Mark I Tank

The Tank Museum is a collection of armoured fighting vehicles at Bovington Camp in Dorset, South West England. I visited the Tank Museum before in 1984, 1997, and 2016, but recently made a return visit.

In the World War One exhibition at the Tank Museum they have a Mark I tank attacking a trench.

This Mark I tank is painted to represent tank number 705, C19 Clan Leslie, as it was on the 15th September 1916.

Later the tanks were painted in a standard green brown scheme, as the camouflage became pointless once the tank was covered in mud.

Though painted as C19, unfortunately the Tank Museum has no idea of the tank’s actual identity. This tank was presented to Lord Salisbury in 1919 to recognise the use of his estate at Hatfield Park for trials of Mother in January and February 1916. His golf course was converted into a battlefield, complete with trenches, parapets, craters and large amounts of mud. This Mark I was displayed outdoors at Hatfield until it came to the Tank Museum in 1970.

The Mark I had steering wheels attached to the back of the tank.

More photographs of the Mark I from a previous visit to the museum.

Challenger 1

At the entrance to the Bovington Tank Museum is a Challenger 1.

This is one of the prototypes of British main battle tank developed in the 1980s, crew of 4, powered by Rolls-Royce Meteor CV12 diesel engine. The production Challenger 1 was fitted with Chobham armour and armed with a 120mm gun and two machine guns.

When I was visiting the museum in 2016 it was hiding…

Hidden Challenger I

There was also a prototype Challenger 1 on display at Duxford.

M24 Chaffee

The Tank Museum is a collection of armoured fighting vehicles at Bovington Camp in Dorset, South West England. I visited the Tank Museum before in 1984, 1997, and 2016, but recently made a return visit.

This M24 Chaffee was on display in the car park.

It has French markings.

The M24 Chaffee  was an American light tank used during the later part of World War II; it was also used in post–World War II conflicts including the Korean War, and by the French in the War in Algeria and the First Indochina War. In British service it was given the service name Chaffee after the United States Army General Adna R. Chaffee Jr., who helped develop the use of tanks in the United States armed forces. Although the M41 Walker Bulldog was developed as a replacement, M24s were not mostly removed from U.S. and NATO armies until the 1960s


The Tank Museum is a collection of armoured fighting vehicles at Bovington Camp in Dorset, South West England. I visited the Tank Museum before in 1984, 1997, and 2016, but recently made a return visit.

In the car park there is an FV432 parked. I find this quite bizarre, that there are armoured vehicles that you can park next to.

The FV432 is the armoured personnel carrier variant in the British Army’s FV430 series of armoured fighting vehicles. Since its introduction in the 1960s, it has been the most common variant, being used for transporting infantry on the battlefield. At its peak in the 1980s, almost 2,500 vehicles were in use.

This British tracked armoured personnel carrier has a crew of 2 with capacity for 10 personnel, powered by Rolls-Royce 6-cylinder multi-fuel engine, armed with one machine gun.

Outside the Land Warfare exhibit at the Imperial War Museum Duxford is an Alvis FV432 APC.

FV 4005 Stage 2

The Tank Museum is a collection of armoured fighting vehicles at Bovington Camp in Dorset, South West England. I visited the Tank Museum before in 1984, 1997, and 2016, but recently made a return visit.

On the approach to the museum is the FV 4005 Stage 2. This is a Centurion variant.

An experimental tank destroyer with a 7.2-inch mm gun L4, which was a modified version of the BL 7.2-inch howitzer.

It’s not only a huge gun, but also a huge turret. However as a SPG artillery piece, this isn’t too critical, no need to be hull down on a hill ridge.

The project started in 1951/52,and developed in July 1955. It used a lightly armoured, fully enclosed and traversable turret on a Centurion hull.

It did look a little worse for wear, looking at the photograph on Wikimedia, you can see at one point it was in much better condition.

Morio, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now there is a lot more rust on the tank.

