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T-119RC "Bert"
Skills 3d printing, metal working, electronics, design, cad
Status Active
Niche Mechanics
Purpose Electronics, fun, world domination
Tool No
Location r3boots home
Cost hahaha, next question!
Tool category Fabrication

T-119RC "Bert"

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A remotely controlled tank chassis.


My Grandfather was a tank commander, and ever since I was a kid he took me along to base to play around his tanks. Since then I have been impressed with large vehicles. Also, as a kid, I did a lot of modelling. So lots of years later, while I was building a scale model of the T90, I got the inspiration to build my own remotely controlled tank chassis because why not? :)


This project started with an RC suspension component. Using that, I gradually designed a tank around it. The tank itself has been built using a mix of techniques. The chassis is made using aluminium profiles bought from the Gamma and bound together using rivets. All moving parts have been made using 3d printing. The motors come from spare parts from Henglong RC tanks and the control was originally part of an RC helicopter/aircraft. Arduino-based electronics have been added to translate the aircraft controls to tank controls


I have designed this using an iterative design process and a lot was done using learn-as-you-go. After working on this project for approx 4 months, I broke it within 45 minutes. This was caused by not caring about tolerances as I should :) This caused most of the drivetrain to be redesigned in order to have all axles straight. Once this was fixed, further testing took place. Not all individual tracklinks were printed as well as I would imagine, and this caused the tracks to break in certain situations. This was also fixed by replacing the faulty tracks.

Design files and Code

All parts have been designed using solidworks. The original design files can be found here. The code that lives on the controller, together with some schematics can be found in this file. No digital design has been made wrt the schematics.


Hover over the images for a description

The inspiration for building this chassis

The first steps in building this, together with the suspension prototype

2nd attempt of the chassis (no pictures exist of the first attempt)

First batch of v1 of the individual tracklinks. The tracks are linked using metal rods which were not secured in the plastic and caused major damage during the first testrun

The centering tooth in the tracklinks was too small & broke, so they were redesigned

Since the printing of the tracks took a month, I got to spend time on working on the electronics

All cables that are mounted on the pcb

Video of testing of the electronics: Media:YdOVfLv.mp4

In the mean time, the tracks were getting ready

It works! It bloody works!!! The first test of the tracks: Media:LDCKZsG.mp4

The first attempt at a box for the receiver & antennas

The housing containing the receiver & antenna needed to be redesigned

Looks so shiney. It was a bad design tho :)

I was *so* glad when the final batch was finished. So much effort went into these tracklinks

Video of the maiden voyage, approx 3 months after the start of the project: Media:HAzwaxl.mp4

A failed experiment in creating a housing for the reduction gear using available spare parts

The pins connecting the tracks would walk once you drove the tank. This caused the pins to protude, and this in turn hooked onto other parts of the chassis, causing breakage

More closeups of the damage created by the floating track pins

This was fixed by welding the metal pins in place in the track links by adding a little piece of plastic on top

On top of that, the motor mounts were redesigned and strengthened

More pics of the new motormounts

closeup of the new axle bearing

Once I was at this point, the chassis was pretty stable, except for some weak track links

Finally, the chassis was finished, and its time to play with it! Media:QnMHGzX.mp4

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