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Tankette – The MAFVA Magazine


Tankette Volume 52/5

This issue is available in digital form to MAFVA members only in the Member’s Area of this website.

Tom Cole has handed over the editorship of Tankette to Robin Buckland, a name familiar to most of us in MAFVA, who is bringing a vast amount of knowledge and experience into the role. I must take this opportunity to thank Tom for his years of hard work in developing Tankette and overcoming the trials and tribulations inherent in the role.

So in his first issue Robin has started off with the cover shot of past Chairman John Ham with current Chairman Paul Gandy.

On page two, making use of the available colour, Robin has used material from the Gary Williams archive that was sent in by Peter Leslie way back in 1967.  As pointed out, we now have numerous books covering the arcane markings found on British armour, back then it was but a few ‘good men’ digging the information out.

On page three are the usual official notices, contact details and Robin uses the editorial to introduce himself.

The next article is a report on the MAFVA visit to the Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry Museum at Hever Castle, as guests of curator (and long-time MAFVA member) Dan Taylor.  The excellent report is supported by period photos supplied by Dan from the KSY Museum archives from the inter-war period right up to the modern day units.

Dick Harley treats us to the next article which reviews the recent kit from Hobby Boss  of the Vickers Medium Tank Mark II*.  He points out a few flaws and advises on improving or leaving be with the kit. Included with the text are two period photos which illustrate the discussed details.

An unusual source of materials is then presented with bolt heads which our research officer, Chris Lloyd-Staples, found being used in infant schools in art classes as snowflakes!

Page 8 concerns the upcoming election of officers for 2018.

We then have an article from David Fletcher on the Carden-Loyd one-man Tankette, wheel & track, T & TTEE No. 61. This is followed by his article on the Carden-Loyd two man Tankette, T & TTEE No. 65. Both articles on the inter-war designs are profusely illustrated and give an excellent insight to tank development.

Chris Lloyd-Staples provides the next piece, which is a review of the Deluxe Materials ballast Magic Kit. A totally different approach to making groundwork on dioramas, it is well worth a look.

The AFV Club kit of the M60A1 Patton comes under scrutiny by Mark Hazzard as he builds the kit and notes the positives and negatives.  This is a must read for anyone considering building the kit, and also indicates the uses for spares not used for this version.

The following two pages are filled with book reviews which help readers choice book purchases.

David fletcher returns with an article on the ‘other’ Dragons, all very interesting developments from the inter-war years, again well illustrated with period photos to support the text.

Robin then gives us a page of photos to give the flavour of the 2017 MAFVA Nationals, hopefully of interest to those unable to attend in person. The 2018 Nationals are booked for Sunday June 24th, again at the Burgess Hall in St Ives, Cambridgeshire (Not Cornwall!).  Well worth attending if you can get there.

More material from the gary Williams archive appears on the inside back cover of a civilian conversion of an SdKfz 251 that has been transformed for use on a French farm. It has the outer road wheels and armour removed, bonnet, cab and seats from a GMC added, as well as a lifting boom and dozer blade. Happy memories from a MAFVA trip I made back in the ‘70’s.

The back cover carries information on the new MAFVA website, , illustrated with excerpts from a few of the pages.

Well done Robin, an excellent first issue.                                  Paul Middleton 1528     21/10/2017


Tankette Vol 52/4     

This issue is available in digital form to MAFVA members only in the Member’s Area of this website.

The new Tankette has arrived and is a bumper bundle of interesting and useful articles. The cover photo is Paul Badmans’ Mclaren Road Locomotive which won ‘Best of Show’ at this year’s MAFVA Nationals.
Page two has a report on the Euro Model Expo at Lingen in Germany by Peter Vierhout. This international event was well supported and seems to be an excellent show. Photos give a taste of what was on display, including some of our MAFVA ambassadors. More photos appear on the back cover of this issue.
This is Tom Cole’s last issue as editor and his editorial thanks all those who have supported his tenure, plus wishing Robin Buckland well as he takes over.
The first article is by Peter Davenport and concerns building a 1/76th scale model of the Citroen TAMH Ambulance. This follows on, and incorporates a bit more information from his earlier drawing which appeared in an earlier Tankette. An involved and detailed article.
Next we have a review of the Vickers Medium Tank Mark II from Hobby Boss by Dick Harley. Dick lists several suggestions to improve the kit or correct details. As always, references are listed.
We then have a pair of photos taken by John Ham of the Soviet Molodets Missile Train on display at the Oktyabrskaya Railway Museum, not something the average modeller gets a chance to see.
Chris Lloyd-Staples provides two reviews of books from David Doyle; 251 Half-tracks and the M48 Patton. Independent reviews such as this are always useful when selecting purchases.
The editor has done well to tie the last book review with the centre-spread plan which is a 1/35th scale four-view drawing of the M48A2 by Hubert Cance. Most useful when building the current kits of this vehicle.
The Medium Dragon Mk IV gun tractor is described by David Fletcher on page twelve, supported by four period photos. This fills in more gaps in the history of tracked artillery.
David Fletcher also provides the next article on the early Carden-Loyds. He starts with the Carden-Loyd One-Man Tankette Number 1 (T&TEE N0. 50) and progresses to the Number 2. The fascinating story of the development of this peculiar AFV is described in detail including the various trials. Plenty of photographs amply illustrate these developments and the trials themselves.
Tom Cole writes an excellent piece on the little-known MP-1 Czechoslovak flame thrower tank, providing a history of its origins, design, and development of the three prototypes. The vehicle never went into production. The article is supported by a scale drawing in what appears to be 1/35th scale and two photographs.
The last article is part two of the T-10, the last ‘Stalin’ Tank by James Kinnear, and covers preserved examples. In describing these survivors, James is careful to point out that not all are ‘standard’ examples, and that the tanks in Kubinka should be regarded with scepticism, as many are prototypes or development models. As you might expect James has provide a good few photos, both general and detail.
Well done Tom, your swansong is a good’un! Paul Middleton 30/08/2017

