Mark VIII “The International” Tank

This Mark VIII “The International” Tank was on display at Bovington Tank Museum. It is the last remaining survivor of the six Mark VIII tanks which were completed for Britain.

Mark VIII "The International" Tank

When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917 the US Army started to look at tanks. They favoured the American Renault as their light tank but used British Mark V and Mark V* tanks for their heavy battalion. However they had their own ideas on tank design and, in co-operation with the British Tank Corps came up with a new heavy tank design for 1919.

The Mark VIII tank also known as the Liberty or The International was an Anglo-American tank design of the First World War intended to overcome the limitations of the earlier British designs and be a collaborative effort to equip France, the UK and the US with a single heavy tank design.

Production at a site in France was expected to take advantage of US industrial capacity to produce the automotive elements, with the UK producing the armoured hulls and armament. The planned production levels would have equipped the Allied armies with a very large tank force that would have broken through the German defensive positions in the planned offensive for 1919. In practice manufacture was slow and only a few vehicles were produced before the end of the war in November 1918.

Many people have thought that the tank used in the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade film was a Mark VIII. However that tank was specially created for the film, inspired though somewhat by the Mark VIII.

Tank from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

I had meant to buy what I thought was a Copplestone Castings’ Mark IX Beast, a similar model of the Indiana Jones tank, but it appeared that it was no longer manufactured or sold by North Star Figures.

So it appeared that it wasn’t even a Copplestones Castings, but was by the Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company (HLBSCo).

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.

Mark IX Beast

Tanking in the Last Crusade

Tank from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

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.

Now regular readers of my blog may remember this photo.

The Talisman Archaeologist from Talisman Timescape

The Talisman Archaeologist from Talisman Timescape is very much an Indy lookalike and many years ago I started to formulate a series of rules and background for creating games in an Indiana Jones style universe that was called Tally Ho!

I always wanted to get a World War One era tank to fit into the game and recreate that battle with the tank from the Last Crusade film.

Well now I can get a 28mm tank just like that one from the film. Copplestone Castings have released the K64 Mark IX Beast Super-Heavy Tank and Accessory Pack.

Mark IX Beast

This is an almost perfect replica of that tank from that film.

Really impressed with the look and quality, might get one. As for rules, well I will probably mash up the rules from The Great War with the Old West. Or even just the Great War rules.

Talisman Archaeologist

This is probably one of my all-time favourite miniatures, the Talisman Archaeologist.

Talisman Archaeologist

The model was one of the many Talisman miniatures released in the late 1980s and was from the Talisman Timescape supplement. Obviously a pastiche of Indiana Jones he came with a whip and a pistol and of course a fedora hat! I did have all the Talisman miniatures, but in the end sold virtually all of them on eBay as I knew I was never going to get round to painting them all. However I kept “Indy”.

"Talisman

Considering I painted this in the 1980s I am quite pleased with the paintjob, I like the sheen the leather jacket has and the matt of the trousers. I think I may have been able to do the flesh better, but it appears to work.

I am thinking of using the Old West rules for some 1930s pulp adventures, however I will need to paint some more miniatures, one adventurer won’t be enough.

As for the scenery, I can’t remember who made these Aztec style ruins, they were resin and very easy to paint.

Playing with Lego


After posting my last blog posting on a Lego video game, I should point out that there are also versions of Lego Harry Potter for other platforms including the Mac and other platforms. There are also other Lego games for other films and these are quite a lot of fun too.
One the many games that are out that I have enjoyed is Indiana Jones. I have the first version on the PS3 and have played the same port on the Mac.
As with all the Lego games, there is a tongue in cheek humour about the game and this is not a Legolisation of the films, no this is Lego Indiana Jones, it looks and feels like Indianan Jones, but isn’t a copy or a duplicate, it is special in it’s own right! This has all the fun aspects of the films, but in Lego.
As with other Lego games, there are puzzles and strategies you need to do before you can move onto the next level. Freeplay means that even if you finish all the levels, this doesn’t mean you have finished the game. The little film clips are amusing and cleverly done.
Quite like the idea of the sequel which is available on the Mac.

LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues combines the fun and creative construction of LEGO bricks with the wits, daring and non-stop action of one of cinema’s best loved adventure heroes. With a unique and hilarious take on all the Indiana Jones films – including for the first time ever Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – LEGO Indiana Jones 2 follows Dr. Jones’ escapades from the jungles of South America to the Peruvian Ruins and beyond.

You can get LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure for the Mac and other platforms, Wii, PS3, Xbox and Nintendo DS. The first Lego Indiana Jones is also available.
The other Lego game I like is Star Wars and there are now quite a few versions out.

I have played the Complete Saga on the PSP (well part two) and the Mac.

This is the definitive LEGO Star Wars comprising the first two games and expanding them with new characters, enhanced visuals, and more bonus levels than you can shake a lightsaber at.
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga is a family-friendly game, which is both funny and challenging. Pick and choose your characters wisely to engage in combat, solve puzzles and work together as a team to defeat the dark side.

Like the other Lego games, much of the same kind of play, but in the Star Wars universe. Like Indy there is a tongue in cheek aspect to the game and the little film clips, which makes this great fun for all the family.
Quite looking forward now to playing Lego Pirates of the Caribbean having recently had a quick go in the local computer store.

Never liked the films though….

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull out on DVD

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is now out on DVD. Get Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull from Amazon.co.uk.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Though I know a lot of people were disappointed and some reviews were bad, I really enjoyed it.
I am guessing that as a result of the reactions and reviews I had lower expectations than those cinema-goers who went in the week of release and had really high expectations.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Was it perfect?
Well no, but I liked it, I liked the nod to the previous fims (ie Marcus) and even the Young Indiana Jones’ Chronicles.
As for “nuke the fridge”, I am afraid I do agree with the internet community sentiment on that.
From a gaming perspective, lots of wonderful ideas. I do like the idea of using Soviets as the bad guys.
I am already working on and planning an Area 51 scenario as a result of that scene in the film.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Tonight I was lucky enough to (eventually) go and see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Though I know a lot of people were disappointed and some reviews were bad, I really enjoyed it.
I am guessing that as a result of the reactions and reviews I had lower expectations than those cinema-goers who went in the week of release and had really high expectations.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Was it perfect?
Well no, but I liked it, I liked the nod to the previous fims (ie Marcus) and even the Young Indiana Jones’ Chronicles.
As for “nuke the fridge”, I am afraid I do agree with the internet community sentiment on that.
From a gaming perspective, lots of wonderful ideas. I do like the idea of using Soviets as the bad guys.
I am already working on and planning an Area 51 scenario as a result of that scene in the film.

Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones

I was lucky enough for my last birthday to get volume one of the Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones.
I have aways enjoyed the Indiana Jones and have been playing around with games in an Indiana Jones’esque type environment, Tally Ho!
There are quite a few gaming ideas that come out of the Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones. The series is very much based around historical events.
One episode which inspired me was set in Princeton (in 1916) and involved a lot of car chases (with an old Model T Ford), German spies, local police, Naval Intelligence and bicycles.
Thinking about a few scenarios based around these ideas.

Indiana Jones takes $126m

Indiana Jones takes $126m
BBC reports on how well Indiana Jones has done at the cinema.

The new Indiana Jones film has shot to the top of the North American box office chart, taking $126m (£63.7m) in its first four days on release.
Released 19 years after the last Indiana Jones film, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opened on Thursday following mixed reviews at Cannes.

Still have yet to see it myself, hopefully soon. In the meantime why not look at some photographs inspired by Indiana Jones.
Buy Indiana Jones stuff from Amazon

The fifth Indiana Jones movie….

Last night I watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on the BBC and really enjoyed it. Why I watched it on the TV when I have it on DVD is a different question!
This week sees the launch of the fourth instalment in cinemas, nearly twenty years after the Last Crusade hit the screen. I am hoping to get to see it, though I don’t go to the cinema as much as a I use to.
According to the BBC this instalment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, may not be the last.

Steven Spielberg has said he is happy to make another Indiana Jones movie if fans enjoy the long-awaited fourth film, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Read more.
There is a possibility then that there may be a fifth (or even a sixth) instalment.
I have enjoyed the first three Indiana Jones’ movies and even at one time contemplated writing a series of rules which were inspired by the films.
Not Indiana Jones…
With the new film, I may revisit the rules and see if I can put them on the web. In the meantime have a look at some pictures.