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Stone Gryphon Studios

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PUG Building Guide
By Bill Mills - Sept 2003
PUG Photos courtesy Stone Gryphon Studios

One of the features that sets scenario paintball, and even some big games apart from tournament and the rest of recreational paintball is the appearance of paintball tanks.  Over the years scenario games have featured everything from real military scout cars to trucks and cars built up with plywood to resemble historic or sci-fi tanks.

Paintball insurance restrictions in 2001 caused a number of scenario promoters to either prohibit motorized tanks at their games or require additional insurance fees of as much as $100 per tank per event to allow them on the field.  This change opened up some new insurance companies to scenario ball, which did allow paintball tanks without an extra fee, but also gave some players a reason to turn to human power for their paintball vehicles.

The Gryphonians, a scenario team based out of Wisconsin turned their focus on designing a paintball tank that was not only human powered, but was small, light and inexpensive enough that they could bring an entire platoon of them to a scenario game, while still performing the scenario functions of a paintball tank.

Their result was the PUG, or Panzer Ultraleicht Gepack (super-light tank.)  The PUG might better be described as a tank costume than a tank in which a player rides.  It is built from corrugated plastic panels pop riveted together and assembled around a lightweight wooden framework.

While the PUG looks like a miniature version of a WW-II era tank in general form, it’s pilot is only protected from mid torso down by the tank shape itself.  The internal wooden framework extends up above the mock turret area to hold netting so that the player is protected from the volumes of paint, which typically fly at a paintball tank in a scenario game.  As the PUG is used from a standing position, a normal “shooting from the hip” posture puts the player’s paintgun right in a front positioned gun port, allowing them to charge at a walking pace against a fortified objective.

Stone Gryphon Studio sells not only assembled PUGs, but the PUG Building guide as well.  This comb bound, photocopied booklet is 28 pages in length with a supplemental insert describing methods for building a harness system to make the PUG easier to maneuver.  Not only does the building guide thoroughly explain the building process and materials needed for the PUG, but is also very clearly illustrated with pen and ink drawings of all the PUG’s major assembly points.  Included also are tips on locating sources for the Coroplast material which makes up the PUG’s armor.

The PUG is not what most players think of when they hear “paintball tank” but represents a much less expensive alternative to fill many of the same scenario roles, and the PUG Building Guide can take a player from start to finish in building a PUG of their own.


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