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Male

Emhar 1/35 Mk.IV Male Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review May 2008 Manufacturer Emhar
Subject Mk.IV Male Scale 1/35
Kit Number 4001 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Interesting limited run kit of this WW1 tank! Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $39.95

First Look

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During the development of these vehicles, they were referred to by the code-name ‘Water Tanks’ which was often shortened to ‘Tanks’ to deceive German intelligence. As a result, the term ‘Tank’, meaning an armored fighting vehicle, became part of military language.

The Mk. I ‘Mother’ prototype was followed by the Mk. II and Mk. III. These were test and training vehicles. The Mk. IV was the first combat vehicle and was used in WWI, in one of the best known actions, being the Battle of Cambrai on 20 November 1917.

The ‘Male’ was so-called because of the large side sponsons, which held 6 pounder cannons. The ‘Female’ had smaller sponsons and was machine-gun armed. Both variants had a machine-gun mounted in the driver’s cupola. Initially, Lewis machine-guns were used. However, Hotchkiss machine-guns were introduced later in the war (1918). Emhar’s ‘Male’ kit (subject of this review) comes with Lewis guns, while their ‘Female’ kit (EM4002) comes with Hotchkiss ones.

The Mk. IV had a fuel capacity of 70 gallons (318 liters), giving it a radius of action of some 35 miles (56km). Top speed was 3.7mph (nearly 6kph). The vehicle was powered by a 105hp Daimler engine with a two-speed gear box. A worm reduction gear was linked to the secondary gear boxes on the output shafts via a differential and the sprocket wheels were driven by a chain-drive.

The track plates were cast steel riveted to hinged links. The vehicle was steered by use of secondary gears operated by two crewmen in the rear of the vehicle. The commander could also steer the tank by use of the brake levers. The Mk IV carried a crew of 8 men.

The Mk IV differed from the earlier vehicles in that it used half inch (13mm) armored plate, and external armored fuel tank, an ‘Autovac’ fuel system (earlier vehicles used gravity-feed) and an improved exhaust system. Unditching rails of varying designs were added to most Mk IVs. A wooden beam was also carried which was attached to the tracks with chains and dragged under the tank to extricate it from mud when the vehicle became bogged down. ‘Fascines’ (brushwood bundles weighing over a ton) could be carried and dropped into trenches to help the vehicle cross them.

About 1,200 Mk IVs were produced, at a ratio of about two ‘Females’ to every one ‘Male’ built. A number of vehicles were captured by the Germans, who called them ‘Beutepanzers’ (Booty tanks). They were repainted in German markings and used (refitted with German armament) against the Allies. In fact, the Germans used more Mk IV’s than they did their own A7V tank.

Emhar is a model company based in London, England. They make both AFV and aircraft kits. Emhar is a registered and copyrighted trade mark of Pocketbond Limited.

The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art is courtesy of and copyrighted by Squadron Signal Publications, INC. It shows a Mk. IV crashing through barbed wire. The tank is shown in a very weathered overall green with a red number 102, outlined in white, on the front area of the sides. A side panel shows a color profile of a Mk. IV in captured German wave camouflage with the WWI style German crosses on it’s side twice (at the front and rear). The other side panel has a small repeat of the boxart, next to sentences saying that the kit is not for kids under 3 years old, but aimed at modelers 8 years old and older. This is in 4 languages, including English.

The bottom of the tray has illustrations, in black and white, of 7 aircraft kits and 2 AFV kits that Emhar markets. One of the illustrations is of this kit and the other is of the ‘Female’ version of the Mk. IV (kit no. EM4002). The scales of the 7 aircraft shown is not given. They are: a U.S. Navy FJ-4B ‘Fury’ (kit no. EM1001), a WWI Russian Anatra Anasal DS biplane (kit no. EM1002), a Mig-3 (kit no. EM2001), a LaGG-3 (kit no. EM2002), a Yak-3 (kit no. EM2003) and a U.S. Navy F3H-2 ‘Demon’ (kit no. EM3002)

Inside the box are 4 olive drab trees of parts, 2 trees of black vinyl tracks, the decal sheet and the instructions. The tracks are the glueable vinyl type. Probably Emhar was the first company to produce vinyl tracks that are glueable. The decal sheet has a tissue sheet for the face of it. However this sheet is floating around loose and does nothing to protect the face of the decal sheet…sigh. The parts are not in cello bags and a few parts broke of the trees due to friction between the trees in shipment.

