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A tiny chunk of World War One – Now in glorious Bizarreovision! Jehlik's ridiculous roller.


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Jehlik's Armoured Vehicle 1916


In your, frankly disappointing universe, Jehlik's armoured vehicle didn't progress any further than the filing cabinets of the US patent office, but in mine it went on to a gloriously disastrous career. Why limit yourself to this pretty uninspiring reality when a quick browse through the other more interesting alternatives is significantly more entertaining.


Anton J Jehlik was mad. Madder than the maddest mad thing ever to hop though madland, you'd have to be to have designed this:





Silly isn't it. Sillier still when you know that the big roller is on the front and the bangy things are pointing backwards.



It's generally considered that the Americans were supposed to join the WWI party in 1917. However, in 1916 they got themselves a brand new toy and couldn't wait to play with it. The original idea was for the roller-beast to be built in vast numbers in a shipyard on England’s south coast, before the British government tactfully declined, stating “There's no ******* way we want to be involved with such a studi...”, well... the details aren’t important. The contract went to a ship yard near Boston who built eleven metal monsters before they ran out of steel.

The machines went through exhaustive testing to see what they could achieve, and isn't it remarkable how fast a nations jubilation can turn to despair – squashing the marching band during the military parade can sometimes do that. With great fanfare the army held a service-wide competition to pick the crew, and the losers started their training soon afterwards.

Jehlik became a national hero… briefly, before changing his name and seeking asylum in Andorra where he lived out the remainder of his days breeding with sheep, sorry I mean breeding sheep.

After six of them ended up keeping the Titanic company on the bottom of the Atlantic, the remaining five machines trundled ashore in France. The initial surge of joy from the French was soon extinguished after the fourth village was reduced to rubble in the attempt to get the machines to the front.

Their début on the battlefield would have been a great success, but as the existence of the roller beast was difficult to hide, those cowardly Bosch had dug a long pit in front of their trenches which caused the first four behemoths to get their silly rear castors stuck. How unsporting is that? The Americans wrote a very strongly worded letter to the kaiser saying it really wasn't fair as they were looking forward to a damn good squishing. To show the strength of their feeling they even omitted the kisses from the end. The kaiser missed the post that day as he was at the bingo.


Here we see the sole survivor, number 7 which also had the official name 'USLS (United Sates Land Ship) Friendly Fire' which became the only one to engage the enemy. Enabling the American to successfully take the German trench after finding the occupants helpless with laughter after seeing the roller-beast get stuck on a tiny muddy mound. The ref later ruled the American move to be off-side and they had to go back to their own hole in the ground, leaving the score nil-nil.


And so Jehlik's monster was edited out of history by an embarrassed nation.


























Aaannnyyyway… This took about six months in total. Thanks for havin a ganders - I hope you like it.

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I love it, love it. Not just the modelling which is stonking but the endless reasons why it's utterly preposterous. The work of a man with not only no understanding of a WW1 battlefield, but what must have been some sort of vendetta against natural iron reserves. From the fact that in spite of its gargantuan size, he couldn't find anywhere for the peeps inside besides a vulnerable pointy bit on top, to the rear (front? oh God which is it?) which is one enormous shot trap.

Even vintage lawn mowers have the roller in two or more pieces so you can, y'know, steer; this thing mush have been like a giant wind up toy. Once you've set it rolling it goes straight until it hits the skirting-boa... I mean a house. Unless there's a medium-sized pothole in the way.



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This disproves the adage that its a fine line between genius and insanity.  No, not a fine line.  A huge yawning chasm here.  And he crossed it in his mind even if that monstrosity couldn't cross a wet paper bag!!  Its like a monster Dyson paper towel dispenser.  


Perhaps the sequel could be that the remaining survivors didn't make it past their own front line.  Were to be towed away and scrapped as useless and after three days they had only got them turned round after breaking every tow rope they could find.  By chance it was then that a passing French liaison mission passed by and one Monsieur Maginot thought "Mon Dieu et si nous achetions juste ces derniers et les laissons là......ils seront utiles la prochaine fois, non???  "


Brilliant model and dio though so at least one good thing came from his fevered mind.

