Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Tank Corps Crewmen - Work in Progress

After this weekend and last night, the Tank Corps crewmen are about 90% of the way there. The photographs didn't really come out as well as I would have liked, but I have posted them in the interests of giving a quick “work in progress” set of pictures. I promise I shall take a proper, “in theme” set of photographs when the Tank Corps project is finished. Anyway, here's 12 Tank Corps crewmen (with another 6 awaiting completion), all from Great War Miniatures. Only one has been slightly converted in the group below (the officer with the tan overalls, of which more below).

You’ll see that I painted one of the officers in a darker coloured set of overalls, trying to replicate a well known photograph of Second-Lieutenant Reginald Lyles, MC at the Tank Museum at Bovington wearing what appears to be a pair of leather overalls.

I’m guessing that officers with a bit of cash to spare might well have supplemented their standard uniform with such items when on leave. Certainly there are many adverts in Peter Doyles’ splendid (and reasonably priced) book “Tommy's War: British Military Memorabilia, 1914-1918” for items such as trench periscopes, raincoats and revolvers. It seems fairly reasonably that an officer recently transferred to the Tank Corps might have wanted to personalise his kit with the addition of privately purchased overalls. I’m hoping to get a “leathery” look for the officer’s overalls with the help of some satin varnish.

I also finished up the casualty bases. I’ve no idea if the wiring used in the Mark IV tanks was coloured. I’m guessing probably not, but I felt it made a nice touch to try and colour the wiring (green and red stripes) which is scattered on the ground from a destroyed or badly damaged tank, even if just to distinguish the wiring (made from picture hanging wire) from grass scatter on other bases!


  1. Very nice painting and a great project!

  2. Thanks Jan. I very appreciate the comment. More to come by the end of the week, and the weekend!

  3. Couple of very good entries on tanks. Saw in the previous entry that you are reading several books on the matter. If you were to choose one, which will it be? Thanks

  4. Anibal,
    That's a very good question. Perhaps I can blog a review of some of them this weekend. At present, the answer would depend on whether your focus would be modelling, wargaming or purely historical. For wargaming, I'd go with "Tank Action in the Great War" by Ian Verrinder (Pen and Sword, 2009). It's short, in print, very well written in an easy style, and gives a well presented run through of the activities of a single battalion of the Tank Corps in 1917. What makes this really useful for my wargaming, using the "Through the Mud and the Blood" rules which are intended for a platoon-level game, is that Ian Verrinder's book covers small scale actions very well. These are the sort of actions which might get summarised in a paragraph in a book which focuses on a larger scale, like the (equally excellent) "Cambrai" by Bry Hammond, or "German Army at Cambrai" by Jack Sheldon. Hope that helps!!

  5. Thanks Sidney. I think I'll go for Verrinder's as I was lloking material support for scenarios; and I fully agree with you on the Cambrai by Hammond and the Sheldon's (although on the latter I really missed more maps to follow the text)

  6. Hi again Chris
    Just to let you know that I finished reading "Tank action...". A very engaging book. I was really amazed on how those guys went to battle without proper tactics or plans, just receiving orders LIKE "take that village" or "flatten-out that MG nest". Thanks for the recommendation but I'm now even more knowledge-thirsty than before!!. I have a Mark IV but I have ordered some Austins and Rolls Royces now. Final request: Do you happen to know any work explaining the approach of the Germans to tank warfare?

  7. Hi Anibal, Sorry I've not been around of late - too much work, too little wargaming! Anyway, to answer your question, I've not found a huge amount on the German's approach to tank warfare. From the perspective of defending against tanks, have you tried Jack Sheldon's excellent "The German Army at Cambrai" (Pen & Sword, 2009)? I'll have a look through my books to see if I can recommend anything else. Another good place is the Landships website at www.landships.freeservers.com. There's some far more knowledgeable people on there than me, and the older posts on tank tactis are all very informative. On the A7V, have you seen the really excellent Tankograd publication "Sturmpanzer A7V - the First of the Panzers" (2010). It's outstanding and there's a decent amount of (very surprising) information about how the A7Vs were used in combat. Now, I really should get on with that post on the tank literature of the Great War !! Take care and thanks for the post, Sidney.

  8. Sidney, thank you again. I have the Sheldon's (good complement to the Hammond's) and we have been playing one scenario with artillery in direct fire role, although I found that the mechanics of Mud & Blood were somewhat odd (we could not get one single score on the British tanks for the whole of the game). I'll check the Tankograd (I was thinking to order the Sturmtrupper colume for Christmas but I will add now tha AV7 too)


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