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Armor/AFV
For all ground-operating modelling subjects.
REVIEW
Mark I 'Male' Tank in Gaza
firstcircle
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
KitMaker: 2,187 posts
AeroScale: 34 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 10:50 AM UTC
Matthew Lenton builds and reviews Master Box’s Mark I Male Tank as modified for operations in Gaza, 1917.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 23, 2008
KitMaker: 2,819 posts
AeroScale: 134 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 05:02 AM UTC
Matthew,

After having been exposed to the Mk I Female version of this kit, the first thing that struck me was the number of unused parts in this version. The next thing that stood out to me was the main guns on your version. You write that they were out of round and needed considerable sanding. On the Female sprue 'F' there are two what I presumed are 6 Pdr guns (that are marked as unused) but appear shorter and have a different profile to the guns on this version. There is a "step" about one third of the way (2 mm) back from the end of the barrel. Just from your pictures it appears that the Gaza version guns are longer and without this step. The barrels of the ones in my kit are 9 mm long, how long are the ones with your kit? Could this be part of what you suggest are 'early' or "late" production Mk I's?

The note about breaking an exhaust cover and the front towing pintle made me chuckle with "deja vu". In pictures 24 and 25 yours broke in exactly the same places as mine. Perhaps a flaw in the mould?

I must say that reading this thorough review was both pleasurable and informative. Masterbox has two Mk II versions in the works and I presume that they may reuse some of the sprues from the Mk I kits. Let us hope that any possible future release of these WW I tanks will address the issue of using rubber band type tracks.

Cheers,
Jan
firstcircle
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
KitMaker: 2,187 posts
AeroScale: 34 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 10:20 AM UTC
Jan, the guns in this kit are 19mm long; as far as I know, all the Males of Mark I, II and III all had the same long 6pdr guns, the switch to the shorter barrelled gun being made with the Mark IV; since the hull shape is the same for all marks, I guess we can assume that beyond the Mk IIs you mention, there will also be Mk IVs. The sprue layout of your Female, with one pair of machine guns on the main sprue along with the sponsons, and the other pair on the small sprue, suggests to me that there is also a hermaphrodite being planned, which I think I am right in saying will be a Mark V. This would I think require a different sponson, but I guess the rotating gun shields from your sprue B could be for that set of machine guns, while those on the sprue F would be for the short 6pdrs.

I'm not sure if there was anything visibly wrong with the two broken parts, but it did seem that an attempt had been made to thicken the exhaust covers by giving them a kind of chamfered profile inside, but I guess they are just too fine for the grade of plastic used. Since etched brass had been used for the grenade screen, I would have thought it would have been the ideal material for these exhaust shields (in fact, I seem to remember someone using brass for this detail before ).

As for the towing pintle, this just seems like a poorly designed part to me - creating it in two parts might have been better as in reality they are separate plates.

I agree that we can but hope that Master Box might have taken note of the polite criticism that has been levelled at the tracks.

Thanks for your feedback, and glad you enjoyed reading the review.

Matthew
firstcircle
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
KitMaker: 2,187 posts
AeroScale: 34 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 10:43 AM UTC
On the subject of the tracks and the Mark II, Master Box have this CAD image on their site:



Looks like something different is happening with the tracks, although even the CAD makes the track plates look rounded at the pointy end of the run.
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 23, 2008
KitMaker: 2,819 posts
AeroScale: 134 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 03:15 PM UTC
Matthew,

I concurr with your evaluation on the track plates on the Mk II but, it's also fascinating that the guns on this CAD image look suspiciously similar to what I presumed were 6 Pdr's with the Mk I Female. This is odd as this implies the Mk II version is a Female and these are Machine Guns rather than the cannons! Possibly some form of an armoured Lewis gun? It will be interesting to see more of how these new versions develop.

Cheers,
Jan