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Old 07-06-2009, 11:24 AM #1
rammstein_5v2
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Walking tanks?

So anyone have any pictures or pretty simple, basic designs for walking tanks? Interested in building a few to have some fun at my fields.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:15 PM #2
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Dale is the man on walking tanks. When he posts up, take that as a step by step. You'll know who I'm talking about. His posts aren't short at all but are filled with all sorts of experience if you take the time to read them.
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:13 AM #3
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Yep, I have the most dangerous walking tank in the country. I share all my info how to build. Mostly because there are darn few walking tanks. The reason is they get very heavy, real fast and aren't FUN to play in if they are.

Here is a pic minus the mech warrior 'chicken legs'. Guess how much the shell weighs without all the paintball gear and cannon installed.

My walker is based on the Star Wars ATST Imperial Walker. Kind of a Mech Warrior.



I have solved that weight problem. That tank shell is an amazing 15 pounds.

This is what it is made out of. Polycarbonate Twin Wall. They use it for pool enclosures, green house roofs, etc. It will withstand hail. It also takes point blank 300 fps paintballs on the same spot without cracking or splitting. A 4x8 sheet of the 1/4 inch weighs 7.25 pounds...

Here is a grainy pic of the material and how I used hot glue to reinforce areas I install bolts and screw through. It is like cardboard or chloroplast and hollow on the inside. Very tough rigid stuff that is extremely light.



Here is the attachment to the Alice Pack Frame. Probably the highest stress points of the whole project especally if I should fall down. They held up when I tripped and took a header. The netting section of the turret is a break away design. It pivots up and will snap off if necessary. That is what happen when I fell. Snapped it back on and continued to play. Kind of a LEGO tank but if something HAS to give, you should design it to give at a point you can fix without requiring some repairs. Used snap on C shaped PVC pipe hangers at the pivot point mount.



My first tank had a frame with the twin wall mounted onto it. This tank is a Monobody concept. The "armor" polycarbonate IS the structural material. No frame other than the ALICE backpack frame. Afraid I would have a 'Dixie Cup' tank but I have fallen down in it and beat it up considerably and it is still doing fine up to the point a guy fired a 260 fps weighted Nerf at it. Broke the frame that supported the netting. A few other fatique crack problems that were reinforced with fiberglass but for all practical purposes, the mono body concept works and is substantial to hold up to the abuse I will give it.

Add the autoloading cannon, marker, paint, two air tanks, and it is battle ready at 65 pounds. That includes a 20 pound 513 ci x 3000 psi HPA tank to run that autoloading cannon. It would be a LOT lighter without that monster air tank and the autoloading cannon... (About 20 pounds lighter with a breech loader and 88 x 3000 ci air supply) But I would rather be dangerous and haul that weight. Just turned 60 and don't work out. I just tell everyone that I am Superman's Uncle because it LOOKS a lot heavier than it is.

It is backpack based. That concept eliminated all the fabrication, expense, and weight of a frame, wheels, etc. Plus it can jump sideways and use cover from behind trees, buildings, and can go through doorways. MOBILITY and small target size makes it very competitive against other motorized armor. Given the same range and accuracy for Nerf cannons, smaller is better when it comes to tank engagements. I can engage a pickup sized tank at 60 yard and have the same percentage chance of a kill that they would have at 30 yard. I can also get off 6 shots before they fire their second unless less they have an autoloader too.With that 1 RPS autoloading cannon, it just ain't a fair fight, tank vs. tank.

I have designs and pics of my two walking tanks. Plus concept drawings for several others including a 4 man Sherman cart with wheels.

I always thought a couple of mini walkers armed only with markers working WITH the main Mech Warrior would be scarey as heck. A lot smaller and lighter, they should come in around 30 pounds hauling half a case of paint and air to shoot it. A kid could play in it.

Now if you look at that picture and drop the chicken legs and imagine a rotor on the back and a helo blade on top, you have an attack helo. A tail and some stubby wings and you have a fighter. Without the cannon weight, you could RUN in this set up.

