ND Woodworking Art makes incredibly detailed vehicles out of wood. But what makes them truly amazing is that the creations are life-sized scale replicas that drive. So when his son's toy RC tank is damaged, the artist leverages his considerable talents to build his son a life-sized Swedish STRV 103 tank like the one featured in the World of Tanks video game.
The build starts with a steel box frame and pneumatic rubber wheels. Then they add an electric motor and a chain drive system with life-like tank treads. The methods are similar to ND Woodworking Art's approach on a previous tank build but on a larger scale. Before long, they have a working chassis which they test drive around the neighborhood.
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Next, the team constructs a metal frame for the tank's superstructure. The Swedish STRV 103 is classified as a turretless tank, perhaps the only tank of this type from the Cold War era. The design gave it a lower profile than most tanks, making it easier to conceal and harder to target. For the team behind ND Woodworking Art, those characteristics also simplify their build process.
Once the superstructure frame is completed, the team assembles the exterior shell out of wood panels cut to match the STRV 103's profile. The process is not unlike putting together a large, three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. Piece by piece, the tank takes shape as the craftsmen fabricate accessories like gas tanks and shovels out of wood.
Finally, they complete the tank, and the father takes it for a spin with his son. The front is lowered hydraulicly, making it easier to climb in or dismount. As an electric vehicle, albeit one with limited range, it traverses roads and flat grassland with ease. However, it won't crush cars or climb stairs and turn like a real tank. On the road, the father and son wave at people as they pass. For the boy, who loves tanks, it's like being at the head of his own parade.