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Paul Barber
41 articles

Medium Mark A Whippet, Meng 1/35

July 12, 2020 · in Armor · · 23 · 1.5K

My first tank.

I can't say too much about the - 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 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!

Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

23 responses

  1. Paul, @yellow10
    You did a FANTASTIC job building your tank... Take this from one who actually crewed these metal beasts. Not the Whippet, or any of the early ones like it, as I served my time in the ones that followed many years later.

    You hit a home run with this one my friend. And it only took you a week... It won't be long and I will be able to persuade you to come over to the "Dark side", where we build tanks !

    Nicely done, and I hit the "liked" button too.

    • Thanks so much, Louis. It's funny, I can't judge it - totally out of my area of knowledge. I have a couple more in me I reckon, the A7V for sure. As for the 'Dark Side', I've got too many aircraft kits to fully make the trip!

      • I need to get an A7V and a Male Mk IV to round out my collection... I don't have anything from the Great War in my armor kits. My armor collection starts in the mid 1930's and goes on from there... So maybe I'm not to far off into the "Dark Side" myself... not yet anyway !

        • You read my mind, Louis. I have the German WW1 tank because the only genuine survivor (there are replicas elsewhere) is about an hour away from me in a Museum in Brisbane - so walkarounds are easy! The Male Mk IV is the other I'd like, too. I have a T34 and an M3 in the cupboard - the boys want to build them. That may be where the armour ends for me!

          I've got Japanese planes and a ship to build!

          • Paul, let me echo what my buddy and fellow ex-tanker Louis @lgardner said ... "You did a FANTASTIC job building your tank."
            Building tank models is different than aircraft ... much more dirt, mud, & oil/grease is needed ... in real tanks as well as plastic. But they're fun! If you think it's fun to go out 4-wheeling in a jeep, ATV or mountain bike, (I do) you should try it in a tank! It'll give you a sense of power that you can't get many other places.

            Again, well done (and "liked") on your great Whippet miniature!


  2. Great build, take that from someone who is definitely on the "dark side" as @lgardner put it, haha!

    • Thanks Michel - This Dark Side thing is beginning to sound like a cult. I heard a podcast a day or two back (On The Bench - it’s a fun listen) that said the most popular genre in the whole hobby is WW2 German Armour. They said it was down to the ‘Star Wars’ factor. It is all becoming clear!

  3. Repeating everything from above gents, Paul @yellow10: what an amazing job!
    Only in a few days? Man, you guys are going to force me in the "dark side" too...
    ...and being a dedicated Pnk Floyd fan, you bet which of their albums is going to keep me company upon buliding "dark side" vinyl, of course...
    Your work is really amazing.

  4. 6 days? Well, it's still the usual great stuff we have come to expect from a @yellow10 build! Well done.

  5. Thanks so much @airbum Erik, it’s the school hols and after the term we just had (like everyone else’s experiences, I am sure, in just went into my little workshop and shut the door! My wife deserves the credit for me getting to the end of it - very very understanding!

    Back to being a teacher tomorrow. So back to the usual glacially slow output!

  6. Paul, great job! the paint and weathering are stellar.

  7. Too kind Gary @gwskat - everything is borrowed, I watched quite a lot of better modellers than me putting Whippets together on YouTube before starting and as ever looked at as many pictures as possible. To be honest I don’t think I needed the instructions by the time I came to build it! As ever lots of learning!

  8. Profile Photo
    said on July 12, 2020

    I don't think i have ever seen it done better big thumbs up

  9. Holly cow Batman, a 6 day build and it looks great as well ! Nicely done Paul you really did put some lipstick on that pig of a tank. I like it.

  10. Looks great! An interesting early tank.

    • Robert, thanks - I like the early tanks better. I guess if I start near the beginning I can at least go chronologically if I ‘cross over’! I like idea of using them as a quick escape from planes from time to time.

  11. Paul, I'm an airplane guy, but I really like Tanks, especially when they are done this well, everything about this looks great. I'd love to see this on a diorama.

    • I thought about a dio Terry, I guess it not out of the question even now if the spirit takes me. Having watched a few builds of this online, it was the ability to do it quickly that appealed. The A7V - the only German tank of the Great War- may well be my Christmas build this year. For that I could push the boat out. It is probably my favourite tank and I have been trying to develop my figure painting for that one! Thanks for the kind words and thoughts.

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