UPDATE: The hull has been built. Working on the suspension and tracks
So, It's been almost a year, but I have finally had the hull built. I am now working on the suspension and tracks, more on that later. First, the hull:
Cut turret plates not welded yet (Mantlet and rear plate still being cut, plus will add an outer layer of armour plate with composite layered ceramic/aramid armour in between:
The turret needs to be the most protected because all of the electronics except the batteries and engine will be mounted in it, to allow for full 360 degree rotation. Also, it needs to withstand recoil because it will sport a fully working, hopper fed 18 mm chain- cannon.
So, for the suspension, I have ordered the parts machined. 12 roadwheels per side, two per axle, 6" diameter, for a total of 24 wheels. 12 torsion bars mounted on bearings, just like the Tiger tank suspension. The torsion bars are 1/2" diameter and machined from real torsion steel.
My problem right now is the wheels. Normal commercial trolley wheels seem to be too expensive and mostly plastic. Definitely not strong enough for this. Having them custom cast from iron and bearing individually fitted might be too expensive, because it's 24 wheels plus 4 idlers. Any ideas?
In regards to the track, having each tread cast from iron might be very expensive, plus it requires 4 custom sprockets. I was thinking about maybe using regular sprockets and 100 roller chain, and bolting each tread to the chains. Does this sound like a good idea?
I'm trying to save most of the resources for the gun, because it will require a custom-made 40" long 18mm smoothbore barrel, custom receiver and mechanism, and custom rounds (I'm designing both blank, birdshot, and solid brass rifled slug ammunition, for full authenticity). A recoil-spring assisted servo will operate the gun. The mechanism alone is quite frankly a work of art, if I say so myself.
Electronics wise, I purchased two Schwinn 350W motors, a 30amp double speed controller with 5v BEC from Robot marketplace, and a used Futaba conquest 6ch tx/rx set that includes 6 servos. With the sevos using worm-gears and the turret and gun mounted on industrial bearings, the small motors should be quite up to the task. It will also sport a small 1/3" 800mW camera attached to an old Weaver D4 4x28 scope, both of which will be mounted on and elevated with the gun. That way remote aiming is possible. And since the camera lacks IR filters, I purchased a 12VDC IR illuminator with photosensor, so that I can operate at night as well.
I estimate this project will take a futher year to complete, as I am subcontracting most of the machine work and that takes lots of time.
But at least it has left the drawing board now.
The hull alone weighted in at 120lbs. Weight estimate has gone up to 300lbs.
And yes, that is 1/4" armour plating, with a solid 12" armour slab on the front.
Enjoy and please advise!
EDIT: I also forgot to add. If the weight permits, once completed, I will bolt on additional 1/2" armour plate to the rear, and add modular Schurzen to the sides above the tracks, with sandwiched ceramic/aramid modules in between as well, in order to give it the best possible protection. I will also man it with 1/6" figures if I can find space for them inside
Also forgot to add. It will no longer be a VK1602 Leopard replica, but an all new tank of my own design, an MBT.