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Post Info TOPIC: Siege of Fray Bentos


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Siege of Fray Bentos
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scale diorama - Siege of Fray Bentos.

 Tank by Emhar, figures by Caesar.

Diorama inspired by links found on this page.

 

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398814_415506048470048_100000319692349_1364900_736598940_n.jpg

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181464_415506445136675_100000319692349_1364905_503472010_n.jpg

 



-- Edited by eBob on Wednesday 30th of May 2012 12:24:41 PM

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eBob


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thanks. I read the account and although it does say 'reverse slope' - it also stated that the door on the side pod ended up horizontal with the crew holding the heavy door open against gravity like a hatch - this can only happen if the tank is nose down (I think anyway) - if it's nose up then the door falls open with gravity. and the other side gun ends submerged, again easier to do if the tank is nose down. Lastly, I'm sure I read that the tank suffered two penetrations in the rear - again hard to imagine if its the rear of the tank down in the ditch.

So, I decided to ditch it nose down - as it would be if it had dropped into the hole and got stuck.
Dunno about the colour - my first forey into WWI - but when you google the mkIV it is most often shown in a medium green colour, including the museum examples.
http://www.barnstable.k12.ma.us/bhs/SocStud/O%27Toole/images/mkiv-hvy.jpg

The model is as it comes from Emhar - the only addition was the wider track pads that I added.
the rear of the model appears to match this one..
http://wwi-cookup.com/afv/british/mkiv/mkiv06.jpg



-- Edited by eBob on Wednesday 30th of May 2012 02:55:56 PM



-- Edited by eBob on Wednesday 30th of May 2012 02:56:42 PM

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eBob


Legend

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eBob - what I understand/imagine is that it wasn't a steep rise, and that the tank would not be tail-high, but nosed slightly down in a disused trench/ditch located on a gently rising slope. Does that make sense?

As for the sponson door, they were hinged on the outside on the Mk IV, so if the tank is listing to the right, the left sponson door will naturally fall shut by gravity, like a hatch. Both roll and downward pitch will produce this effect. 

Did you by any chance see the BBC documentary (much criticised online in forums) "The First World War From Above"? It gets repeated from time to time and has a bit about Fray Bentos in it, as there is apparently a photograph on file (at the IWM?) in which the eagle-eyed can find the ditched tank.

Some of the critical comments have complained about the lack of showing the photo, instead using a CGI sequence which zooms in on the tank, apparently misrepresented as a MkIV tadpole (which I think did not appear for testing until a few months later). I think the use of CGI is because the tank will be so tiny in the photo that little would be seen on TV.

In any case, if they represented the disposition of Fray Bentos correctly, then if I remember correctly, it was a little nose down, with the ground probably rising ahead - because the tank slipped into a disused section of trench, as far as I know.

One last comment - colour. The tanks preserved in museums are almost all the wrong colour. With the exception of Lodestar III, as pointed out by PDA, all surviving MkIVs have been repainted, usually with a change of colour.

The only ones which are the original color, or something similar, are Lodestar III in Brussels and HMLS Excellent at the Tank Museum in Bovington - AFAIK it has been painted khaki brown to match their Mk V. So if you want a colour reference, given the likely degradation of Lodestar's paint over the past century, I would recommend using the MkIV, MkV, MkVIII and MkIX tanks (but not Mk II or Mk V**) tanks at Bovington as examples - just take care to consider the lighting the tank was photographed under!



-- Edited by TinCanTadpole on Wednesday 30th of May 2012 05:53:32 PM

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Legend

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That's very nicely modelled, the earth and painting are really good; if I may offer some points of advice though, the tank appears to be green when it should be Khaki - more of a brownish colour, the rear armour for the radiator and fuel tank is missing, and I understand Fray Bentos ditched on a reverse slope - so the ground should rise in front of the tank; this is said to have protected the machine from German artillery, which couldn't aim accurately at it.

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PDA


Legend

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eBob wrote:

The model is as it comes from Emhar - the only addition was the wider track pads that I added.
the rear of the model appears to match this one..
http://wwi-cookup.com/afv/british/mkiv/mkiv06.jpg

 The diorama and your build both look great. Unfortunately for you, and for all of us, Emhar got a lot of details wrong on this model.

They seem to have copied the Mark IV on display at The Tank Museum, England. That particular tank has had the rear armour removed at some stage in its life, the exhaust pipe lengthened, a couple of hatches added in the stowage area, and is not in its original colours. What I find inexplicable is why Emhar made the instructions to give the idea that the fuel tank should be glued on sideways (all the fuel would drop out!), and the rear of the sponsons at a 90 degree angle.

If only they had copied Lodestar III in Brussels!



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Corporal

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Well, if it's supposed to slightly nose down with the ground rising in front of the tank, then I got it right no?

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eBob
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I'd say you got it right, eBob. There's no way on Earth anybody could prove you wrong - after all these years, it's just a matter of interpretation of the imperfect recollection of those concerned. Your interpretation is as good as anybody else's.

With regards to colour, the tanks at The Tank Museum, England, are just wrong, wrong, and wrong. They are painted in whatever colour the latest person to interpret the recollections wants them to be. How you interpret "Earth Brown" is different from how I imagine it, and different again from how the museum staff imagine it. The argument about the colour of these first tanks is unresolvable.

The only thing we can be certain of, is that Lodestar III has not been repainted, so whatever colour she is is authentic. (As an aside, if you look at the Whippet in the same museum as Lodestar III, you'll see she is a different colour from the Mark IV. She is more green. Perhaps that is where some of the confusion comes from?)



