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Post Info TOPIC: Mk.I Supply Tank 746, Messines Ridge 1917


Colonel

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Mk.I Supply Tank 746, Messines Ridge 1917
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Folks,

I am at the point of needing to build one way or another on my current Mk.I Supply project and could easily go with Dodo, as it is well known and relatively well photographed.

However, I am curious about '746', being as it seems rather less 'famous'. Apparently, the only differences are the markings & complete lack of grousers on the tracks...

My questions come from the markings - having only been able to find a low resolution side view from the AWM, I am not at all convinced I can see where the 'Ace of Spades' is located on the front track horn.

Does anyone have clear photographic evidence of the 'Ace of Spades' being painted on 746?
Also, can we be 100% sure that the number 746 and the playing card are the ONLY markings this tank had?

I am hesitant to accept the placement guide that comes with the New Penguin decals as being 'correct', without other supporting evidence.

Thanks in advance.



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"You there on the port!". "S'gin actually, but thanks for noticing [hic]".


Field Marshal

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I have only seen two images of tank 746 following its conversion to a supply tank. Both show the portside, with "746" in yellow on the front horn. I can't see an ace of spades. The tank appears to have retained Solomon camouflage, somewhat obscured by mud.

The photo below shows 746, still on the Somme in the winter of 1916/17, prior to conversion. Whether it still carried the "HMLS Campania" name on the glacis following conversion is an open question.



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Colonel

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That is very interesting information - thank you!

I believe the photo you are referring to is the same AWM photo I have been scratching my head over... The 746 looks dark, really dark for yellow - unless the photographer was using a blue filter over the lens. 

Zooming in among the pixels, I had noticed weird shapes on the front track horn & wondered if the Ace of Spades was hiding among them. Now you have mentioned Solomon camouflage, I find it hard to see it any other way - certainly there are remnants of light colour 'swirls' visible in that area. The rest of the tank must be extremely dirty to look as monochrome as it does. I have never heard of a Supply Tank wearing Solly-camo post conversion [Dodo, presumably DID receive a full repaint - as the stowage bins seem to be at the same point on the grey-scale as the hull in photos - even if the sponson blanking plates appear darker], BUT then so little is known about them outside of the scant written accounts & even more scant photographs available.

It seems like building '746' could be a bit of a 'trap' - since there isn't enough Solly visible to replicate it or, seemingly, photographs at higher resolution or from other angles - post conversion. Shame, I rather fancied a lesser know tank, and that black Ace was drawing me...6113961.JPG



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"You there on the port!". "S'gin actually, but thanks for noticing [hic]".


Field Marshal

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I think that some shades of yellow were rendered very dark by the film stock in use at that time. The photo below (from the Hooge museum) shows an unknown MkI converted to a supply tank, still in Solomon camo. Tank 773, also converted, can barely be seen in the background, however other photos of the scene show that tank in camo as well.

A series of photos was taken in the winter of 1916/17 showing tank 746, so it should be possible to recreate its camo pattern fairly accurately.

Tank 773 (Albion) would be an interesting subject, since not only were its sponsons blanked off during conversion, but it was also fitted with an unditching beam and rails.



-- Edited by Rhomboid on Friday 28th of December 2018 12:07:32 AM

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Commander in Chief

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Fairy Battle target tug. Black & yellow.
goo.gl/images/rfUE9d

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Colonel

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Again, thanks for the info - I did wonder why hull numbers would be in 'black' paint, rendering them invisible except at close range. Your theory about film sensitivity may well hold true as the sky in the AWM photo is not so much 'blown' from over exposure - note the lack of 'flare', as very pale as if not really registering that well. Pale blue registration goes hand in hand with dark yellow / red registration.

Potentially then, the '712' on Dodo is also wrong and should be yellow, not black as per the New Penguin decals & Osprey artwork..? That would be a bit of an pain - trying to find 'correct' size / font numbers in yellow. Especially when I am trying to get this model finished in time for 'On Track' at the end of Feb.

I'm looking more & more tied into Dodo,- if none of the decals for 746 are correct [neither numbers nor aces] *and* it needs Solly camo accurately plotting on it from photos. Plus, I've put too much work into roof & rear stowage bins to scrap them in favour of a 773 build with unditching rails.

That is the trouble, it seems. Unless you can legitimately build an 'unknown' machine, British WW1 tanks are too specific & individual to get away with much 'artistic license'.

Oh 'arse'. I might go with Dodo, hang the 'iffy' numbers, make with the mud, distract the eye with lots of red flimsies & other shenanigans up top.



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"You there on the port!". "S'gin actually, but thanks for noticing [hic]".
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