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Post Info TOPIC: Mk VIII tank in original colour


Commander in Chief

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Mk VIII tank in original colour
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OK, don't get too excited, as it's a model. Tucked away near the Mk VIII at Bov. Produced by the North British Locomotive Company & still in its original paint. However, the card describing it, does say that it may very well have been painted with the same paint that was used to paint the tanks that the NBLC produced.

I noticed the markings on the inside of the rear horns on the Mk VIII. "Lanarkshire Steel Co Ltd"



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Legend

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Pzkpfw-e wrote:

I noticed the markings on the inside of the rear horns on the Mk VIII. "Lanarkshire Steel Co Ltd"


 That looks like a maker's mark - required on hot rolled steel products in the UK and many other countries. 

Lanarkshire Steel Co Ltd was a strip and bar rolling company that operated near Motherwell in Scotland. The plant closed

down in the 1960s (I think).

Regards,

Charlie

 



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Like most - if not all - WW1 tank assembly plants, NBL relied on sub-contractors to produce many parts which were bought together and assembled. With transport being what it was in those days these tended to be fairly local. NBL used Scottish suppliers, BRCW used those in the Midlands etc. IIRC, 6pdr guns, engines and gearboxes were more, or even fully, centralised.

So that plate was made for NBL by Motherwell.

As for the colour on the model, it is AFAIK the only brown WW1 "tank" that Bovington has that is known never to have been repainted during its life. So if it is indeed the factory colour, then it is likely to be the only known sample with original provenance. It is entirely logical that the factory colour would have been used on a model made at the factory, but is of course not guaranteed.

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Peter Smith


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Although not easy to see as it is a grab from a video this excavated cab front with all its paint intact hints at a good match. The tank front although faded from sitting in the ground still has its fake vision slots and what could be the red & white stripes at the top from where the roof joined. The paler parts of the model look very similar to this actual tank section.

 Tank Video



-- Edited by MK1 Nut on Wednesday 22nd of August 2018 10:44:49 PM

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Legend

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Peter Smith wrote:

Like most - if not all - WW1 tank assembly plants, NBL relied on sub-contractors to produce many parts which were bought together and assembled. With transport being what it was in those days these tended to be fairly local. NBL used Scottish suppliers, BRCW used those in the Midlands etc. IIRC, 6pdr guns, engines and gearboxes were more, or even fully, centralised.

So that plate was made for NBL by Motherwell.


To be clear, "that plate" is not a plate but an angle. The Lanarkshire Steel Co Ltd supplied structural steel angles to NBL, not armour plate.  The supply of armour was centrally controlled by the Mechanical Warfare Department. 

I am puzzled by the statement "BRCW used those in the Midlands".  Who are/were BRCW?

Gwyn



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Legend

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Where can one find this video, please?

Gwyn



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Sergeant

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Gwyn Evans wrote:

I am puzzled by the statement "BRCW used those in the Midlands".  Who are/were BRCW?


Sorry.  My bad.  Wrong war.  Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co.  I meant Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Co.

I presumed - incorrectly - from the original post that the marking was on the horns themselves.

While the supply of armour plate was centrally controlled, it is my understanding that it was manufactured in various locations and, as far as was possible, moved the shortest distance necessary to the fabrication/assembly plants to save transport.  In the Glasgow area both Beardmores and Nelsons were involved in tank construction along with North British.  Beardmore's Parkhead Forge certainly produced armour plate and it would therefore have been logical for them to be the principal supplier to the other 2 Glasgow manufacturers as well as themselves.

 



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Peter Smith


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The question of British tank and tank component production in the Great War is my major research interest. In general I don't disagree, but it is a little more complicated because there is a stage between producing the armour plate and using it in the construction of a tank. That stage is machining, and whilst some plate manufacturers and some hull or tank erectors also machined plate, some plate was machined elsewhere. Although I wouldn't rule it out, I am yet to find any evidence that Beardmore supplied either Hurst Nelson or North British Locomotive with armour plate. Its major customer for plate was the Admiralty. There were also more than these firms making tanks in the Glasgow area, and two types of plate.

Gwyn

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Legend

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I thought WW1 era armour plate was a bit more complicated to produce compared to the homogenous rolled steels of WW2 because of the carburising step. It seems that there were only a limited number of carburising furnaces available so scheduling the plate through the furnaces so that production delays didn't occur must have been a difficult exercise.

There was always the possibility of ruining the plate during carburising since hardened plate had to be cooled quite slowly otherwise the plates could be distorted or bent (the bulk steel and carburised layer have different physical properties).   

