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Build Your Own Sherman Tank 240

absolut.evil writes "OK, so admittedly it is only 1/5th scale, but still pretty cool.. especially if you're a kid. The thing comes complete with working suspension, meticulously built wooden tank treads and X-Arcade controls. Check out the pics and construction timeline."
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Build Your Own Sherman Tank

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  • Heh (Score:3, Funny)

    by w.p.richardson ( 218394 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @10:41AM (#5519120) Homepage
    I like the pictures of lil' Rambo rolling along there in the panzer. Reminds me of my youth.

    I can hear the shrieks of the gun control activists now!

    • Re:Heh (Score:5, Funny)

      by sczimme ( 603413 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @01:14PM (#5519715)

      I like the pictures of lil' Rambo rolling along there in the panzer. Reminds me of my youth.

      Where the heck did you grow up???
      • >>I like the pictures of lil' Rambo rolling along there in the panzer. Reminds me of my youth.

        >Where the heck did you grow up???

    • Misread (Score:3, Funny)

      by einhverfr ( 238914 )
      From the article:
      The power source in this model is two 12v 75Ah deep-cycle Autocraft batteries driving two 24v 1/5 hp electric gear motors (see the bottom of this page for more on these motors). emphasis mine

      Anyone else read this "antiaircraft batteries?"
  • by soloport ( 312487 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @10:41AM (#5519121) Homepage
    Anyone els think the kid in the tank looks like he's got to take a leak?
    • What is it you think the gun fires?
    • Just imagine the looks on your neighbors faces when you rumble into the midst of their barbecue in a Panzer, and paste the beer cooler with your 37mm potato cannon. That'll teach 'em to drink imported beer on the 4th of July.

      that poor kid probably had too much watery American "beer," but I'll bet he's not even half feeling it.
      If this guy wandered into my party on July 1st (Canada Day) with that potato cannon he'd be pelted back pretty quick with dried squirrel meat and chunks of my melting igloo, that's fo

  • by telstar ( 236404 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @10:41AM (#5519122)
    What they failed to mention was that the Sherman tank was built AROUND the small child ...
    Kindergarten is going to be rough for that little one.
  • Cannon? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ReidMaynard ( 161608 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @10:43AM (#5519128) Homepage
    Man it looks like a Estes(sp?) model rocket motor would fit right in the canon. Look out neighbourhood cats!
  • by Cyb3r ( 224792 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @10:44AM (#5519134) Homepage
    No wonder Bush is looking for every last reason to attack Iraq...

    Hey that big war budget HAS to be spent doing something "constructive" right?
    • This reminds me of a great quote "we like war. we're a warlike people. we like war because we're good at it. you know why we're good at it? cause we get a lot of practice. this country is only 200 years old and already we've had 10 major wars. we average a major war every 20 years in this country, so we're good at it. and it's a good thing we are, we're not good at anything else anymore. can't build a decent car, cant make a tv set or a vcr worth a f*ck, got no steel industry left can't educate our young p
  • this sucks (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    That kid is going to outgrow that tank in 1 week. He shoulda made the tank slightly bigger. maybe a 1:3 model instead of 1:5.
  • by buzban ( 227721 ) <buz@buzban . n et> on Saturday March 15, 2003 @10:46AM (#5519143) Homepage
    • every man, woman, and child against terrorism...
    • look, they make it into Iraq virtually undetected...
    • one for saddam, one for dubya, let 'em duke it out...
    • (okay, i'm lost, but this seems ripe for the picking to me... ;)
  • is that the kid will outgrow it in a year and dad will have to think up a new project, maybe a bigger tank or an airplane. "But honey, it's for the kid!"
  • hey look (Score:5, Funny)

    by Spicy Bisquit ( 100885 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @10:56AM (#5519178)
    its elian gonzalez. see what the little punk has gotten into in cuba? it is only a matter of time until he invades again.
  • by rodney dill ( 631059 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @10:59AM (#5519192) Journal

    Now I want to sell the instructions to Build your own mine field to this guy's neigbors.

