Introduction: Make a LEGO Abrams Tank

About: Freelance mechanical engineer from the Bay Area.

This post will show you how to make your very own Abrams tank out of lego! This one is beige, but you could use black or grey and it would look just as awesome.

My brother has been working on a lego stop motion movie for about 3 years now. Its called P.A.I.R.D and I actually dont remember what it stands for, but it is really great. I spend several hours every week building the sets and props with him. We have built everything from the White House to outdoor markets in Egypt, and now the story is set in Libya. For one scene my brother needed a couple realistic looking tanks, so we did what we always do! First we pulled up a bunch of images on google, and then we started building, and rebuilding, and building some more. This design is based very closely off of the Abrams tank, and it took us about 3 hours to get just right. 

To build this tank, I would recommend enlarging the first photo and then using the "next photo" arrow to easily move through the pictures, this way you won't miss any of the annotations that tell you which pieces to put where, if the color of the piece matters, etc. 

Just a couple notes on the names I'll be using for the pieces:

Bricks are the regular stereotypical lego blocks
Plates are the thin versions of bricks (3 stacked plates is as tall as a brick)
Beams are bricks with holes in them
Pegs go in the holes in beams
Slopes are the bricks with a slope on one side
Tiles are plates without studs


Step 1: Chassis

The first step is building the chassis. For this step, you will need the following pieces:
  • 14 matching 2-stud wheels
  • 14 frictionless pegs (grey) or axel pegs (depending on wheel type) to connect wheels to chassis
  • 4 friction pegs (black)
  • 2 1x2 stud beams with 2 holes each
  • 2 1x8 beams
  • 2 1x10 beams 
  • 1 6x8 'beam square' 
  • 2 1x6 plates 

Step 2: Main Body

Now its time to build the main body. The 'rainbow' structure underneath the beige top plates is not ideal, haha, but it works! This is just sort of a product of me building this from the ground up for the first time. If I had the time and patients to re-design it, I would. But it works! 

Step 3: Side Panels

Step 4: Front and Back Detail

Step 5: Turret

Now its time to make the turret for the tank! Follow the instructions in the annotations in each picture.

Step 6: Finished!

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