My plan is to first build the chasis, which will include the tub/hull, drive wheels, tracks, bogies, motors, batteries, electronic controls, etc. This will be a totally self-contained system. The tank should drive, and function almost completely with just the chasis in place. This will come in handy for me to be able to test drive the tank, because I may not fit inside the tank when the body is on.
The chasis should look something like this, although the controls, batteries, motors etc are not shown:
Next, the body. The body will fit and bolt onto the chassis. The body needs to be lightweight, yet sturdy. This is also what really makes it look like a Sherman Tank. At this point I’m considering either thin UHMW (1/8″ thick) or plywood. The UHMW can actually be bent or curved if heated, and will hold that shape. This feature alone could make it more useful than plywood. I would probably need to make a sub-frame like structure to attach the panels to, and I’m not sure how to make the seems look good. I’m still thinking about his, and will try a few small-scale tests with materials, to see which makes the most sense.
Finally, the turret. This is the big gun, and the round part with a hatch, on top of a tank, that most people are familiar with. This will attach to the body. There are still many questions for how I will do this also, like how will the gun shoot, how will it all turn, etc etc. I’m not too worried at this point, but I am keeping it in mind for now, in case it effects the construction of the other parts, or if I see something that I think could be easily modified to work as the turret, or any of it’s parts.