Wednesday, November 18

In-boxed: Clayton reviews the WWI Heavy Battle Tank Mark V (3-in-1 Kit) from Takom

So in WWI when they wanted to upgrade the venerable MK.IV tank what did they make? Today’s review sees Clayton looking at the Takom 35th scale MK.V tank and all the features of this 3-in-1 kit before he builds it. Let’s take a look and see what was upgraded since his MK.IV…
1/35th scale
Kit number #2034
Price: ¥6,210 /USD $50.40 /€47.24 from HLJ
History of the Mk.V...

Through the First World War, by far the most prominent and effective tank was the Mk. IV. It was however by no means perfect, and by mid-1917, plans were on the table to upgrade the Mk.IV design. The tank was to get a new hull, improved transmission, a new engine as well as a new steering system. So as not to hold up production, the decision was made to essentially use the same external features of the earlier Mark IV. This upgraded design would now be known as the Mark V.
Total production of the tank totalled 400 – 200 being ‘Male’ and 200 being ‘Female’.
The Mark V was the first of the British Heavy Tanks to only require one driver. It had 4 forward gears and 1 reverse. It’s 19L, 6-cylinder engine (150bhp) had a range of 70kms with a 450L fuel capacity. The hull was fitted with a second rear cabin with observations slits as well as an additional machine gun mount.
Rushed into production toward the end of 1917, the Mark V first saw action in July of 1918 on the battlefields of France, where 60 units helped lead Australian troops to break the German lines. 
After the war, the British Government gave 70 Mark V’s to the White Russian faction fighting the Bolsheviks, but as time passed, a large number of these vehicles were captured and used by the soon to be Red Army. The tank took part in 8 major offensives before the armistice of 1918.
The Mark V was still in active service until 1939, and would also be used as a propaganda tool through the early stages of the Second World War.

SO here we have the new Takom release, the Mark V. 

This shape and style of tank comes as nothing new to the increasing line of Takom WW1 releases, however it does round out their offerings in this genre. Whilst the Mk.IV was the glory tank of the First World War, the Mk V was a far better tank and was a crucial player in the end parts of the war.
This kit offers the modeller 3 variations. The ‘Male’ version with the 6 pounder guns, the ‘Female’ with the Hotchkiss machine guns, or the ‘Hermaphrodite’ with the combination of both. What more could you ask?

The size, shape and look of the box are all very much in line with Takom’s’ previous releases of this tanks’ lineage. The instructions are supplied in the usual Takom style in a stapled booklet with clear, basic instructions.

The kit comes with 11 plastic sprues, 2 poly caps, one small PE sheet, a sheet of decals, clickable track links and a small piece of chain.
The good people at Ammo have again supplied the colour schemes for this release, outlining no less than nine different versions of this tank. These schemes cover tanks used in 1918, right up to 1941.  I strongly suspect one of the schemes in particular will have people scratching their heads in disbelief, but I will leave that up to you to decide which one I am talking about…. I’m sure it won’t be hard to guess. 
Sprue Q has the largest parts of the kit all in one place and in four major parts. The detailed rivets and bolts are here as well as the vented engine compartment. These large parts enable a simple and very fast construction for the modeller. This is the essence of the Takom's kits we have seen so far - simple and fast to make = more modelling.
The large internal gearing and chains are here on sprue C, although you will not see much of it on the finished kit
Even though the MG's are hidden they are a simple one piece constructions and well detailed on this kit.
The parts on the sprues all look familiar to me having built the Male and Female Mk.IVs. There were obvious differences in the detail on the main side structures and the elements on top of the tank. Detail looks sharp to the eye and clean from flash at first glance.
 The machine guns on this sprue are easy to remove without damage and have slightly hollowed out barrells.
 The roof and front doors along with the guards on sprue D
 Easy to remove from the sprue and nicely detailed rivets are a feature of the front armoured plate
 The larger gun turrets that pivot ont he isde of the tank are on sprue G
 Sprue R sees more of the heavily bolted armour plate with a 
 Again we have easy to pick out and nicely edged bolts on the armoured plate
 The rear hinges of this plate are looking very easy to weather and to age and modellers will make a feature of these we are sure.
 More bolts! this kit's whole outside is covered with them and i suppose just like the real thing they are prominent and as long as many of these parts are moulded with a minimum of fuss needed to complete the kit we are all happy.
 The rolling runners for the tank are plentiful and there is a lot of cutting, sanding and fixing in these two sprues for you to get done before you move onto the good stuff. This will take a majority of your time with this model
The good news however is that this kit comes with the simple click together tracks that save so much hassle! These went together very quickly and the running gear isn't so much of a chore when the rest of the kit goes together so easily.
The chain included in the kit will be used on the unditching beam and the small tray at the rear of the tank. The PE is basic in nature but should enhance the model. Especially the two signal paddles. The tracks are the beautifully simple Easy-tracks. They do come as individuals however I couldn’t help myself but to click them together before I got a chance to take the picture.
The decal sheet is small but filled with the markings required to make anyone of the 9 schemes as noted before. The print looks to be clean and in registration.
I should make a confession here. I have traditionally never really had much of an interest in WW1 subjects. That said, when I got the opportunity to build the Male Mk.IV I really enjoyed it, and have had a great deal of success with the model. So much so that I went on to build the Female Mk.IV and managed some really nice results with that model too. 

When I saw this new release of the Mk.V, I wasn’t overly interested as I felt I had ticked that box, but then something interesting happened. I took a look at some of the colour schemes that accompanied this tank and my interest was aroused once more. Some of them were very different and very interesting, and one in particular, (I am sure you know which one I am talking about by now), really got me excited, and scared all at the same time.

For people who have any interest in the machinery of the Great War, then this kit will come as a welcome addition to the collection, but more than that, this kit should really appeal to anyone looking for something a little different.

I have no doubt this kit will build up into a lovely little model, but the challenge won’t be in the construction for me, it will be in replicating a chess board….
Takom keep producing the goods at a blistering rate, so embrace it and get yourself a Takom Mk.V! I highly recommend it.

Until next time.

Clayton Ockerby
Thanks to Takom for sending this kit to Clayton to review and very soon make for you all to see how it all goes together.
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