Master Box MK 1 “Female” British Tank Somme battle period, 1916 (WW-I) in 1/72nd Scale Kit # MB72002

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Master Box MK 1 “Female” British Tank Somme battle period, 1916 (WW-I) in 1/72nd Scale Kit # MB72002

Post  ShawnGehling on Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:05 am

Master Box MK 1 “Female” British Tank Somme battle period, 1916 (WW-I) in 1/72nd Scale Kit # MB72002
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By Shawn Gehling

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This is another excellent kit of a British MK 1 “Female” tank which first saw action in the Battle of the Somme (France) 1916.  
The Kit:

Contains 3 plastic sprues with 55 pieces that have no flash.\

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1 Set of rubber tracks

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1 fret of brass with 5 pieces

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This set contains pieces to build one (1) MK 1 “Female”
Conclusion: This is the second Master Box kit in 1/72nd scale and looks great.
The MK 1 British tank has been covered in numerous books, so information on these should not be too hard to find.
Overall this should build into an outstanding replica and is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys figures.  I would like to thank Alexander Surzhenko of Master Box Models for the review kit.

ShawnGehling
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Instructions (History)

Post  ShawnGehling on Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:03 pm

The first tank to enter combat was the British Mark-I (MK I) tank. Many countries were trying to develop something to break the stalemate of trench warfare, but the British were the first to field one in combat.
A British army officer, Colonel Ernest Swinson, and the Secretary of the Committee for Imperial Defence, Maurice Hankey remained enthusiastic about what they believed to be the enormous potential of the tank, not least in breaking through enemy trench defences.
In attendance at the demonstration of the Killen-Strait tractor were two future British Prime Ministers: David Lloyd George, and the current First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill.
During the demonstration the tractor successfully demonstrated its ability to cut through a barbed wire entanglement. Both Churchill and Lloyd George came away impressed by its potential.
It was Churchill who, on Colonel Swinton's urging (and backed by Hankey), sponsored the establishment of the Landships Committee to investigate the potential of constructing what amounted to a new military weapon. The name of the committee was derived from the fact that, at least initially, the tank was seen as an extension of sea-going warships - hence, a landship.
By December 1914 the maneuverable period of the Great War ended. The battlefields became covered by the continuous lines of entrenchments, wire entanglements and powerful field works. The killing fields of fire produced by machine guns nullified any infantry attacks. To break through such defensive lines, they required days-long artillery preparation turning the vicinity of the attack into “a lunar landscape” and quagmire of mud. When the infantry did “go over the top” This would result in huge losses to the Infantry and no measurable gains.
At first the Supply Ministry refused to approve the production of the tanks and the Head of the Armament Department refused to deliver artillery pieces. The Navy took things into their own hands. The Admiralty allocated Hotchkiss 57-mm pieces for the armament of the tanks, and the first crews were Navy personnel.
In April 1916 Swinton (a man ahead of his time), suggested that some of the tanks should be armed only with machine guns in order to speed up the production and to protect the other tanks from Infantry attacks. There were two types of MK I tanks produced. “Males” (armed with guns and machine guns) and “Females” (armed only with machine guns).
The first tanks were far from perfect. The cross-country ability of these vehicles were extremely slow, transmission breakdowns were frequent and the atmosphere inside the tank was horrendous. Strong jolting, high temperatures, gasses from the engine being located inside the vehicle also resulted in crew members having Carbon Dioxide poisoning, heat stroke and fainting spells. Frequent breakdowns disabled the tanks at the most inappropriate times. Nevertheless, the MK I was a very powerful weapon and its appearance on the battlefield led to the changes in tactics and the way war was, is and will be conducted in the future.
The first use of tanks on the battle field happened on September 15, 1916 to the north of the Somme River. This attack was to be the last attempt of the British to achieve success in the large operation that began on July, 1. After one and a half month of bloody and persistent combat on the front 70 km wide, the British managed to move a mere 2 km forward, in some areas as much as 8 km ahead. Thirty two MK I tanks took part in the attack, five tanks had engine failure and nine tanks got stuck. Nevertheless, the success of the attack was outstanding, in five hours the British moved 5 km ahead into the German defenses on a front 5 km wide. In the course of this action ten tanks were disabled for various reasons and seven tanks received minor damage, but one thing became clear. The tank was a new force on the battlefield.
Mark I Tank
• Crew: 8
• Combat Weight
• Male: 28 tons (28.4 tonne)
• Female: 27 tons (27.4 tonne)
• Armour: .23–.47 in (6–12mm)
• Armament
• Male: two Hotchkiss 57mm (6 pounder) guns and three 8mm Hotchkiss machine guns
• Female: four .303 Vickers Machine Guns, one 8mm Hotchkiss Machine Gun
To aid steering, a pair of large wheels were added behind the tank. These were not as effective as hoped and were subsequently dropped.

ShawnGehling
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Re: Master Box MK 1 “Female” British Tank Somme battle period, 1916 (WW-I) in 1/72nd Scale Kit # MB72002

Post  ShawnGehling on Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:45 pm

Here are some pictures of my completed MK I Female tank
Battle of Arras (1917)

MK I Female tank

11April1917 – Tanks participated in the assault supporting the Australian 4th Division  
I left off the bird cage protection device and the bulky steering wheels.
Note the mustered gas that would settle into the shell craters.

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ShawnGehling
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Re: Master Box MK 1 “Female” British Tank Somme battle period, 1916 (WW-I) in 1/72nd Scale Kit # MB72002

Post  tigertanktoo on Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:21 pm

Great looking tank and fantastic looking diorama. Looks pretty muddy to me. Better get the rubber bootys out. Thanks for the great review and pictures Shawn.

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Re: Master Box MK 1 “Female” British Tank Somme battle period, 1916 (WW-I) in 1/72nd Scale Kit # MB72002

Post  ShawnGehling on Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:55 pm

My pleasure

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Re: Master Box MK 1 “Female” British Tank Somme battle period, 1916 (WW-I) in 1/72nd Scale Kit # MB72002

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