The perfect accessory for that little black dress fashion experts urge every girl to have in her closet.
About this creation
Small, black, simple, and devastating -- that's what little black dresses (known in the fashion world simply as LBDs) and little black tanks (LBTs) are all about. Fashion experts the world over agree on at least one thing: Every girl should have an LBD in her closet.
And when the experts get a load of this LBT, they'll all be clamoring for a matching LBT in every girl's garage.
This MOC had 2 inspirations: First, technical LEGOŽ magician Peer Kreuger, aka Mahjqa, whose wonderful Tank Girl send-up, Girl's Tank (a must-see), got me wondering about what tanks had to do with girls. Kreuger also provided the excellent starting design for my chassis. And then my daughter, who clued me in on just who this Tank Girl was, anyway. Well, Tank Girl turns out to have been the flawed, fiesty heroine of an edgy, now cult-classic British comic strip and later B movie of the same name.
Hmmm, being a bit feisty herself (though certainly not flawed), maybe my daughter could use a tank? Heck, maybe every girl could use a tank?
Hmmm, girls, tanks, girls, tanks, girls, tanks ... in my mind's eye, off in the distance, coming this way ... why, of course, it's a ...
Little Black Tank (LBT)
Well-designed LBDs and LBTs easily stand on their own, but strategically placed splashes of color can speak volumes about the wearer. This bold rear-mounted red power toggle says, "Push me if you dare," but since it's on an LBT, not an LBD, better find out what kind of mood she's in first.
Need to bring along some essentials? Hard to do without unflattering lumps in most LBDs, but in an LBT, you can stow anything you like wherever you damn well please, inside or out. So what if they can see your change of treads?
A rare sight: Since our lovely young armor fashionista strongly prefers her LBTs strapless, you'll seldom find her buckled up inside the hull, even under fire.
Of course, no wardrobe would be complete without dog hair.
Women are often underestimated -- even in this day and age, and, understandably, to their great frustration. Whether showing up in that new LBD you've been dying to wear will help or hurt in that regard can be hard to predict, but show up in an LBT -- problem solved.
Few styles evoke "dressed to kill" as reliably as LBDs, but LBTs bring the metaphor to life.
For example, twin remotely operated laser-guided double-barrel 30 mm rear autocannons together dispensing 600 rounds of depleted uranium per second will quickly take care of any unwanted attention to your behind. (Still thinking of pushing that red toggle, guys?)
In the tank biz, the high-caliber machine gun mounted on top of the turrent next to the main hatch is known as the "commander's gun"...
...and you'd be well advised to do exactly what she says. A crooked sight isn't much of a problem on a machine gun.
An LBD can be just the thing when you're looking to project a little attitude, but think of all the attitude you can lay down in an LBT with auto-loading 155 mm main gun -- even at 5,000 yards from the party!
The LBT's fast, agile, and a ton of fun to drive. The color-coded forward-off-reverse levers on this pair of Power Functions infrared remote control (IRRC) handsets control 3 of the 4 connections available with 2 IRRC receivers: Yellow, turret rotation; orange, left track; red, right track. This MOC doesn't use the black lever.
Overall LBT dimensions: 229x146x122 mm (28.6x18.3x15.3 LU, 9.0x5.7x4.8 in) in LxWxH (not counting gun barrels and antennas); 1.0 kg (2.2 lb). (White floor tiles were 305 mm = 12 inch squares before corner cuts.)
The LBT's built around an adaptation of the light, compact, and versatile differential-drive tank chassis renowned Dutch builder Peer Kreuger designed for his famous Girl's Tank MOC (Kreuger's basic instructions here). This undercarriage shot shows the tandem gray M-motors used to drive the front tread sprockets.
Removing the left half of the turret reveals an important addition to Kreuger's basic design -- a motorized turret rotation mechanism. Note the paired IRRC receiver windows on the rear deck at far left.
Turret rotation mechanism: A largely hidden old red 9V micromotor at left drives black 20-tooth gear above, which in turn drives the 28-tooth gear ring on the small Technic turntable at right. The resulting 1.4:1 reduction nicely matches the micromotor's low speed and torque to this role.
Once the turret's off, the LBT's hull (tank-speak for body) lifts off in one piece to reveal the top of the chassis. I take sole responsibility for the LBT's little black turret and hull and its many mostly small and black modifications to Kreuger's versatile chassis/drivertrain foundation.
From fore to aft (left to right in photo): Turret rotation mechanism, tandem IRRC receivers, and light-weight rechargeable lithium battery box, which replaced the original bulky AA box to make room for receivers below deck and can be charged in place without removing turret and hull.
Rear view of chassis with rechargeable battery box removed. Black gizmo attached to dangling power cable is part of the linkage between the battery box on-off button and the external red power toggle seen earlier. The rear tread sprockets aren't powered.
The LBT's simple road wheel suspension uses unsprung bogies to provide limited but useful vertical wheel travel.
As seen in the next few photos, the LBT generally performs well in rough terrain.
Few outside geology realize that rugged terrain often reflects the presence of lumpy subsurface deposits of old Lego tires and wheels. Reclamation costs make the strip mining required to extract them uneconomic, but if BrickLink prices continue to rise, that could change.
The LBT has its mobility issues: Low ground clearance promotes high-centering on obstacles fitting between treads (like some of the wide road racing tires in this pile), and the small, old-style treads, though nice and black, tend to snag on fuzzy surfaces like carpet and grass.
Modern tanks are particularly remarkable for their ability to maintain near-freeway speeds over rough or soft surfaces that would be impassable to other offroad vehicles, but slowing down a bit for the really big bumps is still a good idea.
Our LBT-clad fashionista's lead foot and insistence on driving through an open hatch often land her in the dirt, but she always manages to get right back in the saddle. As you might imagine, a hard body of virtually indestructible ABS plastic can be a big plus in the tank biz.
Off to Fort Lauderdale for some Spring Break fun. Rowdy guys and powdery East Coast sand are no problem in an LBT. And yes, there's an LBD in the closet inside.
Table of features and stats
229x146x122 mm (28.6x18.3x15.3 LU, 9.0x5.7x4.8 in) in LxWxH excluding gun barrels and antennas
1.0 kg (2.2 lb)
Studded bodywork, mostly studless chassis
3 -- 1 PF medium on each track; 1 micromotor rotating turret
Quoting matt rowntRee
Awesome with hilarious commentary! Fantastic idea brilliantly executed.
Thanks for all your kinds words about my MOCs. Especially glad you enjoyed the commentary, as it was actually more fun to build than the MOC. Once it got rolling, the LBD-LBT similes just kept coming and coming, almost on their own. Apparently, there really is some kind of deep-seated connection between girls and tanks.