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Post Info TOPIC: Headlights on Mark IV tanks
MRG


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Headlights on Mark IV tanks
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Hello again,

it has been a while since my last odd questions. Work on the model is advancing slowly but surely and now I am on the headlight brackets, fixed on the inside sides of the horns, behind the track adjusters, above the glacis plate.

Now here's the question - were headlights fitted by default and then removed for battle? (In case someone flicked the switch by accident in the night?)

I have looked at many, many pictures and the only tanks I have spotted with them attached is FanTan, Julian and another nondescript war-bonds or parade tank. No tank in action seems to have sported them, although mostly it is impossible to see.

There is also such a bracket mounted at the rear, on the top of the upper armour plate - maybe for a taillight. I had wondered for a long time what that bracket might have been for - but that's the only explanation I can think of.

Most surviving Mark IVs have these brackets (Except "Flirt" - and I could not make them out on Deborah, not surprising), they seem fast-bolted to the horns with two rivets and there is a hole next to it, obviously for the cable. It seems a waste of material and effort if the lamps were never fitted...?

Maybe one of you experts knows more? If the lights were never fitted anyway, I do not need to make them...  wink

With best regards

Martin



-- Edited by MRG on Monday 4th of February 2013 10:21:37 PM

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Legend

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I cannot help with your question, but just wanted to say that it's good to hear from you - I for one look forward to seeing more of your excellent model.

TCT

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Legend

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This is an educated guess, as I haven't seen any specific discussion of headlights. I should imagine that they would be used only when a long distance from the Front. Movement of tanks normally took place at night, and visible lights were, obviously, to be avoided. One method of helping a tank to find its way was to get the driver to follow a lit cigarette, which was all the light they dare risk. And one assumes that after any time in action lights would be shot away. So I suppose that if your model is meant to depict a vehicle in an advanced position, then the lights would be superfluous to requirements, and might well have been binned.

The enclosed pic is from the board next to the Mk IV at Bovington, Excellent, although it's not entirely clear whether it's the same tank.



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Commander in Chief

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I'm surprised that they were fitted at all, as the tanks were moved as close to the front as possible by rail.
I'd suggest that the answer would be that they wouldn't be fitted on a tank going into action.

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MRG


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Hello,

thank you very much for your replies!

I will certainly post a "making of" here in the model section, once I have more to show. The tracks are still my No.1 brain-ache but I believe I have a solution.

Thank you for the image, James! This is a picture of the mentioned "FanTan", which shows the lights rather clear. "FanTan" was a tank which was financed by the people of Malaysia, if I remember correctly, and it drove around the country for money raising reasons I believe. It did not go to the front. And exactly - that's what I meant with "in case someone flicked the switch by accident" - it would have been catastrophic when lining the up the tanks in the night.

So the lights must be a rare find indeed! And of the maybe-existing taillight I could find nothing whatsoever.


I agree, I think I will leave them away. Although it would have been nice to have them working with LEDs inside. Less work, the sooner finished

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Legend

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The issue of headlights on the Mark IV has interested me for some time. I have seen a document at the Tank Museum Archives that said that the two headlights were fitted to early production Mark IVs but that these were discontinued. "FanTan" (which was not used for Tank Bank purposes) was one of the earlier Mark IVs. However I don't know exactly at what point they were discontinued and I'd also point out that although "Lodestar III" in Brussels is a very late production Mark IV, it has the brackets for the headlights. It is quite possible that whether the brackets were fitted after the headlights were discontinued depended on which manufacturer built the tank. "Julian" was built by the same manufacturer as "Lodestar III" but much earlier in the production run and as has been noted, has headlights.

I know nothing of any tail light, and am not sure what bracket is being referred to.

Gwyn

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MRG


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Hello Gwyn,

 

I am refering to this bracket:

rearbracket.jpg

It's on Liberty and Grit, and it's obviously missing on Lodestar III (together with the bolt that held it). It also has the same "nozzle" on the underside of the bracket itself - just as the front headlight brackets - and there's an odd little hole left upper hand to the "door" in that area - as if there was a cable intended to run through it. (smaller arrows). It seems like standard equipment fitted to the tank - that's why I suspect it may have been for a tail light. At least I cannot make out any other use for it.

With best regards,

Martin



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Legend

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Hmm. Yes, I suspect you're right and this is a bracket for a tail light. Have to be a bit careful at the moment about assuming this is a fitting on all Mark IVs, because the APG one and Grit are from the same manufacturer and relatively close in the production run (the APG Mark is 4633, Grit is 4643). We need evidence from other Mark IVs, and especially other manufacturers' Mark IVs, before concluding this is a standard fitting. I need to review quite a lot of photos to see what I have, but I think I have found a photo of a Mark IV Female with the tail light in place. This is 4637 (so same production run) and is the tank exported to Japan. I also think I have also found a similar bracket on other Mark IVs but need to come back on this. Here's the picture of 4637 anyway - see what you think.

Gwyn



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Legend

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Hard to tell if there's a lamp there, but there is certainly a wire coming from the hole in the rear bulkhead - just as MRG suspected.

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MRG


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Hello Gywn,

I did not see that picture before, thank you! The tail light seems to be a small round thingy and there is a wire from that hole.

I also found a good picture of Deborah from the rear, and there is the bracket and complete wire! Amazing it's still there.

The latter actually seems to be a thin tube that goes into said hole, the remains of the tube can also be seen on the APG tank.

With best regards,

Martin



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Legend

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I didn't check Deborah. I probably thought such a thing couldn't possibly have survived. Deborah is a Metropolitan built Mark IV and so provides evidence that this is indeed a standard fitting. Thanks for drawing it to my attention.

Gwyn

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MRG


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Here is a cutout of that picture:

Deborah-Tail.jpg

So that will certainly be put on the model, whatever it was for.  smile



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Hero

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While hunting MK1 photos, I came across this photo here. I noticed the dog first... then the Tail Light and remembered this posting.

Hope it helps.

H x

 



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Legend

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An excellent view - and this is a Mark IV Male.

Gwyn

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MRG


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Wow, that's brilliant!

Mystery solved, I would say. Thank you very much!

 

With best regards,

 

Martin



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MRG


Major

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Here's a little update on the immediate results of our combined research:

rear bracket modelled

 

Thank you very much again!

 

Best regards,

 

Martin



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Legend

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Stunning work Martin, keep posting updates. Liking your new avatar too, is that perchance a Philip Johnson tracked motorcycle - or were others doing such things as well?

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MRG


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Thank you very much! There's more to come, promise.

The motorbike shown is a crossbreed between my trusty Heinkel scooter and a Mark IV, I just had to do it*.... biggrin

As my other main hobby is vintage scooters, this is the most fitting avatar ever!

 

(*no, I lied -  it was built in 1938 by a French inventor, J. Lehaitre. See here...)

 

Best regards!



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Legend

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Very cool - although Philip Johnson designed a similar machine around the early twenties, maybe even 1919, using his wire rope suspension.

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