British Heavy Tank Mk.V Female

Published: August 17th, 2016     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: Meng Models
Price: $73.99
Product / Stock #: TS-029

I've always had a thing for World War 1 armor. Or perhaps I should say I was into World War One before it was cool. What this means is that for the longest time, if I wanted something in this scale, I had to make it myself. Later, Emhar released a series of lozenge tanks which, although extremely crude, gave you the basic shapes to do something with if you had the skills and inclination. Over time I've happily made every kit they issued, and spent hours improving them to reasonable standards.

In the last couple of years, of course, this situation has dramatically changed. Several companies have leapt onto the bandwagon and released true state-of-the-art models from this time period. This Mk. V Female by Meng turned out to be my first dive into the new pantheon of models and it was quite an eye-opener. It features superb surface detail, opening hatches, scale chain, photoetch and a host of extras that I was salivating to dig into. So, well provided for, I moved on to the build.

Like most lozenge tanks, this one is built mostly from a hull, two track runs and the weapon sponsons. The first stage of the build involved the track runs and associated wheels and other details. A note here - although there are a LOT of little wheels to assemble, there's no point in knocking yourself out at this stage as they're virtually invisible upon completion. I didn't even bother cleaning the sprue marks off. Instead, I just assembled them so the sprue points were on the same side, and glued them with the clean side out.

While I was prepping the track runs, I became aware of the lovely detail molded on the inside of the units. Clearly, the interior supplied with the Male version of this kit must be a sight to see. However, since none of what was still supplied would be visible on completion I elected to install only the interior detail that strengthened the build, reserving the other bits for the parts box.

Unlike the wheels the tracks deserve a little attention as they are obviously quite visible. Cleanup is relatively easy, and the track runs snap together and will hold as long as you don't flex them too much. This certainly helps in fitting them around the runs. About ten extra track links are included, which is adequate. I lost a couple to the Carpet God and a couple others were mismolded, so it's not too many by any means. Be careful of the pins as they're easy to damage.

Building the central hull is mostly slapping flat plates together, and proceeds quickly. Once that's done you can add the superstructure and start putting the little gunslot flaps on. Be aware that there are NO extra photoetch gun flaps supplied, so be careful with these tiny pieces. Take your time with the muffler pipe as it wanders over the hull roof a bit. Ditto with the unditching rails.

By now you should have the basic structure and tracks assembled, so it's on to the sponsons. An interesting feature of this kit is that it permits you to build the folded traveling sponsons as well as the normal fighting arrangement. I can see some interesting dioramas coming out of that. In addition, the kit includes the semaphore system, the unhitching beam and trench crossing crib, so there's a lot you can add to the model without digging into your spares box.

Painting, of course, is where the fun comes in, as you get to test all your weathering techniques out at once. I weathered mine in a "general" way so as not to obscure the details, but I intend to go further when I'm ready to place this on a diorama.

So in the end, what do you get for your money? You get a highly detailed, easily assembled model of an iconic World War One tank with all the fixin's. I really can't complain about a single aspect of this build. My one regret is that they did not include the full interior of their companion model, but that might have raised the price to an unseemly degree. Still, it would have been lovely.

Five gold stars for this wonderful kit. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in this fascinating period in warfare. My hats off to Meng Models for making a masterpiece, and to IPMS/USA for entrusting me with this sample.

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Meng 1/35 WW1 vehicles

Just read Gino's review of the meng female tank. A great piece of information and his enthusiasm really shone through. I am currently building this kit (taking a break from 1/350 ships!) And am enjoying myself thoroughly. I would highly recommend this kit to modellers of all levels as it falls together and no aftermarket stuff is required. More reviews and build articles of this fascinating period please!

Many thanks and blessings to all

Andy Sinclair

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