Tank body/turret/cannon: 3D MOBAT designed by ???? (not sure), upscaled and printed by a friend
Repro decals: Justice Fighters (Etsy)
Other decals: ROC Pit Command Center
Various kibble (see notes)

Multi-Ordnance Battle Tank
GI Joe


The go-to tank for the early Joes, the MOBAT captured the spirit and aesthetic of the early waves. Unfortunately, it didn't capture the proper scale of the 1:18 figures. For 40 years I wanted a scaled-up MOBAT that would look right with figures on it. About five years ago I realized that 3D printing seemed like the right path. I tired to learn 3D modeling/sculpting, but I just don't understand it despite my best efforts, so I had to find those who do. The plan was to scan a MOBAT, scale it up, and print it out.

The real MOBAT proved a bit too large to scan for the guy who ended up doing the printing, so he found another solution. He found a tabletop 3D model made by a Fiverr designer (whose name I don't know), and approached him about making a few changes to it so it would work as a larger shelf display piece instead of a gaming piece. The hatch entrance/hole was added to the top, which allowed for a figure to stand up inside of the tank.

This MOBAT is 143% the size of the original. Enough that it looks right for 1:18 figures. Thanks to another friend, who had been a soldier, who approved of the scale adjustment. If anything, it's even bigger than the real world MBT-70, which was only about 8 feet tall in its lowest position.

I also drilled out a hole (that was a disaster) for the driver's spot, which is forward in the hull. It allows for a driver to be placed into the hull. The hull was shattered where the drill bit started, so it's framed with a washer and other kibble to hide the damage.

Printing/Building w kibble:

Almost all of the parts are 3D printed. There are only three printed pieces: hull, turret, and cannon. The cannon was glued to the turret. The turret rotates, but does not elevate. The commander's ring/nest/gun is printed as part of the turret, so it does not move except as part of the turret.

Other kibble includes household hardware and objects. The hatches are gallon water jug lids with washers on top. Furniture plugs to an office furniture are the sensors on the turret and the hull. Locking washers are placed in between the bogey wheels (and on the tops of the rear drive wheels). The base of the turret was widened by a screw-on lid. Drywall sanding screen creates the grid at the rear of the hull. The headlights are o-rings filled w epoxy and textured.

There are two actual toy pieces (well, one and then one cast piece). The antenna base is from a DCIH figure interior. The phone on the back of the hull is a cast from the USS Flagg's bridge phone.

This MOBAT didn't have any treads on it, so I made an impression cast of the spare ones on the hull. The spare treads were copied and glued over the slick treads. The good thing about the treads is that each one is just a little bit different from the others, creating some much-needed imperfection on a computer-designed items.

The headlight placement is an artistic license. On a real tank, the headlights probably wouldn't be on the direct front of the forward edge. They should be on the top surface, mounted at an angle, but I couldn't find any kibble that looked right in that spot. So I just dropped the headlights down.

The exterior-to-interior phone at the rear of the vehicle is based on something that Abrams tanks have. They are kept in under a protective case, but I went with it exposed to visually communicate that it's a phone.

Colors & Paint:

Forest green washed over pine, both hand-painted over silver spray paint. The silver spray paint is 95% obscured, but still gives the overall aesthetic a metallic look. A few spots of mustard for the exterior-to-interior phone and some of the various electric conduits on the hull. Thicket for the tools and tow attachment points. Light blue for the headlights and semi-metallic charcoal grey for the treads.

The decals are reproductions. Even though they are scaled for a smaller MOBAT, they work nicely here. Most of them are placed very close to where they would have been on a real MOBAT, but a few are moved around to better work with this design.

A very special thanks to MarkM for steering me in the right direction when I got started out this project.

Thanks for looking.

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