An Armored Vehicle From Foam Core And Big Box Toys

Over the last several months, [Eric Strebel] has been working on a concept for an electric-powered infantry combat vehicle. We don’t think he’s been contracted by any nation’s military to design this vehicle, but as a product designer we imagine he does this sort of thing to keep himself sharp. In any event, it’s been fun to watch from the sidelines.

In the latest installment in this series of videos, [Eric] turns his earlier concept art into a functional prototype; albeit at somewhat reduced scale. Still, building any kind of vehicle from the ground up is no easy feat and it’s fascinating to watch the process.

The futuristic faceted look of the vehicle’s armor plate makes for an exceptionally time-consuming build, as he has to cut and glue each piece of foam core into place. Some of the smaller pieces seem to have the tell-tale char marks from a trip through the laser cutter, but in the video after the break you can see that the larger panels are hand cut with a razor.

The plan was originally to just make a static mock-up of the vehicle, but thanks to a pair of remote controlled trucks that [Eric] found at this local Big Box retailer, this foam fighter ended up getting an upgrade. After liberating the motors and gearboxes from the two trucks, he 3D printed axle extensions to take into account the wider track of his vehicle, and built his “tub” around it. While the R/C gear is clearly on the low end of the spectrum, the overall effect looks great as the vehicle is bounding around the yard.

Readers of Hackaday will no doubt be well aware of [Eric Strebel] and his many talents. From 3D scanning via photogrammetry to embedding electronics into flexible molded parts, you’re sure to learn something new from following this prolific maker.

7 thoughts on “An Armored Vehicle From Foam Core And Big Box Toys

    1. Looks very much like just about every armored car ever.. Though the double stack turret is a little unusual. They are built that way as it lets you use thinner steel and not need an internal frame while retaining good deflection capabilities – which lowers cost and improves performance in use. If you create a flat box of steel you are going to need bigger engines, more fuel, tougher suspension to be able to take the same level of fire.

  1. Eric is the man! He looks like Otto Waalkes but whatever he builds fascinates me with new details. To me this vehicle is not (yet) an eye-catcher as RC model but the process to build it from sketch to brass wireframe to plastic sheets is great. I can’t wait until he paints it.

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