Tuesday, February 16

Part II of Clayton's Build Review of Takom’s WWI Heavy Battle Tank Mark V (3-in-1 Kit)

Today’s build review sees Clayton taking on Takom’s 35th scale MK.V tank that he reviewed last month. He has one of the most challenging schemes to represent in his kit so let’s see how he got it all painted before the final stages of the build…
1/35th scale
Kit number #2034
Price: ¥6,210 /USD $50.40 /€47.24 from HLJ
This all started with a dare...

When this Mk.V was announced, I had always planned on doing the reasonably basic scheme pictured on the box. Unfortunately, all of that changed when a friend of mine took a sneak-peek at one of the schemes included in the kit and issued me with the challenge to paint, essentially a chess board on the side of the tank.

Never one to step away from a challenge, I couldn’t help but suggest I was up for it…and hence began one of the most time consuming masking projects I have ever undertaken.

But firstly, a bit of history about the tank that sports one of the oddest-looking paint schemes I have ever seen.

At the end of the First World War, a number of British MkVs’ were given to the White Russians, in the hope this may help in the fight against the Red Army. Through a training base in the Baltic state of Estonia, the British trained the Whites in the art of warfare and the use of the tanks.

As the Civil War escalated, the British withdrew leaving the MkVs’ behind. Some years later, when Operation Barbarossa was launched in 1941, the Soviets, desperate for resources, managed to find 4 Estonian MkVs’ in an abandoned warehouse in Tallinn, Estonia. They rushed to deploy them in an attempt to slow the German advance and allow their forces to retreat.

The scheme Clayton has picked out - notice the checked paintjob?

From the information I can piece together, of the 4 Mk.V’s deployed, 2 were mobile and 2 were used in fixed positions.

Details and information around these tanks, as well as the details of where the checkerboard scheme came from are sketchy at best. It has been suggested that the MKV’s around Tallinn were all hermaphrodites, however other sources would suggest otherwise. It has also been suggested that the 6pound guns were replaced with soviet weapons as they didn’t have the ammunition to use the 6 pdr, but as I said, details are vague at best.

Building, Painting and Weathering the MKV
Construction starts with the main bulk of the body. There are some odd angles here, so it can be a good idea to use the side pieces as a template to ensure they remain correct.  Fit was good and lines were sharp. A small amount of filler may be required, but nothing drastic.
Steps 5 to 8 see the addition of elements to the body of the tank. Fit is excellent and construction is very basic.
Steps 9 to 11 see the rest of the exhaust pipe fitted as well as the cage and chain on the rear of the tank. A nice small piece of photo etch holding the pipe to the body is included.  The chain is also included in the kit. The instructions suggest to connect the chain to the cage using a small PE part. This became the source of great frustration and I ended up just using the chain link and doing it my way.  The chain will be a really nice piece of detail on the finished model, and it was important to include it and ensure it looked taught and under some weight.  A tricky little step.
Steps 13 to 18 see the running gear and the side pieces assembled. I have to confess; I just didn’t bother with the tiny wheels. Previous builds of similar tanks have taught me to save the frustration because they offer nothing to the model.  The only thing I suggest is to use the axels as they will protrude through the holes and will be visible, so they will need to be included…but in my opinion, forget the wheels.
There is a lot of detail in the gun assembly as you can see, however little time is invested in cleaning this up or painting it as in reality it will not be visible on the finished model.  It is nice to know it is there if you wanted to build an interior though.  Some serious filling and sanding will be required on the shield sections.
All of the main structure pieces are assembled and ready to go. Due to the unique checkerboard paint scheme, I will be painting the parts separately and assembling once they are painted.
To prepare for the paintjob, I laid the pieces for the sponsons out flat on a piece of masking tape to hold them in place.
The main pieces all received a coat of Alclad II White Primer and Micro filler. Because of the intense masking I was about to undertake, I felt it was important to prime the model to help the paint get a good grip to the surface.
The body of the tank was now sprayed with AMMO’s 4BO Russian green. Different tones and highlights were achieved by mixing yellow and white into the green paint. By using a heavily thinned paint, we can achieve some interesting results as the paint has a certain level of translucence. This method ensures we get some interesting effects before we even start looking at other weathering techniques.
The Sponsons and side rails are now sprayed with AMMO, 7K Russian Tan. Again tonal variation is achieved by mixing some British Sand in with the base colour. These sections would soon be masked and over sprayed, so it was important to not get too much variation in the colour because once the other colours were set down, it may just look messy.
Although there is variation in the pattern on the side of this tank, the basis of it is all set around this grid pattern.  I draw the pattern of equal sides squares on my computer and set about cutting them on my vinyl plotter.  The excess squares were then carefully weeded out to give the pattern.

A clear application film was then applied, which allowed the mask to be transferred to the model.  The basic outside shape was then trimmed to the outside shape of the model part.
The application tape is then removed. Easier said than done… Because the moulding was covered in rivets, bumps and textures, the mask really didn’t want to cooperate. Removing the application tape, and correcting the mask, took the best part of 2 hours per side. A very painful experience.
With the application tape removed and the mask in place, a layer of AMMO Russian Brown was sprayed straight from the bottle. Given the depth of the colour I didn’t want to mess with the tones on this one.
Removing the masks was just about as time consuming as laying them, but after looking at the initial result, I knew it would be worth my while to continue with the technique.
The remaining side, sponsons and gun shields are now masked and ready to spray. You can see now why I set the sponsons flat in preparation to spray.
The end result with the 6K brown sprayed over the masks. It’s all starting to come together. The challenge was ensuring the pattern aligns from the sponsons to the sides.
The paint scheme was littered with irregular 4BO green squares. I initially tried to hand paint them but wasn’t happy with the sharpness of the lines. I decided to go back to the masking bench and get some straight lines on the green. Here you see the masks and then the result.  Just the brown to go now…
Small brown sections were masked out and sprayed
It was now time to assemble the sponsons and see if all of my check pattern lined up.  I firstly drilled the barrel out of the machine guns and assembled the structure.  This was a little fiddly I have to say. I think given the parts were pre-painted wasn’t helping as I was having to be very careful handling the pieces. The second one was far easier than the first. There is a technique to it.
The sponsons were then fitted to the main body of the tank. Not perfect, but not looking too bad! This could actually come together!
See more of the final stages of the making and painting of this kit in Part III of this story.

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. We will see part III in the next day’s news.
Also thanks to the kind peeps at AMMO for sending the paint & weathering materials for clayton’s schmick job!
See more of Clayton’s work at his website “The Workbench” or join him on his Facebook page