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MOC: M1A1 Abrams MBT


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#1 Ralph_S

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 06:49 PM

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May 30th is the deadline for this year's build competition on the lego military build group. Lately I've been building a lot of cars, but this competition was reason to do a bit more military building again. One of the categories was modern armour, and for this I built a large scale model of an M1A1 Abrams tank. It's been at least ten years since I last built a tank and it was nice to be able to build one with various new parts that came out since and in a colour that I didn't have before. I'm happy with the result and hope you'll like it too.

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#2 Buttons

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:43 PM

Simply amazing  :thumbup:
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#3 Brickmaster

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 08:23 AM

Simply one of the best and most realistic looking tanks I have seen made out of Lego, ever.
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#4 Ralph_S

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 09:42 AM

Thanks guys. The quality of the entries in last year's contest was so good that I figured that I'd have to pull out all the stops. Part of the reason why it is as detailed as it is is also because I chose to build on a fairly large scale. Obviously adding details is made easier by that.

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#5 Guss

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 10:39 AM

A very great tank ^^ I saw it on flickr, that's a really cool creation, great job  !
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#6 LEGOMAN132

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 04:20 PM

Very nice. :thumbup:

#7 Natman8000

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 04:26 PM

How in the world did you make those treads? I've always tried to make treads like those put i can never use them right. And that tank is amazing.
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#8 Sinner

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 04:29 PM

Very nice!  :wub: I've actually been thinking about you lately...  ***long pause*** ...as by some odd co-incidence I'm building a large scale tank myself which I should be posting in a few days. You keep springing to mind as I've been finding it frustrating at times building a MOC based on something, but struggling to find ways to replicate it in LEGO. You make it look easy. The front of the turret is perfect.





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#9 Commander Red Hat

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 06:08 PM

Wow, excellent work Ralph. If it didn't have studs i'd say that it weren't Lego. :thumbup:

Are the tracks and turret fuly functional?
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#10 Ralph_S

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 09:13 PM

Thanks everyone. I am glad all of you like it.

View PostNatman8000, on May 25 2009, 05:26 PM, said:

How in the world did you make those treads? I've always tried to make treads like those put i can never use them right. And that tank is amazing.
They are standard technic tread with 1x4 tiles stuck to every one in two.
Beyond that it's just a matter of making sure that their sides don't touch anything.



View PostSiegfried, on May 25 2009, 05:29 PM, said:

Very nice!  :wub: I've actually been thinking about you lately...  ***long pause*** ...as by some odd co-incidence I'm building a large scale tank myself which I should be posting in a few days. You keep springing to mind as I've been finding it frustrating at times building a MOC based on something, but struggling to find ways to replicate it in LEGO. You make it look easy. The front of the turret is perfect.
You've thought about me? That's very flattering. Compared to the planes I often build this tank was actually relatively straightforward, since it consists mainly of flat surfaces. What sort of tank are you building?


View PostCaptain Green Hair, on May 25 2009, 07:08 PM, said:

Wow, excellent work Ralph. If it didn't have studs i'd say that it weren't Lego. :thumbup:

Are the tracks and turret fuly functional?

Thanks. The turret can rotate over 360 degrees and the gun can be traversed. The tracks work, albeit not perfectly. The tank can drive, but the rims I used for the road wheels aren't completely smooth, which means they get stuck every once in a while. I've taken a picture with the side-skirts removed where you can see the whole thing.
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#11 Richie

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 10:30 PM

Your speciality is planes, and now you built a tank like you are building tanks for decades!  :thumbup:

I have a wish to build a T-34 once, but I doubt it will be as great as this one. Nice how you added figs to it.

It's multifunctionomical.

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#12 Sinner

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:22 AM

View PostRalph_S, on May 26 2009, 06:13 AM, said:

You've thought about me? That's very flattering. Compared to the planes I often build this tank was actually relatively straightforward, since it consists mainly of flat surfaces. What sort of tank are you building?
You are one of my favourite builders afterall.  :sweet: As for what I'm building, it's a bit different to what you've made. It's based on the main tank from the game Valkyria Chronicles. He's an almost finished picture...

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#13 Ralph_S

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:17 PM

View PostRichie, on May 25 2009, 11:30 PM, said:

Your speciality is planes, and now you built a tank like you are building tanks for decades!  :thumbup:

I have a wish to build a T-34 once, but I doubt it will be as great as this one. Nice how you added figs to it.

The airplanes tend to be quite a bit more complicated. Not to brag, but I reckon if you can build a decent plane, tanks shouldn't pose too many problems. I'm glad you like the figures. brick-built figures can look pretty awkward, but I felt it looked better with a crew. It looks a bit more lively that way.


