Tiki Tank @ Critical NW

Team Tiki Tank had a huge success in our first trial run at the Critical NW festival in WA.  There were a lot of lessons learned on what worked well and what needed improvement.

High level priorities before Burning Man:

  • Treads to be controlled by the Vehicle speed sensor
  • More Lights – Addressable and non.
  • Better shade
  • Working Passenger door
  • Generator cover
  • Weld speaker mounts
  • Redo all wiring / Pre-run all cables
  • Paint
  • Decorations

Full photoset available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/divide/sets/72157634776252833

Some Photos from the event (Click for larger version)


Arriving on site, fully packed up with camp gear

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First day of the build. No lights installed yet



First tests of the lights installed.


Improved lighting once Seth arrived


Close up pic with Tiki textures visible at night

Tiki Tank work 6/28 – 6/30

Friday Tasks:
Home Depot shopping
Clean up at shop to get table saw out
Build rear track assemblies
Door hinge assemblies weld
Mount front hitch
Design Generator box
Transport equipment from divide’s house (lighting, speakers, extra wood, ladder, paint?)
Pacific industrial supply run for metal (after generator box design)
Weld generator box assembly
Finish top turret assembly ~2-3 hours
Gun barrel ideas
Any Sunday tasks that can be started
Mount threaded inserts on drivers side
Clean inside of truck cab
Repair drives rear door lock (make door open again)
Test all speakers, sound, wiring + sort
Design speaker mounts?
speaker + power wiring routing
Test existing LED lighting, inventory
Cur drivers side furring strips + mount
Burlap Everything.
Paint over new raw wood + touch up truck.
Stain furring strips (need to select color after burlap)
Start hanging tiki decorations/blinds/bamboo
Fender supports for track
New Door hinge mock up:
Inventory of last years lighting and sound:
Side view with final turret framing
Materials mockups, seeing how different textures and materials work:

Tiki Tank Work 6/16/2013

After several weeks of gathering materials, progress is starting to be be made.

Recent work done:

  • Turret design and construction started
  • Side treads to be built from ABS pipes and skinned with burlap sacks
  • Acquired lots of bamboo and tiki materials
  • $700 worth of LED’s for treads purchased from China
  • Custom Arduino controllers and sensors for lighting effects


Seth Building the Top


Testing the angles for the new turret top


Temporary brace to get an idea of how it looks


Tiki tank and Crash Industries are sponsored by PBR.


Investigating materials for covering the vehicle


Gathering bamboo and burlap.

Tiki Tank Mock-ups for DMV Registration

We spent some time putting together Photoshop mockups of the Tiki Tank:

Missing from these illustrations:

  • Lighting – Treads and general outlines
  • Shade configuration
  • Actual material textures
  • Rear view with the draw bridge / rear gate
  • Water cannons
  • Hula girl hood ornament


Side view, click for full size:

truck side

Front view, click for full size:

truck front

Becoming the Tiki Tank!!

With the announcement of the theme for 2013, we decided to change the theme and build structure of the truck to become a TIKI TANK; a WW2 era tank made of materials that would be found in a tropical jungle island.

Using tanks diagrams of tanks for inspiration, we drafted up a couple ideas.



Early whiteboard draft


diagram 2