1⁄35British Tank Mk IV (Male)
IntroductionThere was a lot of excitement and talk when Tamiya announced their new 1/35th scale British Mk IV tank, even more so when it was realised that it would be a motorised version, not all of it complimentary. This is my build of the kit, finished as Black Arrow II, B Battalion, 5 Company, No 6 Section. Itís set on a temporary base with the addition of two D Day Miniature figures for scale. I built this one as a static model. This is an excellent kit and was a very easy build with perfect fit of parts. I made some alterations by replacing the kit supplied Lewis Guns with some of the Resicast ones and I created the illusion of an interior as I wanted to leave the side doors open. I could only find a couple of areas where you need to add some additional rivet detail, one being each side of the drivers cab and a double set of rivets running up the lower frontal armour. Tamiya provides string to simulate the tow cable and if you have a long enough length, 285mm, then this would be better replaced by wire. I used the kit string. If you study your references you will see that the un-ditching beam was made up of an Oak bean with a metal plate fixed front and back. This was secured by rope to the rails and when required two chaps had to climb up top, chop the rope with an axe, stored in the spud box, and affix the chain and link to the track with spanners all whilst avoiding being shot at! My Thanks to Tom Cromwell who provided an extra B28 decal for the top of the drivers cab and I added the tank No 2080 that was assigned to Black Arrow II. The tank was knocked out of action on 23rd November 1917 and captured by the Germans, and at that point in time it was sporting spuds which unfortunately Tamiya didnít provide. This is an excellent kit so build and enjoy, the motorised version will, I hope encourage younger modellers into the genre and provide a bit of fun for others, but it builds perfectly well as a static display if thatís what you want.
BackgroundNone of the early Mks were that perfect but by October 1916 things had progress sufficiently that substantial numbers of Mk IVs were ordered around 1,220 of all types.
The main manufacturer was the Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon & Finance Company who constructed 640 male and female fighting tanks and 180 supply tanks (tenders). William Forester & Co Ltd contributed 100 Mk IV males; the engines ironically came from Daimler of Coventry and the 6pdr guns from Armstrong and Whitworth on Tyneside. Added to that were a number of firms who assembled tanks made by others; Armstrong and Whitworth another - 100 males, Coventry Ordnance Works - 100 female, Mirrlees, Watson & Co - 50 females, William Beadmore and Co Ltd - 25 females and 25 supply tanks. Production was spread across the UK as one might expect.
The Mk IV made its first appearance in anger on 7th June 1917 during the Battle of Massines and although new designs and faster tanks followed the Mk IV was the main stay of British Armour up to the end of WW1.
The first tanks in 1916 were crewed by soldiers from the Machine Gun Corps, and from November 1916 this became known as the Heavy Branch Machine Gun Corps. This evolved further and by 28th July 1917 the Heavy Branch became the Tank Corps.
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