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Legend

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Indeed so. Nonetheless, the thought occurs that we all probably waste a lot of time arguing/discussing the shade, when most modelers are likely to cover it up with mud stains, oil stains, and general fading smile confuse wink

On which subject, may I commend you, eBob, on the job you've done of weathering your tank.



-- Edited by TinCanTadpole on Thursday 31st of May 2012 03:10:18 AM

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Legend

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No, surely it's the faded green MkIV that used to be at Aberdeen Proving Ground, plus Grit in Australia, plus the green MkV in the IWM in London. Not to mention that the surviving Russian MkVs are green (although that I believe is correct for Russian use) and the fact that you have to pay close attention to know your Mark tanks.

As for Bovington colours, you may well be right PDA, but I don't know. I do know that unless MkV 9199 has been repainted in a darker brown, that the colour it is painted varies tremendously with lighting conditions, appearing much darker in the museum than in sunlight, where it photographs as desert sand.

I've only been to Bovington once, in the nineties when I was thirteen; I have a vague recollection of disliking the brown colour of the IV and V - I was disappointed as I was a fan of these marks, yet the colour looked vile. Most photos of those two tanks remind me of that colour, yet I know from other photos that in close up or outdoors, the colour of 9199 is quite different. Obviously lighting is key.

I've just compared the pics of Lodestar and 9199 on Landships, trying to find ones in similar lighting, as some are duller in tone and some richer.

I concede that Bovington do not have it perfect, but looking at the skinny scrap of fairly intact paint next to the commanders flap on Lodestar, I suggest that 9199 is only a little too dark and needs to be a little more orangey. You may feel free to disagree if you like, but until I have another chance to see Bov's tanks first hand, plus visit the Army Museum in Brussels to see Lodestar for myself, my view is likely to remain that they are not a million miles wrong.
The reason I think they are worthwhile as a reference is because they do not seem to be far wrong, and are evenly painted, whereas the original paint of Lodestar is so worn that it is hard to get a good impression of the correct shade (and even that is not 100% exact, as it is reckoned that there would be local variations - so colour descriptions are as generic as they may be formulaic)

eBob - yes, you got the attitude of the tank fine; my comments were really about the way the ground falls away on your diorama to neatly meet the plinth, giving the impression of a ditch in level ground rather than a ditch on an upward slope.



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Corporal

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Gosh - there's clearly much discussion regarding the exact colour here, so is not possible that in fact there was no standard factory colour, but instead they may have been painted differently if produced in different factories, or painted in the field with whatever was to hand, certainly many are seen in camouflage - so much like WW2 tanks is it not possible that the colour varies ?

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eBob


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I can't claim to be an authority on the matter, but I know that other in threads on this forum it has been said or suggested that the khaki was applied in the field, hence variations in the exact shade according to who followed the official recipe for the shade.

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PDA


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eBob wrote:

Gosh - there's clearly much discussion regarding the exact colour here, so is not possible that in fact there was no standard factory colour, but instead they may have been painted differently if produced in different factories, or painted in the field with whatever was to hand,


 Exactly! There was no standardised colour made in a central factory, to an exact recipe, and scrutinised by a Standards Committee. A description was given, such as "Nut Brown", and everybody knew what they thought Nut Brown was. Much like what happens when you say to someone, "Battleship Grey", everybody knows what Battleship Grey looks like, and everybody's idea is different from everybody else's.

Whilst the Bovington tanks may be close to the colour these tanks were painted, they are not in their original colour. The tank in Brussells is wearing its original paint: it hasn't been overpainted by some well-meaning museum worker. I'm not saying that every Mark IV was this colour, merely that the tank in Brussells is the best guide available today.



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Thanks - I did the whole job very quickly, mostly in one Sunday afternoon. I read the story from a link on this forum on Tuesday - was intregued by it, and it plagued my mind for a couple of days, so on Thursday I ordered the model off Ebay and it arrived on Saturday whereupon I promptly built the kit and spray painted it black - then decided to add the track extensions which took me the rest of the evening. So sunday I made the base from dense insulation foam board just shaped with a kitchen knife - I already had the wooden plinth that had been in the cupboard for 3 years waiting for inspiration - I had to jigsaw out the centre to allow the crater in the middle.

Base sprayed black - the dirt was simply a case of covering the base with PVA and dusting with Cocoa powder - then I sprayed it with varnish which both darkened the colour and helped to fix - the patchy colour is simply the effect of this process.

>Warning: for 36 hours your house will stink of chocolate and you may have to think on your feet for an excuse to provide the missus while discreetly hiding the model somewhere while the smell goes away - luckily it does after a while, the varnish helps ;)

The tracks and sides of the tank were similarly done with PVA glue and Cocoa powder and spay of clear matt vanish.
The puddle was first plaster of paris - painted brownish with some uneven tones washed over - and then two layers of clear gloss varnish.

Figures were painted and added on Monday ;)

When I get an idea, I prefer to do quickly - I'd rather get the thing done (and out my system) then have 2 or 3 unfinished (and never to be finished) half- started projects.


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eBob


Legend

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!!!! All the more impressive - three days?? That's fast work.

I had wondered if you'd used resin for the puddle, but your method has produced a nicely muddy effect - very appropriate.

PS - I'd rather a house smelled of chocolate than varnish

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Major

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Lovely.

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