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In-Box Review
135
Mk. I Female
Mk. I Female
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by: Paul H [ PRH001 ]

Introduction

That the Mk. 1 tank was a ground-breaking concept and design cannot be questioned. It was the first operational tank in the British Army and in the world. Weighing in at over 27 tons and boasting a length of almost 8 meters, the machine struck terror into those fighting on the Western Front. The technology to create and use these “land ships” was in its infancy so their impact, when they were introduced at the Somme in 1916, was less than spectacular. The lack of reliability and the rudimentary tactics in use meant that even though 8-man monster was very technologically advanced for its time, it suffered high breakdown rates and losses were very high. Never the less, it’s advent in late 1916 unquestionably changed the world’s battle fields forever.

Review

First let me say, Takom’s presentation of the Mk. 1 Female looks outstanding, and the box art is truly first class. I know this has little to do with the model itself or how it goes together, but it does indicate the company’s attitude toward turning out a quality product. The instructions are laid out in booklet form and include a clear parts map and the now familiar computer generated images. The instructions are broken down into 38 small steps which provide excellent visual cues for locating the parts and assemblies. Painting instructions are provided in a separate booklet and include color profiles and color information, provided by Mig Jimenez, for 3 tanks operating at the Somme in late 1916. The only problem I have with the painting guide is that it calls out only AMMO of MIG paints, so it will be up to the modeller to figure out paint matches should they want to use products from another manufacturer. While this may not be a problem for some, those who have used other brands exclusively for years will undoubtedly miss an opportunity to cross reference from a traditional multiple source paint chart.

This Mk.1 Female kit features movable wheels, weapons, steering tail assembly, clickable track links (with 10 spare links if the instructions are accurate as to track length requirements) and posable hatches. The kit parts come wrapped in clear plastic bags which group like items and duplicate sprues together and prevent much of the damage that can occur in shipping. Included in the kit are 15 plastic sprues, 1 tree of poly caps and one photo etch sheet. Molding for the plastic parts is top notch, with both raised and engraved detail, no flash, smooth surface texture and well thought out placement of ejector pin marks. On initial inspection I saw no pin marks that would be visible if the model is built as configured in the instructions. Takom has continued its habit of molding hollow sprue identification letters to ease location of the sprues, and I for one LOVE this touch. It saves me time, frustration and profanity from digging through poorly marked sprues. Yes, I know, tape and a magic marker work fine, but Takom’s method is clear even if you decide to paint items on the sprue. Sprue attachment points are thicker than most companies produce now, but I don’t mind that, as parts that separate from the sprue without clipping usually need repairs. The attachment points are also located in places that make sense. This is an issue for some kits and it sometimes drives me crazy when I go through the “how am I gonna clean up that spot!” dilemma…

The photo etched parts are cleanly produced and simple to use. The grenade shields are the major photo etched area and they are made up of styrene frames and photo etched screens. In my opinion, there is no ways to make the screens realistic without the photo etch, so plastic is not really an option. Installing the screens is simple, requires no photo etch bending and once assembled and installed, the screens will add greatly to the model’s impact.

Decals are very minimal. Two of the schemes provided require no decals at all, so the decal sheet concentrates on markings needed to recreate “HLMS We’re All In It” of A Company, Somme River, Autumn 1916.

Conclusion

Due to the nature of early and short production runs, limitations on truly accurate technical data from that time period and field damage and modifications evident in photos, I will not touch the question of accuracy. I recommend you compare your build to photos of the specific vehicle you intend complete and adjust as needed. I will simply say this kit is beautifully molded and presented in a thoroughly professional manner. The multi-piece tracks of the Mk. IV that caused so much consternation in modelling circles are a thing of the past, so there is no torture involved in building this landmark vehicle. Personally, I can’t wait to begin my build review and to see it on my shelf. My thanks to Takom for the opportunity to review this lovely kit!
SUMMARY
Highs: Great subject! Beautiful molding with clickable track links that should make for fast build
Lows: Color Info for Ammo of MIG only. Sprue attachments thick for some modelers.
Verdict: 1st Class presentation. I can’t wait to build this one!
Percentage Rating
92%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 2033
  PUBLISHED: Dec 25, 2015
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.31%

Our Thanks to Takom!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Paul H (PRH001)
FROM: NEW MEXICO, UNITED STATES

Copyright ©2019 text by Paul H [ PRH001 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Nice review, thanks
DEC 25, 2015 - 06:14 AM
I love Takom's WWI kits. I agree that the painting guides are a problem. the Mig paints are not even available in my local shops. colour matches to Vallejo or Tamiya paints would be nice. also I have learned the hard way that they arent always accurate. now that I got that off my chest, I am having a great time building 2 MKI kits one female and one male.
DEC 25, 2015 - 08:25 AM
I'm doing a build review for the site on this kit. Still early in the process, but it's been a treat so far. Paul H
DEC 25, 2015 - 09:25 AM
The biggest problem of Takom Mk I is the drive cab width which is the same of Mk IV when actually it was large as the hull. This means it should be 6mm larger then Takom did. They simply reworked their Mk IV cab without changing dimension. The narrow cab appeared from Mk II onward so Takom cab is a good start point to built a Mk II but not for a Mk I. In my opinion this is a bad issue because the larger cab was a distinctive feature of Mk I and it is hard to rebuild. Otherwise it's a good kit with only minor shortcomings
DEC 25, 2015 - 11:02 AM
well that's disappointing, do you have any pictures showing the correct drivers cab? I suppose someone might make a resin replacement. it would be pretty simple to graft on the the front of the top hull piece. unfortunately it is too late in my builds to fix the problem. that really shows poor research on Takoms part. all of the pieces for the cab and hull roof had to be all newly tooled.
DEC 25, 2015 - 03:53 PM
widely discussed here LINK
DEC 25, 2015 - 06:20 PM
nice review, thanks... a great kit for my ww1 diorama
DEC 26, 2015 - 03:53 AM
   

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