Sherman Builders
Trying to scratch build a tank can be a daunting process. There is little or no information available either in books or on the web concerning scratch building techniques for this sort of hobby.  Before the advent of the world wide web, a person was pretty much was alone in learning how to build a large scale model and finding any information was close to impossible. Even now, ours is still a small niche in the hobby world as a result most large scale tank scratch builders are spread far and wide with little help from other modelers. This web site is designed  to help those interested in building their own models with some ideas or incentive to start their own.

A person does not need a metal lathe or milling machine in order to build a RC tank.  To be honest, it does help to have a metal lathe for turning of the wheels and any shafts you may need but still it isn't needed. All of the parts made for my Sherman have been done so without a lathe.  With the Sherman project I found a need to learn the art of casting of metal- Aluminum to be exact.  There are other castable materials such as resins and low temp metals but quite frankly if you can cast the needed parts in aluminum then you are much better off. I have included a small section on casting metal. Please feel free to check it out. Although most of the construction articles involve that of Sherman parts, all ideas can be readily adapted to other sorts of tanks- even German tanks!
  Scratch building techniques
Sherman project page # 1
Making the tracks for the Sherman, both for the T80 and T84  track types.
Sherman project page # 2
Vulcanize your own rubber for real tires!
Sherman project page # 3
Sherman project page # 4
Part 1
Part 1
Part 2
Building the  HVSS style of bogie wheel system Sherman project page # 5
Learn some methods for casting aluminum
Bench tips!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Making sprockets
TIP 1: Many scratch builders use a rubber silicon such as Flexane 90 for molding their tires. This product is very good for making rubber tires but can be expensive. Rubber mallets can be bought for a very cheap price and the rubber head cut from the handle. The rubber has a Shore hardness of about 90a or the about the same as Flexane 90. A hole cutter mounted on a drill press can be used to cut out the desired tire size. Once in place you can't the difference between the two products.

TIP 2: Real rubber once vulcanized can not be melted and made into another shape.  Luckly, virgin rubber can be purchased through many of the rubber supply house here in the States. You will need a metal mold to compress and heat the material  in order to vulcanized it.
Part 1
Working with the hull.
Make wheels without a lathe. Also covers tires material.
Part 1
Part 1
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All material copyrighted JR. Bates 1999 ,2000, 2001
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Coming soon:
Spin Casting methods
New method of making tracks