|09-19-2008, 05:01 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SD, CA
I present you with Unit 262: Heavy Mechanized Assault
I have included pictures here, but to truly appreciate this custom you need to watch the youtube video. Since I don't know what the policy is regarding embedded videos, I'll just drop URLs here.
Bandwidth-friendly web-res 4:3 Embedded @ Youtube:
Higher-res 16:9 WMV @ Blondeweasel.com:
I had a concept for this project before the contest started, it just served as the perfect motivator to finally go out and do it. I'll wait until people have had a chance to look first before I give away all the secrets : )
Also, I just finished it last night, so I'll take some more pictures over the weekend and update the thread. I gotta get some BATs in there, afterall!
Maybe I'll do a custom driver. Although I'm kinda burned out from this project. I had a concept for a second entry too, but I just don't know if I have enough time for it at this point. We'll see.
The unit numbers are hand-stenciled, and the Cobra sigils are also hand-stenciled. The rest are stock HISS stickers.
the blonde weasel
---- edit 0800 PST 7/20 ----
Thanks for all the compliments.
More info on the donor tank... I took a picture of it last night, but managed to leave my camera's... ahem... proprietary cable... at home (I'm an IT guy, it's kinda embarassing.) Anyways, it's the TH-X10, it's a 1:24 scale (approx) M-1A1 Abrams sold at TRU. It retails for $30. It's probably the crappiest piece of engineering to ever leave mainland China. I bought the first one and hacked it apart before even testing it.
I had to execute a proof-of-concept that the bucket would fit to the HISS fuselage first before I invested more effort. I spent a lot of time with my trusty ol' Dremel and a cutoff wheel, as well as my X-Acto balsa saw (works well on styrene as well, but keep it oiled or it will rust and that makes for terrible friction when cutting). I had to take pieces of fuselage from here and there and cut and assemble them so that the wheels would approximately match the setup of the HISS. I had to comprimise on the rear wheels, as I'm sure you noticed the rear wheels don't sit flush with the ground. This was due to the gearbox in the back... after cracking the case and checking it out, I knew there was no way I could reconfigure it.
So once I had the bucket set up, I had to shorten the treads. I pulled out some 1/35 armor tricks here. I measured the treads and figured out how many links I needed, then provisioned three extra links for the seam. At the point of overlap, I used 60ga. stainless wire and an upholstery needle to stitch the treads together. then I ran a hot knife through the overlapped section to fuse it. It held pretty well. There had to be enough tension to keep the treads from slipping off the rear cog.
Once I had the bucket and the treads sorted out, I dove into electronics. First I fit the battery pack, since that was the largest item that had to be concealed in the fuselage. The original battery tray from the TH-X10 got hacked apart when I made the bucket. Plus, using an intricate combination of pop rivets and superglue, the original battery tray was very much a structural component, making up for it's lack of functionality.
I took the lower portion of the original HISS, turned it upside down, cut and notched it, and it served as the perfect skirt piece to conceal the bucket where the lower section mates to the HISS fuselage. It also served to keep the batteries located properly.
Then came the engine control board. This is where under-engineered Chinese crap electronics really started to frustrate me. The tank would drive backwards (i.e. both motors turning the treads reverse) but it would only turn one tread inthe forwards direction. I spent hours troubleshooting this. Eventually I discovered that the control board from the TH-X10 had blown several chips in one of the control circuits.
I thought at this point the project was doomed, and almost gave up. Then I drove around San Diego looking for another TH-X10. Eventually, in National City (my third stop after Morena and La Mesa turned up nothing) I found three. Funny thing, they all looked beat up, like they'd been returned at some point. Later I discovered why.
Open the box for the replacement TH-X10. Same freakin deal. The thing doesn't drive in a straight line! Way to go engineers!!! I can only imagine the poor kids who got these things for christmas and realized they could only drive backwards or in circles. (why would you want a tank that drives forwards, afterall?!?)
The solution was to use the control boards from BOTH tanks, using the one good engine control circuit from each board to control one of the motors in the gearbox. Somehow, I managed to fit the two boards, the batteries, and the switch into the limited space in the bucket forward of the gearbox. And AMAZINGLY, it now worked. (again, what kid would possibly have parents willing to buy two of this toy, then reverse engineer them in order to give their child one working RC tank?!?)
Moral of the story: Don't buy the TH-X10. It's junk. And I totally understand now why all the boxes on the shelves at TRU are beat up, and have been taped 3-4 times. These things must be boomerang rejects... they are given as gifts, then returned to the store countless times.
Looking at ebay, there are a whole host of 1/18 RC tanks in the $50 price range. Any one of these has to be superior to the TH-X10.
A better solution would be something from an actual hobby shop. (next time...)
Okay... so there are a few "no brainer" mods that I did here, and these are the ones I'm most proud of.
1. The gatling guns. These came from the extra RAM cycles I had lying around from the 4 TBs I had to army build. Since the gun is non-symmetrical, what I did was first cut off the wheels, then cracked the case on one of them, notched the casing, and turned the barrels to face the other direction. Superglued it back together, and I now had two gatling guns, one right-handed, and one left-handed. And the best thing was they had a built in access panel, ala the original Ram cycle mold. Bonus detail! I drilled the barrels out using a 1/16 drill bit. Attached to the HISS body with some left over screws from the TH-X10.
2. HISS laser guns - flash suppressors. I think I used a 3/8" drill bit on this one... anyways, I cut the end of the barrel flush so that the drill bit wouldn't jump around on me, then I just drilled right into the barrel. Sufficient depth to make the notches. And I used an X-Acto to cut the notches. Careful, though, because this plastic is soft and you only get one chance to not ruin the barrels... patience! Turned out well, I think.
