Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

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Chris Hall
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Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:03 pm

Hello, fellow WW1 Tank builders .......... I've just joined the Armortek owners group, so I suppose I better say why I'm here.

I've been fascinated by WW1 tanks in general for almost 30 years now and, in that time, I've amalgamated a large collection of books, scale models, original postcards, crested china, buttons, cap badges and WW1 medals, all relating to the Tanks. Of all the nationalities that used tanks in the Great War, I've always had a particular fascination for the German Army - don't ask me why !

I've known of Armortek for ages, of course, and seen you all enjoying yourself at Bovington (where I am, of course, a Friend) and other places. Actually owning an R/C tank was a pipe dream, though, until the Mk. IV was developed. Even then I considered it outside my price range, until (a) the UK Government came up with the scheme to get some of your pension money early, and (b) my lovely wife finally succeeded in nagging me into buying one (she's weird like that). Well, I never wanted a Lamborghini anyway .............

So I bit the bullet, paid the deposit last Friday, the balance on Monday, and four large boxes arrived today (Tuesday). How good is that ? I cheekily asked if, as the website says the MK. IV's are almost all sold, I could have No. 50 (always nice to have either the first or last of line), and Gill rang me personally to say that I could ! That all smacks of faultless service in my book but, reading through other posts, it seems like par for the course ........ massively appreciated, but not to be taken for granted.

So, now I've got my Mk. IV, what am I going to do with it ? Well, I've flicked through the instruction book (that's a scary number of rivets and fastenings), and I've laminated the Certificate of Authenticity to keep it pristine. And then I need to check the contents of those boxes. Only then can I start work. I've never tackled anything like this before, so it'll be a long process, but I'm determined to do it right.

As for the exact tank I'm aiming to build ....... well, I'm going out on a limb. Ever since I started researching WW1 tanks, one in particular has always struck a chord with me. So No. 50 will eventually become 'Liesel', a Beutepanzer (captured vehicle) Mk. IV Female, No. 1 Tank of Abt.14, which was abandoned at the Fort de la Pompelle near Reims on 1 June 1918. She actually survived on the site as a war exhibit until 1942, when the Germans dragged her away for (presumed) destruction. I suppose they didn't need reminding of previous failures. If anyone has got there first, please tell me before I start painting ! And that gives me bucket-loads of research to do on the colour scheme, crew details, and how the original tank was captured (the obvious guess is during Cambrai).

Sorry to bang on for so long, but you can probably understand my enthusiasm, as you've been there yourselves. I've no doubt I'll be asking loads of questions, which I hope you'll respond to. In return, I'll do my best to answer any historical questions anyone may have on the Mk. IV.

And now, back to that instruction book !

All the best,

Chris
Last edited by Chris Hall on Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - the saga begins ..........

Post by duncanallender » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:12 pm

Hi Chris,
Good luck with your new project.I'm sure you'll do a great job, combined with all your research.There's no turning back now you've joined the Armortek Tankers,carefull not to let it take over !!!
Look forward to seeing your progress.
Cheers
Dunc

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - the saga begins ..........

Post by Paul Morris » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:23 pm

Hello Chris.
Welcome aboard I am sure you will have a great time the mixture of your enthusiasm and the kit itself would seem like a good recipe :)
Have fun.
All the best Paul. :wink:
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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - the saga begins ..........

Post by IAN HINKS » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:49 pm

Well said Chris and a great choice for your model. Enjoy the build and the research. I look forward to seeing and hearing more on both.
Gunner.

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - the saga begins ..........

Post by Steve Norris » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:13 pm

Hi Chris
Welcome to the forum.
Glad to here that you have found a Armortek product that suits your area of interest.
I have been a customer of Armortek since their first Tiger1 issue and have always found the customer service from Mark and Gill first class,
Regards
Steve

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - the saga begins ..........

Post by Steve Stuart » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:24 pm

Welcome Chris! I hope that you will find the build as interesting and mentally challenging/stimulating as I do. I join in with others saying that we look forward to reading about your progress over the weeks, months and I hope that we will all be able to meet up with our Models complete, or in progress, in October at the Armortek open days!
All the best
Steve

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - the saga begins ..........

Post by Ray Brown » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:13 am

Welcome, have fun and may all your riveting be easy.

cheers
Ray

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:53 pm

Gentlemen -

Thanks for your welcoming words ! I always suspected that being an Armortek owner / builder was far more than just owning a large piece of metal .......

So far, I've checked off the contents of each box against the inventory list. I'm in awe of the engineering and design work that Mark has put into this, which makes me even more determined to make a good job of it.

So, this weekend, I'll start the build process, which will be ....... riveting :wink: . I don't like the idea of glueing them in - it just doesn't seem right. I noticed Steve's post on Ray's thread about lookey-likey bolts but, at around £150 for the whole tank, I think I'll try the old, traditional way (which I haven't done since I left School) first and see how it goes. The longest journey starts with a single step (or, in this case, rivet).

A question, though. When is the best time to install the Motion Pack (which I've yet to buy !). Can it be installed after the build is over, or is it best / easier to build around it ?

All the best,

Chris
Last edited by Chris Hall on Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - the saga begins ..........

Post by Steve Stuart » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:48 pm

Chris, the lookey-likey bolts are being used as a resort, when riveting is not at all easy or impossible and I wish to avoid using button headed allen key bolts. Where strength is important, as Lee Sellars is prompt in pointing out, the button headed bolt is what I am using. However the vast number of rivets is going to make for a strong union of components particularly if they are hammered!
Regards Steve

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:37 pm

Steve -

Now that I've actually started riveting (up to Stage 3) I now fully understand your point about using the lookey-likeys where it's difficult to use a rivet snap (I've found the best method for me is to use two snaps, as suggested). I'm still reluctant to use glue - if riveting was good enough for Fosters and Metropolitan then it's something I should aspire to ! And, as you say, it should be a lot stronger, which is a consideration for when she starts to move around under her own steam (less so for static modellers).

