Thursday, 1 January 2009


My interest in World War 1 wargaming has always revolved around the early war period, partly because of the Airfix plastics I had when I was little. I wasn't interested in the trench war period, partly because of the requirements to acquire, or more likely, build trench systems. All this may be about to change as I bought this Great War Miniatures Mark IV tank at Warfare in November.

The reason I did this was becuase of a complete impulse buy. I was walking around our local Tesco's and my little boy pointed out a paperback with a World War 1 tank on the cover. I had a couple of business trips coming up so bought it as it was at a very good price. Disaster! Band of Brigands, by Christy Campbell, is a quite wonderful book, telling the story of the development of the first tank from its origins in agricultural caterpillar tractors which were later employed to pull artillery in the Great War. Impeccable research means that a lot of the story is told through the viewpoint of the men involved in this pioneering form of warfare as they struggled to persuade the generals of the worth of the tank whilst having no idea themselves as to how to use it.

There are some great pictures and they brought back the images of massed tank attacks from the Warhammer Great War book. Bad news as now I will have to start some late war armies!

Over Christmas I put the kit together. It consists of a (beutifully crisp) resin one-piece body with metal accesories (machine guns, 6 pdrs and the metal cage which supports the fascine (which isn't included and which I will have to make). There are no instructions and it took me a little time to work out what goes where (helped by some photographs). The metal bits were in a pretty poor state in the kit I bought. The metal girders were very bent out of shape and I never did get them straight and one was missing about 4mm which involved some gap-filling with metal flash and filler. There is one other problem with the model, and that is that it is front heavy so the tracks don't sit flat on the table. The underside is hollow so I will put some weight inside to counterbalance it.

Tomorrow I will spray undercoat it. I have never used a spray undercoat before but I bought a couple of cans of Citadel's black spray for my Battleboards which I got for Christmas. Just as an experiment I sprayed a trio of Norman knights with it and was very pleased with the results. I know that everyone else does this but it's a new thing for me! It should work well on the tank.

1 comment:

Gamburd said...

A good scenario for your Mark IV might be Fontaine, a small French village where fighting took place towards the end of the Battle of Cambrai, in November 1917.

A division of the German troops that participated in this battle, I think, were reinforcements that had been sent from the Eastern Front because Alexander Kerensky's Socialist government in Russia had fallen to the Bolsheviks in early November 1917.