We (Instructable member seanmichaelhunt ) and I were contracted by a Chicago event promoter to create a tank/DJ booth for their "Paint Wars" event in Milwaukee, WI. Originally it was designed to shoot fluorescent tempera paint 30-50' from the end, along with confetti and CO2 blasts. It was no small feat designing a system to effectively do all of that via one tank gun, and It came with a very large price tag. Budget constraints resulted in a tank with a UV laser effect. Entirely in fluorescent colors, it is especially super-vivid in person when hit with UV light. The front treads have a chasing effect to create the illusion of motion. We think it looks like a big children's toy, perfect since the people attending an event where you're hit with paint the whole night are still children.

Another challenge to this project was that it had to contain a functioning DJ booth, which was a greater obstacle when more significant effects were involved and had to be isolated from the DJ. Also, that it had to be assembled in a manner which could collapse into a cargo van, which was a minor miracle. Here's how we went about creating this fun prop:

Step 1: Design and begin the framework structure

There are many ways we could have gone about this, but guiding our process were the facts that this had to be a nearly full scale prop, solid enough to function as a DJ booth, and disassemble easily enough to transport in a cargo van.

The framework is largely composed of 3 sections, the wheels/treads (2), and the center "cabin" section. These sections then further disassemble to some degree.

The tread sections appear wider than they are because the visible end of the treads are wider, along with upper panels which extend further out. This creates visual depth for the wheels and also makes it more compact for transporting. The front sections of the wheel treads are also separate components.

The center section is composed of three flats which bolt together, with the DJ equipment table screwing into place to further stabilize everything. The lower front section of the tank has almost no physical structure as it is a few yards of fluorescent raincoat material connected with velcro to two horizontal 2 x 4's in the center structure and wrapped around a PVC pipe to create a solid shape.

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Bio: I've been self employed most of my life, with an unending stream of ideas. One of my best skills is brainstorming and problem solving ... More »
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