Model of a Mark I Tank




Introduction: Model of a Mark I Tank

About: In my free time, I enjoy building/modifying/dismantling anything I can get my hands on. I am currently an engineering student at UCLA and look forward to sharing more projects with the Instructables communi...

This is a model of the Mark I tank without the initial steering tail.  Deployed by Great Britain during the first World War in 1916, it was the world’s first combat tank.  This revolutionary concept for a vehicle was developed to combat the deadly and stagnant tactic of trench warfare.  It provided armies with the capacity to cross difficult terrain and resist the murderous machine gun nests.  With a crew capacity of eight, and two armaments known as the Male & Female, the Mark I was a force that turned the tide of the war.  The Male, included two 6lb QF (naval gun) & three eight mm machine guns.  The Female, included four .303 Vickers Machine Guns & another eight mm machine gun.  Lastly, the names Female & Male were given to the armaments by the inventor of the tank, Ernest Swinton (full title: Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton).   Swinton is also accredited to the popularization of the term, “no man’s land”, an area in between two opposing trenches where basically nothing resides.

Scale 1:32

Model Dimensions: Length 9 3/4 in, Width (with both the Female & Male) 6 5/8in, Height 3 1/4 in

Actual Dimensions: Length 26 ft 5 in, Width (with both the Female & Male) 13 ft 6 in, Height 8 ft

Build time: 1 week (if you are like me and build for 30 min each night before sleeping), can be made in appx. 3 days if planned out well

Step 1: Materials

Materials: Cardboard box (see image for reference) , Elmer's glue, scissors, hobby knife, tape, pencil, eraser, ruler, toothpicks/ skewers, hammer, pictures (as guides for the model)

Step 2: Design

One can easily search up blueprints for this tank and print out those prints to help guide your model.  I chose these four because of the different angles it gave for the model. Keep in mind that the two gun ports are different.  For the ratio from actual:diagram, search up the actual length of the tank, measure the length of the printed image, convert the image size into the proper units as the real tank size and figure out the 1:___ ratio. 

Step 3: Design + Spec Based Off Drawings

My designs according to the pictures from the last step.  Numbers on the paper are in centimeters.  Always remember to mark your parts cut so you can remember what they are on a later time.

Step 4: Sides

I started out making the sides.  It's easiest to make two crosses for each side, fit them in and then glue the sides together with the cross being the thing that bonds the two pieces together.  It would have been better if I had cut everything out fitted it and then glued but I like to see progress.  The sides were cut out, fitted to be same size and shape, and glued with toothpick parts separating them.  I would recommend laying it down to dry like a sandwich because gravity does the work for you.

Step 5: Body

After creating the sides, trace and cut out the body and glue to one side.  To making gluing easier, trace what you are going to glue so that you can just glue over it.  Tiny pieces of cardboard can be used to hold the sides from bending while drying.  They eventually become a part of the structure.  Tape is also used to hold the cardboard in place while drying.  Always remember to check the drying every few moments to see if the structure fell. It happens sometimes.  

Step 6: Join & Reinforce

One done with one side, glue the other side on.  Reinforce the bond by gluing the outside edges that connect the two parts.  Wait to dry.  

Step 7: Treads

Now it's time to make the treads.  This took me forever.  How I would recommend is making a master template and then drawing a lot of them and cut them.  I think that my specific model needed around 48 individual pieces.  

Step 8: Adam and Eve (male and Female)

This process was quite difficult in itself.  I basically drew the needed parts, cut them out, glued them together piece by piece, and then reinforced.  Measure, Draw, Cut, Glue, Reinforce.  M.D.C.G.R. which doesn't even make a cool acronym. :(

Step 9: Adding Adam and Eve

Now this is probably going to be the hardest part.  I opted to make one of the sides removable for future reference so it had to be detachable.  This meant that the hole that it went in was a tight fit but not tight enough such that it would slip out when pulled.  I would not recommend this approach if this model is meant as a cool display.  I would recommend it if you wanted a challenge however.  

Basically, you M.D.C (measure, draw, cut) very carefully the cardboard around where the gun port is supposed to go and then fit it in until it goes in.  Remember, it's better to cut it smaller so that the hole can be expanded.  This step mainly uses the hobby knife and scissors.  Also notice the reinforcing bars in addition to the cardboard cross on the sides.  

Step 10: Adding on the Treads

This is simple, just glue them on and don't leave any cracks. The front and back maybe a bit hard but just fit it right or cut pieces down to fit.  

The movable addition of the gun port is pretty cool too.

Also, if the tank has a tendency to tip, place quarters on the insides before adding the treads to make it not tip.  This tank is technically worth $1 USD.  

Step 11: Marvel at What You Have Accomplished!!!

Yay you are now done!

If you are interested in my other projects, check out my profile and my blog,

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    8 Discussions


    Question 2 months ago on Introduction

    Can you send me a enlarged copy of the cardboard template


    Question 7 months ago

    about how much cardboard was used?


    7 months ago

    I would like barrels on it... too bad I will have to figure that out myself.


    Reply 7 months ago

    Had an Idea for barrels: Straws


    2 years ago

    can you add in the actual measurements for each part? I couldn't read your pic.


    3 years ago

    I will try this with my U.S. history class. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work, the model turned out great. Well constructed ible, I appreciate that you included a little history about the real tank.