April 24th 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the first tank versus tank action, which was both a very local affair and a bit inconclusive, but a milestone nonetheless! I had planned to have a centenary wargame on the day, but holidays and business needs got in the way, so I’ll try and have that game as soon as I can.
Having said that, I’ve only just finished two of the British tanks I need (varnished last Wednesday), the Frontline Wargames Mark IV Male and Mark IV Female shown in the picture above (left and right respectively). I’ve finished them in plain khaki without any markings and just a black-brown wash and sand highlight to finish them off. Both types of tank fought in that first tank versus tank battle.
Also in action on that day, and not coming out of it too well, were some British Medium A Whippets, the models shown above being Emhar 1:72 plastic kits (they were called Whippets because, at 8mph, they were faster than other tanks)! These are painted in the same way as the Mark IVs, but since I originally wanted these for late 1918 they carry the white/red/white bands introduced to distinguish them from British tanks captured and used by the Germans (who used more captured British tanks than those they manufactured themselves). So strictly speaking the Whippets in action on April 24th 1918 would not have carried those stripes, but I’ll choose to overlook that!
German tanks in action on April 24th 1918 were a handful of their indigenous A7V vehicles, very much boxes on tracks with guns in the front! Having said that, they had suspension systems and relatively thick armour on the front! The one on the left in the above picture is the Frontline Wargames model, which I finished last year, while the one on the right of the picture is the Emhar 1:72 plastic kit and I made that a few years ago! Differences between them but both nice models.
Last model featured in this post is a German truck-mounted anti-aircraft gun – these also saw service as anti-tank guns. I bought the Irregular Miniatures WW1 truck-mounted AA gun, but it just had a high angle gun mounted on the rear flat-bed, so it didn’t really look much like the German vehicles! So I used the chassis, wheels and engine/bonnet/hood and scratchbuilt seats, ammo lockers and a new gun, the latter based on an Emhar British 18-pounder. I added a platform that turns with the gun, which isn’t accurate, but it gives me enough room to put the crew on and let them move round with the gun. The gun crew are Frontline figures and the driver is a seated figure from somewhere with an Airfix WW1 German’ s head!
So, the Mark IVs have just been finished, but the rest of the vehicles are older and don’t get photographed much, so I thought it was worth including them! At least I know they’re all ready for action, whenever that might be!