.

I would consider cheap wagon tires, easily purchased at any home supply store. They're made for use on wagons, and are usually air inflated. You should be able to find them in a wheel radius small enough to be feasible for your APC (such as a 6 or 8"). Furthermore, they should be easily attachable to the existing frame, without adding too much weight.

Beyond that, the only thing I would recommend are side skirts. You might want to consider trimming some flaps of thin plastic or lightweight fabric and stapling them to the bottom edges of the framing. They would trail on the ground on either side, offering some protection from people lobbing a water balloon underneath or shooting at the feet of your crew.

Just some thoughts. I look forward to pictures and updates!

Soak On!

Edited By wetmonkey442 on 1183387252

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:10 am
by isoaker
Sounds cools!

But as wetmonkey442 said, I'd suggest against plastic office-chair wheels. Rubber castors like these castors are much more rugged, durable, and better rolling. These are the type of wheels used for moving a lot of heavy boxes around the building I work in while still offering full 360-degree rotational movement.


Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:29 pm
by Silence
I also am against the wheels. Weight probably won't be much of a problem, even with weapons on board - it's not like people will be putting their weight on the structure. The main problem is that office chair wheels are just too small and dinky to roll easily.

Some cheap office chairs don't even roll well on polished or wood floors. Seems like the APC would be scraped across the ground rather than gracefully rolled. I would recommend larger wheels for sure.

Apart from that, it sounds like a project with a lot of potential!

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:41 pm
by Loumeyer
Sounds pretty cool!

As other people have said, office chair wheels are not able to take the stress. Use wagon wheels or something.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:06 am
by mutuhaha
Looking at it, I would greatly prefer the castors. Was wondering what they were called, since I saw them on heavy carts before. One problem is just how to attach them to the frame, as the pipe is circular and the castor meant to fit onto a flat surface. DIY here is more geared toward businesses rather than homefix projects, so support may be limited.

Nevertheless, even without help, we'll figure out a way to fit them on. The office wheels idea was mainly because we found some wheels attached to metal frames which could be more easily attached to the structure. But the castors will likely be prioritized as first choice.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:34 am
by cobralex297
You could attach the wheels to wooden planks, and have the planks attached to the pvc? That would also probably increase the structural integrity of the APC, by giving it a small wooden frame at the base.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:32 pm
by Silence
Yep, I was also thinking wood planks around the bottom of the tank. But they could poke people, and there wouldn't be much of a rigidity fact, unless the planks are nailed to each other extremely well, they might wobble a bit.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:15 pm
by bb1
The planks don't even need to be large- Castors are quite small, so you would need a square piece of wood that goes about 1/2-1 inch over the edges of the mounting brace. Poking shouldn't happen. A good amount of industrial glue and nails should keep it in place.

As far as weight goes, over here when we moved we had a Jacuzzi on our patio. To get it to the front lawn to get in the truck, we got 4 castors, made a cart out of 4 pieces of wood and mounted the castors, it got it up and away (I forgot how we got the spa up on it... not important). Total weight- 1000+ lbs.

Note that castors have one huge limitation for what you are doing: Warfare. If you get sneeked up on, someone can pop the brake on just one wheel... if you are moving quickly, you could topple and skin your knees on the ground (ow) or send the tank over (uh oh), or even worse, they do all the wheels. Then you are immobal or have to drag yourself away. If you can see the brake from the inside of the tank and undo it, you can be at a severe disadvantage if just one wheel is braked- You can still move, but dragging it is a pain. In a heated situation, enemies can pop the back and let it rain on you in there while you fumble to get moving; turn around.

Not saying you shouldn't use this because of the parker, just suggesting that some of these designs (especially the heavier-duty ones) can have very still braking pads that take a great deal of strength to undo without full range of motion. If you do get wheels with a braking design, an idea is to either remove them on 3 wheels (if you still want a parking brake on hillsides, just needs one) or use some material to null its function (glue to stop it from moving??? Things of that nature).

Castors are still better than office wheels, you'd be better off with a static 2 front wheels and mobile backs.

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:18 am
by aerokinetic
Sounds really awesome!AS far as rear armor goes,I would recommend plastic,like the kinds on the sides of LCD computer screens.I'm not sure how much that goes for though,so take my comment as lightly as you'd like.And rope sounds good for the front as part of it.Could you post some pictures,if/when it's done?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:13 am
by forestfighter7
Sounds like a very interesting project! I would love to see pics or a vid of it when it's done. I also think office wheels are a little weak for this. Good Luck!

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:44 pm
by mr. dude
This may sound (really) crazy, but here it is.
How about getting two bikes of similar size, and hooking them up to something to sit on, to look like this:
For safety reasons, also lock the handlebars (so that they can't turn) in case there's a miscommunication. To turn, one person simply stops moving.
The seat would have a WBL attached in a way so that you wouldn't have to get up to load it, and possibly a few soakers.

Like I said, very crazy I know, but you're building a tank anyway! I also know it may be unreliable to use something that requires 3 people to operate it, and not too many people want to give up a perfectly functioning bike.
Ps. this post made sense when I read it, but if you need a better explanation, feel free to ask.

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:10 am
by rbertaut44
I want a tank to but I don't have a traler to transpot it.

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:27 am
by cobralex297
@Mr. Dude: Howabout a tandem bicycle, with one person in the front pedaling and steering, and the person in the back shooting and possibly pedaling? The backseat on a tandem cannot steer, which means that all that they really would then need to do would be to shoot. They can also probably, with practice, pedal as well as shooting at the same time. Tandems can be expensive, however if they are used, they can be purchased for about the same/less as a normal used bike.