So I have finally determined the tank will be approximately 1/4 scale. An M4 Sherman tank is a little over 19ft long, mine will be almost 5ft.. which is obviously about 1/4.
How I determined this? I have 2 pieces of conveyor belt, 129″ long… one for each track. My drive wheels and roller wheels are 5-1/8″. I started drawing with a relative scale in MSPaint, decided to have the track come up at a 45° in the front and back, and the rest just sorta fell into place. One cool part was determining the length of where the track wraps around the wheels in a circular fashion…. basically a trapezoid with rounded corners.
If you are into the math, it’s kinda cool, but also shows the different dimensions (note: length is not drawn to scale as it was the variable when I was figuring this out):
To be to the scale of a real Sherman, it would need to be only a little over 2 feet wide, but I will probably go a little bit wider, like 32-36″. Now that I have some pretty decent dimensions figured out, I can start doing some 3d-modeling in Blender3d. This will help a lot of my decisions down the road, such as building the lower pan, bogies, etc.
I am also currently looking at a few different options for the tracks treads. The 2 finalists at this point are composite decking material, cut into slices on the table saw, or UHMV, a hard plastic, that is very versatile, and would hold up really well, but may be a little harder to come by at a reasonable price. Time will tell… but at least now I know what I’m building… a 1/4 Scale Sherman Tank.
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