Type IX Heavy Tank 'Pig' in 1/72...
...a resin kit from Den Bels Models
A recent release from Jan Giesbers in his Den Bels range of 1/72 resin models. The Type IX tank was developed at the end of WW1 and due to the war ending, only a small number were actually built. The one survivor is held in the collection of the Tank Museum at Bovington. I for one long held it in my mind as a 'Supply' tank, which indeed it was. It was capable of carrying 10 tons of stores but the main reasoning behind the design was to be that of a troop carrier, perhaps the first APC. No side sponsons but two large doors on each side. It was intended to be able to carry 30 fully armed troops (some say it could have carried 50) to accompany tanks in an assault. There had been attempts to carry some support troops in the earlier Mk V* but the fumes within the tank as it travelled across country tended to render the troops they carried so nauseous that they were incapable of anything once they arrived at enemy trenches. Hence the design for the Type IX on an extended chassis to be purely an Infantry Carrier. It came too late to see any use before the war ended, and only had a short service life afterwards. Perhaps oddly, it saw the end of a specialised Infantry Carrier to accompany tanks into combat until part way through WW2. Mind you, there were no seats for them! Today the APC is common to most armies.
The model is neatly detailed and cleanly cast in only 7 parts. These are the 2x track units, a one piece central body, two rails plus the unditching beam and the exhaust box. Clean off the casting blocks of the body and track units carefully, and assembly is quick and simple with superglue. Give it a coat of primer and then paint, in this case a khaki brown, as seen on the survivor at Bovington. Helpfully, transfers for two examples are included, and these are provided by Black Lion Decals.
I now have mine built and painted, a darker wash to get some colour variation and the transfers applied. Tracks are painted in Vallejo Gunmetal grey and then a good coating of Ammo track wash. Just some light weathering to be done, which will be light. Great to have another WW1 tank to add to a model collection. They are also doing an experimental version which was tried apparently, with drums fitted to one for testing on a reservoir here in the UK as an early 'amphibious' tank.
I got mine at On Track in February 2019 and they are available online through the shop for Black Lion Decals.