Does that give you any ideas?

Well, just send me an email and tell me what you need. ddupont@charter.net

Last edited by Boom Master : 07-13-2009 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:24 AM #4
rammstein_5v2
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Good information. I'm interested in seeing any designs you have for multiple personnel tanks.

Also where at in stl might you be?
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:32 AM #5
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Nice walker ,....Where do you buy the polycarbonate twin wall and how much per 4x8 sheet ?
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:39 AM #6
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St. Charles. I see you are in St. Louis too. We could become the walking tank capital of the world. Sent you a PM.

Green house supplys might carry or order it. I will dig out the contact info for my vendor.

That was my biggest challenge, finding a vendor and getting it shipped to me. Ordered ten 4' x 5' sheets and used only 3-4. Then I think it was Fed Ex was the only company that would ship that size package. Otherwise you pick it up or pay several hunderd dollars for truck shipping. Most places have a minimum order etc. Found one in Houston that would do it all.

The other trick is the 90 degree profiles made out of polycarbonate that I used to assemble all the corners.


Here is a link:

http://www.modernplastics.com/macrol...le-p-1141.html

I tried the polycarbonate corner edging from Lowes. Too thin and even when I put the 1" on the outside and 3/4" on the inside it was too easy to break compared to this profile but it might work but by the time you buy the two corner edgings, you can buy the Macrolux profile for about the same.

Pricing? Been a while. Looked it up real quick at $80 a 4x8 sheet plus shipping. About twice the price of plywood.

The 90 degree profile is about $2.25 a foot.

Taint cheap but you don't have to buy a LOT of it to build a walking tank. Is a fraction of the cost compared to building a motorized tank. A few hundred dollars for a tank you can put inside a minivan or in the back of a pickup.

I tried using 5 min epoxy to glue it all together. Many problems with the most significant one being the rate that you can assemble pieces together. Extremely slow. It was 30 degrees in the garage and that 5 minute epoxy was 30 minutes of holding pieces together by hand before you could let go of it. A couple of hours before you could really handle it. Problems mixing right and getting it in the profiles and the open end edges of the twin wall. General pain the the behind.

SUPERGLUE! was the cure. Otherwise known as "cyanoacrylate glue" at your local hobby shop. They sell it in 4 and 8 oz containers which you will USE and you also want some Insta Set spray. It cures it INSTANTLY so you can handle it in seconds. Assembly is a breeze with this. They sell it with different viscosities and such. Buy the THIN so it will SUCK right into the joint by capillary action. The thicker stuff won't suck in and fill the gaps...

Now there is ONE downside to running a walking tank. If you have transmission or motor problems, they usually have to call 911 instead of AAA.

Last edited by Boom Master : 07-10-2009 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:23 PM #7
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OK, here is the concept drawings of the 2-4 Man Sherman Walking Tank.




The first thing you need to understand is that this design WON'T WORK!
Do not attempt to build it... Many, Many problems with this design worth discussing here...

As ALWAYS weight is the primary issue. You can't read those yellow boxes but they are my calculations of weight of the components. It came in about 60 -70 pounds PER person in a 4 man tank config. More with 2 person. Wheels or not, would you want to push, drag or carry that all day long up and down hills and over logs and rocks? maybe... The 4 man config was about 10 feet long and 5 feet wide.

Had a 4" hollow core PVC pipe frame with schedule 20 fittings. PVC is just plain heavy. Tried 3", 2" and those came out even heavier as you built more reinforcement and used more fittings. I have seen 3 PVC frame paintball tanks and everyone BROKE the first day of play... All PVC framing with netting. I supposed adding that twin wall to the sides would make is much stronger but I still had my doubts and when I added up the weight, REALLY has second thoughts. When you break PVC, you can't really repair it short of fiberglass and epoxy which means you are out of play if it breaks.