Bolt Action Home Guard Mark IV (male) World War One Tank

I got this Warlord Games Bolt Action Mark IV (male) British WWI tank model for Christmas.

Bolt Action Mark IV Male Tanks

It consists of mainly resin parts with some metal components.

I have a 15mm Home Guard Mark IV Male, but as I am in the process of building a Bolt Action 28mm Home Guard force, I did want to add some armour to them with a Mark IV Male World War One tank put into service, even if it was merely as a mobile pillbox.

I mentioned this idea in an article I wrote on a French themed Operation Sealion, Otaire de Vigneur.

To add a bit of diversity to my games, I also have one of Minifigs’ World War One British tanks, for use by a Home Guard unit (stolen from a local museum no doubt).

Now when I wrote that article and bought the miniature it was only an assumption and what I thought would be a nice idea, and probably had no basis in truth….

Well just shows a little historical research never hurt anyone, as the Bovington Tank Museum has on display a Mark IV Male tank that was used just in this way. It was used in World War One and then presented to the Navy. When war broke out in September 1939, the Tank Mark IV (Male) number 2324 was refurbished for Home Guard duties; according to the Bovington Tank Museum website.

Our exhibit, a male tank, was presented to the Royal Navy’s Gunnery School, HMS Excellent after the war to commemorate their help training Tank Corps gunners and it was temporarily refurbished for Home Guard duties in 1940. (Believed to have been achieved by removed parts from another tank possibly on Southsea Common.)

This photograph is from HMS Excellent in 1940.

Mark IV at HMS Excellent
Mark IV at HMS Excellent

One thing clear from this photograph is the disruptive camouflage they have used on the tank.

Another view of the Mark IV at speed.

So though I thought my idea was probably if Operation Sealion had happened, I didn’t think and didn’t realise that it had in fact happened despite the fact that the Germans hadn’t invaded.

So as I also have the Royal Navy Section this gives me an excuse to use this model.

So onto building the model.

The first step will be to give the resin parts a wash in soapy water and clean up the metal components.

Canal Defence Light (CDL)

The Canal Defence Light (CDL) was a British “secret weapon” of the Second World War, based upon the use of a powerful carbon-arc searchlight mounted on a tank. It was intended to be used during night-time attacks, when the light would allow enemy positions to be targeted. A secondary use of the light would be to dazzle and disorient enemy troops, making it harder for them to return fire accurately. The name Canal Defence Light was used to conceal the device’s true purpose.

The only surviving CDL-equipped Matilda tank is in the collection of the Royal Armoured Corps at The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, in Britain.

Home Guard Thornycroft Bison

The Bison was an extemporised armoured fighting vehicle frequently characterised as a mobile pillbox. Bisons were produced in Britain during the invasion crisis of 1940-1941. Based on a number of different lorry chassis, it featured a fighting compartment protected by a layer of concrete. Bisons were used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) to protect aerodromes and by the Home Guard. They acquired the generic name “Bison” from their main manufacturer.

This Home Guard Thornycroft Bison was on display at Bovington.

It’s a good illustration of the desperate state of the defence of the United Kingsom in 1940. Take a lorry and add some concrete to turn it into an armoured vehicle. They were really no more than mobile pillboxes.

I have been thinking about converting a lorry for my Home Guard forces.

Cruiser Ram and Ram Kangaroo

The Tank, Cruiser, Ram was a cruiser tank designed and built by Canada in the Second World War, based on the U.S. M3 Medium tank chassis. Due to standardization on the American Sherman tank for frontline units, it was used exclusively for training purposes and was never used in combat as a gun tank.

This Ram tank was at Bovington.

The chassis was used for several other combat roles however, such as a flamethrower tank, observation post, and armoured personnel carrier. There was a Ram Kangaroo at the museum as well.

I remember buying some of Heroics and Ros 1/300th scale Ram Kangaroos back in the 1980s for my Late War British army.