    Where was cool stuff like this when I was a kid, or at least when I was small enough to fit inside one of these. I was impressed that the treads were make out of wood, I would've guessed that you would've need an expensive trip too the hardware store to do treads.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2003 @11:00AM (#5519196)
    Studies have proven that it's NATURAL for kids to play with toy guns and the like. Children who do are not any more prone to shooting someone later in life than kids who merely play with dolls. I'm tired of pop psychologists/Oprah Winfrey telling us how to raise children/live our lives. I'm so pissed I'm going outside to shoot something!!!
    • by cyberlotnet ( 182742 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @11:18AM (#5519255) Homepage Journal
      No kidding, Children are a lot like computer programs, Input affects output, but in the end its the programmer ( parents ) that direct the nature out the output,

      Just as a programmer can filter out certain inputs, a parents raising of a child filters there inputs,

      You want a program to ignore a certain command you program it to, You want a child to not smoke you talk to them about it, now just like programming, there may be some bugs and it may not work but the parent has to try.

      Im tired of listening to parents complain, when its a fact that parents spend less and less time with there children.

      Before a parent can even begin to open there mouth they should look at themselves and answer some very simple questions.
      1. Do I spend at least a hour of quality time a day with my child.
      2. Do I know the names of my childs friends? Where does his best friend live?
      3. Has my child every had sex? Do I know this for sure?
      4. What is my kids favorite color

      Some of the questions may seem stupid but come on, its your child.

      Lets stop spending all our time blaming others and spend more time with our children, that is the only sure way to improve things.
  • by dalibor ( 241079 )
    Visit clips [] , click on "A brief history of America". THINK!
  • Hmmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    ...would a 1/3rd scale model be large enought for a grown man? Or should I try for a 1/2 scale?

    I mean, this would be one hell of a toy to scare the neightbours with... *smiles*

    • Think about it, your neighbors will call the police, telling them "the freak next door has gotten hold of a tank", and with the imminent war and all those terrorism alerts, they'll bring in some serious artillery, which your (presumably) wooden tank sadly will be no match for.
  • News Flash: (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sayten241 ( 592677 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @11:07AM (#5519217)
    7 year old child with 1/5th scale tank conquers Iraqi military through sheer cuteness.
  • Any one else think of that Christmas Story movie where they keep telling the kid "You'll put your eye out with that thing!" referring to the Red Ryder BB gun?

    Forget equipping the cannon w/ live fire action... all he needs is for some kid to put his eye up real close to that barrel to look inside; then have the driver accidentally hit forward and jam the barrel into his skull.

    I'd also be a bit leery about having those tank treds last very long... wood isn't designed to do that sort of thing... and certainl
  • by sielwolf ( 246764 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @11:16AM (#5519247) Homepage Journal
    Is that it was made for 300 million dollars as a part of some Homeland Security/NSF grant. Tom Ridge: "We need to arm and armor our children. Otherwise the terrorists have won!"
  • As with all presents for children, he's probably been in the tank for a total of 5 mins,,, spending more time in some cardboard boxes that were in the garage.
    • As with all presents for children, he's probably been in the tank for a total of 5 mins,,, spending more time in some cardboard boxes that were in the garage.

      I'll have to second this. My son's been really into Star Wars the past 5 or 6 months (He'll be 4 in a few months). He wanted Obi-Wan's ship. OK, cool. Then he wanted Zam-Wellel's ship, and Jango's ship, and yes damn near everything from Eps 4 -6 (my Mom had kept a lot of that stuff from I was a kid, so it was just hitting ebay for a few things)
  • by scotay ( 195240 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @11:21AM (#5519264)
    Just imagine the looks on your neighbors faces when you rumble into the midst of their barbecue in a Panzer, and paste the beer cooler with your 37mm potato cannon. That'll teach 'em to drink imported beer on the 4th of July.

