Cardboard M3 Light




Introduction: Cardboard M3 Light

About: I am 12 years old and love to make crafts and games. Also I like playing violin and coding also enjoy writing

This is a fairly simple to make but detailed tank that makes a good shelf decoration or toy. It is modeled off of the American M3 Light tank.

Step 1: Prep

Start by collecting a few pieces of cardboard, a pen, glue, scotch tape, ruler, and scissors. I cut my cardboard from a shipping box so it's about 1/8 of an inch thick.

Step 2: Cuting Pieces: Tracks

Start cutting out the pieces listed in piece index

Piece index for this step

2x 8" by 1/2" rectangles

8x 1/2" by 1/2" square with rounded edges

2x 1/2" by 4" rectangles

P.S. on completion of this step I would recommend clearing away any scraps of cardboard and re organize your supplies.

Step 3: Assembling Tracks

Know that your pieces have been cut out its time to assemble them. Take the 8" by 1/2" then bend them into a circle and tape the end together forming a ring. After that take the ring and pull on both ends with one finger hooked around the inside of each end, this should create a something that looks like the picture above (note you may have to use your nail to make a smoother curve a each end) when that is done take the 4" by 1/2 rectangle and round and shorten the edges to make it fit within the rings you just created. Once it fits nicely it should pull top and bottom of the ring strait. Now that it fits remove it from the ring and cover the entire edge with glue and insert it back into the ring. (Note you will most likely have to place a weight on top of the tread to hold it in place while it dries)

Step 4: Assembling Track Wheels

Now that your glue has dried on the main part of the treads its time to add the wheels. Take the 8 1/2" by 1/2" circles and line the edges with glue then slide 4 of them into each tread on the opposite side that you placed the 4" by 1/2" Pieces. Only slide them in about 1/8 of an inch into the treads.

Step 5: Cutting Pieces: Body

Start Cutting out the pieces listed in piece index

Piece index for this step

2x 3" by 2" rectangle

1x 2" by 1/2" rectangle

2x 2" by 1/4" rectangle

Step 6: Assembling Body: Part One

Take the 3" by 2" rectangle and coat the long sides with glue. Then attach the long sides to the treads about 1/3 of the way up. Next take one of the 1/4" by 2" rectangle and attach it to ether side of the tank with the short sides glued to the treads and facing up at about a 120º angle as shown above. Then attach the other 1/4" by 2" on to of the one you just placed but at a opposite angle forming a point.

Step 7: Assembling Body: Part 2

Now take your 1/2" by 2" rectangle and glue it to the back of the tank facing strait up as shown above. Then take your 3" by 2" rectangle and glue both long sides to the top of the treads and the short ones to the front and back walls

Step 8: Cutting Pieces: Upper Body

Start cutting out pieces listed in pice index

Piece index.

1x 2" by 2" square

1x 2" by 1/2" rectangle

3x 2" by 1/4" rectangle

Step 9: Upper Body: Part 1

Take your 2" by 1/4" pieces and glue of them on either side of your 2" by 2" facing up as shown. Then glue your final one on the end (you may have to trim it down to fit in between the other 2.

Step 10: Upper Body: Part 2

Glue you recently assembled piece in the center of the top of the tank. Then take you 2" by 1/2" piece and glue one long side to the back end of the 3" by 2" piece forming the main platform of the tank. Glue the other end to the top 2" by 2" of your new platform.

Step 11: Filling In

You may have noticed the small triangle holes on either side of the tank. To fix them cut out some triangles slightly larger than the holes then press them to the holes with some glue dabbed on the back.

Step 12: Cutting Pieces: Turret

Start cutting out the pieces listed in piece index

Piece index

1x 7/4" by 3/8" rectangle

1x 6/4" by 1" rectangle

1x 6/4" by 3/8" rectangle

2x 1" by 3/8" rectangle

1x 6/4" by 2/4" rectangle with corner cut of to make one long side 6/4" and the other 1" as shown

Step 13: Assembling Turret: Part 1

Take your 6/4" by 1" and glue one of its longest sides to the trapezoids longest side. Then lay both pieces to dry on your work surface. While they are drying take your 1" by 3/8" and glue it to 1" long side of your drying 6/4" by 1" facing up. Repeat on other side.