Regards,

Charlie

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Monday 27th of August 2018 09:46:20 AM

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Legend

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This is correct. There were only a limited number of suitable heat treatment facilities available and this did on occasions cause delay in production. At times MCWF were so short of certain Mark V* plates they cut them out of plates intended for the Mark V**, which they had in stock.

Gwyn

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Gwyn Evans wrote:

The question of British tank and tank component production in the Great War is my major research interest. 

Gwyn


Is there any possibility of this most interesting research being published at some point?  Very little of this sort of detail appears in currently-published books on the subject and the industrial effort required to produce about 2,500 heavy tanks (IIRC) is a feat I believe is very much overlooked, hidden in the shadow of the operational aspects.



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Peter Smith


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Something I've never seen documented is who produced the uncarburised plates for the tanks. In the production process the rolling mills like Colvilles in Scotland produced

the flat sheet. Presumably the sheet was a similar composition to the French and German armour plate (4%Ni, 1%Cr, 0.6%C). There must have been

a production facility to cut up the sheet steel and punch the rivet holes before the parts were carburised. I believe Beardmores were one of the main

companies doing the carburising and the companies doing the final assembly of the tanks are well known but who cut out the plates?

Regards,

Charlie

 

 



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Legend

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Peter Smith wrote:
Gwyn Evans wrote:

The question of British tank and tank component production in the Great War is my major research interest. 

Gwyn


Is there any possibility of this most interesting research being published at some point?  Very little of this sort of detail appears in currently-published books on the subject and the industrial effort required to produce about 2,500 heavy tanks (IIRC) is a feat I believe is very much overlooked, hidden in the shadow of the operational aspects.


I am writing myself a series of papers at the moment, all fully referenced but constantly being updated as new information comes to light.  They could without much difficulty form the basis of books on tank factories, tank production, tank component production, and industry - government relations but at the moment I am just writing the background papers. That said, they are well advanced and contain a mass of new information.  I would hope they would see the light of day at some point and in some form.

Gwyn 



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Legend

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CharlieC wrote:

 

Something I've never seen documented is who produced the uncarburised plates for the tanks. In the production process the rolling mills like Colvilles in Scotland produced

the flat sheet. Presumably the sheet was a similar composition to the French and German armour plate (4%Ni, 1%Cr, 0.6%C). There must have been

a production facility to cut up the sheet steel and punch the rivet holes before the parts were carburised. I believe Beardmores were one of the main

companies doing the carburising and the companies doing the final assembly of the tanks are well known but who cut out the plates?

Regards,

Charlie

 

 


David Colville & Co was a relative latecomer in the production of armour plate for tanks, though they are of great importance so far as the production of structural steel is concerned.  So far as plate is concerned, of far more importance was the Miris Steel Co.  Miris machined its plate as well as rolled it, but there were many others involved.  I don't think I can cover this in the necessary detail in a forum post, sorry.

Gwyn 



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Legend

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Thanks Gwyn.

It seems that the diversified steel producers had the production capacity to produce the armour plates in preformed shapes and patterns.

I hadn't known that Miris Steel in Sheffield produced armour plates for the Renault FTs. Miris Steel also seems to have collapsed after

WW1 - found a wind up notice in the London Gazette from 1922. 

Regards,

Charlie



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Legend

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Yes, I was aware of that, though I'm intrigued how you made the connection to the Renault FT. Many steel companies struggled in the immediate post-war years due to the collapse in demand and over-capacity in the industry - the latter caused by Government subsidies for the building of new blast furnaces and extensions during the war years. That Miris was wound up is probably part of the reason it isn't better known.

Gwyn

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Legend

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Ha! Got it! You found it here: landships.activeboard.com/t53544231/the-miris-steel-company-limited/

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Legend

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Nope - I got that from Google books - AK Interactive has a title "WW1 The First mechanised War" - Google books gave me a paragraph

where it noted the delays in producing Renault FTs (only 84 were produced by the end of 1917) were in part due to slow delivery of armour

plate from Miris Steel (and delays in armament production at the Puteaux arsenal). Also a snippet from the book "Sheffield's Great War and Beyond: 1916-1918"

noted that Miris Steel produced helmets and armour plate at the Perseverance Works, Nursery Street, Sheffield. The quote in the old Landships forum thread

is from the London Gazette, 1922 (also now online) - the answer to the question posed in the old thread is "MS" .

I agree that Miris Steel probably failed due to the rapid contraction of the steel industry after WW1.

Regards,

Charlie

 



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Legend

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Yes, their Sheffield works were in Nursery Street but they also had works elsewhere. I think, but can't yet prove, that their tank armour was made in Leeds.

Gwyn

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