AMS Spring 2023

Remote Control Scorpion FV101 Tank is First in a Squadron of 3D-Printed, Scale Model Armored Vehicles

6K SmarTech

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tank 3d printed partsThanks to 3D printing technology, an unfinished project that had been shelved for years is now complete. The Scorpion tank that long-time hobbyist and remote control enthusiast, “TheGreatestMoo”–his screen name on RC Universe, a site that hosts discussion forums for fans of remote control vehicles–is now in operation.

This anonymous maker who hails from St. Paul, Minnesota began constructing a 1/6th-scale FV101 Scorpion tank long before 3D printing had been adapted to more widespread use. In the past few months, however, he took up 3D design and printing and realized he could combine more traditional model-building methods and kit parts with 3D design and printing technology.

The FV101 Scorpion is, or, more accurately, was a British armored reconnaissance vehicle, part of a family of seven different armored vehicles tank controls 1manufactured by Alvis Car and Engineering Company, Ltd. It was first used by the British Army in 1973 and remained in service until 1994.

While he had been using a CNC (computer numerical control) machine to cut parts for models, “TheGreatestMoo” realized how much easier model production would be with 3D printing. The majority of the Scorpion tank is 3D printed.

The attention to detail is remarkable. For instance, the turret rotates, some hatches and the storage bin open and, says its designer, “it even has 3D-printed clips designed to quick-release the top of the turret and the upper hull to [provide] access to the insides.”

This tech-savvy hobbyist knew what he was doing with regard to the automation of the Scorpion. The tank features gears from a Tamiya Double Gearbox Kit and the Scorpion’s gearbox, which is custom 3D printed, uses 370-sized motors. He used a Clark TK22 board (controller) and Leopard 2 sound set to provide the tank with authentic sound effects.

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Clearly, the Scorpion tank was not intended to go alone on to the miniature battlefield, as its maker was part of a small circle of enthusiasts whom, he said “are trying to start up a 1/16th (scale) battle club using the IR battle system like Tamiya has.” “IR” stands for “infrared radiation. Basically, remote controls work using IR devices, which send digitally-coded pulses or IR to control functions like volume, power, fan speed, and so on. “I have a 1/16th Heng Long Leopard 2A6,” he explained.

His small group, seemingly every bit as accomplished as is “TheGreatestMoo,” have their own website on which they showcase the fruits of their labor, which are impressive in detail to say the least.

While he didn’t provide details, 3D-printable files for the parts, or instructions for producing the Scorpion, we suspect that once he refines his process, including establishing a parts list, “TheGreatestMoo,” who also produced and sold a 3D-printed snow blower–we imagine this comes in especially handy in Minnesota–will be back to share new projects. Thanks to 3D design and printing, it seems he’ll return with a small army.

Let us know your thoughts on this uniquely designed tank.  Discuss in the 3D Printed FV101 Tank forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

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