Note the small caster wheels in the front and large 26" mountain bike wheels in the back. HUGE MISTAKE with that design. Just like a grocery cart. Just go borrow one at your local grocery store, fill it up with groceries and try to drive it on the grass or over gravel. Won't happen...

A guy that TRIED that configuration told me not to do it saying simply, "There was a reason the Romans put the horses in Front of the Wheels on a chariot." You think about it and you would be pushing this design around BACKWARDS all day long if you could push it at all.

Don't make it a PUSHER walking tank. The guys inside are the horses and they need to PULL it around the field. I'd put waist 'harnesses' on them too just to free up both hands most of the time if they don't have to lift it up over obstacles, turn and such. Of course you need a place to store your marker while you are maneuvering. A gun sling or shelf or something.

In the plan, I wanted to use 3/8-1/2 plywood to mount the bicycle axles into. Some big pan washers and still concerned about breaking them out of the wood. Decided to 'sandwich' the axle between two piece mounted on each side of the PVC framing. Rather than using screws that would weaken the PVC, just clamp them on. Then I could also slide the axles forwards and backwards to get the Center of Gravity of the tank where I want it relative to the axles for the easiest pushing/pulling. Once tweaked, maybe fiberglass the plywood to the PVC frame. Something simular for the front casters. They would have to be VERY Beefy since they would be jammed hard into hundreds of obstacles a day. Couldn't come up with any good set up and anything close was getting heavier and heavier and heavier trying to build it strong enough not to break. The wheels and their mounts were coming in at 25-35 pounds or more.

If you have 4 wheels and are on a hill, and want both hands free to shoot your marker or the cannon, wouldn't it ROLL? Duh! Do I need brakes too? maybe not very far with the waist harnesses.

The turret was framing and all netting for visibility and air circulation. It was suspended from above and would turn 360 if the barrel was short enough. It would have to be perfectly balanced with the cannon in the front and the air supply in the back counterbalancing the cannon. Multiple gun ports in the netting to shoot out of regardless of what position the cannon was in. If the cannon was being moved, port gunners would have to suspend fire until it stopped. Didn't like that and decided I would still have side, front, and rear gun ports in the body.

Body was PVC and that polycarbonate twin wall for the 'armor'.

There was a hanging door hinge in the back that is what you would use to enter and exit the tank. I wanted to be able to drop a player to complete a mission such as raise a flag, retrieve a prop, plant a satchel charge, rescue a pilot, occupy an objective, etc. Things they wouldn't let a tank do without someone exiting the vehicle.

So it was a defective design in a LOT of ways. Figuring out what won't work is helpful figuring out what will work. Plus a little out of the box logic.

The wheels and mounts weigh 30 pounds. Would be nice to get rid of them. How? Lighter wheels? Smaller wheels? Roller blade wheels all along the bottom might work. How much would they weigh? Would that spread out the stresses enough to have lighter wheel mounts. Weighed some stuff and did the math. Not much gain if any.

How to get rid of the wheels and framing gave me the first thought of a backpack based walking tank as a possible solution. Watching a rerun of
star Wars with Chewie coming up in that captured ATST and a HUGE light bulb went off in my head...

Could I use something other than that HEAVY PVC pipe and fittings. Wood? Plastic? Metal? They used to make biplane wings out of wood, glue, and fabric and then flew them in loops in WW-I. Strong and light. A matrix of wood might be lighter. Lots of fabrication time but maybe not if you used jigs and modules and such. Looked up how they made those wings. Definately a lot of fabrication time.

So I parked the idea. Went with the one man - mech warrior walking tank.
Came across that polycarbonate and decided to run with it.

Now with my second Mech Warrior tank using that mono body concept where the polycarbonate IS the structural material that allowed me to eliminate an internal frame, It has proved quite sturdy and durable.

