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WWI MKIV 'replica' movie tank at Bovington.

Article about: An MKIV tank from the easily forgettable movie 'War Horse' at Bovington. Whilst the movie was nothing to write home about, I must give it a thumbs up for several items of kit. The MKIV being

  1. #1

    Default WWI MKIV 'replica' movie tank at Bovington.

    An MKIV tank from the easily forgettable movie 'War Horse' at Bovington.

    Whilst the movie was nothing to write home about, I must give it a thumbs up for several items of kit.

    The MKIV being one of them.

    Even though the tank only plays a minor role in the tearjerker, the degree of realism is relatively high.

    Seems Im not the only one to think so according to the bloke in this segment:

    The 'War Horse' Tank - YouTube

    Though purists might turn up their noses at a 'replica,' this one has one big advantage over most WWI tanks; it runs.

    Article on the beast:

    The Tank Museum at Bovington in Dorset has acquired the working replica World War I tank used in the hit Stephen Spielberg movie War Horse.

    Fully operational, the meticulous copy of a British Mk IV is set to go on display at the museum when the film is released later this week. It will also be a star attraction in Tank-fest, the Dorset-based Museum's popular working tank displays later in the year.

    The tank was based on the museum's own example of a Mark IV and built by OSCAR award-wining special effects company Neil Corbould Special Effects LTD, following several visits to the museum in 2010.

    "The vehicle is a wonderful re-creation with all the presence and menace of the real thing," said museum curator David Willey. "But inside, it remains simple and modern."

    Built around the engine, transmission and track from a modern commercial excavator, the special effects company, which also has credits on Saving Private Ryan and Gladiator, studied original documents relating to the Mark IV held in the Tank Museum archive.

    The tank makes a brief appearance in the movie, which is the latest adaptation of the popular children's novel by Michael Morpurgo, telling the moving and harrowing tale of a horse and its relations with the various people it meets before and during the course of the First World War.

    The movie connection is going to be a draw, but for the museum the replica offers a perfect solution to the need for a working World War One tank.

    "We obtained this replica because with the World War One centenaries approaching, we wanted a working example of a tank that was representative of that conflict," added Willey..

    "For conservation reasons, we are no longer able to run any of our own vehicles from this period. We have long been investigating the possibility of building our own replica, so when this vehicle became available to us we were eager to acquire it."

    Tank Museum acquires replica Mark IV World War I Tank from Steven Spielberg's War Horse | Culture24
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2


    It was a odd looking tank I must say and it was junk in the mud but thanks for posting scout! they did a good job replicating it

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    Good to see

    A fantastic film

    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  4. #4


    Back where it rightfully belongs at the place where it all started almost 100 years agoI did a thread on the twin to this which was used in "The Magic Flute",thanks scout for posting.........

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    nice post.

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    I would have hated to be part of the crew in one of those, i'd have preferred to take my chances in the trenches!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.

    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  7. #7


    Quote by Gunny Hartmann View Post
    I would have hated to be part of the crew in one of those, i'd have preferred to take my chances in the trenches!...
    Indeed. Not a very nice 'work enviroment.' Puts it into perspective, when people bitch about their office chairs not being the latest model.

    Your words reminded me of a rundown of one of my favourite tanks, that I was just perusing. Try reading the following - a safety inspector would have his work cut out for him.

    Ohhh, and guess the tank!

    The driver has just two episcopes to see out of. In tight maneuvering he has to have a ground observer direct him. He has little feel for if the vehicle is moving at low speeds due to the overall noise and vibration. That means it is possible for him to have the vehicle creeping forward and not know it.
    He is also dead if the vehicle takes a hit and burns etc. He is literally the last man out after the gunner and loader all three of which have to climb out the small loader's hatch.

    The gunner sits behind the driver. He has the worst (smallest) traverse of any (X) SP on his gun making following a crossing target nearly impossible. That makes it much more likely he will have to coordinate with the driver and commander to move the vehicle to take on a target too. Other than his gun sight he has no way of seeing out of the vehicle. This means he contributes nothing to finding targets and will have difficultly getting the gun on one due to the limited range of vision his sight has. Worse, at close range the sight being on top of the vehicle can be blanked off by the vehicle roof.

    The loader, behind the driver, is also the radio operator. He is handicapped by the gun being on the right of the vehicle and all his ammunition being on the far side of the gun. He must therefore reach over or under the gun to get a shell to load. The gun recoil protection bracket also is the reverse of standard (X) practice so it is in the way as the loader is on the wrong side of the gun making that along with operating the breech harder.
    Then he also has to avoid the handles of the machinegun sticking down in the compartment. If he has to reload the machinegun (another task he has) then he has to completely expose himself on top of the vehicle to get the 50 round drum changed out.
    A crew also better hope the machinegun is not faced such that it blocks the loader's hatch in an emergency. That could complicate things...
    The commander is isolated from the crew on the right side of the vehicle by the gun. His little space is carved out of part of the engine compartment. He has just a bionocular periscope for vision and even then is so far back on the vehicle his forward vision is blocked by it much of the time. That means he needs to be head out or more to see what's going on. He can only communicate with the crew by intercom. Hand signals are impossible to use.

    Visibility from the vehicle is terrible.
    The gun has a poor rate of fire (due to the loading arrangements) and lousy arc of fire.
    The armor is poor except to the front of the vehicle.
    Access for the crew makes it a death trap in the event of a penetrating hit. The only likely survivor is the commander most of the time.
    Close defense is near zero as it is limited to the 50 rounds in the remote control machinegun that is nearly worthless as there is no real way to aim it anyway.

    Cramped, noisy, and inefficent the (X) was definitely a poor compromise of a vehicle.

  8. #8


    I probably know it but not sure if i can answer :P
    There was one for sale on Ebay recently.

  9. #9


    Very cool. While watching that youtube clip, this one popped up.
    German tank Mephisto restoration (21 July 2013) - YouTube

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