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  1. #1
    tsull's Avatar
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    Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    With my son, we've built some very complex Pepakura Halo armor. The process is simple; download a 3d model, open the file in Pepakura which will translate the 3d file and scale the output to printable pages which include tabs for fluing the faces together. The shapes that can be made are very complex. I'll post some pictures of the Mark 6 full size helmet we built together.

    There is a large library of 3d tanks. With my son, our next project will be a Pepekura tank with aluminum frame. I'll post a complete build thread on it (as soon as I'm done with my KT).

    We're considering an Is3 (tires and treads are easier) vs. an IS7 (my favorite).

    Question: has anyone tried this buiding process? Pepakura tank with fiberglass and aluminum frame? If it works well, it could truly be a new chapter in custom builds.

    Take a look at http://www.3dcadbrowser.com/browse.a...=6&category=41 for a selection of free 3d tank models.

    Hmmmmm. Now I need a lathe.

    Tjs
    King Tiger, KV-1, Tiger 1, Pershing

  2. #2
    pattoncommander's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Very intersting concept. but for some of us computer challenged guys, just too complictated. [:-]
    HL M-26, M-46, M-41B, T-34/85, IDF M-51 (2)

  3. #3
    tsull's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    The actual computer work is really simple with Pepakura (my kid had to teach me). You can download any of the 3D tank models on the web and import the file directly into Pepakura. The only trick is in scaling the output to 1/16. It's mainly a trial and error process. Print out a section that you know the 1/16 dimension and adjust the printout percentage until you hit it right.

    Once the cardstock is printed (color laser printer works well, but we've used inkjet), glue the tank together. This can be a work of art or just to get the main sections built-up. Since the next step is to place an aluminum frame in the lower hull for mounting the swing arms and to stiffen the project - no sense in a work of art.

    Once the frame is mounted, fiberglass the interior of the hull and turret. Resin the exterior and start with the bondo to smooth out areas. It's truly amazing what you can build with this process.

    I helped my 11 year old boy build a Mark 6 Helmet with full visor, fan system and lights for one of his favorite action figures - the Halo series.

    See pictures below of the helmet and a Paper Model (from Pepakura) of an IS3 Tank in Egyptian livery. I'm hoping to start my IS3 build later this fall and will post a complete build thread. If you have wheels, sprockets, suspension swing arms and treads, you can create anything using this process.

    tjs
    PS: I'll post some better pictures of the helmet later
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  4. #4
    Pah co chu puk's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Can these files be used to make tanks with a 3d printer?  I keep looking at the Kubelwagen to print in 3d for a battle field prop.
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  5. #5
    tsull's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Yes, these files which are typically a 3ds, obj, etc file structures need to be converted to a .sti file for the printer. There's several free programs that allow you to do this. I've been looking at a 3D printer, but the Pepakura method is free outside the fiberglass, etc.

    tjs
    King Tiger, KV-1, Tiger 1, Pershing

  6. #6
    Rebellion13's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    I have looked over some of the halo models in the past and always thought it was interesting. Might have to look further into this............I smell a IDF Centurion.

    Cheers
    Wade
    N.E.A.D Member
    All my tanks are in the project stage

  7. #7
    tsull's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    How about:
    Now for a lathe and mill....
    tjs
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  8. #8
    Rebellion13's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Speaking of lathe's, quite expensive soooo I researched a little, now I don't have a link, but someone put up a video of how to turn a drill press into one, and also one where you use an old drill (w/cord) and use those to make a home made lathe.

    Cheers
    Wade
    N.E.A.D Member
    All my tanks are in the project stage

  9. #9
    tsull's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    It's not easy, but amazing what you can do with a portable drill, files and patience. I built the interior aluminum frame with only a power drill. I'm looking at the R8 Milling Machine from MicroMark or their lathe. I'm tending toward the Mill except for turning barrels won't be possible (to my lack of knowledge).

    Any thoughts? Mill or Lathe; which would be better suited to all the possible machining that one can/want to do on tanks.

    tjs
    King Tiger, KV-1, Tiger 1, Pershing

  10. #10
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Interesting process & something akin to what some I know who build RC warships hulls from paper models.

    For those fantasizing about 3D printers, you had 1) be prepared for disappointment, especially if you think a home printer will do the job - it won't! & 2) have very deep pockets. I had Shapeways quote a few small parts for a 1:72 Civil War monitor in low detail, ie, no rivets or plate seams, & my tab came to $158. Take a look at Patmat's thread on some projects he's doing with Shapeways for more info:

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1088812

  11. #11

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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Well, most of the hobby lathes do have a milling attatchment for the lathe. it is a vertical piece that mounts on the cross slide, so it takes a little getting used to. But for my money i would definately go with the lathe first.
    Tamiya Panther G, HL/Tamiya TigerI, WSN/HL T-34/85, WSN/Tamiya T-34/85, WSN/HL DBCRC2 T-34/85, HL/Tamiya Pershing, Mato/Tamiya Sherman,HL KV-1, HL Pz III, HL/Custom scratch JP, HE/Tamiya Abrams, HE/Tamiya LEO 2A5, Vs Abrams M1A1, Vs T-72, HL Bergepanthe