View PostSiegfried, on May 26 2009, 06:22 AM, said:

You are one of my favourite builders afterall.  :sweet: As for what I'm building, it's a bit different to what you've made. It's based on the main tank from the game Valkyria Chronicles. He's an almost finished picture...
That is a bit of a different genre indeed. However, I've taken a look at some images of that tank and it looks as though you're doing a pretty good job. It has a far more complicated shape than the Abrams, actually.

Cheers,
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#14 lrdofbricks

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 12:01 PM

this one of the best tank mocs that ive seen. my question is, though, can it move? the tread seem to be fragile and set in place. does it roll or slide?

:thumbup:  :thumbup:

#15 Ralph_S

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 01:46 PM

View Postlrdofbricks, on May 28 2009, 01:01 PM, said:

this one of the best tank mocs that ive seen. my question is, though, can it move? the tread seem to be fragile and set in place. does it roll or slide?

:thumbup:  :thumbup:

Thanks. I keep telling people that the larger size compared to many other people's tanks does work in my favour. I have great admiration for people who manage to build decent tanks about half the size of this one.

The treads aren't set in place and can move. They move quite well on anything except a very hard smooth surface. Carpet is ideal. The tiles seem to have quite a bit of clutch on the technic treads, although the odd one will pop off now and then. The only problem with the treads is that the road wheels don't really want to turn. I used wheel 30.4 x 20 for the road wheels and unfortunately those have four ridges on their outer surface that tend to get stuck. Ideally I would have used older wheels of the same diameter, but I found that I only have 10 of those in grey (and most of them are on the other side of the English channel). They would also have the drawback that I would not have been able to push the the tan steering wheels I put in the middle of the roadwheels as far inward.

Cheers,
Ralph

Edited by Ralph_S, 28 May 2009 - 01:56 PM.

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#16 Barricade769

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 01:47 PM

Incredible - that has got to be the best. tank. ever!  :thumbup:
I hope that one day I'll be able to build something as good as this  :classic:
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#17 warpug

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 02:24 PM

Excellent work! That's the level of building I'm aspiring to.

Did you have schematics to help you build the M1? It looks dead on in terms of scale.

#18 Optimus

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 03:24 PM

Amazing... this is just incredible. I love tanks, and you captured this one perfectly in Lego. Excellent job!  :thumbup:

#19 Mocha

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 03:51 PM

Amazing job on the tank! it looks almost exactly like the M1A1 Abrams. I was in the middle of building mine when I saw yours. I absolutly love the turret epecialy the sides, and the tracks awesome too. One question, how did you make the sides on the turret?
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#20 Ralph_S

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 04:41 PM

Thanks for the kind comments. If I'd have known people would like it so much, I'd have built a tank sooner  :blush:

View Postwarpug, on May 28 2009, 03:24 PM, said:

Excellent work! That's the level of building I'm aspiring to.

Did you have schematics to help you build the M1? It looks dead on in terms of scale.
I did. It really helps with getting the proportions right.

View PostMocha, on May 28 2009, 04:51 PM, said:

Amazing job on the tank! it looks almost exactly like the M1A1 Abrams. I was in the middle of building mine when I saw yours. I absolutly love the turret epecialy the sides, and the tracks awesome too. One question, how did you make the sides on the turret?

It's not the most brilliant picture, but I've taken one with the top of the turret removed and you can see how I attached the sides. It's nothing very complicated. The panels have a 1x2 plate with a handle attached built into them. The handle attaches to two 1x1 tiles with a clip and they in turn are attached to a plate and some headlight bricks. The only thing that was slightly tricky here was positioning everything such that the panel sits at the right angle without an obvious gap where it meets the plates that form the top of the turret.

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#21 Bonaparte

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 10:42 PM

Amazing piece of work! It looks perfect from every angle. I had a look at your Flickr photostream, which has high res pics, to reveal some of the magic behind your building techniques.

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#22 Legoking

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 02:12 AM

WOW. This is one of the most detailed tanks I have ever seen. Great Job!

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#23 Ralph_S

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:18 AM

View PostBonaparte, on May 28 2009, 11:42 PM, said:

Amazing piece of work! It looks perfect from every angle. I had a look at your Flickr photostream, which has high res pics, to reveal some of the magic behind your building techniques.

Thank you. I've never been actively trying to push the outside of the envelope when it comes to building techniques. I just try to apply the simplest solution to getting a particular shape.

View PostLegoKing, on May 29 2009, 03:12 AM, said:

WOW. This is one of the most detailed tanks I have ever seen. Great Job!

LegoKing

Thanks. There are some great builders out there who might enter the competition and to even stand a chance at winning I felt I really had to make an effort.
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#24 Ratshot

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 07:04 PM

WOW. That looks good. You should buy or make some American soldiers to go with it :pir-wink:

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#25 Ewok

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 07:17 PM

Wow, that tank is great. I really like the figures, they reminiscent of the figures in Legoland (Miniland). But the best is the tank.
A very good MOC!  :classic:

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