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Armor/AFV
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REVIEW
Mark I Tank
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,954 posts
AeroScale: 290 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 08:55 PM UTC
Jan Etal provides us with an In-Box review of the Master Box Ltd. Mark I "Female" British Tank (Somme Battle period, 1916).

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
AlanL
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: August 12, 2005
KitMaker: 14,499 posts
AeroScale: 42 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 09:13 PM UTC
For those who build in 1/72 scale this will be a welcome addition.

I am hoping that between now and 2016 we do see a new 1/35 scale kit, up to to-days standards c/w and interior. MB to their credit have in process a set of 1/35 scale British/German figures so their is light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks for the review.

Al
C_JACQUEMONT
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Loire-Atlantique, France
Joined: October 09, 2004
KitMaker: 2,433 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 10:35 PM UTC
Great review thanks!

I normally don't build 1/72 scale but I might have to make an exception for that kit, I think my local shop has a couple, depending on the price I may get one.

Cheers,

Christophe
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
KitMaker: 7,600 posts
AeroScale: 121 posts
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 03:58 AM UTC
I might add that, even though I am impressed with the overall detail and quality, I am not impressed with the tracks, nor with the fit of the sponson gun rooftops (not very positive positioning). MB could also have included some decals. But certainly the best 1/72 styrene WWl tanks so far. Hope they also release a better A7V!
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 23, 2008
KitMaker: 2,847 posts
AeroScale: 144 posts
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 04:43 AM UTC
My thanks to you all for having a look at the review and commenting. Much appreciated.

@AllanL -Allan,

According to the "rumour mills" that I have been following, there will be WWI subjects released in the larger scale later this year. One suggests that Master Box is even looking at wheeled armoured cars in both scales. Nothing definite other than the six 1/72 tanks announced so far.

@C_JACQUEMONT -Christtophe,

I think that you might be surprised if you give 1/72 a try. At the very least they use less paint, glue and take up far less room than the larger scales. Check around for pricing as the one in the review ($24.99) was the manufacturers suggested retail. I have seen it for US$12.49 on the Internet.

@Biggles2 - Leo,

There are a few problem area as with the sponson roof and I have noted them in the review. The anti-grenade screen frame is another example area where you find not the best location for sprue gates. They will cost the builder time and patience to clean up. As for the tracks, they are far superior to both the Airfix and Emhar versions. However, after some experimenting with parts of the track sprue, it appears the material they use does not like numerous glues that I've tried. Check out Google for "images of WW I tanks tracks" as I did and you can see that these tracks are a good representation compared to other company's. Also please note that the colour of the vinyl made getting a good picture of them extremely difficult.

Cheers,
Jan
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
KitMaker: 7,600 posts
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Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 05:29 AM UTC
When I mentioned I wasn't impressed with the tracks I meant the material they're made of - too much like the old rubber-band tracks, and not glueable with styrene glue. Detailing is, however, well done. Different modellers find different problems. The only real problem I found in building was, as I mentioned, was fitting the sponson turret roofs - mainly on the right hand side. I don't like the bevelled edges to line up. But I think the 'problems' are minor, and it's a nice little kit.
firstcircle
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
KitMaker: 2,249 posts
AeroScale: 34 posts
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 12:09 PM UTC
Thanks for the review Jan, nice and detailed as usual, although I'm looking forward greatly to you building it and will be reserving final judgement until we get to see the overall look. Certainly the old Airfix inaccuracies look to have been addressed: the round roof hatch, pointy exhaust covers, correctly spaced rivet pattern, rounded track adjustment cut-outs, headlamps, double plate towing pintle, rivets on the sponson roof. The grenade screen is a nice touch, though personally I prefer the look of it without this feature, which is I suppose optional in any case, if you can't face building it (or it all goes horribly wrong, something which as you seem to suggest would be quite easy to achieve...)

Still, the tracks... what have they done? Considering how the tracks wrap around and are completely in contact, with no portion needing to be suspended in space as it were, you would have thought that properly detailed injection moulded plates would have been the way to go, either individual or in sections. Anyway - I will wait to see how it looks when complete, but I just have this feeling that the appearance, especially around the front of the track "horns" where they are most prominent, won't really be a great improvement over the Airfix items. Someone is going to have to start producing individual track links...

Edit: OK, I think I found a photo of the completed Male version, unpainted: the tracks aren't so enormously thick as the Airfix tracks, but they still look like rubber bands, and worse still, the ones curving around at the front of the horns look bent. Just like they're made of rubber.
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 23, 2008
KitMaker: 2,847 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 05:26 AM UTC
@firstcircle - Matthew,


Quoted Text

Thanks for the review Jan, nice and detailed as usual, although I'm looking forward greatly to you building it and will be reserving final judgement until we get to see the overall look. Certainly the old Airfix inaccuracies look to have been addressed: the round roof hatch...if you can't face building it (or it all goes horribly wrong, something which as you seem to suggest would be quite easy to achieve...)



Thank you Matthew and I have the intention of starting the Blog for this vehicle shortly. As for the corrections over the Airfix kit, I have read that MB worked closely with the Landships site people. On that site is an excellent Blog on building the MB Mark I "Male" and they go on ad nauseam about correcting minor possible "errors" with these MB kits. However, this rather lengthy article also compares the MB kit to the Airfix, Emhar and Mr. X (resin) kits to the Master Box version and are generally quite pleased with it.


Quoted Text

Still, the tracks... what have they done? Considering how the tracks wrap around and are completely in contact, with no portion needing to be suspended in space as it were, you would have thought that properly detailed injection moulded plates would have been the way to go, either individual or in sections. Anyway - I will wait to see how it looks when complete, but I just have this feeling that the appearance, especially around the front of the track "horns" where they are most prominent, won't really be a great improvement over the Airfix items. Someone is going to have to start producing individual track links...



It also seems to me that the tracks could have been easily made of styrene as you suggest. Looking over the tracks further in anticipation of the build, there may be a problem in areas where the track attaches to the sprue. A few of the gates show a distortion best explained by a picture as :




Quoted Text

Edit: OK, I think I found a photo of the completed Male version, unpainted: the tracks aren't so enormously thick as the Airfix tracks, but they still look like rubber bands, and worse still, the ones curving around at the front of the horns look bent. Just like they're made of rubber.



Here is a link to some colour pictures of the one finished version at
MB Mark I Male. The finished images are near the bottom of the page. Click on the images to enlarge them and you will see the tracks don't look too bad! Granted, not perfect but the only other option would be to have a friend cast you 180+ links.

Cheers,
Jan
Beastmaster
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United Kingdom
Joined: January 27, 2009
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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 06:10 AM UTC
Why couldn't they have at least done the tracks as link and length styrene?

I hate those rubber band type tracks.