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

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Damage most grievous.




This is what happened inside our tank when the whoosh-bang-o-nasties started coming through the walls. I've had an interesting time building the driver's seat and controls and deliberately making everything a little wonky. I admit that had I been trying to get everything straight, I'd have been in trouble. This is a very complex area of the kit and the many control rods which snake over and around each other are a challenge. 


Looking at my photo, I'm struck by how realistic the sanding dust is. It is there by accident but looks just right for the final step of the 'weathering' inside. I'll grind down some plastic in a variety of colours and blow it into the tank somehow.




This is where the said whoosh-bangs made their entrance, smashing inside and than fragmenting inside the fighting dying compartment.




And here we see some parts knocked in and some parts blown out, though I don't suppose it was ever that clear and predictable.




The sponson is coming along too. I had to cease work in there for paint drying but I'll be back on it soon. There's a lot of painting to do in there. It's not glued in yet, of course




You won't see much of the gun in the final scene as it will be behind the engine. Didn't the steelwork on the breech opening handle come out well? That's the 'steel' from the Humbrol Metalcote range.


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Oops! I double posted that last one because it hadn't appeared on the WIP index page yet and I assumed I hadn't saved it. 


Er, since then I've been doing low brain tasks like making sub assemblies and adding details. Nothing worth a photo. 


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1 hour ago, viper-30 said:

This is coming on Leaps and bounds mate 


You ain't kiddin'! At the beginning I expected this project to run until February but most of the parts are off the sprues and sub-assembled already. The part I was worried about, the damaging, has gone well enough and there's only one more major section of that to do. I have a lot of painting of course and then there's three or four figures and the base. And Bob's your mother's brother, it's done!


As they said in 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918, "It will all be over by Christmas." (And they were right once.)


I've even started another WIP on the aeroplane side to keep me busy.  Either I'm really good, the kit's really good or my life is a lot emptier than I thought. 🙄



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I've been happily painting interior details this afternoon and evening. And building up the rest of the roof.




Then I tried roughly assembling everything to show you how complicated it all looks in there. But wait a minute, where's the driver's compartment with all the levers and stuff? It's almost completely out of sight.




And if I add the other side even without the sponson, almost everything disappears. My concept was fatally flawed. I should have known from studying the old photos, you can't see inside a wrecked Mk V tank unless it's completely blown to bits. And even then, the contents are scattered far and wide. A destroyed tank does not expose even 50% of the full interior to view, which was my aim. You will be lucky to get a sight of 10% and you'll need a shuftiscope for that. Bummmrrr!



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  • Bertie McBoatface changed the title to How are the mighty fallen! - British Mk. V Tank - My conception of the project turns out to be fatally flawed!
22 minutes ago, colin said:

Blimey all this stuff about buying aftermarket brass etch for tank models to portray battle damage and you've done it all very convincing by thinning and heating the kit plastic.



It's surprising what you can do with old school methods but have you seen what Uncle Nightshift (Martin Kovacz) does on YouTube with bashed brass storage bins. I love his work.

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3 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:


I gather you aren't a fan. 😏

No I admire his work greatly, who would think to prime over what looks to be a perfect diorama base then paint it and make it look even better

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25 minutes ago, Pig of the Week said:

Sounds like you need to use a hefty dose of "artistic licence" and invent a scenario where the tank was conveniently blown in half or the like ;)

I take it you haven't seen the second photo on page one then 😉

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1 hour ago, colin said:

No I admire his work greatly, who would think to prime over what looks to be a perfect diorama base then paint it and make it look even better

Oh I misunderstood your emoji. Yes I agree with him that for a consistently  uniform finish across a diorama, everything has to be painted with similar materials. you can’t use dyed grass and expect it to sit easy with painted people. 

I think his weathering and other effects are somewhat bold and I love ‘em. I have so far lacked the patience to follow him exactly (80 hours of chipping on that Tiger!) but I’m planning one day to do exactly that. I’d buy all the kits, accessories and equipment that he mentions in a build and copy him slavishly just for the learning. It’s what students have done in art schools for centuries.

Then follow Plasmo on an aircraft build maybe. 

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1 minute ago, Bertie Psmith said:

copy him slavishly

That said, I think it’s vital to develop your own techniques and style. Constantly trying to improve and find new ways to do things keeps the hobby fresh. 

I know some modellers who build in the same way every time for years and years. I don’t know how that doesn’t get too boring to continue with the hobby. Modellers are a very varied set of people I guess. 

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Today's update.




I noticed that I hadn't cleared away last night and that this project was getting as scruffy and inefficient on the desk as it is in my head. So I didn't just tidy up but I spent an extra half an hour preparing for a hypothetical 'AOC's inspection'. I scrubbed down the surfaces and put everything back into its proper place. 




