Mike’s model tank to go in li­brary dis­play

Black Country Bugle - - YOUR LETTERS - By DAN SHAW

THE First World War saw great ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy and while the con­flict saw the first de­ci­sive de­ploy­ment of the aero­plane as a weapon, it is the tank that is the most iconic ma­chine of that time.

The Bri­tish Mark IV tank played a key role in the fi­nal vic­tory and thou­sands of them were built here in the Black Coun­try (see Bu­gle 1361).

To mark the cen­te­nary of the end of the war Mike Hartshorne, a dealer in mil­i­taria and col­lectibles, has hand­crafted a pre­cise scale model of a Mark IV tank.

Work­ing to a scale of one foot to one inch he has painstak­ingly con­structed the model, based on the only com­plete Mark IV on dis­play at Bov­ing­ton Tank Mu­seum, from scratch over the last two and half months.

“It must have taken 200 hours at least,” said Mike when he brought his model to the Bu­gle of­fice. “I used the Haynes Man­ual on the tank for the draw­ings and I’ve made it from wood and other bits and pieces. It’s painted in the orig­i­nal choco­late brown that the tanks left the fac­tory in.”

Mike’s at­ten­tion to de­tail is im­pres­sive. Ev­ery rivet is re­pro­duced and even ev­ery in­di­vid­ual cater­pil­lar track plate. The top is re­mov­able, re­veal­ing the fully de­tailed in­te­rior with its en­gine, con­trols and guns.

Mike’s model has been on show at his shop in Worces­ter Street, Wolver­hamp­ton, but is now on dis­play at Tip­ton Li­brary as part of a First World War com­mem­o­ra­tive dis­play or­gan­ised by Nigel Martin.

Mike Hartshorne with his hand-made model Mark IV tank

The in­te­rior of the model tank is fully de­tailed

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