For those of you considering something similar to this project... I have some advice. Only do it if you have $100 you don't care about burning through, and only do it if you're slightly insane.
I am fortunate in that I have extensive fabrication skills from working on motorcycles and cars, and am good with materials. This project would have frustrated the hell out of me 10 years ago.
Although I've been building plastic models since I was 5, this was my first attempt at R/C. In retrospect, I would have been much better served investing in real R/C equipment and not the cheap crap they sell in the toy aisle at TRU. Tamiya makes some nice R/C tanks, and I think I'll look into one of those to do another at some point. Probably an R/C Mobat or Mauler. Would be a piece of cake compared to the compact frame of the HISS.
update 1014 PST 9/24:
Included pic of donor vehicle, additional pics. More to come.
The music in the video is Tricky - Christiansands, off his album Pre-Millennium Tension.
It is used without permission under fair-use guidelines for non-profit educational purposes only.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this... if you made it this far and haven't been scared away from a project of this scale... then maybe you are crazy like I am.
the blonde weasel
Last edited by blndweasel; 09-24-2008 at 01:16 PM..
|09-19-2008, 05:02 PM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2008
very nice really like it good luck in contest
|09-19-2008, 05:10 PM||#3|
AT EASE DISEASE!
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The PITT
Holy S$!T Batman!!!
Im diggin the video, already watched it like 3 times.
Thats the most insane HISSTank I think ive ever seen. I might as well give up on mine now. I realy dig how you made match the size of the original instead of just mounting the treads from the RC tank as they were.
Good luck, you have my vote.
|09-19-2008, 05:21 PM||#4|
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: THE GARDEN STATE OF EDEN!
wow your bad ass brother
|09-19-2008, 05:24 PM||#5|
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Central SD
that is the most awesome thing I have seen in quite some time!
Gunzlingr's BST Thread: http://www.hisstank.com/forum/g-i-jo...ml#post1742979
|09-19-2008, 05:25 PM||#6|
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Diego
freaking awesome I want one.
|09-19-2008, 05:30 PM||#7|
Join Date: Aug 2007
i'd love to hear about the donor rc tank used. no sound on my work pc.
man, dying to do this myself...
|09-19-2008, 05:38 PM||#8|
Mercenary for Hire
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: City of lost angels, Cali
after seeing that video and picking my jaw off the floor I am just...WOW
****for sale thread****
|09-19-2008, 05:47 PM||#9|
Join Date: Apr 2008
That was awesome!!! Thanks for sharing...I wasn't expecting the Hiss to take off. I hope you win the contest - I love everything you've done with that tank. Also thanks for showing us how you made it.
|09-19-2008, 05:58 PM||#10|
Master of Annihilation
Join Date: Aug 2008
HOLY HISS!!!!! that thing is amazing..........................
My Want / Tade List
My Feedback Page
|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Artic Assault Stalker||Slaymaker||G.I. Joe Customs Finished Projects||37||05-30-2012 12:07 PM|
|Vehicles Dreadnok Ground Assault mk II...upgraded with Air Assault||apacolypse||G.I. Joe Customs Finished Projects||10||07-08-2011 07:01 AM|
|Anaconda Heavy Assault Tank||Gunzlingr||G.I. Joe Customs Finished Projects||8||08-03-2008 12:54 AM|
|Sigma 6 Heavy Assault Viper||Razerwire||G.I. Joe Customs Finished Projects||2||02-16-2008 02:19 PM|
|dreadnok amphibious assault||thewyseone||G.I. Joe Customs Finished Projects||14||02-11-2008 10:02 PM|
|Maryland G.I. Joe Sightings|
|Official G.I. Joe Command Team Recruiting Thread|
|Another one of this guy...|
|Hisstank RPG Game Forum/ Battlefield.|
|Eagle Force returns|
|POLL: What is the 227th greatest G.I. Joe vehicle or...|
|New G.I.Joe 50th 2016 Assortment Discussion Thread|
|IDW January 2017 G. I. Joe Solicitations|
|IDW Revolution Discussion...|
|The Kohbra La Invasion episode 6: The Flight Of The...|
|1982-1994 ARAH Hauls|
|AWE Striker wheels and tires|
|The 460th Greatest G.I. Joe Character of all Time!|
|Just bought a 37 MOC lot!!|
|GI Joe Tread Ripper|
|GI Joe NES game|
|Pale Peony ARAH|
|G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Toys "R" Us Photo...|
|Python Patrol Inspired Cobra Fang|
|Announcing Chicken Fried Toys Dime Novel Legends...|
|Michigan G.I. Joe Sightings|
|Who is Tombstone|
|Takara Tony's Retro Toy Meet|
|Modern G.I.Joe Haul thread|
|Recent Off Topic Threads|
|Anyone using Game of Thrones Ghost (Wolf) for Timber?|
|The CORPS Megathread|
|Marvel Legends Legendary Discussion Thread|
|Legion XIV 1:18 Project: Suits|
|Recent B/S/T Threads|
|Cobra Commander PaintMaster on eBay|
|FS: 2009 Movie Cobra Commander w/ Hoses|
|POC Cobra Commander Test Shot w/ Hasbro Build Sheet|
|Anyone near an Ollies to get the Crimson Strike Set|
|Yojoe77 bst list|
|Primeconvoy1's Joe's & Other Items on Ebay|
|Jeditazs All New BST! Many lines!!!|
|My Custom Baron Bloodclott|
|CW Rival, Phoenix, & more customs!|
|New 50th line up for sale FS/FT|