Thursday, March 5

The "Shitbarn" is incoming - 35th scale FV4005 Stage II in 35th scale from Amusing Hobby

In their recent trend of reproducing World of Tanks specials and prototypes, Amusing Hobby is making one of the iconic vehicles of the British cold war line up - the FV4005 or the "Shitbarn" as it is called in the game. See what we know in our preview...

Amusing Hobby's new 35th scale FV4005 Stage II

FV4005 Stage II Self Propelled Gun
1/35th scale
Kit No 35A035
Before you go "What's he going on about ?" A little History on the FV...

The FV4005 Stage II
In the '50s the British military developed a ferocious new anti-tank gun, the 183 mm (7.2 in) L4. The race was on to find a suitable mount for this monstrous weapon. It was first proposed to be used as part of the FV215 project. This self-propelled gun (SPG) design was based on the FV200 Universal tank concept. This vehicle, however, did not go further than the mock-up stage. Designers tried again, this time with a proposal to mount the gun on the chassis of Britain’s trusty new Main Battle Tank, the Centurion. This vehicle would go under the project title of FV4005.
The Ordnance Quick Firing 183 mm (7.2 in) L4 gun was the largest and most powerful tank gun in the world at the time, it. The gun itself weighed a mighty 4 tons and when fired it produced the equivalent of 87 tons of recoil force. The L4 was designed to be chambered for only one type of ammunition, HESH (High Explosive Squashed Head). It was separately loading ammunition. The projectile was loaded first followed by the correct propulsion cartridge. Each shell weighed a combined total of 104.8 kg (231 lbs). The 183 mm was tested in live-fire trials against a Centurion and a Conqueror. In 2 shots, the 183 blew the turret clean off the Centurion and split the mantlet of the Conqueror in half. In total, the gun fired 150 shells.

The FV4005 Stage II was the final form of the project. It was designed and built in 1955. The open gun platform was replaced with a large, box-like turret. The loading assistance device was also deleted, in favour of more traditional loading. With the addition of the large, approximately 2-meter high turret, the FV4005 weight climbed to 50 tons. The massive turret housed 4 crew members. These were the commander on the forward left, gunner on the front right and 2 loaders positioned behind the gun. On the left of the gun, in a small box on the cheek, was a coaxial .30 cal (7.62 mm) machine gun. This was most likely used for ranging rather offensive/defensive fire. There was a large door in the rear of the turret bustle for crew access and ammunition re-supply. The driver was located in the standard position in the hull.
It should be noted that the lack of armour was intentional. This vehicle was designed to engage at long-range, shoot and re-position. Flexibility was slightly hampered by the turret, however. In theory, it was fully traversable. On uneven ground, this was not recommended due to balancing issues with the gun. As such, the vehicle only really had a 90 degrees arc of fire to the left and right. January 1957 marked the end of the road for the 183 mm armed SPGs, despite admirable performance during trials. The intended role of the vehicles had been overtaken by increasing development of ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles). These granted the same, if not better, anti-armour capabilities, with the experiments ultimately culminating in the Malkara and Orange William missile systems.
The vehicle now sits as a “gate-guardian” at The Tank Museum, Bovington, alongside an M4 Sherman. Its predecessor, the FV4004 Conway is safe and sound in the VCC (Vehicle Conservation Center) at the site.
The FV 4005 came to a larger conscious due to the online game "World of Tanks" - where it's poor maneuverability and seemingly poorer cousin of the FV-183 "DeathStar" - coupled with its massive flat turret gave it the nickname "shit-barn" - well love the nickname, but since then the tank was improved int he game and a lot of people look at it more favourably now. Hence we think this thing will be very popular with modellers too.
The kit should be available some time int he next two months from Amusing Hobby's Distributors Worldwide...