Monday, 16 September 2013

Ancient IFV - Whippet Mk.A

The Whippet Mk.A was a light tank or support tank designed and build during the first world war. It's purpose was to serve as a faster tank as the Mk.IV's making it able to exploit weaknesses in the enemy's lines better than the slow Mk.IV's. It's maximum speed was about 13 km/h (twice that of the Mk.IV) and it was armed with 4 machine guns. The whippet had two engines in front and a crew cabin for 3 men on the rear side of the vehicle. From an operational viewpoint the Whippet was quite a success and was used after the first world war as well. It was not made to combat other tanks however, a Whippet encountered an enemy tank (an A7V) in WWI only once and was destroyed. Considering it's armor, armament, buildup an role I would say this vehicle is the first IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) rather then a MBT (Main Battle Tank). The major difference between a IFV and Whippet is that the Whippet is not able to carry a small group of infantry. I think it's modern equivalent would be the FV101 Scorpion or Scimitar. About 200 where made,the first whippet saw action in 1918 and after the war a few where exported to Russia and Japan. The Germans also captured two vehicles but they where used for tests and trials only.

Emhar is the only manufacturer making an plastic model of the Whippet in 1/72 scale (and 1/35) for as far as I am aware. The model is made out of less then 20 parts. The model is very easy to build although a little care has to be taken to make sure the cabin is constructed properly.

Decals are provided for English, German, Japanese and Russian examples.

The Whippet next to a Marder, a modern german IFV:

Recommended for everyone wanting to build a very strange looking vehicle. To me it wasn't clear at all what the front and rear part was for example (the part with the cabin was the rear it turns out). Recommended for absolute beginners also.

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