Tanks For That!

The Battle of Cambrai opened on 20th November 1917 (100 years ago today) and involved a huge British tank attack! The bulk of the British tanks were Mk IVs, but I wanted one for my Brits for the fighting in 1918.

2017_1119_13324500Frontline Wargames make both Male and Female versions of the Mk IV, so I bought the Male. For those unfamiliar with the terms, the Male is armed with two 57mm guns and three machine guns, whilst the Female has five machine guns and is the most deadly of the species at close range unless you’re under cover (yes, I’m still talking about the tanks, in case there’s any confusion)!  For under eight quid I got a resin tank in three bits (hull and two sponsons) that needed no cleaning up! Better than that, since the sponsons were separate I used steel paper and magnetic rubber to hold them in place (see photo below), and that allows me to substitute supply tank sponsons whenever I want to (bought the supply tank sponsons ages ago and kept them ready)!

2017_1104_16424400I painted the tank in plain khaki and put a black/brown wash on it to dirty it up a bit and shade it, finishing it off with a drybrushing in sand.  I wanted the tank to be representative of 1917/early 1918 so just used decals for the hull number and left off the better-known white/red/white bands on the hull sides.

I had some black rub-down lettering that I used to write “SUPPLY” on the supply tanks sponsons (no surprises there)!  I was going to leave these in black, since my letter-painting skills are not too good these days, but in the end I overpainted them white to match the hull number and hid any wobbly lines with the dirty wash!

2017_1119_13414600I also bought a German A7V from Frontline.  I was pleased with this, since I couldn’t get hold of the Emhar plastic kit (one of which I built a few years ago).  This model is a solid piece of resin and pretty weighty, with separate white metal guns – if you couldn’t beat your opponents in a wargame with this model, you could at least beat them senseless with it!  I had to fill a couple of small holes with greenstuff, but nothing major, so it was a damn sight easier to build than the Emhar model!

2017_1119_13515300Unlike my Emhar model, I opted for a plain grey finish with this one and used some of the spare German decals you get with the Emhar WW1 tank kits.  For the purists, I’ve no doubt got it all wrong, but I like the finished results (and even the books I’ve got on the subject leave room for uncertainty).  This model also got a black/brown wash, although I sealed the decals with gloss varnish before applying it.  The German tank crew figures are also by Frontline (as are the “Hell’s Ladies” accompanying the Mk IV in the first photo).

There are differences between the Emhar and Frontline models, but they are generally the same.  I like the heavier detail on the Frontline model ’cause it makes it easier to shade and drybrush.  Realised I’d never be able to do a centennial wargame of Cambrai, but getting these tanks finished has at least let me write a blog post for the centenary!



    • Thanks Mark, appreciate that! Hardly any bits to assemble and being able to use a wash means I got ’em done pretty quick and I’m pleased with them. Have got another two Mk IVs on order! April 2018 sees the centenary of the first tank-versus-tank action, so I think I’d like to plan a small game for that!


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