Super great timing on this cake contest! It's my sons birthday again. Obviously his cake had to be something out of the ordinary. See past cakes -

we were just on vacation at Disney so I didn't want to get too elaborate due to time constraints. My son asked for a tank cake. I'm sure he would have been happy with a cake with a picture of a tank on it or a model tank. But I would not have been happy. First I decided that the turret would rotate. That is pretty easy. I toyed with the idea of having it shoot something (what says happy birthday more than getting shot in the face with whipped cream) That idea got shelved as soon as I imagined the look on my wifes face. To up the difficulty level I decided to make the gun go up and down as the turret rotated.

-Imagine wife smiling-

It is a little difficult to see the gun raising and lowering due to a bad camera angle. Look at the camo icing and the gun shield and you can see what is happening.

Please check out my other instructables and I also have a diy podcast called mechanicalmashup.tv

Step 1: The mechanism

I started with some scrap parts I had laying around, mostly stainless steel. The stainless sheet metal was the same piece of scrap I used for the volcano cake last year. Since it was not going to shoot anything, I started with a solid stainless barrel, welded a bracket and a pivot onto it, and fixed it to the turret pan.

By the way, nothing puts a smile on my face more than describing how I make cakes with a welder:)

To make the gun travel up and down, I decided to make a rod and cam type system. I welded a guide tube to the turret pan and made a "cam" of sorts out of a metal disk that I heated with a torch and bent randomly. I then fixed this to a tube that would act as a bushing for the turret pan rotation.

I had a slow turning motor sitting around the house and mounted it to a piece of wood as a base. I welded legs to the cam and drilled them into the wooden base. I set it all on a bit of an angle so the tank would be tilted slightly when done. You can see that the turret pan warped a bit during welding but I was not too concerned and I did not bother to correct it. The push rod was installed to slide along the cam and raise the barrel.

The last thing I did was put on the barrel guard. I used perforated steel for two reasons, one was it would be really easy to bend a slight curve into it and two was so the icing would have something to adhere to.
<p>Fantastic job! My son would like a zombie cake, and I have yet to locate tips on the net. I would like the zombie moving, or something on the cake that moves to look freaky. Any advice? Thanks!</p>
<p>not sure this thread is still active but im hoping someone can get back to me. im making a dragon cake for my little boy and he wants the wings to move up and down. i have never made a cake with moving parts so i am really stuck on what i could use to achive this. please someone out there help me out. thank you so much xx</p>
<p>I would do something like this... </p><p>http://imgur.com/mXfnH12</p>
i think you are the coolest dad on earth! i strive to be this creative for my girls. unfortunately they are not into tanks. maybe i could make a spinning barbie!<br />
Im gonna (try to)&nbsp;mod it to be the Scorp off Halo!
This is Great, Very cool Idea!
i wish my dad made me cakes as good at that. unfortunately he cant cook, let alone handle the mechanics :L
if you wanted to make it shoot stuff, you could fill some sort of squeeze pump (balloon possibly) with whipped cream, then run a tube up through the gun down under the table, then squeeze it at just the right time.
very very nice I have never seen someone use fondant this well EXCEPT DUFF GOLDMAN!!!!
Wow. If I were you I'd be expecting a call from Duff Goldman sometime soon! very nice.
Why do so many people gripe about stuff like this. It looks cool and that's what counts. Good job.
There's no mention of the motor, could you give us some info?
it was a 6v 3rpm motor and gearbox I bought from allelectronics.com a while back. It was the second of a pair I bought. The first one was used for the pneumatic firing system on my volcano cake last year.
You have such a lucky kid ;)
really cool id love to have a cake like that i think you have to have a great mind to come up with something like that your kool
And here I thought that cakes you could buy in a shop were posh... Really great work, your son must have been thrilled.
I'd feel bad eating this, its looks so awesome!<br/>I saw your other cakes, and they're just amazing! Great job! =D<br/>
That. Is. AWESOME! Beat's my articulated cake out of the water (it used hard moulded icing to create a just-about-working ball bearing so the top could rotate). Thank you, sir- you may have just let me top that! Again, let me say that this is an awesome cake and your kid is lucky to have you!
....half the thing aint even edible
but i dont think it would be easy to cut and eat it because its hard not to make a cut into the cake about 1 inch without hitting metal
I told my wife to cut it because I didn't want to be the one to wreck it. She had no problems and she did not even see it prior to the cake being placed on it. We ate the entire top at the party less one small piece. The next day my wife took it to her work and everyone was cutting their own pieces. No one complained about hitting metal. every last bite was gone, top and bottom.
but ill stick with the triditional cake....this one looks cool but looks complicated
You go ahead and stick with uncomplicated stuff. Just know that you may be in the wrong place right now. BTW it took longer to ice the cake with fondant than to design and build the mechanism. If thats what you want to call complicated, you go ahead.
sorry you are mistaken. Have a look at the pictures attached. That is all the steel in the cake. everything else is cake. Thats got to be 90% cake.
+1. Great idea. Kid looked really happy in the end =)<br/>
Favorited... My girlfriend is going to make me one like this... minus the moving parts... (I want to keep it 100% edible...)I give you Two Thumbs Up...
Wow you got an article about your cake on Gizmodo! <br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://gizmodo.com/384801/loving-dad-bakes-son-a-motorized-tank-cake">http://gizmodo.com/384801/loving-dad-bakes-son-a-motorized-tank-cake</a><br/><br/><strong>Congratulations!! </strong><br/>
Makezine too!
just a question, with all the metal in it, is the actual cake still edible? and if it is, good on ya!
Yeah dude, when you look at the cake, there are two levels of pan, one for the turret and one for the base. The only thing you could not bite in the picture is the barrel. It's all stainless steel or tinfoil so its all food-safe. By the way, the cake was delicious!
Wow! I think you win the "coolest dad ever" award.
<h2> i want this</h2>+1 rating and +1 vote<br/>
SWEET +1 and vote
Awesome you got my vote.
that grilling stuff might be a bit dangerous to the little ones might wanna file it down a bit-and mention it in the instuctables so people don't sue you cause there favorite rug got wrecked buy a toddlers blood.
everything I cut had sharp edges that had to be deburred. you could grab any part of it now and not get hurt.
Snap! +1
Cool! Another great cake from you. keep up the good work!

About This Instructable


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Bio: I have had a few careers so far, soldier, school teacher, arborist, millwright. I love change and I love learning.
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