First World War tank re­mod­elled just us­ing wood

Daily Express - - RICHARD & JUDY - By Daniel Sheri­dan

A MODEL maker is craft­ing a full-sized replica of a First World War tank out of wood for an event to mark the cen­te­nary of the Ar­mistice that ended the con­flict.

Ge­off Arm­strong, 58, who en­joyed build­ing mod­els of cars, planes and tanks as a child, has al­ready spent about 500 hours recre­at­ing a Mark IV tank.

Used dur­ing the last year of the Great War, the tank was 8.5 me­tres long and four me­tres wide. It weighed 29 tonnes.

Ge­off’s model is much lighter as it is made from soft wood and ply­wood, apart from a plas­tic tube for a gun, and the plas­ter of Paris riv­ets.

The car­pen­ter from Bramp­ton, Cum­bria, started the project towards the end of Jan­uary at a work­shop at RAF Spadeadam.

Ge­off, who based his de­sign on a model kit, said: “I bought a 1/35 scale model and ex­panded ev­ery­thing by 35. Ev­ery­thing’s hand dressed and hand cut. We don’t have ma­chines to laser cut ev­ery­thing and weld it to­gether.

“It’s just get­ting your head around how you’re go­ing to build it. Mak­ing sure it’s strong enough to hold it to­gether and light enough to lift it.”

Ge­off has built the tank in 14 dis­tinc­tive parts which can be dis­man­tled to al­low it to be moved eas­ily.

He added: “Each part has to be able to be lifted by two or three men. Ev­ery­thing’s got to sit in the back of a Tran­sit. Model maker... Ge­off Arm­strong

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“I have to go down and as­sem­ble it. It shouldn’t take that long to put back to­gether.” Ge­off is look­ing for­ward to vis­i­tors view­ing his cre­ation at the This Day in 1918 event at Carlisle Cas­tle on Satur­day Novem­ber 10. He said: “I’m happy with it. That’s all that mat­ters to me. The most chal­leng­ing thing was just get­ting it to look right.” Ge­off hopes the tank is stored in a mu­seum af­ter it is used at the event so he can take his grand­chil­dren to see it. He added: “I’d like to see it stored some­where. Maybe in a mu­seum. I could take the grand­kids. They are three and seven. “They would go, ‘Grandad built that!’ I think they will be quite im­pressed with it.”

Pic­ture: STU­ART WALKER/SWNS

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