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Nice to see that they removed your straightjacket long enough for you to make another one.

At least it's not coal fired this time. Or is it? I didn't see a filler cap for the diesel.

Steering would probably be the least of it's problems. Rearward firing guns. Hmmmm

Shame about the tread on the roller, It could have rolled two Cricket pitches at once.

Was this bloke related to a certain Mr Baldrick? Do we need to ask @general melchett?

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What a great piece of modelling, that! As usual you managed to present an absolute monstrosity in a very appealing way. The thing reminds me of my grandfathers first electric razor.

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Nice to see something completely  " errr" 🤔 just trying to find the word ,thats it "MAD" .I hope they got that inventor some medical help ,he must have been on one mad trip .The model and diorama you have produced are excellent, well done nice work 👏

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Thanks @burncpt @Longbow @JohnT @Tim R-T-C @keefr22 @Pete in Lincs @JeroenS @dnl42 @Homer & @swralph for your comments and everyone else for your 'likes'.

Being the worlds foremost expert in one of the most useless machines ever to have been imagined ( I certainly understand it better than Jehlik ever did), I would love to bore you into a coma with all the inadequacies and downright stupidities of the design, but I wouldn't want to be accused of filling the internet. Needless to say, the roller-beast would have been more of a liability than an asset and it's own troops and particularly the crew would more likely to come to serious harm than the baddies.

There were several occasion when I wondered why I was spending a serious chunk of my remaining life building something who's design should have been burned the instant is was drawn. If fact the paper should have been burned long before it was drawn. It's completely ridiculous – and that's why I love it.


@Pete in Lincs

Fool! Steam is so last week! This was the totally modern, up the minute, cutting edge war machine powered by those new fangled infernal internal combustion jobbies – three of them in fact. The two filler caps are on the top because where else to put the highly explosive/flammable fuel tank other than directly above the crew?

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23 minutes ago, roginoz said:

I'm hoping that, somewhere, there's a "work in progress"

Thanks @roginoz

There is a work in progress the the beast and the dio, but not on this site and unfortunately I can't give you a link or I'll be banned from BM. Although for this WIP I actually wrote about modelling, which was a bit of a novelty for me.

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One of the tenet's of the RFI is that we should give "polite and constructive criticism"


Is that even possible with this? I mean c'mon! How much cheese had to be consumed before someone came up with this idea in their sleep? 


Is Mrs Gorby aware that her Bissell carpet cleaner was pinched and painted green? 


In any case, brilliantly barking mad, I feel a little bit miffed that I wasn't able to go through a hugely edukashunal build log but hope that you'll find another, er, "interesting" subject soon to entertain us with.



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Could it be airlifted?  I’d guess about 150 Sopwiths or perhaps half a dozen airships? If the latter perhaps inspiration for Heineken’s Zwilling concept and the Gigant 



Most fun model I’ve seen in a long time bravo 👏 

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20 hours ago, Bonhoff said:

How much cheese had to be consumed before someone came up with this idea in their sleep? 


20 hours ago, JohnT said:

Could it be airlifted?  I’d guess about 150 Sopwiths or perhaps half a dozen airships? If the latter perhaps inspiration for Heineken’s Zwilling concept and the Gigant 


20 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I think @Gorby needs to tell us where he keeps getting the plans for these things,

Then we can have it burnt down. :jump_fire:   :poke:


It is a very silly tanky thing, but after having a look though Google patents, it starts to look rational in comparison to some. The most ridiculous by quite a large margin is 'Atherton's Self-Propelled Fort':

Atherston+Fort.jpg      :shocked:



It was supposed to be 300 feet high – the red arrow is pointing to a human figure. You'd have to tether it to the moon to get it to move.

And before you ask, I'm NOT building the bloody thing!


Thanks for all the comment mates. 

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