About this Blog

This is about the combination of two interests, Radio Control vehicles and Science Fiction models. Its also about vehicle design. The models have to satisfy two main precepts.

1. The vehicles have to work, ie be driveable, but not nescessarily win any races or rock crawling competitions.

2. The main thing is that they have to look cool.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Hardware Shipbreakers

In the post about making your own PVC wheels I hinted at some concept art  and in particular the vehicle design that I found inspiring. Here it is.

It is from a proposed game originally called Hardware Shipbreakers, now Homeworld Shipbreakers. As far as I know it is still in development, though this artwork was released some years ago now.
The hardware of Shipbreakers is some of the most convincing designs I have seen, really believable they look like they could actually work. Many sci fi designs I see look cool but could not in any way work, particularly off road. You see many so called all terrain vehicle designs with close fitting wheel arches, where there is nowhere for the suspension to go. It looks cool on a road race car where there is not any where near the amount of suspension travel, but would be totally impractical offroad.

As is common for me, a project is usually determined by the tyres I can find. The tyres come first and the design follows. The RC4WD Interco Super Swamper series 40 tyres  arrived and the PVC rims I made just before I stumbled across this artwork. They would be perfect for a vehicle along these lines. One of the concept art illustrations shows the scale of the vehicle.

From this image the massive RC tyres scale out at 1/64 scale. I don't really want to work at that small a scale so I figured 1/35 scale would be more suitable which, although halving the apparent scale, still makes for a humungous machine. To visualise the size of the vehicle at 1/35th, double the height of the figure near the front wheel. 1/35 scale also has the advantage of all the military kits and figures in that scale for kit bashing parts.

I started with some thumbnails and then roughly modeled the one I liked in Maya to grapple with the proportions.

From the screen grabs of the rough computer model I drew up a CAD version in DraftSight to get some dimensions. I then used Delta Cad to print out the CAD drawing fullsize over a number of A4 sheets which then were stuck together with masking tape, lining up the pages using a light box.

This is going to be the largest model by far of any of my projects with the body at 1070mm long and 475mm wide. I am not sure if my idea for powering the model like the Space truck project with a 540 motor and gearbox in every wheel will work with this size of model and the massively bigger circumference of these tyres. I think I will have to at least use a 200 rpm final drive rather than the 400rpm I have for the space truck idea. I think a 750 sized motor would be nice but I don't see any planetary gearboxes to fit, well not on my budget anyway. Below you can see a drilled out Traxxas 17mm hex fitted to the 6mm shaft of the motor. There is a flat ground on the shaft and a 4mm grub screw secures the hex onto the shaft.

Below you can see how the offset was allowed for in the construction of the rims so that the motor sticks out and can be mounted at the end of the suspension arms. On the far right is a rim assembly before getting trimmed. A ring of pvc gets removed from each of the inner and outer rims on both sides.

Here is a complete painted wheel with its skull design re-drilled Axial beadlock fitted. It doesn't look that big in the photo, it's ridiculously big in reality.

I still have not begun to figure out the suspension or the steering. For the latter, probably a high torque servo will get buried in the arm of each of the front wheels.

At least it is now after looking at the concept art it's fairly obvious why I painted the PVC wheels yellow.
More soon...

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