This steampunk-style tank is the first in my new series of legit steampunk designs.
I've seen a lot of steampunk out there, much of it outrageous, so, in a tip of my hat to the ever amazing Jules Verne, I have begun creating a series of heavily-thought-out steampunk style creations that might somehow work!
I had to throw a lot of my learning through my physics degree and robotics work at this one (yes, I've made robots from more than kits before).
This tank is an invention that merges actual science, steampunk, and star wars.
I created an ironclad walker, basically. The legs work on the same principal as a RR Train of the era. a central drive wheel rotates, causing motion in the legs, although this wheel only rotates a quarter turn in one direction before reversing. the legs rotate up and down, with three on the ground at a time (a total of 6 legs with 2 spiked feet at a time on each leg). The spike feet rotate (they're titanium, so they can hold up the gargantuan weight) locking into place straight down when the foot lands, but being mobile in one direction so that they can be pulled out of the ground at a different angle than they entered. the rotation continues as the leg is airborn until a new foot comes into place, then the leg lowers again, and this new foot bites into the soil. All without any power except gravity and centripidal forces.
the legs themselves move under power from a large tubular boiler shown face-on next to the crew service door.
Also, two extendable turrets, one with an escape hatch in case of fire, protrude front and back, and hold the finest 1894 Howitzers with 8 inch shells.
two guns mounted side-by-side protrude through the iron shell and can rotate up to 20 degrees in either direction for added area of affect, and to augment the near-total lack of manuevering. In addition, a large side slit allows for gattling guns to fire from the central chasis and side slits in the turrets allow riflemen to take out approaching footsoldiers before they can close in on the behemoth.
there is a secondary driver bunker at the top of each turret where a commander may lie down and direct motion, if the primary command bunker at the top of the structure, just before the stacks, is eliminated. Also, each gun turret has a feature just becoming common in the ironclad navies of the 1890s, a sighting slit just below the cannons has a rack where aiming and distance tools can be set and used to maximize the fire of the slightly manueverable cannons.
Speaking of manuevering (even if that was a while back), the two rear legs, which are indirectly connected to the main drive system, act as a slowing tool and steering in one. each leg has its own opperator who can disconnect it from the other four at any time and give it direct control via small steam-power systems in the rear of the machine. this allows these legs to act as anchors in an out-of-control situation, or to facilitate wide turns by locking a single leg down and forcing the tank to slowly pivot around it (which draws a 1/4 mile furow for every 30 degrees of turn).
With its added stability over train guns, and its added range of manuverability through its not needing pre-lain tracks, this tank would be a b**ch to fight against.