    The response from my Guinness keg launcher promises to teach your 5-year-old a valuable lesson on the perils of unilateralism.
    • Is there any good American Beer? Drink real beer! Drink Imported beer!
      • You're kidding right? Both North Coast [] and Sierra Nevada make beers which blow away most anything imported.

        North Coast makes their Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout which makes me laugh and chuckle at the thought of ever drinking Guiness again unless I had to. Don't even get me started about the Old Stock Ale which is devine. Every day beers like Red Seal and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale are also usually in the fridge.

        No, I'm afraid imports just can't cut it. So until I take a trip to Europe to see what

      • Pacific Northwest microbrews. Yummy!

        Sorry if you're stuck somewhere without any good local breweries... Then you're just outta luck.
      • The CEOs of Miller, Budweiser, and Guiness meet for lunch. The first CEO orders a Miller; the second, a Budweiser. The Guiness CEO, however, orders a Coke. "Why didn't you order a Guiness?" the first two ask. "I thought that if you weren't drinking beer, I shouldn't either."
  • Hobby? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dnoyeb ( 547705 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @11:25AM (#5519282) Homepage Journal
    At first it looked interesting. Then he starts running into problem after problem and I'm thinking, Does he want a job at General Dynamics? Because he is doing a ton of engineering. He put some real thought into that thing. I can't blame him at all for the $10-$25 fee for instructions.

    Of course he will soon find that the instructions are equally as hard to make as the tank...
  • by fr2asbury ( 462941 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @11:29AM (#5519303)
    Pictures from the childhood of Davros.
    "Father" of the Daleks.

  • by azav ( 469988 )
    What's super cool (or super crazy) is that the guy who started Cisco has a real one that he runs around the woods near his house. Read this in an angel investor article somewhere. Heard he even knocked one of his teeth out, trying to run over trees.

    Trees one, Cisco nothing.
  • Coolest Dad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sysadmn ( 29788 ) < minus pi> on Saturday March 15, 2003 @11:45AM (#5519375) Homepage
    Well, he's got my vote for coolest dad of the year!
  • and it looks like an awful lot of hours went into it. Unfortunately, in less than one year the boy will have grown too big to fit inside anymore.
    • Re:Awsome model.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by phillymjs ( 234426 )
      Unfortunately, in less than one year the boy will have grown too big to fit inside anymore.

      At which point the guy could:

      a) have another kid
      b) sell it on eBay for $$$
      c) tinker with it and make it remote-controlled
      d) c, then b

      If it were me, I'd add remote control along with a motor for turret-rotation, put a wireless cam or two on it and enjoy it for a long time to come.

      If his dad does that, I'd hate to live on that kid's block on Mischief Night in 11 or 12 years, if the tank lasts that long. :-)

  • ...why use X-Arcade controls? The only part used was the Joystick, which can be bought directly from Happ [] (the manufacturer) for much cheaper.
  • This kid is lucky (Score:3, Interesting)

    by abigor ( 540274 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @01:16PM (#5519720)
    When I was a kid, I would have KILLED for something like this. We actually did end up building vehicles as we got older - using salvaged lawnmower engines, generally. To this day, my dad bugs me about the disassembled engine in his garage, which I left there 15 years ago.

    The big problem was, none of us had access to a welder. The fact that we couldn't actually weld would have proven no obstacle. Eventually, we took to building boats instead, and ended up in a series of harrowing pellet gun wars with the other gang of boat-building kids.

    Ah, life in a small town, eh?
  • I just hope his son doesn't break a rib trying to put the track back on if it were to slip off.

  • The tank treads are apparently modeled after his watch band... as seen here []... my question: couldn't he find a better picture than him picking up some like crap or something? Green sand, my ass... (Okay, bad expression).
  • botparts [] is this the first /.ing of a link from within an article?

    Or has it happened before... If it has I bet it never hapened with the main article withstanding the /.ing
  • and a display and you could have an battlezone simulator. :)
  • Damn, that's a cool project.. The kid looks just like one of my friend's sons.. And he'd definately be the type to drive it around the neighborhood, and terrorize anything he could with a pneumatic cannon.. :)

    My only real suggestion would have been to make at least the drivetrain and suspension out of metal.. Ya, it'd take a bit of extra work, and may need to invest in some new tools (but possibly not), but it would have definately been worth it..