Step 14: Assembling Turret: Part 2

Take you 6/4" by 3/8" and bend it into a half pipe then glue it curve facing out onto the 1" by 6/4" then take your 8/4" by 3/8" and bend it in 2 points to make it the shape of the three shortest edges of the trapezoid shaped piece.

Step 15: Turning Turret

This step is optional but I would recommend doing it. The tank is way cooler this way. Take a pin and poke a hole in the center 2" by 2" platform on your tank. Then trace the bottom of your turret on a piece of cardboard. Cut it out. And trim it to fit better on the bottom of your turret. And glue it to the bottom of your tank then poke a hole in the middle of your knew cut out. Finally get a tooth pick and us it to widen the holes then break in just under 1/2" and insert the shorter end into one hole and the other into the other then press the turrets and the tank together. If this sounds like to much work, you can oh so boringly glue the turret to the tank.

Step 16: Tread Cover Cut Out

Start cutting out the pieces listed in piece index

Piece index

2x 4" by 1/2" rectangle

Step 17: Tread Cover Attachment

Take your 4" by 1/2" and bent in about 3/4" away from the ends. Then just glue them onto the treads with the bent ends of the tread cover hanging over each end of the treads (try to glue the bent parts down so they can't move)

Step 18: Gun Cut Out

Your almost done but you may have noticed that your missing something. To fix that cut out the pieces listed in the piece index

2x 3/8" by 1/8"

1x 1" by 1/8" attached to a 3/8" by 1/8"

If the small pieces you cut out

Step 19: Gun Assembly

Take your 3/8" by 1/8" and glue it to the top of your 3/8" by 1/8" piece that's attached to the 1" by 1/8" glue the other 3/8" by 1/8" to the bottom.
Then take the whole thing and glue the new surface you created to the curved piece on the turret. (Tip: I flipped the tank on its side with the gun facing up while it dries so the gun does not sag)

Step 20: Detail Cut Out

Thought all the major components of the tank are done there is still more to be achieved. Start by citing out the pieces shown in the piece index.

Piece index

1x 2" by 1/2" rectangle

1x 2" by 1/4" rectangle

1x 3/4" by 3/4" square with rounded edges

2x 3/4" by 1/4"

1x 1/8" by 1/2"

1x 1/4" by 1/4" square with rounded edges

Step 21: Detail Assembly: Part 1

Take your 1/2" by 2" and draw and outline of a shovel on it. Then glue it onto either of the tread covers

Step 22: Detail Assembly: Part 2

Take your 3/8" by 1/8" pieces and glue them to the back plate of your tank on either side. then take your 2" by 1/4" piece and bend it into a circle and tape both ends together on the inside then. Finally take your 3/4" by 3/4" circle to the top of it. Then glue the open end of the tube to top of the turret about 1/8" away from the back of the turret.

Step 23: Detail Assembly: Part 3

Take your 1/2" by 1/8" and glue it to the center of your 1/4" by 1/4" circle then glue the other side of the circle to right of the upper body's forward plate.

As a finale decoration you are welcome to pant draw or color this tank to the ends of the earth though I prefer the cardboard look.

Step 24: Photo Shoot

Just a few pictures of the tank I thought you would enjoy.Thanks for making this project hope you like it.

PS i am hoping to make another tank instructions soon. I'm open to suggestions which you can leave in the comments but I'm thinking of the soviet su152 or German tiger||

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    7 Discussions


    9 months ago

    I am planning on using a straw for the barrel instead of cardboard


    5 years ago

    This is very cool, good instructions and awesome result!!


    Reply 4 years ago

    You actually made it! :-)


    I see a stop motion movie in my head involving cube toys taking over a desk.


    5 years ago

    Thanks :-) my first instuctable