Home > Reviews > WWI > Takom 1/35 scale Kit No. 2008; WWI Heavy Battle Tank Mark IV “Male”

WWI Heavy Battle Tank Mark IV “Male”

Takom, 1/35 Scale

Reviewed by Cookie Sewell


Stock Number and Description Takom 1/35 scale Kit No. 2008; WWI Heavy Battle Tank Mark IV “Male”
Scale: 1/35
Media and Contents:

1,168 parts (736 in brown styrene, 405 in tan styrene, 22 etched brass, 2 turned aluminum, 2 vinyl keepers, 1 length of chain)

Price: USD$59.95
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Very clean and complete model of the first fully functional combat tank; offers such features as alternate position hatches, sponson interiors, optional position unditching beam and “spud” type track grousers.
Disadvantages: Each plate type track link consists of five parts!

Highly Recommended for all WWI fans, especially UK, German and US

F i r s t L o o k

While the British created the first real tank that saw production - the Mark I heavy tank - it was not until the introduction of the Mark IV series in 1916 that the tank entered true full scale production. While it corrected many of the problems of the Mark I and II (and eliminated the redundant steering wheels of the Mark I) it retained many of the problems related to its Daimler engine and drive system and was prone to breakdowns. It did eventually introduce a self-recovery or “unditching” beam carried on a large rail over the hull of the vehicle and also some modifications such as the addition of “spud” type grousers that bolted to the plate tracks to give better traction in the mud of France. Of 1,220 built one third were “Males” with twin 57mm 6-pdr guns and three machine guns and nearly one half were “Females” with five machine guns.

The Mark IV tanks were used by the British and also the Germans, who captured a number of them when they either broke down or were knocked out behind German lines. The US Army also used some for training in the 301st Heavy Tank Battalion.

For many years the only styrene kit of this tank available was one from Emhar of Britain, but other than its sponsons it was a “flat mold” kit that provided a model of either the Mark IV Male or Female variants. But it only had drive wheels and no road wheels, was poor on its details, and had a rather bizarre rubbery track which was nearly impossible to look right when installed.

Now in the space of a few months not one but FOUR kits of Mark IV tanks have been released - one from Tamiya of a Mark IV male and three from Takom - a Male, a Female and a “Tadpole” with an extended rear section. This kit is the Male variant and only provides the parts for that tank with no leftover parts in the box for a Female.

The kit is quite neatly done as it comes with four times the parts of the Emhar kits for just the hull and its details. All relevant hatches and flaps come as separate parts and may be installed either opened or closed. However, only the sponsons have any details inside them and even if it had an interior it would be virtually impossible to see it unless the sponsons were removed.

Each 6-pdr consists of 24 parts including its armored shield, and all of the Lewis guns are slide molded with open barrel shrouds and separate 97 round drums. No ammo racks are provided for either one.

The running gear is complete - each side has 11flanged road wheel pairs, 22 roller pairs, drivers, and idlers plus the geared chain drive to the drivers (at the rear of the hull). Details are excellent and they look the part, albeit it is a bit dicey when trying to line up 35 sets of wheels when cementing the sides of the hull sides together!

The one part of this kit most modelers who have purchased it do not like are the tracks. Each plate track consists of a plate and a four-part hinge set that has to be glued to the plate separately and with 136 track links that can be more than a chore. You can purchase a set of snap-together links from Takom, find a set of tracks in either resin or styrene such as the Model Cellar tracks, or if all else fails (and as the directions indicate) simply cement the plates together and to the wheels and hull sides.

There are two options for the unditching beam - one in which it is attached to the tracks via adapter track plates and one where it is stowed on the rails. This is actually the first time someone has done the research and shown how the beam actually attached to the track plates and if nothing else kudos to Takom for solving that mystery!

The only true disappointment is the rather meager finishing options - two - of which one is a captured German tank in three color grey camouflage named Heinz from 1918 and the other is Male 4098 “Lodestar” 12th Battalion RTR in khaki, also 1918. A small sheet of decals is provided but in the case of Lodestar the modeler has to pain the white/red/white flashes on their own.

Overall this kit is both cheaper and in some respects better than the Tamiya kit, but that one has been noted to be easier to assemble and has simpler tracks. Your call.

S p r u e L a y o u t:

A 81x2 Road wheels
B 184x4 Tracks
C 49x2 Drivers, chain drive components, Lewis guns, “spud” grousers
D 22 Inner hull, inner parts for hull sides
E 43 Unditching beam rails, inner hull sections, machine gun mounts
F 4 Inner and outer hull sides
G 76 Two “Male” sponsons with 6-pdr guns
TP 22 Etched brass
2 Turned aluminum gun barrels
1 Length of chain
2 Vinyl keepers

Text and Images by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 17 May, 2015
Page Last Updated 17 May, 2015