I have a habit of discarding large sections of sprues when they empty. I find this very encouraging as the box of chaos slowly shrinks away to nothing. As you see, there's not a lot left of this one.




These are my sub-assemblies now tidily sub-boxed so I don't spend ages hunting for parts.


Some people say I'm a well organised chappie, often with a slight raise of their eyebrow. I notice that the ones that say and do that that tend to be hopelessly confused about everything in their own lives. :confused:


Apart from that, I've been on a six mile dog walk in the rain to think about this and my other project. The Vulcan got a huge update this morning, especially  considering that I haven't actually received the kit yet. I've less to say here.


My grain of sand in the Vaseline of the Mk V project, the realisation that I can't expose as much of the inside as I'd wanted, doesn't matter. It's just a side effect of learning how little room there is in a tank. The thing is, I've never been inside one. I haven't even looked inside one. I've seen many YouTube explorations of tanks, as well as more 'professional' documentaries but like estate agent's brochures, it's difficult to appreciate how wide angled their lenses are until you are actually standing in the kitchen, er, turret. A Mk V is a big object and I assumed that there would be a reasonable amount of space for my sightlines but as someone put it, there's an awful lot of gubbins in there. The engine and gearbox unit alone must be 15 feet long and the sponsons are full of guns. I'm short of words to describe what it must have been like inside under power and under fire with nowhere even to duck. And they are probably all like that right up to the Challys and Abrams. Believe it or not, I wanted to join the RTR when I bunked off from the factory and ran away to the military. Fortunately the bloke in the blue suit in the joint services recruiting office saw me first and called me Sir and that was enough to change my life forever. I'm rambling. So, I've learned a lot, and when I re-read memoirs like A Company of Tanks, by Maj William Watson, a brilliant tale of the tanks in the Great War, I'll have a much greater understanding of all the details. (I highly recommend that book btw.)


I won't change much on the model at this point. It might be possible to leave the roof dismountable, though the unditching beam rails will be a problem together with the considerable distortion the roof has undergone lately. I'd planned to weld it into place with very strong cement! Even if that's not a goer, I'll still enjoy the process of finishing the insides with debris, chipping and bloodstains even if it's only visible in photographs. At least you will all have a look at it before it's sealed like a tomb. And so what if it isn't seen by anyone apart from me. Even if it had proved to be as I imagined it, all opened up like a kipper, only one or two people would ever have viewed it before it fell foul of one of my periodic culls and went into the bin.


In sum, nothing is really lost and much has been gained. Tomorrow I'll crack on as if I were normal.


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  • Bertie McBoatface changed the title to How are the mighty fallen! - British Mk. V Tank - Normal Servive Will Be Resumed As Soon As Possible
3 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:

Fear not, it’s never occurred to me to stop. I even dreamed of it last night!

Ah that's always a good sign!


You could certainly dream of being inside of one of these contraptions, only I think it would be called a nightmare!

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  • Bertie McBoatface changed the title to How are the mighty fallen! - British Mk. V Tank - Assembling destruction and breaking the pieces together!
5 hours ago, JeroenS said:

You could certainly dream of being inside of one of these contraptions


That's exactly what the dream was about. My dreams are often about nightmarish subjects but they aren't actually frightening. Usually I know that I'm dreaming and I just relax and enjoy the ride. Sometimes I can even decide what to do next, though I may just be dreaming that.


Anyway, today's update is also a bit nightmarish if you are the sort of modeller who likes to assemble everything precisely and accurately. That's right, I've been building more destruction and organising some chaos.




This is my inspiration photo for what I'm going to do to my right side sponson. This is a female Mk IV (?) armed only with machine guns but it has managed to open itself for inspection quite well. I guess a shell exploded inside. Note the torn plates, the bulged roof. And also, though it's ancient history now, spare a thought for the poor blighter who looks like he was ejected through the hole. Our Mk V is a male with a three inch weapon (only 3 inches?) and lots of ammunition in the sponson. Something has caused some of that ready use ammo to detonate and eviscerate the sponson completely, giving us a reasonable view inside.




I started by building the second gun and then mangling it slightly. I discarded the sight and broke off the aiming lever which went under the gunner's armpit and was used to train the gun by brute force. The recoil guard, being sheet metal also took a battering but the rest of it would have been pretty tough and has stayed in one piece.




The gun shield has broken, bent itself straighter than before and been penetrated by shrapnel too




The gun was just a warm up. This is where it started getting interesting. This is the sponson unassembled. It's a complicated thing and there was no chance of me keeping a picture of it in my head while modifying the pieces separately. 




