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How are the mighty fallen! - British Mk. V Tank - FINISHED, COMPLETED AND DONE!

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12 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:

Certainly. There’s a lot of pipery provided and I think I just fitted a pair of magnetos so the harness will be going on later. Funny thing, the engine is shrouded in a big box in the Mk V, totally hidden! I may decide that the box was vaporised in the battle!

Yes it would be a shame to hide that lovely engine 👍

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  • 2 weeks later...



1. Several shades Vallejo acrylic reds were wet blended on a primed black base.

2. A wash of Humbrol enamel satin black was run into the gaps and drawn out onto the duckboards to simulate oil staining.

3. Humbrol reds were drybrushed around the edges to enhance the volume of the piece and brighten the unworn corners of the planks.

4. Humbrol matt black was drybrushed over the charred ends of the burnt section.

5. Vallejo steel pigment (which is nothing but ground up pencil lead) was dusted onto the burnt ends for that silvery black charred effect.




And with a bit of going back and forth between the stages I ended up with this.




Which I think is a lot more interesting than simply painting this piece red.



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First, I am vastly impressed with the crispness of the colour division caused by 'paint before assemble'. It's so much better than relying on my shaky hands or even on a maskes and sprayed finish. This is definitely the way I want to go for the rest of this build, if not everything I model. It will add hours to every project at first but once I learn how to organise my parts for the most efficient spraying, I don't think it will be a problem. Note that I do realise that should have chipped and washed the engine bearers before gluing them in place. D'oh!


I've also realised that this unit fills two thirds of the floor of the tank and I really should have been considering the damage I'm going to inflict to the hull structure. I've already limited myself and precluded using broken boards and damage to the engine as part of the overall shambles I want the interior to resemble. Planning a full interior AFV model is so much more complex than robotically turning out yet another Spitfire. Buy hey, that's why I bought it - new challenges.


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1 minute ago, Bertie Psmith said:


Wot! No chicago piano?

Sadly they're quite illegal in Chicago and its environs, but I am slowly working on building a semiautomatic Sten from parts.

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Just now, Bertie Psmith said:


A Sten, or SMG as I knew it, is horrible to shoot single shot. It swerves all over the place when the bolt moves forward. I bet you'd miss a 1/35 tank!

It has to be modified to fire from a closed bolt, in fact! Since it's so easy to "accidentally" make a fully automatic open bolt gun, you can get in legal hot water. I'm certain it will be hideously unpleasant to fire.

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Hey I did some actual modelling today. I realised that this build has stalled because I've become a bit scared of it. Well, to heck with that! Normal rules apply - it's a hobby, a toy, and I'm supposed to be having fun with it so here went...




This was the engine with as much detail painting as I could manage. I decided to stick with the black scheme but varied it with different shades and sheens (?). I picked out some bits that looked like they might be metallic. 




Likewise with the ancillaries.




Of which, there were many.




How did I miss this whopper of an ejection 'tower'? Fortunately, like most of them, it's not in a visible place.




Engine on the mountings and a bit of wear and tear applied. I made an oily stain enamel wash from Humbrol satin black and satin dark brown, which you will be seeing a lot of!




And then the clutch and handbrake. 




And from the other side. This is the most complicated kit I have ever attempted. Fortunately the fit is so good that I am coping ... so far!




The gearbox came next. 




From the other side showing how it will fit onto the bottom hull plates. The battle damage is going to have to be from the top and sides, I think.




I have only four bits left over. For me that's not too shabby!



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  • Bertie McBoatface changed the title to How are the mighty fallen! - Meng British Mk. V Tank - Full Interior and Diorama

I'm having a difficult time with this thing today. I had a procedure carried out on my right eye, usually the best one, which has left me temporarily lacking focusing on that side and all depth perception. So no painting then 😜! And not much assembly either.




I managed to track down my next couple of pages worth of components though.  It's mostly control rods and the shuttering around the engine. And that set me to thinking, which is always a dangerous thing.






Now this shuttering will hide 60% of that lovely engine if I fit it as it's supposed to be; but if I just don't bother, we lose the engine oil tank and many 'other things' which I haven't yet identified. More importantly to me, we lose the enclosure which was one of the big 'improvements' the MkV had over the MkIV. It was supposed to keep the crew compartment healthier for the poor old soldiers who had to be inside it. There seems to be some doubt about it making much difference, as it happens, but I think its got to be present, if not correct, to appease my historical conscience.




I will be able to open the access doors of course, or even better, have them torn off in the catastrophe since they were pretty lightweight and only intended to contain the fumes. (By the way, please correct me if you disagree with my limited historical reading and experience of heavy engineering).




This all started me thinking about the damage to the hull which I haven't yet finalised, and should have right at the beginning. The engine/driver's compartment fills the space pretty well. In fact the top of the engine enclosure joins onto the top plate of the hull. Now that's a possible solution to the engine shuttering issue - if the roof is peeled back, it can take some of the shuttering with it!


