I edited the tank image down to just the side view using MS Office Picture Manager but obviously, you can use any image manipulation software or the photocopier of your choice. I then resized it using PowerPoint because it gives a very easy inches scale to follow. (I used the profile I found on http://www.the-blueprints.com/ but I'm not showing it as part of the template I'll include in Part 3. As cheap as I am, I not willing to take other people's work and pass it off as my own.)
I decided to use some IKEA bed slats that I had been given by a friend. (These are not to be confused with the IKEA bed slats my in-laws gave me...) The slats are 3/4" thick and 2 5/8" wide. I cut two pieces about 9" long and then "sandwiched" both pieces together using double sided tape. I sprayed one side with spray adhesive, let it sit for about five minutes and then applied the image. (By letting it set up for a few minutes, it makes it easier to remove the paper later.) Then... off to the bandsaw and the belt sander!
If you can't get the cuts to be a smooth as you like either because of inexperience or having not the right blade; don't despair. Try and make "relief" cuts perpendicular to your main cuts. You can always smooth things later (especially if you have a wicked cool belt sander.)
These are the finished tracks. I drilled two 5/16" holes along the bottom that will hold the axles for the wheels. The holes are 2" apart on center and 5/16" on center from the bottom. (Did I mention how wicked cool belt sanders are?)
I cut the hull out of one piece of 2x3 (which we all know is really 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" grrrrrr). I had a general idea of what I wanted the shape to be, so I just drew it directly on the wood. Again, I'm not trying to make a scale model. I'm trying to make a recognizable toy. The picture above shows the axle holes already drilled, but actually I test fitted my hull against one side of the track to be sure my axle holes were in the right place before I drilled those holes.
|Looking at historic photographs and line drawings gave me the general layout I was looking for.||After cutting out the general shape, I test fitted it and cut the wheel wells.|
I drilled a 3/16" hole right in the center of the front cabin of the hull (facing forward) about 1/4 deep. This will hold a dowel that will be the hull machine gun. You could make the dowel 1/8" but it might be a little fragile for how it is going to be played with. Besides, I've seen some pictures and documentation that said this machine gun was sometimes a "Lewis Gun" which had an oversized cooling sleeve around the barrel.(Hey, I thought you said you said you weren't trying to make a scale model and that you were just trying to make a toy... - QUITE VOICES! I have to use my History degree every once in awhile!!!)
Okay. Let's test fit it and see how we are doing. I took some 1/4" dowels and slipped 1 1/4" in wheels on them. These will go inside the tank body so that they can't be seen from the outside. (By the way, some of the wheels marked as 1 1/4" at craft stores are simply not that size at all. A reliable source for the correct size wheels is http://www.craftparts.com)
Grab the double face tape and then line everything up, give it squeeze and see if it rolls.
|The space is going to be tight for the "clacker' I want to place between the wheels, but we can still give it a try.||It rolls well and is starting to take on the classic tank look I'm shooting for.|
So far, so good.