Medium Mark A Whippet, Meng 1/35
My first tank.
I can’t say too much about the Whippet – I’m no expert! It was said to be fast in its era – running at a heady 8.3mph flat out!
The power was provided by 2 Tyler JB4 petrol engines (45hp) – the same as those of the London double decker bus of its time! It had up to 4 but more commonly 2-3 crew.
The 4 0.303-inch Hotchkiss Mk 1 machine guns, in ball housings, are at pointed at 90 degrees increments. The gunner had to jump around a fair bit! The tank had no suspension and was made to a design based on tractors.
In March 1918, Whippets were used to cover the withdrawal of infantry divisions escaping from the German Spring Offensive. Whippets were then assigned to the normal Tank Battalions as extra “X-companies”.
At Cachy, a single Whippet company of seven tanks wiped out two entire German infantry battalions caught in the open, killing over 400. On the 24th of April, a Whippet was destroyed by a German A7V in the world’s second tank battle, the only time a Whippet fought an enemy tank. The tank depicted, ‘Firefly’, can be found at the Royal Military Museum of the Army in Brussels in Belgium. It was number A347 of the 6th Battalion Tank Corps, B Company. It still carries battle damage from when it was hit on 17 August 1918. It was a gift to Belgium from the British Army and it arrived by train.
The kit is a dream to work with – from opening the box to posting here about 6 days have passed – which for me is unheard of – no PE, interior or glass to mask made it a liberating experience! Tracks work well (136 individual parts to clean up and clip together). Some of the parts needed to build the polygonal crew space have to be bent into specific angles – but these angles are defined by the parts they fit onto – and the process is straightforward.
I wanted to check out some Meng plastic, with the former-WNW Fokker DR1 coming soon. Regardless of the job I did with it, the engineering was clever, the decals performed well and the fit was spot on. Roll on the Red Baron!