Mark IV Male British WWI Tank
Brengun, 1/144 scale
Reviewed by Graham Carter
The iconic Male Mk IV and its Female version (with different armament set-up) needs no introduction and it is nice to see one appear in 1/144 scale, suitable for the collector or the war-gamer and I can see a few of the turning up in dioramas that will take up much less room than the 1/76-1/72 or 1/35 equivalents. It appears that Brengun also produce a Female Tank in this series (BRS144057) and a Mark IV Airship Tug (BRS144058). These tanks were the first usable armoured tracked military vehicles and, although ponderously slow, offered protection and hope to troops, put fear into the enemy, and changed the face of terrestrial warfare forever.
The kit comes in a small strong red cardboard box with a photo of the completed model on the top. Inside is a resealable clear bag containing the resin components, photo-etched fret, decal sheet and an A5 instruction sheet.
The casting is just terrific with lovely surface detail and texture and no bubbles anywhere. Most of the webs to the casting blocks are substantial and will require considerable care with a saw to remove - do so keeping in mind the toxic qualities of resin dust.
The finest parts comprise the machine gun and cannon barrels and they even have hollow ends! Tracks are cast integrally with the sponsons and the casting web is sensibly along the part in contact with the ground.
The photo-etched fret contains a mass of parts, the larger ones making up the box on the rear deck, the overhead protection structure and various armoured plates and hatches.
There are also a multitude of tiny parts for brackets, tie downs and such-like. Extreme care will be needed to cut these from the fret and to attach them to the model.
Basic painting instructions for the two decal choices, a British one called Hyacinth ( the Brits loved to name their war machines after ladies) and a captured German one named Heinz (not the baked beans).
This is a terrific little kit that should find its place in many collections of armoured vehicles from the First Great Unpleasantness, and because it represents the first usable AFV in combat.
There is a memorial beside a road in north-east France that commemorates their first battle at Messines Ridge in June 1917. I have attached an image of the memorial and one of the large brass models that adorn it.
It was quite sobering to stand at the very spot that these vehicles were first used in battle, its so peaceful now surrounded by farmland.
Thanks to Hauler for the sample.