Mk.A Whippet British Medium Tank
When the first tank was introduced by Britain during WWI it was a heavy tank with thick armour. However, due to its size and weight it was very slow which only allowed it to keep up with the infantry. As the war progressed the British army felt it needed a quicker tank to break out of the trenches into the rear of the enemy lines. Consequentionaly the Whippet medium tank was designed for this role.
It first saw service in Dec 1917 and later used in the Russian civil war of 1919. Six were also sold to Japan to create their first tank battalion. The Whippet were quickly abandoned after WWI and there are only 5 surviving in museums around the world.
The whippet has a crew of 3 and powered by 2x 45hp petrol engines. While having no main gun instead it was equipped with four Hotchkiss machine guns.
Meng Models released this kit in 2015 and is part of their Tyrannosaurs range. The box contains 7 spures in yellow, 3 in black for the tracks and decals. There are 144 individual track links to be removed and cleaned up and are a snap fit type so no glue is needed. As only 68 links are required per side you have 8 spares available in case of damage.
While there is no interior detailing in the kit the exterior is excellent. Meng had studied the Whippet that the Tank Museum in Bovington UK have when they designed the kit. While the instructions only show 2 British painting schemes the decals include Russian and German markings as well.
The kit itself was a nice and easy build taking me about a week to put it together, around the same time to paint and a further 8 days to weather it.
While most of the main body was one piece the fighting compartment was made up of individual sections. Fortunately Meng do a great job of making sure these part fit together well with no issues.
I have a preference of using individual tracks over vinyl, though it can be tedious to remove and clean. While the snap-fit track links in this kit were fine and looked great they could be a little delicate when putting them together.
Of the two schemes available in the instructions I choose to make the 3rd Battalion, Tank Corps Ceaser II from 1918. While the paint call outs are for Vallejo I decided to use Mig Ammo 074 Green Moss instead.
WWI isn’t an era that I usually have much of an interest in, however, I had recently enjoyed building a Meng kit and I wanted to make another of their kits. So I had a look through their catalogue and I thought that this was an interesting subject to make. With its engine in the front and no main gun the Whippet has quite a unique look to it.
I was able to be quite liberal with the weathering to go for a muddy look which befits a vehicle from WWI.
Overall I am pleased with the finished model and I would highly recommend it as one to build.