So my thoughts return to this 4 man design. It might drop over a hundred pounds of PVC pipe and fittings. You could make a 8' long, 4' tall, 4' wide open bottomed box out of Four 4x8 Sheets of that twin wall. 35 -45 pounds with the corner profiles and glue. JESUS! One guy could drag that around all day. Did I say "Drag"? No wheels and you would BE Dragging it. OK forget the wheels and make a SLED that looks like a tank. The 'runners' would look like tank tracks. Started guesstimating weights and gear and this 2-4 man concept was a WHOLE NEW ball game. Certainly wouldn't need brakes on a sled. How to make the whole thing out of polycarbonate using a mono body building concept. Tank tracks 7-8 foot long that were 6-8 inches wide would be an long, empty box with some cross reinforcement inside where they are attached to the box/body of the tank. Overlapping 12-18 inches at the attachments. Swinging/hanging door(s) front and back for entering and exiting but also reducing the amount of ground clearance needed for the body. They would just swing up as your walk over tree stumps and rocks. Net turret again - minimal weight until you start mounting cannons and air supply.

Then how do you keep the bottom of that polycarbonate track from grinding and banging holes in it? Multiple layers. 2 would last longer but you would still have some severe wear and tear. We have a 12 year old OLD TOWN canoe that has been dragged over every gravel bar on the float streams in here in Missouri. It has a Kevlar and epoxy protector on the keel that had worn off and I needed to replace it with some new Kevlar. The Kits run $70 so I just order some Kevlar forearm protectors for sheet metal and glass workers for $5 each and used them. Another light bulb goes off. Just epoxy Kevlar to the polycarbonate and when it grinds off, just slap on another layer of kevlar and epoxy. Low maintainence, low cost, and field fixable at a game if needed. Sure wouldn't be a mud collector like wheels would be.

Then I got my ZTR mower to cut grass and make my first motorized tank.

Again a one man but motorized. This design would make a decent shell for a motorized tank. No wheels needed. The monobody would make it easy to pop off the tank shell and convert back to mowing grass until the next game. Make the shell and armorment all self contained for the ease of the converstion.

Then a thought came to me. There is a good chance some producer might actually ASK to see the paintball tank insurance policy I don't plan to purchase. If I designed it right and self contained, I could just pop the shell off and use it as a walking tank. No insurance required. Ditto if I have a mechanical breakdown. I could still play as a walking tank. Seems like a viable idea at this point.

So that sled, motorized and/or walking tank is back on the drawing board this winter.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:36 PM #8
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Boom Master- I like your design. Very creative, but having your legs exposed are you not open to a hit. Any hit to the body is an elimination correct. I made a walking tank as well but the feet were exposed. I was told if I get hit in the feet then I would be considered out.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:45 AM #9
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"Occupants of a tank cannot be killed if hit with a paintball" at most games. That is how we have played at all the games. I wouldn't bring my tank if a ball could eliminate me. I would play as a grunt with my RPG instead.

They do try to light up my legs. If I show pain and flinch, the ROF quadruples. So I have to play like I am on PCP. Show no pain and pay your dues to run in a walking tank like this. If they believe I'm invincible, they don't shoot me as much.

The "chicken legs" are attached to hockey goalie shin guards that cover from the ankle to just above the knee. In the FRONT and sides anyway. Reminds me not to turn and run away and encourages me to keep attacking the enemy. They offer a LOT of protection.

The front is closed off protecting my gene pool down to the mid thigh. Two layers of pants and plan to sew in some thigh protection into my BDUs.

I had to surrender in my tank once. Had a mission to "attack" enemy HQ. Meaning break a paintball or land a Nerf on their HQ. My orders were to support the mission in progress. NOBODY was on the field. Couldn't find my guys and weren't answering the radio. NO resistance from the enemy. Couldn't SEE any enemy so I just kept walking down to their HQ even though the rules said I could not get closer than 50 yards. Well, turns out there had been a huge firefight that eliminated most of BOTH teams. At the 70 yard mark, I ran right into 150 players including 3 RPG players somewhere very close. It was their WHOLE enemy Insertion! My Life expectancy would be measured in seconds. Decided to go for it and went to the 50 yard mark and opened up with my nerf cannon on their HQ. Nothing like a General kill on top of the "attack points" Emptied the magazine and thought I got the HQ but no call from the HQ ref so I cut loose on the HQ with my marker to complete the mission. Finnally, the ref called the HQ blown up and mission completed and a general kill. Unfortunately, I did not have the mission card.

