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S Tank

December 30th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

My second model of an actual tank. Features a drivetrain with a subtractor, pendular suspension with possibility to tilt the hull pneumatically, pneumatic front dozer blade, detachable side skirts and rear fuel tanks.


Completion date: 08/03/2008
Power: electric (Power Functions) / pneumatic (fed from internal electric compressor)
Dimensions: length 58 studs / width 25 studs / height 20 studs
Weight: 2.0 kg
Suspension: pendular bogies
Motors: 1 x PF XL, 2 x PF Medium,
Pneumatics: two circuits with one autovalve and one manual valve

This tank, again, has been inspired by someone else’s work. It was Mrutek’s smaller model that drew my attention to the Swedish Strv 103 tank. The tank is so unusual, that I just had to create a model of it. Since the scale is entirely different, I did not rely on Mrutek’s work, I have just learned of the original tank’s existence from him.

The look of the model is not actually very accurate, it’s slightly too large and out of proportion, and the suspension system looks  entirely different. It maintains, however, the characteristic silhouette, which apparently makes up for it.

The space inside the hull is utilized down to the last stud: rear and middle part of the chassis are occupied by the classic subtractor, used in my several previous tanks. The front part of the chassis houses a horizontal battery box and the entire pneumatic system, that is two circuits, one used to elevate hull on the suspension, and the other one used to control the front dozer blade. The first circuit is controlled by an autovalve I have designed earlier, which allows to use a single motor to drive the compressor and to switch the pneumatic valve. The second circuit is attached directly to the compressor via a manual valve. When the valve is opened, the compressor feeds the second circuit exclusively, without affecting the first one. It is possible thanks to the pressure principle – second circuits needs less pressure to operate, so if the compressor feeds both circuits at once, the second one utilizes all the air provided, thus not letting the pressure to reach the level needed to operate the first circuit.

The chassis, probably the tank’s most noteable feature, is not very complex. On each side of the tank, there are two stringers, one above the other. The upper stringer is entirely attached to the hull, while the lower stringer has only two points of attachment. One of them is a central transverse axle that connects it to the upper stringer. The other one is the top of a pneumatic cylinder which connects it to the front part of  the hull, thus controlling the hull’s tilt. I have, in fact, tried a number of purely mechanical solutions before relying on pneumatics. Given the hull’s weight, however, each mechanical solution turned out to generate a significant backlash, and the linear actuators were not yet available at that time.

I have put a lot of effort in the construction of the chassis, which has been test-driven in a huge variety of conditions. That resulted in a very good off-road performance of the tank, additionally supported by the use of a subtractor. I believe that the weight of 2 kilograms was pretty close to the limit of capability of a single PF XL motor driving the model over multiple obstacles, and if the model was a little heavier, it would have to be fitted with a second PF XL motor – which would result either in much larger size of the model, either in removal of the subtractor to gain space for the second motor.

The response to the model, both local and worldwide, has by far exceeded any of my expectations. Some people, who are familiar with my later work, still consider it my best, or one of my best creations, while in my personal opinion it could be significantly improved. Note that this was the first case of a good quality video, as I have paid little attention to the video materials earlier.


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Media reference:

Brick Blogue, TechnicBRICKs

Categories: Military Tags: , ,
  1. Sariel
    August 13th, 2010 at 23:57 | #1

    I did a short test drive.

  2. will
    August 13th, 2010 at 23:35 | #2

    did you use this in the first gp mazovia in 2008

  3. Mihály Stépán
    March 1st, 2010 at 16:36 | #3

    It has to be like microns thin. They chrome axles and gears too, and I don’t assume they fit too tight.

  4. Sariel
    February 28th, 2010 at 15:12 | #4

    @Mihály Stépán
    It is a very thin additional layer. No signs of wearing off so far.

  5. Mihály Stépán
    February 28th, 2010 at 14:20 | #5

    I was wondering in what way do they chrome Lego. It’s not an additional layer I think, that’s make them thicker and parts wouldn’t fit. But I can’t imagine that it’s colored in its material like the original parts are… it’d be nice to know if the chrome wears off from use after a time.

  6. Mihály Stépán
    February 27th, 2010 at 22:28 | #6

    Whoa! The tow truck would look nice with chrome wheels!

  7. Sariel
    February 26th, 2010 at 23:28 | #7

    @Mihály Stépán
    Yes, they are expensive. No, I wasn’t thinking of the supercars, but trucks. There are no sprocket wheels in dark grey planned as far as I know.

  8. Mihály Stépán
    February 26th, 2010 at 22:42 | #8

    Or dark grey, for that matter… are you planning on getting other chrome rims for e.g. the supercars? Are they expensive? I usually browse BL, but I’m not familiar with prices that much.

  9. Sariel
    February 26th, 2010 at 22:01 | #9

    @Mihály Stépán
    No. They don’t come in black… yet.

  10. Mihály Stépán
    February 26th, 2010 at 21:48 | #10

    Your model, your decision. Chrome isn’t standard in the military, though.. 😉 I only know WWII USAF planes in chrome (no paint, that is.)
    Didn’t you have these sprockets in black in the Le Tourneau model?

  11. Sariel
    February 25th, 2010 at 18:23 | #11

    @Mihály Stépán
    They sure fit it a lot better than yellow ones.

  12. Mihály Stépán
    February 25th, 2010 at 17:39 | #12

    I just don’t know if those chrome wheels fit the new S-tank.. any tank. Would be like putting a neon “Shoot here” sign on the hull…. If you’re modeling the looks as well (“Improved” you said) then I guess they aren’t the best choice.
    So far it looks great in dark grey, but I think the chrome parts don’t fit. After all, this is not Pimp my ride.. 😉
    You guys can come yellin’ at me, I still think they don’t fit such an accurate and detailed model. :-/

  13. Mihály Stépán
    February 22nd, 2010 at 18:19 | #13

    which is done by tilting the tank.. OK, never mind…. ;-P I just wanted to know abt the blade’s movement range

  14. Mihály Stépán
    February 22nd, 2010 at 18:18 | #14

    Yeah, I know :-), I meant that at least the tank rests on sg more solid than its tracks while aiming is done.

  15. Sariel
    February 22nd, 2010 at 17:04 | #15

    @Mihály Stépán
    If the hull is tilted forwards, I think it can. But it would be useless for stabilization while firing – it’s on the wrong side of the tank 🙂

  16. Mihály Stépán
    February 22nd, 2010 at 16:51 | #16

    @Mihály Stépán
    In the real S tank, can the front blade be lowered enough to lift the front of the tank, thus stabilizing it while firing?

  17. Mihály Stépán
    February 21st, 2010 at 16:27 | #17

    Arrite. The pictures on Facebook look promising! 😀

  18. Sariel
    February 20th, 2010 at 22:30 | #18

    @Mihály Stépán
    No space and I want more power, so I’m using two PF XLs together.

  19. Mihály Stépán
    February 20th, 2010 at 22:10 | #19

    Can’t wait for the upgraded version! So that one’s going to lack the subtractor (no space for it)?

  20. Sariel
  21. owen
    February 18th, 2010 at 00:53 | #21

    how does the track sections on the front atach to the hual ( the spare next to the cannon)?

  22. owen
    August 29th, 2009 at 19:41 | #22

    nice i love it

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