Wooden Tank’s Movement Hinges On Hinges

When we first looked at this tank, we thought it was pretty cool. The sides are unpainted 1/2″ (12mm) plywood, so it is not flashy. The dimensions came from Google-fu-ing the heck out of the WWII Hetzer and scaling them to 1:6. What knocks our socks off is how much [Bret Tallent] made use of parts you would find in a hardware store or bicycle shop. He uses twin motors from electric bikes, and the wheels look like replacement shopping cart wheels. The best part is the treads, which are dozens of hinges fastened with pairs of bolts and nylon-insert nuts. Something is reassuring about knowing that a repair to your baby is no further than a bike ride.

We don’t know what started [Bret] on his path to sidewalk superiority, but we suspect he is cooped up like the rest of us and looking to express himself. Mini-Hetzer is not licensed by Power Wheels and never will be, so it probably won’t turn into a business anytime soon. There is a complete gallery starting with an empty plywood base, and the pictures tell the story of how this yard Jäger got to this point. There are plans to add a paintball gun and streaming video, so we’d advise that you don’t mess with the jack-o-lanterns on his block this year. Give his gallery a view and see if you don’t become inspired to cobble something clever from the hardware store too. Then, tell us about it.

Another creative hacker used wood for their tank body and the treads as well. If you like your treaded vehicles functional, we have one meant to taxi small planes over the tarmac.

28 thoughts on “Wooden Tank’s Movement Hinges On Hinges

  1. Looks great and only one thing I would think about changing. Put 3D printed pieces of replaceable plastic on the drive ‘gear’ system instead of running the threads steel bolts with metal-to-metal contact on the drive gear assembly.

    1. Would be a cool kiddy ride on. Bucket seat and maybe a roll bar, band brake, and Tank drive controls IMO essential. Brian did say wouldnt likely be a toy company candidate. I have to agree for very many reasons but would be nice if someone did make a cheap version for parents of children with physical disabilities to ride along on a nature path (hiking) or to go “mudding”. Wheel chairs suck at it. Wheel chairs suck period. Any kid would likely enjoy a tank but person responsible for lawn maintenance not so much.
      Majority of kiddy ride-ons dont do very well in the ruff , poor run time and prone to transmission failure. Typical Two Speed control ( On/power sucking resistor slighlty slower /off.) Not to a leisurely use and unlikely to keep a pace. Doesnt help to have someone tell them that lower speed will not increase run time despite what mommy says. In fact likely less run time. I didnt say it.
      This particular design in its current state likely to have track tread wear/repair issues although the motor and transmission setup should be reasonably reliable. There is a bit of misplaced faith in the construction of the hinges and their respective pin reliability.

  2. Bolting all the hinges together takes some time. I think pop-rivets are a faster way. The model tank probably does not need very much repair, so the more permanent fasteners would be adequate.

    1. Naw, the machine screws nicely serve double-duty as guides for the drive wheels. And you could add in rubber track pads there too. I think it is perfect as-is. Awesome idea.
      I love how scalable it is too, based on the wide selection of hinge sizes. Now for a smaller version, I could definitely see using pop rivets.

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