I got on the radio to the general and told him the mission was complete and needed to get the mission card to the ref to sign ASAP. Hoped the mission unit that had the card heard that too but they had not responded to any calls. Got a rodger from the general and surrendered.

All that took about 40 seconds to happen. During that period I was being lit up front and back of my legs by every paintball player on their team. I was taking 100+ balls per second. Some at the 20 foot mark. I wasn't firing on them but focusing my fire on the HQ.

I was in a world of hurt and just surrendered. The RPG guy was just about to take his shot when I surrendered. He took it anyway just for target practice. No big deal. A player comes up and asks why those shots didn't hurt me. I told him they DID... Why I surrendered. He shook my hand for completing the mission above and beyond the call of duty.

I was the only tank at this game and they wanted me to play on both sides. The side I was on when this happened was getting trounced on points. I was playing very aggresively and trying to get the whole team back into a fighting spirit. I was supposed to go over to the other side at 2:00 pm but nobody said anything so I asked the ref if I could stay with the losing side to try to get them back into the game until the other team said something. He was OK with that. This went down about 2:30 and it occured to the General I killed that I was supposed to be on HIS team now. So they told me to switch sides, I went down there and reported in. Joked that he had lost track of time and I came down to REMIND him what time it was...

Any ideas for full body armor that I could wear and NOT have a heat stroke wearing it? If I can figure that out AND get a 50 shot belt fed autoloader working reliably You will see a REAL mech warrior. A shoulder mounted, belt fed autoloading cannon feeding out of an ammo box on my back, a gatling gun marker in the other hand, full body armor and no need for a turret at all. Maybe just some "bounce netting" around my mask so they can't blind me so quickly.

I'm not sure the Sport is quite ready for that-yet. We need more walkers out there....

Last edited by Boom Master : 07-11-2009 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:07 PM #10
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Boom- I thought the same as you where a tank could only be eliminated by a nerf or direct hit from a grenade. I too built my tank off of an alice frame. Top section to the waste was all screen. From the waste down to just above the ankle I used a canvas that had the team logo spray painted on it. I opted for the canvas on the bottem so it wouldnt snag on brush. I also wanted to give enough clearence so it wouldnt snag on brush. When I was told that any exposed body part hit by a paint ball was an elimination I decided that just wouldnt work. I plan on addind a thick strip of rubber liner around the bottem about 12in or so it will drag and I will be completely enclosed. Do u have any pics of your cannon?
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:34 PM #11
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You need to talk to the Producer and send him an email with links to the rules of the rest of the world of paintball regarding the ability to eliminate players inside a tank. Walking or otherwise. Many games give a free registration to a tank crew that pre registers because tanks draw players and their money to his games. Show him the link about tank storming here on PB nation. He does not want to encourage that kind of behavior on his field and with that rule, players will push the 20 foot or 10 foot rule to get a shot at you legs. How can they ref it? It can hit the ground first and still leave a quarter sized marker. 200 rounds later the splatter will cover your feet. Is the refs going to wipe your feet for you?

Still, it is his game and he can do what he wants and you have to respect that. Hopefully you have choices where to take your tank. Cast your vote with your pocketbook.

Last edited by Boom Master : 07-11-2009 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:23 AM #12
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Our field had done a tank sorta like HH's Sherman except it was made out of wood. It didnt make it but half way across the field.

And 15 pounds for the walker aint bad at all. We carry more weight then that playing regularly. Of course you have to carry the cannon and other standard equip too... But the 15 extra is darn good.
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