Paintball tanks are mechanized vehicles used in various types of the sport of paintball, usually with the intent of military simulation. Paintball tanks are commonly used for woodsball and scenario paintball games; and are often referred to as "Paintball Armored Vehicles" (PAV). Similar tanks have also been created for use in Airsoft scenario games, with varying degrees of similarity to a true tank.
Paintball tanks are generally built as walking tanks ("Pugs"), built from scratch, ATV-based or automobile based. Sometimes Paintball tanks are built from go carts and moduled to look like a tank. Sometimes they are even built out of golf carts.
Rules and game involvement
Paintball tanks usually have special rules to adhere to for each event. These rules change from field to field and from scenario producer to scenario producer. For example, some places will not allow personal-armor ("PUG") style tanks and some will not allow the automotive heavy tanks. Speed limit rules are generally considered among the more important rules for paintball tanks, especially the heavy tanks. It is a common rule to restrict Paintball tanks to 5 mph or "Walking speed"
Tank types and construction
Paintball tanks are generally designed to act as either anti-tank or anti-infantry vehicles, and are constructed using one of the standard four variations.
Walking tanks, or 'Pugs', are cheap, simple paintball tanks generally built for smaller scenarios and fields. Less a tank and more a protective covering for the operator, walking tanks generally take the form of a cage worn by the user with a frame made of PVC or ABS pipe and covered in plywood, sheet metal, fiberglass and/or paintball netting. Generally, a pair (sometimes more or less) of paintball guns, and occasionally launchers, will be mounted chest-height. While lacking the visual impressiveness of other designs, Pugs can be built for very little money, and provide much the same benefit.
Scratch-built tanks are created from the ground up by enthusiasts; as such they are virtually any size or armament, although most are fairly small. Some are designed as scale replicas of historical or modern tank designs, others for performance. They're generally built on wood or tube-frame chassis and covered in wood, sheet metal or fiberglass, and powered by a small industrial engine. Some of the more involved versions feature working tracks, motorized turrets and large engines.
ATV based tanks
ATV-based tanks are ATVs fitted with turrets and protective coverings. The level of involvement varies here as well; some are simply quads or similar fitted with a removable netting cage, others feature scratch-built bodies and turrets and are capable of housing several players and their equipment. All-terrain vehicles, Golf carts and amphibious ATVs are the most popular bases for ATV tanks, thanks to ready availability, off-road ability and low price. Almost anything can be put onto these vehicles.
Automobile-based tanks are modifications to existing automobiles; ranging from minivans with firing ports and windows replaced by netting to near-replica vehicles featuring completely new bodies. The most common base vehicles are SUVs, Jeeps and trucks, due to low cost and availability, although most feature high ground clearance and 4-wheel drive is helpful given poor conditions of many trails and roads in paintball fields. Minivans are also a common sight.
Tankball is a variation of paintball in which players drive modified full-size tanks and fire paint-filled ping pong balls, paintball Buckshot, or Nerf Rockets at another tank. Each battle pits two tanks against one another, and each tank can contain three or more teammates. Tankball is a much more expensive game than Paintball, and is therefore far less common.
Currently there is only one place the game is available, Leicestershire in England where paint-filled ping pong balls (with a diameter of 40mm) are used as ammunition, in combat restricted to tanks (actually FV432 Armoured Personnel Carriers). Closed-hatch operation is mandatory as the paintballs have too much kinetic energy to safely impact unprotected persons.
- Paintball Battle Tanks - Manufacturer of Recreational Tanks
- Paintball Tankers Association Rules and Information
- http://1sspanzerkorps.com/( a current and up to date paintball tank forum)
- Armored Fist Paintball
- Warpig Tank Forum
- ABC news article
- Gizmodo article
- Walking Paintball Armored Vehicles
- Scaled Tanks Details on building 1:5 and 1:2 scale tanks (Registration required)
- Treadhunter review of Tank Paintball