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Our club has completed several unique vehicles to date and several of our members have wanted to do a SturmTiger.  Aimee Ousley was the first to demand one completed and husband Jeff obliged without question.  A definite “honey-do” if you ask me! 


I will let Aimee pick up the narrative......

Matorro SturmTiger gets a makeover!

Matorro SturmTiger Project 
By Aimee Ousley
Background and beginnings…
    
This project began as a gutted Matorro Sturmtiger purchased secondhand from a fellow club member, it came to us missing all of the electronics and the main cannon mount.  It was literally a pile of parts in a box.  Inside the tank were just the transmission units and a lonely little speaker. 
As we drove it home to California, we decided that while it was an interesting project, and just one of a few full option Sturmtigers, we were going to shelve this project until a rainy day.  As destiny would have it, the Sturm sat on the table at home waiting for long term storage.  It began to grow on me a little each day.  After much deliberation, I decided to adopt this ugly duckling, and after informed my husband it was now his number one priority…

    Our plan was to convert the Matorro Sturmtiger into a Tamiya compatible full option battle tank that takes advantage of the Invulnerable Front Armor ("IFA") rule used at our club.  We calculated that a Sturmtiger would be a very unique and instantly recognizable vehicle.  We further reasoned that based on our IR battle experience, if properly built, this tank will be a very effective close-quarters combat vehicle since it is nearly square (i.e. no barrel protruding means you can turn on a dime in heavily wooded terrain, or a narrow city street) and would qualify as an IFA vehicle.  
We did not wish to spend a pile of money on it, so we decided from the outset to use as much Matorro stock parts as we could without compromising reliability or durability that a battle tank must have.  The Sturmtiger would provide most of the parts, and the rest of the materials, my husband assured me were conveniently available in his spare parts box...

    Our challenges on this tank were:          
1.  The stock gearboxes are weak, and would never withstand the punishment of battling.  
2.  The stock sound system in this tank was insufficient.  Not enough bass, not enough volume, poor quality speaker.  We needed big sound coming out of this tank.  
3.  While the treads are ok, the rear idlers are a weak point.  Essentially they are just plastic wheels with a metal pin press fit into the plastic hull.  Over time, they'll bend and warp (causing thrown tracks).  This will never last in the battle arenas of the clubs where we'll be battling this tank.  
4.  The entire lower hull is flimsy plastic and flexes significantly.  This will need beefed up or we'll never be able to keep the tracks from coming off.  
5.  Traverse and elevation will need to be reworked to interface with the planned Tamiya MF-01 and DMD T-03 electronic units.  If we can't use the Matorro elevation/traverse system, then a completely custom trunnion assembly and related servo elevation and traverse will need to be built.  
6.  All the new parts we have planned require room in the hull and superstructure, and the Sturmtiger is slightly narrower than a Tamiya Tiger 1.  With all the screw pillars and the battery box looking like stalagmites and stalactites in the superstructure and the hull, our planned electronic suite will never fit.

    Other items for concern are that we don't plan on opening the tank up after it's built, so we'll need an onboard charging system to charge the battery from the outside of the tank.  We also want a flash unit in the main cannon, and an integral IR emitter in the cannon to, so as not to compromise the esthetic accuracy of the tank with a non authentic "clamp on" type of emitter housing.