Mark IX Beast, or that tank from Indiana Jones!

Probably my favourite Indiana Jones film is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The combination of archaeology, mythology, nazi soldiers and lots of wonderful pulp action. Watching it recently I was reminded of that tank!

Though we know it wasn’t real, and though we know that there was no actual historical version of it; I am sure most of us who have thought about recreating the Indiana Jones films on the table have wanted to use that tank.

Yes the tank from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Tank from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

It appears at first glance to be a Mark VIII with a turret, the reality was that it was built specially for the film and was built up from an excavator.

Mechanical effects supervisor George Gibbs said this movie was the most difficult one of his career. He visited a museum to negotiate renting a small French World War I tank, but decided he wanted to make one. The tank was based on the tank Mark VIII, which was thirty-six feet (eleven meters) long, and weighed twenty-five tons. Gibbs built the tank over the framework of a twenty-five ton excavator, and added 6.4 ton tracks, that were driven by two automatic hydraulic pumps, each connected to a Range Rover V8 engine. Gibbs built the tank from steel, rather than aluminum or fiberglass, because it would allow the realistically suspensionless vehicle to endure the rocky surfaces. Unlike its historical counterpart, which had only the two side guns, the tank had a turret gun added as well. It took four months to build, and was transported to Almería on a Short Belfast plane, and then a low loader truck.

Tank from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

I wrote back in 2012 about finding a 28mm model of the tank. I did think about buying it back then, but put off my purchase. I thought back then it was a Copplestone Castings model, the reality was that it wasn’t from Copplestone Castings.

So it appeared that it wasn’t even a Copplestones Castings, but was by the Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company (HLBSCo), alas that company no longer is around.

Sometimes you should buy things when you see them and not wait…

So it was originally designed and manufactured by the Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company (HLBSCo) they were small and relatively new. I even remember discussing licensing the models for a commercial version of Tally Ho!

So I did some searching on the Google and found that the tank is available today with the other HLBSCo models from Empress Miniatures.

Well I made the leap and have ordered the tank from Empress Miniatures. This is the photograph of the model on their website.

Mark IX Beast

Now just waiting for it to arrive.

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