So I cautiously assembled some of it and then worked on the built portions and the remaining pieces together.




The usual thinning of the plates. I'm going faster now. I discovered that if I keep a finger against the back of the plate I can feel the vibrations of the grinder getting close to coming through. I learned not to go too far at the same time that I learned that a sharp fast carving burr causes no pain when it first penetrates the skin, just a lot of red.




That front plate snapped very nicely into laminations which, though not intended, will add some interest.




As did the door. I guess it's different cooling times depending how deep into the plastic we go? I couldn't thin the door because I want to have both sides visible




The gun mounting. I tore the remainder of the plate off, leaving the mounting as a separate piece. It would have been one of the strongest parts of the tank I think. These detached pieces would really have flown for hundreds of yards but I'm going to have to collapse that to a much smaller compass to fit it all onto a sensible sized base. Dramatic license.




That's a piece of modern art!




Here's the separated pieces prepared for painting. Now I turned to the bits that will stay attached to the tank.




I wanted half of the roof attached so set to work thinning a wide swathe down the length of it. This plan changed slightly later.




I thought it would be cool to keep a portion of the roof attached to the doorframe, which I knew I was going to be bending. I scraped a break line across the end of the roof, snapped it just where I wanted and then dropped the tiny piece on the carpet never to be found. (I am shortly going to buy myself a black, short haired rug for the floor under the desk.)




You can see where the missing bit isn't, but it's just added a little more natural chaos. Where is the rest of the roof?




It's attached to the thicker plating of the frontal armour of the sponson. This will be lying on the ground near the tank.




At the bottom of the sponson I tried to suggest some penetrations from the exploding ammunition which was right behind these holes. I've also stretched and buckled the plating with heat. 




The framework that was left sticking out also got torched and twisted slightly.


There are lots of little bits left over, and I've also scavenged some pieces from other WWI tanks and torn them into little bits too. These will be used to dress the scene, and the inside of the tank too.


It's been a thoroughly enjoyable day (apart from the bleeding) and I'm all cheered up (and slightly manic) again. All systems go!





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3 hours ago, ColonelKrypton said:



It may not have become what you had first envisioned but it is becoming something very interesting. I frequently encounter the same but that is all part of the journey.


cheers, Graham



Indeed so.

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I've missed a day! Sorry folks, I have to admit that my other BM project, the Vulcan, got a bit intense there and totally ate Friday. I'm back on the case today, though in one of those stages of a build where there's lots of little jobs to get done and the more I rush, the more complicated they each become. I think I'm nearing the end of the tank building. This feels like final assembly week before the major switch to painting, maybe by next weekend??




Remember this piece on the other side? I removed the ammo and built shelves inside. Same this side but I'm not bothering with the invisible shelves this time. 




It was a quicker and cruder operation. Quicker because I knew what to do. Cruder because when it's done and firmly cemented in, I'm probably going to cave it in with a screwdriver.




A quick 'shout out' to my son who made me this slow speed drill. It runs of a 9V transformer and goes at about a tenth the speed of a Dremel so it cuts plastic rather than melting it most of the time. The big heavy chuck stores up power (kinetic energy) for heavy work which I do in bursts and has the capacity for large things like carving burrs. This is how I've done most of the thinning of the plates in this build, together with some manual scraping. I use it every day for something or other. It's a brilliant little tool thanks, Son.




The manual scraping destroyed a set of scalpel blades but I have many. I find them in skips behind hospital operating theatres which saves a lot of money.



Joking! What saves a lot of money is buying them in bulk from companies that supply school laboratories. 




This is my everyday tool kit. I coloured the handles so I can easily grab the one I need, red for curves and blue for straights, pastel colours for the delicates and bold for the big ones. And then the extra large left unpainted. I don't use craft knives anymore.




I need to re-prime and paint the inside of this area but before that I thought it would save time to dress the sponson with some debris . Now I won't have to paint underneath it. 




I did the same in the mounting hole for the sponson, overlapping the bits and pieces but being careful not to interlock them yet. Note the inspection plate fallen away on the right. I cut the tools from their clips since they have been lost in the battle.




I was delighted that through the inspection hatch, you can still see that reinforcing strap with the rivets and the grease. I don't think it will still be visible at the end without a dental mirror.😕




I attached the armoured shutter over the radiator outlet after a little bit of artistic bending. It reminds me of the Chestburster from Alien.




It was too fragile to last so I reinforced the slats with superglue from the inside. 




And then I tore a few more out anyway to reveal the broken drive chain that I've built behind it.


This kit reminds me of eating an elephant.

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time...



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