Sunday, 10 August 2014

WW1 Mk.IV Heavy Tank — 1:100 scale (Peter Pig)

I bought a Mk.IV tank from Peter Pig to accompany the WW1 British infantry I bought from them a while ago. In fact the infantry and the tank aren't right together, chronologically, as by the time tanks first appeared in 1916 the Brits were equipped with steel helmets, and this one — the Mark IV — didn't appear on the battlefield until 1917.

The model isn't too bad for the price (£6.50 plus postage) but it does have its flaws. Not the least of which is that the rails running along the top of the vehicle, to hold the unditching beam, are moulded as solid plates rather than as the posts and rails they actually were. No doubt this simplifies manufacture of the model, but I think it would be substantially improved if the rails were provided as separate white metal pieces.

I set to work on it with my Dremel(ish) drill to free it up, but the resulting resin structure is a little fragile.

Once the rails were cleared out, I ground down the resin under the vehicle a bit so that the tracks are hard against the table surface, and assembled the few parts that go to make up the model. These consist of the resin body, and white metal sponsons and unditching beam.

The sponsons suffered a bit from pitting, and needed some filing to get the affected surfaces flat again. All the rivet detail is impressed into the surfaces rather than standing proud, so it was a simple matter to replace it where I'd filed it away.

I gave the whole thing a base coat of khaki-green to begin with, and because I intended to paint it in the outlined disruptive camouflage pattern typical of late-war vehicles, I marked in the crazy-paving pattern in black.

I find it much easier to do the outlines first and then colour in the panels rather than the other way around.

Once all the camouflage had been applied, and the unditching beam and chains and what-not painted, it was just a matter of weathering the crap out of it. I don't go overboard with mud effects in this small scale, because they tend to drown any detail present, so instead there's just a lot of streaking and stuff like that.

I managed to bust a section of unditching rail while I was weathering, and the fragment flew off I know not where. I could fix it easily enough, but I probably won't bother.

And now it's done.