Adding the fine details to any build always takes so long, it is fun though. It is at this point that the tank starts to look like, a tank. I was aksed recently what model tank I was building. The answer to this question is many. I am not modeling my tank on an existing design but instead taking inspiration from four designs, The AbramsX, Merkava Mk4, KF51 Panther and Type 10 Hitomaru. The Hitomaru is the main inspiration but I am taking elements from the other three plus a bit of artistic licence.
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95% of the major construction is now complete, this is the heavy metal work needed to build the frame, body and turret. Over the next few months I will be working on the detailing. This will be panels made from steel and aluminium welded and glued over the main superstructure. The idea is to add these elements to replicate the tanks surface armour. It is at this point that for weeks nothing seems to happen with the build but slowly all the detail is added creating the final product, the early stages of construction are always very fast. I have been thinking a bit more about the electronics and what the tank will be able to do. So far this is my loist.
1. Blank firing main gun (209 primer rounds) This at the moment will be a single shot system.
2. Smoke generator to create a smoke screen( not engine smoke)
3. Object recognition system ( same system used on T-1-FNY.
4. Gyro self leveling main gun.
5.Lots of LED's ( normal in my builds)
6. When I work the system out GPS controlled waypoint programming giving the tank full autonomy.
I am sure I will think of more ideas but this is just for starters.
More work on the body and turret. I have started to add armour and a few surface details. I am doing this with a combination of steel and 3mm aluminium. The idea is to use the thicker alloy as a sort of armour panels fixed over the main body and turret. I have decided to use an active fume extration system on the gun so no need for a fume extrator bulge on the main gun. As well as using the Type 10 battle tank as inspiration I am also looking at the KF51 Panther. Both have a futuristic look.
A bit more work on sculpting the turret.
The idea behind this is a little different from the model RC recoil tanks. My system will be blank firing. I will be using 209 Primers which produce a good bang. I will need to design the system so that I can get to the breach on the gun so I will be able to reload the primer rounds. It will be single fire then reload unless I can come up with an autoloader system. I also need to think about fume extraction once the round has been fired. I can go with an active system which will simply be a fan fitted in the turret which will blow the smoke out of the barrel once the round has been fired, or I could try a passive system like on real tanks, only problem is I dont know if it will work on a scale model.
Even though I have not finished the lower section of the tanks metalwork I decided to give the turret a go. I was a bit nervous about cutting and sculpting the metal like this as I have not built anything like this before. Up to this point I was in two minds about what the turret would be made from. Metal will be good if I can get the shape otherwise it would be fibreglass which is also much lighter.
So far the turret metal work has gone ok although there is still along way to go.