The trees are not alphabetized, like we see in most kits. The do, however, have part numbers. The part numbers are molded into some of the larger parts themselves, standing proud. Smaller parts have the part numbers on the sprue, next to them, like we normally see in model kits. I think that all of these numbers that are molded on the larger parts are on sides where you will never see them again after assembly, but check that as you go along to be sure. One of the side panels to the hull has a lot of lettering on it. Since there is no interior details, other than the breeches on the 6 pounders and their swivel pedestals and the doors are molded shut, you will not see this. There are no parts tree drawings in the instructions, so parts will have to be identified by their shape in the assembly steps, then verified by looking at the number molded into the individual part. This will make for some extra work.

The instructions consist of a single sheet, folded in the center to create 4 pages of  8’ x 11 ½’ format.

Page one has the history of the Mk. IV in German, French, English and Italian.

Page two begins with 4 international assembly symbol explanations. Actually, only 2 of these ever appear throughout the assembly steps. Below these is the first 9 assembly steps. The bottom of the page has Pocketbond’s address listed.

Page three has the rest of the assembly steps, with a grand total of 13 of them. All the guns can be assembled that they will elevate and swivel.

Page four has 4 marking and painting options on it. Three of these are 4-views (top, front, side and rear views). One is just 2 side views.

  1. A British Mk. IV in overall FS16118 (Federal Standard color designation) which is gunship grey (Xtra-Color brand XT-130). It carries the red number 102 in red, outlined in white at the extreme front of the sides The small number 2324 appears at the extreme rear of the sides in white.(the boxart subject)
  2. A British Mk. IV also in overall FS16118. It has the white number F56 at the extreme front of the sides and also on top of the very first roof plate in front. Low on the bow, is the placement of either the nickname ‘Flycatcher’ or ‘Fantan’ in yellow lettering that is shadow outlined in black. Your choice
  3. A captured Mk IV in German markings, in a base of FS16118, with spots of FS10219 (Xtra-Color XF-102) Vietnam tan and FS10118 (Xtra-color XF-10118) Earth. It has WWI type German crosses, twice on the sides at the front and rear and a red circle with a white center and the black number 2 in the white circle, at the extreme front of the sides and also on front of the command box. The cross is repeated on the lower bow plate with the nickname ‘Paul’ above it in white letters with shadow outline. The red circle insignia, ‘Paul’ and a German cross appear on the rear also
  4. A captured Mk IV in German markings, in the same camouflage as the above captured one. However, the spots are slightly larger and running into each other. It carries German crosses that are straight edged, like used in WWII and not the curved armed type that look like iron cross medals. These are on the front, back and twice at the front and rear of the side panels. There is a white shield with a hand painted on it at the extreme front of the side panels

I had to turn the backing paper a blue shade to get the white markings on it to appear at all. Sorry for that distortion. It is almost impossible at times to get white lettering on a white decal sheet to appear at all.

I have assembled one of the 6 pounders only. So those parts are off one of the trees. The first olive drab tree holds: the hull top and bottom plates and sponson wall plates (6 parts)

The second olive drab tree holds: side panels, commander’s cupola walls, the three Lewis machine guns and their ball mounts etc. (27 parts)

The third olive drab tree holds: the road wheels and drive sprockets, 6 pounder pedestals and shields, exhaust pipe with muffler and the girder assembly parts that go up on the roof of the vehicle (37 parts)

The fourth olive drab tree holds: side panel parts. (4 parts)

The next item in the kit is black vinyl treads. These are rather stiff, and I suspect will have to be heated to shape them around the road wheels etc. There are two identical trees with 2 long lengths and 2 short lengths of tracks on each of them.

The decal sheet, already described above, completes the kits contents.

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