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Old 07-09-2012, 03:39 PM #1
Colreb
 
 
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Oxford, MS
Noob wanting to build tank please help!

Hi guys,
So, I've been wanting to design and build a tank for a while now, but have no idea where to begin. There are so many moving parts, weapon systems, air power, safety, etc. to deal with. Hopefully, this thread will help assist the players who want to design and build their own tanks. Please be patient.

Here are my questions/concerns/ideas:

Concerns:

1.BUDGET!!!! How much do these things cost? You have to have a trailer, place to put the tank, gas/battery, building materials, upkeep, etc.

2. Air power, I'd like to be able to carry air supply with me if possible Co2 and or compressed air. I am not a scuba diver and not certified.

3. Main gun, breech fed and turret movement.

4. Seating (gunners, driver, turret, navigator, etc.)

5. Armor (netting, building materials for gun ports, turret, etc.)

6. Tank rules (there are so many for each scenario game, what are the basic issues?)

7. Safety (people inside as well as being able to see)

8. Durability (don't want to get stuck in the mud)

My Ideas:

Here is what I'm wanting to do......

Basic Specs:

Crew:5-6 (Driver, shotgun, turret, left and right gunners, possible rear gunner)
Vehicle/Chassis: Van or suburban
Turret: Needs to move 360 and not tangle air hoses, etc, and design.
Seating: 2 front, gunner center, left and right waist gunners in rear. I was thinking about a boat bucket seat for turret, but not sure about rear seating.
Air Source: How to use main gun and markers with co2 and or compressed air. Also, where to run hoses and put everything.
Speaker System: YES I want to be like Oddball from Kelly's Heroes and have a speaker mounted that I can play music (mp3, radio, cd) as well as talk from.
Safety: Driver's sight, crew, flag system for showing tank dead or alive.
Armor: I was thinking about using paintball netting only for windows. Where do you get it and can a driver and crew see?
Main Gun: I want the gun to move up and down and 360 inside turret as well as be breech fed. I have 2 personal build air canons, 1 uses a sprinkler valve and compressed air from a car compressor, while the other is a pressure washer that runs off co2. The canon needs to not waste air if possible. Sprinkler works great because it closes on/off quickly and doesn't waste a lot. Pressure washer is like a flamethrower as long as the handle is being held down.
Paint job and decor: tiger stripe

Questions:
What building supplies do you need for a turret, armor, portals, air canon, etc.

I sincerely appreciate anyone's help. If anyone has time for tank talk and building please pm me.

Sincerely,
Col.Reb
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:45 AM #2
Boom Master
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Welcome, You came to the right place. We share all our technology here.

First, I've never built a motorized. I run walking tanks So keep that in mind. Before that I hunted tanks for years. You build a blind spot, I will shoot you from it. We recon all the tanks before the game...

Crew:5-6 (Driver, shotgun, turret, left and right gunners, possible rear gunner) Works for me.

Vehicle/Chassis: Van or suburban

Drive it or trailer it. If you drive, you don't want the turret installed and armorment visible. Every jurisdiction going down the interstate will get numerous 911 calls and stop you. You won't make the game stopping every 30 minutes. Design quick detachable and install in your turret design.

Turret: Needs to move 360 and not tangle air hoses, etc, and design.

No problem, mount all the plumbing in the turret so it rotates with it. Including the air tanks.... You will get killed often enough to refill a SCUBA without any problems. Compressed air might require a swivel fitting at the pivot point.

Seating: 2 front, gunner center, left and right waist gunners in rear.
Good, no blind spots. Just remember DOWN in a blind spot. Anti tankers are not required to move from cover as long as they are not on the road and in a safe spot. They do not have to vacate for the 20 foot rule and since you can't see them, not your responsibility either. They just can't MOVE to a position within 20 foot of a tank. So lying on the ground in brush 3 foot from the road is a good point blank shot. If your port gunners can't shoot down right next to the vehicle say within 5 feet, you are vunerable and I will be there....


I was thinking about a boat bucket seat for turret, but not sure about rear seating.

Boat swivel seats have worked well for some tankers. However, some prefer to mount the turret to the seat back. They rotate the entire assembly with their FEET and not their arms. The arms are already busy reloading and shooting. If the turret weights a lot, a boat chair with a folding back may not be substantial enough for that design. It has been my experience in my walking tank that those seat/turret mounts turn faster and fire more accurately and quickly with that set up... How can you aim if you are muscling a turret at the same time, loading, etc. ? Best one I've seen was a car wheel /axle assembly welded to the floor. Plenty beefy. Welded up a frame that looked like this ] and installed a fiberglass chair seat with a seat belt on it. The top was the attachment for the turret frame which was otherwise all netting and armorment. I got ONE shot with my breech loading tank cannon and he was ON me...... Many other turrret mounting designs that work and those guys will be talking to you shortly.

One more MUST DO in a turret design. The center of gravity of ALL the hardware, paint pods, etc. MUST be at the pivot point of the turret. Otherwise on every slope, the heavy side will want to swing down to the low side of the hill. Will wear your gunner out if it isn't balanced....

Air Source: How to use main gun and markers with co2 and or compressed air.

Cannons are air hogs and do not like CO2. In my RPG, I get 2 1/2 shots and my CO2 tank is converted to dry ice LITERALLY! No pressure after that for about 30 minutes. Compressed air all the way for a cannon.


Also, where to run hoses and put everything.

Those air tanks make great counterbalances for that cannon and markers mounted in the front. Like I said above, everything has to be balanced. Things that change weight such a full pods vs no pods should be located as close to the pivot point as possible so the change causes mimimal effect. I like braided steel air hoses. Macro lines are chronic leakers in my opinion.
A leak in your air supply for the cannon or markers can ruin your day.

Speaker System: YES I want to be like Oddball from Kelly's Heroes and have a speaker mounted that I can play music (mp3, radio, cd) as well as talk from.

Heck! I'm putting one in mine too but every time I pull the trigger on my 4 fake barrels rotating around the real one in the middle, I want to be playing a sound file of a REAL gatling gun shooting at about 3000 rounds per minute at 120 db........

Safety: Driver's sight, crew, flag system for showing tank dead or alive.

You drive it, you're stuck with a windshield that will be covered with paint so you can't see to drive or shoot. You can put a netting shield about 6 -8 inches above it to bounce a lot of paint and still run the wipers underneath. I would suggest a MUCH LARGER fluid reseviour for the wiper spray....

Ditto any other glass you expect your gunners to see out of...
Armor: I was thinking about using paintball netting only for windows. Where do you get it and can a driver and crew see?

Good LUCK! They sell it by the 300 foot roll...... I have not found where I can buy it by the yard. So go begging at your local fields....
Main Gun: I want the gun to move up and down and 360 inside turret as well as be breech fed.

Your main cannon wants a LARGE Cone of fire. At least 45 degrees in EVERY direction including UP. 60 degrees would be better That RPG guy in that second story window will get you and he will pop out as you run right under the window..... Most tanks are defenseless in that scenario even if they see him.
I have a $1.39 gimbal mount for my cannon barrel. A hose clamp. The mount is IN the NETTING and will flex in any direction. All you need is a small cord from the top frame down to the hose clamp to support the weight.
It is also handy to be able to shoot to the side when the vehicle is facing forward. If you turn the turrret 90 degrees the front half of the vehicle has to be sticking out from the corner of that building. If you can leave the turret facing forward and flex the gun 70-80 degrees to the right, You have several feet LESS sticking out for your opponent to shoot at. A good reason to mount the turret as far towards the front as practical....

Your concerns:
1.BUDGET!!!! How much do these things cost? You have to have a trailer, place to put the tank, gas/battery, building materials, upkeep, etc.

2. Air power, I'd like to be able to carry air supply with me if possible Co2 and or compressed air. I am not a scuba diver and not certified. Don't have to be certified SCUBA to buy of fill a SCUBA tank... Just smart enough not to get whipped to death with a 4' long hose with 3000 psi coming out of it...

3. Main gun, breech fed and turret movement.

Already discussed and you will get many other ideas shortly. I just built a breech loading RPG using a RV sewer gate valve. Seals good, works fine and would lend itself to automation at a later date with a pneumatic cylinder attached where the handle is... Just don't have a finger in there when you close the door unless you want to be called stubby. Safety lockout requiring both hands on the aiming handles and a thumb button trigger.

4. Seating (gunners, driver, turret, navigator, etc.)

Ask the other guys.

5. Armor (netting, building materials for gun ports, turret, etc.)

I use the smaller hose clamp and cord for my marker mounts directly in the netting. Point and shoot straight up or down, left or right. Seen CV Boots used and toilet bowl plungers used. Blocks your vision some.

6. Tank rules (there are so many for each scenario game, what are the basic issues?) You are stuck with their rules. So check out the games you plan to attend. For example OK D Day does not allow Nerf Cannons so you have to build a special set up just to attend that game.

The big issue is and will remain the fields that require tank insurance to play.
They say they require it but it can not be bought from anyone for any price. It is just not available right now. They figure if you don't have it and they published that it is required that is magically reduces their potential liablity. So their policy is: I won't ask you to show me a policy and you won't tell me you don't have on.... For all practical purposes you are playing on a field with a tank uninsured and you are as liable as anyone else if something goes terribly wrong and somebody gets hurt. Do NOT convince yourself that your auto insurance, homeowners, etc. will cover you unless you get it in writing from the company and they won't do it... You aren't covered for a 'contest' or 'event'.... That includes your car on a public street at 2 mph in the high school home coming parade. So I wouldn't let just anybody drive. I would make SURE it is mechanically sound. A stuck throttle cable could be very bad.

7. Safety (people inside as well as being able to see)

LOTS of netting. The better you see, the safer everyone is and the added bonus is that you can see better to spot those RPG players...

8. Durability (don't want to get stuck in the mud)

4 wheel drive. I have one for sale for $1500 or less Dodge Dakota pick up with a camper shell ready to mount a turret on. Take the shell off and drive it to work. That was the plan.

Many fields have been pushing players to lighter vehicles and less horsepower. Some ban any tank that has a VIN number. Grandfathered in the ones already made but not allow any "new" tanks. Many were just one major breakdown from the junk yard anyway. They had a few close calls with mechanical failures and started thinking smaller and lighter would be good.

But like I said I run walking tanks so I am out of date with the current situation for motorized tanks...

So like I said, check the requirements for the field and game you might play at.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:09 AM #3
Colreb
 
 
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Location: Oxford, MS
Thanks boomaster,

You have given me lots to think about. I have many more questions for you. I am having issues with being able to pm you, do you have an e-mail address?
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:17 PM #4
Cromagnum Tankerman
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tank building

There are many posts on this site about tank building. I suggest checking many of them out for more ideas. It all really depends what kind of a tanking vehicle you want and how much money you are willing to spend. There are alot of direct and in-direct costs which can be mind bogling sometimes. Being in a tank looks like alot of fun and it is but sometimes you got to wonder if its worth all of the effort and money you now will spend. If you have friends or a sponsor thats willing to help you and give you time and money for the build and other expenses then push them for it. Its a tanker story of many of us whom were promised this or that and later ended up doing it ourselves in all regards. Just remember that building and running a tank is a evolutionary process and work on it is constant. You find out what works and what doesnt. Once you get your tank on the field just hope that you have the maturity to realize that you are not going to kick butt every time you enter the field. Sometimes the AT guys and other tanks will use and abuse you and that can get frustrating. So just remember to keep your cool and go back and re-insert and keep going at them.

Good Luck!!

Treaddz
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:55 AM #5
JESTERTLS
 
 
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Location: Newton, NC
1.BUDGET!!!! How much do these things cost? You have to have a trailer, place to put the tank, gas/battery, building materials, upkeep, etc.
Our team captains thoughts on this are, figure what you think it will cost you to build it, then tripple that ammount.

2. Air power, I'd like to be able to carry air supply with me if possible Co2 and or compressed air. I am not a scuba diver and not certified.
Honestly, since we went with a Scuba tank, I wouldnt recommend doing anything less. We really need to add another to our ride. It keeps you out of the air lines and that is a huge time saver when your dealing with a tank which takes alot of time to prep.

3. Main gun, breech fed and turret movement.
Turret movement, my partner forced me to buy a pallet carosel. Best three and a half hundred dollars I ever spent for a tank.

4. Seating (gunners, driver, turret, navigator, etc.)
All depends on the vehicle. Boat seats work well.

5. Armor (netting, building materials for gun ports, turret, etc.)
There is the old faithful plywood. There is coroplast (corrugated plastic) has to be thick thou. And then we use lexan on some of ours for armor. Netting, we us either regular pet screen or super screen. They look to be identical to me and you can get the pet screen at Lowes.

6. Tank rules (there are so many for each scenario game, what are the basic issues?)
Basics are dont run any one over. Dont over shoot to the best of your ability. Walking speed only. If your backing up, you better have a spotter or see rule one.

7. Safety (people inside as well as being able to see)
The better visibility the driver has the better. Dont use a solid material like lexan for a drivers window. It gets covered and it creates a hazard by killing his visibility. Trust me it hard enough to see out of netting and screen as it is. Some places make you have a safety walker with your tank. I like this personally. They help keep people back from the tank. You also have to remember ot keep control of your crew. Its harder to see when you have hit someone in a tank for a gunner. Its also harder to hear someone calling "hit!" So you can over shoot easier. Its

8. Durability (don't want to get stuck in the mud)
Well, depends on the vehicle and the terrane. I run a 4x4 v6 GMC Jimmy. Specificly went with 4x4 because we have rough terrane where I tank. Main thing, is a good engine. If it dont run it aint worth a bucket of tar. Learnt that the hard way with one that wouldnt run worth a hoot. Sucks sitting in the stagging area turning wrenches. Also, gotta watch for flat tires. Easy to pop one in the woods. Bare minimum need an air compressor or can of fix-a-flat for your kit. Jumper cables are good, since we dont drive these things alot.


Speaker: I run a CB/PA system on mine. They are cheap and do come in handy. You can mount the speaker really any where you want too. I keep my mic in my hand most of the time to try and get people to clear the paths so we can get by and not have to elliminate them due to the distance rule. I highly recommend a PA system. Not to mention my partner likes to toss out some tunes. The A-Team theme music is pretty funny when your rolling into a base.
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Last edited by JESTERTLS : 07-21-2012 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:58 AM #6
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Here's a write up I did not to long ago.


http://www.teamontargetpb.com/apps/b...-build-a-tank-

http://www.teamontargetpb.com/armordivision.htm
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:55 PM #7
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Good write up. Surprised I hadnt read it before.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:41 PM #8
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build a tank

Hello all , I'm new to this forum so I hope I can post a link to my YouTube page so you can see my 40% scale M60 Patton paintball Tank . The cost to build the tank was around $5000.00 but this was also having to buy a drill press , bits and also a metal chop saw. The tank measures 9 feet long x 5 feet wide and about 5 feet tall . Every thing on this tank was custom made this includes the wheels, tracks , shocks , and transmissionhttp://youtu.be/OdPJIwzf03
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:49 PM #9
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