    Personally, if I had the space and time, I would

  • like two panzershrecks, three max.
  • Last Halloween, my wife wanted to dress our 6 month old son as a fox. She got the costume and everything, and it was a cute little outfit. I started wondering what I could contribute...

    Inspiration struck, and I built this:

    It's mounted on caster wheels and has a handle on the back that I used to push it down the street.

    Now I wonder if anyone can guess what I was trying for..... ?
  • just big enough so that he outgrows it in SIX WEEKS.

    Did he forget how fast kids grow?

    I can just see this kid refusing to eat and crying his eyes out in June.
  • Poor kid will be blown to shreds the moment the neighbor's kid comes out with his new panther or tiger.

  • Cause at the rate they grow that boy'll be way too big to play in that thing in about six months. He better get to work on a backup kid if he wants his toy to see any real action.

  • by vudufixit ( 581911 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @05:55PM (#5520903)
    Had a pair of 1/4 scale 88mm AA guns pointed right down the street. His son didn't make it past the cul de sac.
  • by cjsnell ( 5825 ) on Saturday March 15, 2003 @07:01PM (#5521150) Journal

    If I ever build my child a tank, it will be something other than the M4 Sherman. That tank should have never been put in service. Prior to the Normandy invasion in 1944, GEN George S. Patton made the decision to concentrate production on the M4 Sherman instead of the M26 Pershing. The Pershing, according to Patton, was much too heavy. Patton, being a cavalry man, saw tanks as tools of the infantry. Tanks were to be used in conjunction with assaults by foot soldiers and were not intended to fight other tanks. Patton's choice of the lighter, faster Sherman turned out to be a huge mistake. The high-velocity guns of the German Tiger and Panther tanks penetrated the Shermans like a fork through a slice of bread. According to Belton Y. Cooper (whose book you should read...more on that in a bit), the Army began the Normandy campaign with 232 M4 tanks. In eleven months of service, 648 were completely destroyed and 700 were knocked out but later prepared. This comes out to roughly 580% losses in less than a year. These incredible losses resulted in the deaths of thousands of highly (and expensively) trained tank crew members.

    As if the M4's crappy armor wasn't bad enough, the Army equipped it with rotary aircraft engines, which it apparently had in surplus. These engines constantly fouled spark plugs (of which they had around 18, if I am remembering Cooper's book correctly). The engines did not like to idle at low RPMs and this created constant problems when travelling in convoys. On top of that, the tanks would let out an extremely un-tactical backfire when they were started, which often drew German artillery fire upon their positions. The M4s also had very narrow tracks. Your son's model tank looks to be fairly accurate as far as the dimensions of the tracks. When these narrow tracks encountered freshly-plowed farmland, they got stuck and it took incredible effort to free them.

    But wait, it gets even worse... The M4's main gun (75mm or 76mm, depending) was almost useless when up against German armor. When that gun hit the hardened armor (rolled, if my memory serves me) of the Tiger tanks, it merely bounced off, leaving a scratch or pockmark on the surface.

    So, all you Slashdotters...if you're going to build your kid a tank, do them a favor and build them an M26!


    PS - I got most of this information from reading Belton Y. Cooper's incredible book, "Death Traps", which follows the 3rd Armored Divison ("Spearhead") from Normandy to the heart of Germany. I'm not sure if it is still available--it was out-of-print for a while...
    • That is indeed a good book; I read it a few months ago. The other nickname given to Shermans by the British were Ronsons, as they flamed up like a cigarette lighter when hit just so. One top of being built shitty, the Sherman was just lame looking. I'd make a model of a German tank of almost any variety from WW2 before I'd make one that was manufactured by the US or UK.
  • . . . Someone thinks of putting a spud gun on that one and rant around the neighbourhood. . .

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern