Saturday, 29 September 2012

Matilda Queen of the Desert Part 6

Part 6

                                            Matilda Tank Suspension 

this was on the first production tanks later the carrying wheels was replaced by skid rails which were easier to produce.

                                                            Matilda Proto-Type 

The picture above is a early proto-type  as you can see the Tank is very bare,behind the turrett at the rear of the tank the is measureing equipment also the mud chutes have been attached and you can see they worked well going by the stains on the side.

the must important note of the later designs was the armour protection which was impressive for the time.
The Hull front was a massive 78mm the thinnest plates was 20mm which made the tank able to withstand any form of anti-tank or most othe forms of artillery

                                                             Matilda the Queen

I just think there is something special  about this tank.

My next model I am making is an British universal carrier MkII picture below.

The reason I have done Matilda and now the Universal carrier is that it was the first armour vehicles that the British used in WW2


Monday, 24 September 2012

Matilda Queen of the Desert Part 5

Part 5

The first idea for a larger tank was back in September 1936 three months of haggling over designs led to the
problem of a suitable engine and a search for a contractor which was The Vulcan Foundry in Cheshire.
In 1937 two co-axial  machine guns was in the first design but a 2 Pounder Anti-Tank gun and a Vickers
machine Gun.

                                                          British 2 Pounder Anti-Tank Gun

At the early stages of WW2 this was the most powerful Anti-Tank Gun and was the reason it was wanted on an Infantry Tank. The next problem was to find an powerful engine suitable enough, to solve the problem
of power two engines adopted same idea that the whippet used in WW1

                                                             WW1 Whippet Tank

The Chosen engine was from a London Bus a AEC straight six-Cylinder water cooled.
Two engines was placed side by side in the back half of the Tank 

                                                    AEC Straight Six-Cylinder Engine                                         

Having twin engine also double maintenance time the only thing better about having twins was if a engine failed they  could limp the tank home.

                                                           Matilda engine

The Suspension used was known as the Japanese type first designed by Vickers-Armstrongs for a medium c tank sold to the Japanese in it got known as Japanese style.

                                                               Matilda Suspension


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Matilda Queen of the Desert Part 4

Part 4

     This part I will deal with my model I manage to get hold of a Tamiya 1.35 scale Matilda. I got a good deal on Ebay  £12 so was well happy with that deal. I am a big fan of Tamiya kits my Tiger 1 was a Tamiya kit as well

A few pics of the modeling process

After I had put the kit together I transported it down to the Angry Lurkers man Cave ready to have a go at
painting it.
I primed it with a base coat then painted it with Desert yellow which I allowed to dry.
I had been reading in a model magazine about Tamiya weathering packs which have 3 different weathering paints in each pack Mud sand soot etc got them cheap on amazon and Ebay.

Fran dry brushed the model and then applied some weathering paints, to me it looks fab once I got the Tank back home I added the decals looks even better now.

  Here are a few pictures of the Tank completed                         


Monday, 10 September 2012

Matilda Queen of the Desert Part 3

Part 3

Colonel M A Studd made two provisos the design was to be cheap the second it had to be ready within six months the code name for the plans was Matilda

The project wasn't challenging and was ready in  September1936 and for testing by the (MEE)
Mechanisation Experimental Establishment. it wasn't an Large machine by any means
it had a single Vickers machine Gun a small turret the commanders head and shoulders near enough
filled the turret space

                                                                Matilda MK 1

The driver was located  ahead of the commanded in a very cramped compartment when the hatch was open
it fouled the gun. The engine an 70hp Ford V8 was located behind the turret the suspension was designed from a Dragon medium MK1V artillery Tractor in all with it Armour etc it weighed nearly 11 tons but the MEE always said it was a heavy tank its top speed was 8 mph which was ok for infantry pace.

the little tanks were designed to be used against specific targets in large numbers but they were just
motorize machine guns.they were never order in large numbers a contract for 60 was placed with Vickers
and a repeat order ten days later in 1938 and a last order in 1939 only 19 was made. a change in policy
because war was coming  it was decided to produce a cannon army tank to be known as Matilda senior

                                                     Vickers machine gun

Vickers Machine Gun being fired



Friday, 7 September 2012

Matilda Queen of the desert Part 2

Part 2

The inspector Royal Tank Corps Major General P,C.S Hobart detailed the two plans.
1) a inconspicuous Tank moderately well armoured and equipped with a machine gun. in mass numbers to swamp the enemy.
2) a larger type Tank mounting a cannon and armour to with stand  field artillery fire

the final decision rested with master-General of the Ordnance General Sir Hugh Elles the Tank corps Commanded in France during WW1. he favoured the Infantry tanks but he was limited by peace time funds and had to opt for the smaller tank.

                                                                    Matilda Mk 1

in October 1935 Sir John Carden head  of Tank design for Vickers- Armstrong LTD attended a meeting with the War office with Colonel M.A Studd. Sir John left with a draft proposal for a two man tank arm with a machine gun

                                                                   Sir John Carden

One of Sir John Carden designs



Monday, 3 September 2012

Matilda Queen of the Desert

Part 1

In the first two years of world war 2 Matilda was near enough invincible. The Germans and the Italians named her Queen of the Desert. it was the main  British infantry tank in the early years of WW2

                                                       Matilda Queen of the Desert  MK 2

Matilda MK1

it eventually got outclassed but the Germans powerful anti Tank weapons it remained a power in South-East Pacific and was kept in service by the Australian forces until the end of the world war.2

1929 the Chief of the Imperial General Staff  ordered a broad review of organisations in the British Army
due to the progress of Mechanization he started with the infantry and two brigades the each were designated for experimental purposes each supported by a light tank battalion which were tiny Carden-Loyd MK VI
the were entirely unsuited for this purposes during exercises it became apparent that the infantry expected the Tanks to break through enemy lines which meant a slow moving tank was needed and also able to absorb heavy attacks

                                                          Carden-Loyd MK VI

In 1939 thoughts were turning towards a tank designed for this an Infantry tank

                                                                Matilda MK 1