I also wanted to have a big hole in the nose where the tank got hit by field artillery firing over open sights, as happened in 1918 when the Germans began to improvise anti tank gun doctrine. Look back at the very first photo in the thread and you see the dramatic potential of such a wound taken as the tank climbed over the low wall. However, it won't make sense to have a gaping hole in the nose with pristine seats left for the driver and commander. External damage is going to have to be consistent with internal destruction. And from a moddelling point of view, external damage is going to have to reveal the more interesting parts of the inside, and I don't quite know how the inside is going to fit together. Aaagh! I keep going around in circles.




While I can't see to moddell, I can still think and plan. Better still, I can enlist you to help. All suggestions, questions and comments will be most gratefully received. These are the bits I particularly want to expose.


The engine. 


The Commander and drivers position


One of the sponsons


One of the gearboxes in the side plate 'sandwich' together with the running gear


One track to be peeled back exposing its mechanicals


The fuel tankage at the back


That's going to take more than one hit, but Look at Deborah or Fray Bentos and you'll see that people kept shooting at them long after they were dead, just in case. Hey, I just realised that can be considered as evidence suggesting that they didn't (always) burn like WWII tanks. I suppose that their ammunition was a lot less 'high' explosive?


What do you suggest?


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I do hope your eye is ok and recovers completely, asap.

As to the tank, I'd say you absolutely have to have the engine visible to a reasonable degree.. The shroud thing is only going to be fairly thin sheet metal I'd think, so scope for having it nicely twisted, mangled and torn away from the engine, which itself could have a bit of damage, cracked cast manifolds etc ?

I'm also wondering if the wrecks may have been raided for parts by some of the engineering mob, or even the Bosche..which would leave scope for lots of components pulled off and scattered around, just a thought..

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I've never done something like this, it's interesting. Would you heat the plastic to be able to twist it? It would give some control over the look. Well that, or building it and setting off a firecracker inside :wicked:

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7 hours ago, Pig of the Week said:

The shroud thing is only going to be fairly thin sheet metal I'd think

That’s a good point. I might have to do some thinning down of the plastic. Same for the hull actually. It was only half an inch thick. I’ll have to measure the plastic. 


7 hours ago, Pig of the Week said:

engine, which itself could have a bit of damage

The control rods go from engine to driver so they will need some careful destruction. 


7 hours ago, Pig of the Week said:

I'm also wondering if the wrecks may have been raided for parts by some of the engineering mob, or even the Bosche

My four figures will be standing, looking at the mess. They are posed carrying weapons but I can change those for shovels and make them a burial party. 


57 minutes ago, JeroenS said:

Would you heat the plastic to be able to twist it?

I would but until now I didn’t know how. I was thinking that a flame would be too fierce but maybe a soldering iron would do it?


Thanks for the suggestions. They stimulate my thinking. 

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I used to use the lit end of a cigarette - but I stopped smoking 30 years ago - so now I don't. Probably a quite expensive way of softening plastic nowadays.

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1 minute ago, Pig of the Week said:

A hair dryer or "paint stripper" heat gun thing may provide softening heat to plastic without the flame..?

Yes, I considered that but I didn't think it was controllable enough. I really want to avoid melting anything and the gap between softened and melted is pretty narrow with polystyrene. 


Perhaps I should cut panels away and replace them with thinner plasticard which would be a lot easier to tear and bend. Hmm.


I've just checked tis point. The kit roof is 1mm thick (where not reinforced by straps) this would equate to 35mm of armour plate of course, but  the roof was actually made of 8mm plates. That's significantly different and If I made the torn parts to scale, I think people would be amazed by how flimsy it would appear. The max thickness of the MkV's armour was 16mm, on the front, and even that is less that half the thickness of the kit plastic. So using plasticard of 0.25 mm on the roof and 0.5mm on the front and sides would look better and be easier to work with. I wouldn't need heat at all!


It's interesting how your suggestion led me in an entirely opposite direction. This is the power of multiple minds!



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12 minutes ago, echen said:

Probably a quite expensive way of softening plastic nowadays.


It certainly would be for me. As an ex-smoker like yourself, I'm terrified of starting again. I know how easy that can happen. Bending a tank could cost a chap his life! (A bit melodramatic, I know, but this is 1914 and I am Bertie!)

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@Pig of the Week @echen


I have plasticard of roughly the right thickness. I'm shocked.




This is frontal armour 16mm thick. I'd use it for the side too , which was 12mm.




THIS is the roof and belly armour! At 8mm thick it's represented by see through plasticard. Now I know how the tankers all managed to get wounded while remaining inside their tanks, and why those hard, hard men weren't that bothered about going outside to attach unditching beams etc. They didn't have much more protection that that given by a tin hat (albeit hardened steel). THAT's why they were so bothered by grenades on the roof that they built cages to keep them off. A grenade would surely blow a hole straight through. I have a much better understanding of this machine now.