I'm aiming to get to Stage 9 before I post any pictures, when she'll start to look recognisably like a Mk. IV.

All the best,

Chris
Last edited by Chris Hall on Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - the saga begins ..........

Post by Steve Stuart » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:30 pm

Have fun Chris!
I am working on the sponsons, which is absorbing a lot of mental energy in planning what I am going to do. In the meanwhile it is Marmalade making season! However I am reaching a point where I will be able show where I am up to. I look forward to your pictures appearing on the Forum.
Steve

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:01 pm

Build time: 14.25 hours
Elapsed time: 17 days (taking it easy !)

Well, I'm up to Stage 9, which is probably when everyone thinks they're starting to achieve something (well, that's certainly how I feel). She's now a 3-dimensional being, recognisably a WW1 tank shape, and all the body panels fit really well:

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(You'll see some of my other WW1 tank items in the background).

The floor panels are bolted in. The others are only loosely bolted, as the next stage will be painting the insides. After some thought, I've decided to go for a cream colour (after some anti-rust protection) as (a) it's historically accurate, and (b) as someone else has commented, it will make seeing inside easier when I need to play around with motors and batteries.

Lessons so far ? Well, as long as you take it slowly and carefully, it's not nearly as intimidating as it seems to be when you open those boxes for the first time. Personally I find the riveting quite easy, using two rivet snaps. Some of them are a bit wonky (clever of Mark to let you develop your skills on the floor panel first !), but nothing that a bit of filler and a coat of paint won't successfully disguise. I only really had a problem with Stage 5 (the cab sides) - perhaps it's because the pieces are small, but it proved a bit ....... frustrating.

My only 'idiot's guide' tip for other newbies like me is to have a good supply of ice cream tubs and zip-lock bags for putting fasteners in once you've opened the packs ! Armortek's bags don't reseal, but I cut out the label to keep in the new box / bag so I know what type of fastener it is. Probably screamingly obvious to you professionals, but I am as a child in these matters :wink: .

My only other diversions have been to do a bit more research (I now know a lot more about Liesel's demise and colour scheme, but I need to search Bovington's archive to see if I can find out about her build and Tank Corps service before capture), and to obtain some appropriate uniforms for a couple of Action Men I've had for years, which will be good for display and also give a good impression of scale. Of course, I'm really just indulging my inner child .........

I'm beginning to think completion by Armortek Day in October may be possible ! That, of course, may be hubris :oops: .

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by Chris Hall » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:26 pm

Well, after admiring the progress of other builds, and firmly donning my anorak with regard to the history side, I thought I'd better post up progress on my Beutepanzer.

Build time (to date): 52 hours

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Basically I've reached the end of Stage 14, and completed a few of the obvious sub-assemblies such as the roof and rear panel. I've also started the painting (that's an awful lot of metal to cover !), which I need to finish before I do much more (now that the weather is improving). The outer frames aren't fitted yet - I'm aware that I need to remove some of the panels when the motor is fitted, but assembly to this level will enable me to paint those inner bits that will be hidden once the build is complete.

Those of you who've followed my ramblings will note the radiator louvres pointing downwards ..... :wink: apart from that, the build is following its allotted course.

Correspondence with Mark tells me that I'm over-engineering it ! I was working on a ratio of approx. 1 bolt to 4 glued rivets (where proper riveting isn't practical), whereas Mark says he did 1 in 20 on the prototype !

And, while all that paint is drying, I might have a go at the track links [shudder].

And there's only 6 months until Armortek Day [glimmerings of panic].

All the best,

Chris
Mark IV (Liesel, Abteilung 14, France 1918)
Morris Quad, 25-pdr & 2 x limbers (45RA, Korea 1951)
M3 Lee (25th Dragoons, Burma 1944)
Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (10(RN)AMB, German E. Africa 1916)

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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by IAN HINKS » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:45 am

Hi Chris,
Your last post of photos has raised another anomaly. The positioning of the mud deflection chute EK0128 and EK0128M at the rear top of each side assemblies. I see you have moved yours from the position shown in the assembly instructions. I first thought that you had fitted the rear top plate on the wrong side and had resorted to swapping over the deflection plate to avoid disassembly. However a quick look at Steve's build also showed them how you had them originally. When I looked at the instructions, page 16, I saw that this is how they are shown to fit. I knew I had some photos that show this detail and so dug them up and it clearly shows the deflection plate running from outside top to inside bottom as per Chris's build. Now at the back of my mind I am not sure, but I might also have seen photos in the past showing them the other way round. Whether they are on Mk IV tanks I am not sure. It would seem logical to funnel mud dropping off of the tracks out of the chutes to prevent it dropping back onto the sprockets at the back, but... we have seen already conflicting positioning of components. Further research by as many of us as can would seem to be in order. Don't panic yet Steve. Sorry I did not notice earlier while looking at your build photos.
Gunner.

IAN HINKS
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Re: Mk. IV No. 50 - Beutepanzer Female (Liesel)

Post by IAN HINKS » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:59 am

The photos of Flirt at Lincoln seem to back up the information on the Right Hand side, the left hand side photos are inconclusive. However I did photograph some of their display photographs and one of them clearly shows both sides as Chris has the deflectors, outside top to inside bottom.
Must leave for work now,
Gunner.

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