Maelstrom: The Ultimate Lego Tank
Maelstrom can be split into two main parts, the drivetrain and the Hurricane launcher. The drivetrain was developed over a period of about 1 month specifically for Maelstrom. It has a type of suspension I originally tried on Tempest (a Tornado Launcher tank) with mixed success. The suspension allows gravity to bend the tank's structure without breaking it so the tank conforms to the terrain. It also has sprung treads so they don't fall off when the tank bends. It is powered by PF XL motors geared for power and it has rubber treads at the front to aid in climbing.
Hurricane Launcher mark IV
Maelstrom is armed with the Hurricane Launcher mark IV, the fourth in a line of multi-motor Zamor launchers. Like the Hurricane mark II it uses 3 motors and like the mark III it uses an efficient firing mechanism. As I mentioned above, it is capable of firing 23 spheres per second, which is faster than many real machine guns. Needless to say this thing can devastate Lego structures (stacked Lego bricks, not pushed down) and armies.
Hurricane Launcher mark IV Instructions
This project is the instructions on how to build the Hurricane Launcher mark IV, the weapon of Maelstrom. Here's an overview of how it works: The 3 motors spin 24 tooth gears which link to 8 tooth gears (which rotate 3 times as fast) on a long crankshaft. In 4 places along the crankshaft it is displaced from the center to make that section spin around the crankshaft's center. Attached to those sections of the crankshaft are 4 firing mechanisms that push/pull the firing rods in and out of the Zamor launchers as the crankshaft spins.
Maelstrom Drivetrain Instructions
This project is the instructions on how to build the drivetrain of Maelstrom. Here's an overview of how the suspension works: Along a few points in each side of the drivetrain there are joints that allow it to bend. Each joint connects 2 main beams with other beams and only a few pegs. To keep the joint from falling apart an axle runs through it. Also, to keep the treads from falling off they are sprung by arms pulled up by rubber bands.
If you have any questions about the instructions, feel free to comment on this post. I'd be happy to explain.