This is belly armour ruptured from the inside by a detonation of some kind. See how the plates have pulled away from the rivets holding them to the framework, rather like torn toilet paper, breaking at the perforations. 




That's another one that's had an internal explosion and bent like a beercan, being recovered after the battle. It might even be the same one, looking at the belly of the beast.


I used to think these things were like cash safes, now I visualise them as ammunition boxes or even biscuit tins! They were as fragile, compared to their modern equivalents, as the Camels and Albatrosses (not very) high above.



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After musing and scribbling all day I now have a fairly detailed plan for the build and a narrative for the diorama. These two things would have been most useful if I’d had them at the beginning because I now find that I’ve started entirely at the wrong end of the plan. No matter, there’s little harm done.


Here’s the story behind the intended final result.




This was my original inspiration 


Our MkV was in action after the break out from trench warfare. It had already come under fire and sustained several minor hits from bullets and shell fragments. Crossing an area of shelled buildings, it was climbing a bank, six or eight feet high when it took a shell from a whizz-bang to the rear of the starboard track frame.


This small shell exploded between the plates and broke them open revealing the broken transmission. The shock and blast travelled along the side plates and blew the track off while weakening the attachment bolts of the stbd sponson and disabling the gunner and loader on that side. Fragments of the inner track plate dislodged the armour of the fuel tanks and caused a petrol fire at the rear which was contained by the track ‘horns’ and tended to run downhill away from the wreckage. The crew were momentarily delayed from baling out by their need to tend to and evacuate the injured gun crew. They delayed too long.



[Not quite as bad as this!]


Immobile and poised with its nose in the air, the tank was hit by more shells from the front, smashing the front armour and exploding inside. This killed all eight of the crew, causing the most terrible injuries. Fragments tore the engine containment to bits and wrecked pretty much everything else. The massive overpressure blew the stbd sponson clean off and ruptured the roof, tearing and bending the thin plating back. It also ripped open most of the many hatches and started just a small engine oil fire in the gap left by the sponson. The tank had already used up most of its ammunition and there were few secondary explosions.


The following day, after the battle had been won, a party of three infantrymen, under the command of Old Bill, their sergeant, were sent to remove and temporarily inter the remains of the crew. They dug a communal grave in soft ground to the left of the tank and then removed the remains through the huge hole in the starboard side where the sponson wasn’t. They buried what pieces they could find before returning to their unit. As they were about to leave, they paused for one last look at the wreckage while Sgt Bill delivered his closing speech,


“And that lads, is why you’ll never see me fighting in one of them bloody things. Now, let’s go and get some supper.”


Curtain falls...


The viewers of the completed dio are supposed to see the damage and destruction first, read the title which is Bill’s speech, and be a bit puzzzled. They will then follow the tracks in the grass from the soldiers around the nose of the tank and find the neat single square grave.




Now I know what I’m aiming to build, the sequence of operations is fairly easy to work out. First, the port side sponson and track unit, because it’s relatively undamaged and will give me a solid structure to build the other fragmented pieces onto.


Then I’ll do the damaged stbd side with the back end smashed, and the detached sponson. I’ll know what I’m doing as it’s a mirror of the port side so adding the damage will be the only complication. I might be able to warp the entire thing slightly, to give it that bashed cake tin look?


I’ll join the two sides with the bottom and back of the fighting compartment before installing the damaged engine and other internal structures. (Damage will be limited to the bits I haven’t already completed, obviously.)


Then the top and front can be built onto the model, making the damage from thin plasticard as I go. Easy-peasy really.😆


And then, next weekend, I’ll build the base and figures. Hahahaha. :drunk: 


Perhaps it will take a little longer than that but you know what they said, "It will all be over by Christmas!"



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I made a start on the Starboard track frames. Unfortunately, I should have started on the Port! I actually know my p from my s but the instructions use right and left and I got lost in translation, so I made a start on the PORTLEFT side as well. :drunk:




After the usual clean up, I turned to the ammo storage. I wanted them to be near empty, so that involved a surprising amount of sanding, cutting and drilling.




I couldn't find a way to leave the little raised tubes which stick out of the wall a fraction but no one will notice if I don't mention it. 🙊 I did a little damage to one of the sides, heaven knows which, but I'll attribute that to shrapnel damage. I see that I lost some rivets too, darn it! I'll have a go at fixing that little problem right now.


EDIT: I fixed the rivets, spilled my glue and then dropped a tray with all of the separated pieces onto the carpet. I'm still not seeing perfectly then. Time for bed!


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Nicely worked out philosophy behind the whole scenario 👍

Looking forward to this developing.

As regards rivets, what would look very effective would be some of the riveted joints blown apart with the halves twisted and holes drilled where the rivets once were.. I'd think in reality the joints would likely have failed along the rivet line.

There's probably lots of pics online of riveted steel vessels that have exploded or whatever to reference !

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