  12. #12
    Rebellion13's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    tsull I checked out the link you provided for the 3d models, which file format do you download, there is a ton of them in the drop down box. And once you download could you please go through the steps on how to convert and what software you used. I would like to give this a shot. Thanks

    Cheers,
    Wade
    N.E.A.D Member
    All my tanks are in the project stage

  13. #13
    tsull's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Hi Wade,

    I'm working on the process. So far, if you download Sketchup 8.0 PRO (you get 8 hours for free* which can translate a lot of tanks files) or PRE VERSION 7.0 Sketchup, you can open up the .SKE files. Go to http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehou...Search&start=0

    I'd stick with the 8.0 Pro.

    Download your choice of tank selecting the Sketchup file for your download.
    Now, go and download Pepakura at http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura-en/
    You will have to buy the software program. It's about $35. But, it's really a neat program!
    Once you have it downloaded, go back to Sketchup. Open the tank model that you downloaded earlier.
    Now here's where I'm still figuring it out****
    Once you open up the tank model in Sketchup, go to File and Export. Select the 3ds file and Export it (Im also working on how the .OBJ file works).
    -
    Now, open up Pepakura and open the 3ds file you just created.

    From there, I'm still working on it!
    My problem is that the file size is too large and the program crashes. I'll post the information when I figure out how to shrink the file size. I've done this with other 3D models - it does take some tweaking to get the printout to the right size.

    If you print on hard card stock, you will glue the edges together with the tabs. THe structure is still weak. This is where you will need to build an interior frame. I like working in Aluminum and using a JB Weld glue for aluminum and rivet the pieces together.

    You could probably use a wood frame as you will be fiberglassing the interior.

    Some food for thought.

    tjs

    THINK ABOUT BEING ABLE TO DOWNLOAD AND BUILD ALL THE DIFFERENT TANKS THAT ARE OUT THERE IN 3D MODELS!
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  14. #14
    streetsquid's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Todd,
    Interesting thoughts on the lathe vs mill, and which would be more versitle in RC tank building. I used both for many years, and for what it is worth, I believe the mill is more versitle (Sorry panther G), but to get the most out of it you would want to invest in a rotary table. With that addition you could still turn wheels, hubs and any other round or cylindrical items.

    Whichever you choose, remember too that you're gonna have to spend quite a bit of additional coin to outfit yourself with all the extras you're gonna need. T-clamps, 1-2-3 blocks, cutters, a grinder (if you're getting the lathe to grind the cutters), and you'll need attachments, live center, 3-jaw and 4-jaw chucks, etc etc etc, whichever route you choose I think the single most important addition you can purchase will be a DRO (Digital Read Out) and if you dont have one already invest in a decent 8" digital caliper.

    Remember too that the Micro-mark machinery is relatively small in terms of X,Y, and Z axis and throat. If you havent ever seen them before you may also want to check out the Clisby line from Australia or Sherline products. Clisby has a deal for both a lathe and a mill for about $500 US Dollars. Don't count out Craigslist either, you can usually find some decent power tools in good shape if you're patient and willing to pick it up

    When you do get one (or both) if you need a hand in set up or operation, give me a call I'll be more than willing ot help!

    Streetsquid (Craig)
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  15. #15
    Rebellion13's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Thanks tsull,

    I will keep an eye on this thread. In the past I have downloaded PDF files in 2d of course and printed on card stock, then use those as a template and used balsa wood as the base, which in turn I epoxied and fiberglassed. It was a cobra helicopter btw turned out really nice until I crashed it, just better to stick with tanks after that lol.

    Cheers
    Wade
    N.E.A.D Member
    All my tanks are in the project stage

  16. #16
    tsull's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Thanks Craig for your post!
    I'll definitely call you before doing anything. Since it's definitely a "non-approved" purchase with the wife, It will probably take another month or two. That's dependent on whether I passed the AZ state bar exam (they post this coming friday). If not, 4 months of hitting the books.........
    tjs
    King Tiger, KV-1, Tiger 1, Pershing

  17. #17

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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    HI I just purchaser a unimat SL 1000 -db200 lathe on ebay it is a combo lathe & mill Austrian build works well , and it is 43 years old . IT was new in the box never used with all accessories . bye
    steve

  18. #18
    tsull's Avatar
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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    Okay. Now I'm jealous. Just having looked it up on ebay. Do a build/operation thread on it!
    tjs
    Now - I'll buy the 3d Printer and print your objects if you turn my wheels. and sprockets
    tjs
    King Tiger, KV-1, Tiger 1, Pershing

  19. #19

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    RE: Pepakura fiberglass tanks

    my high school metal turning skills need honing before I could handle that .
    steve


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