First World War tank remodelled just using wood
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.”