Tankette Vol 52/3

Starting with a superb eye-catching image of a restored Cromwell running at speed on the cover, the latest Tankette is filled cover-to-cover with fascinating and useful articles.

The inside front cover shows various images from this all new MAFVA website. Page three carries the usual contact addresses for officers, the contents list, and notices.

The first article is by Dick Harley entitled ‘Reality Check: The Tank Mark IV updated’, in which he reviews the latest Takom kit (02076) depicting the Mark IV Male or Female. Using period photos to illustrate details, Dick covers the unditching gear, low rails and high beams. He also suggests further reading to increase our understanding of the subject.

Peter Davenport continues his series of inter-war vehicles with the Dragon Mk III Medium Artillery Tractor. He describes the various changes from the MkII* to the Mk III, and also points out some revisions needed in his previous plan. In the centrespread of this issue peter also provides a 1/35th scale seven-view drawing which includes a sectional view, greatly helping any model-making.

In conjunction with Peter’s work David Fletcher has also contributed a two page piece on the Dragon Mk III, with seven photographs to support the text.

Two pages of book reviews follow describing four books of very different material.

A very different vehicle is the subject of the next article, which is by Ley Reynolds, and describes the use of the Renault FT in China.  Some detailed research has gone into this, and I for one have learnt a bit more about the long-serving FT. Four photographs are included with the article.

James Kinnear shares his research on the T-10, The Last “Stalin” Tank, with part 1. Compiling information on the development and design changes of this Soviet heavy tank, and adding in many photographs, makes this is an excellent article.  James has also included factory drawings and the first part of this article closes with colour photographs of surviving examples on the rear cover.

Another splendid Tankette!                                                                        Paul Middleton 11/07/2017



TANKETTE Volume 52/2
The second issue of 2017 has arrived and provides another feast of AFV based interest.
The cover features a Tiger 1 diorama rather reminiscent of the scene in the Land Warfare Hall at IWM Duxford with the ‘Hollywood’ Tiger replica.
Page 2 brings us a neat article by Mark Gilbert on how he built his 1/35th Caernarvon tank from the Dragon Black Label Conqueror.  He also includes a potted history of the tank development of the time, and photos illustrate the construction. Quite a project!
Page three carries the regular contact information and notices, plus the editorial where Tom Cole announces that he will be stepping down and handing over the editorship to Robin Buckland, well known for his past work with Military Modelling.
Next we have an introduction by Mike Gill of South Wales MAFVA to a pamphlet that he has penned on the Bedford QL and variants. A page of photos from the archives show various QL variants.
Peter Davenport continues to bring us information on the inter-war AFV’s, and in this issue he covers the Dragon Mk II* Medium Artillery Tractor.  We get over a page of text describing the vehicle and then a six view set of 1/35th scale drawings, which would make building a scale model relatively easy.
We then have the latest in Dick Harley’s ‘Reality check’, this time he reviews the Takom kits of the Male & Female Mark I. As always, Dick includes photographs and drawings to support the three pages of text where he lists the problems and inaccuracies of the kits.
Scattered through the magazine are several book reviews which may prove tempting for some of us.
The final article in this issue is by Alan Brown and he describes how he scratch-built his 1/35th scale ‘Green Goddess’, or Bedford RLHZ Mobile Pump, to use its full title. This includes photos of the build, the completed model and working drawings. The scale drawings by Mick Bell appeared in Tankettes Vol. 36/1 & 37/2, Vol. 17/2 had an excellent 1/35th scale plan of the Bedford RLB, while Malcolm Smart provided the same vehicle in Vol. 22/6. These will help scratch builders even more.
The back cover features the flyer for this years MAFVA Nationals at Burgess Hall, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, on Sunday June 18th.  Nice one Tom!

Paul Middleton

We are fortunate to have the photographic works of John Woolford for the covers of most issues of Tankette. Please note that John holds the copyright on these pictures and they should not be reproduced without his permission, but we’re sure John would be prepared to offer high quality prints of the originals of these pictures at a most reasonable price if anyone would like a framed print to decorate the wall of their model making studio. Contact John directly at woolford113(at)


10/05/2017 TANKETTE VOL 52/1

This issue is available in digital form to MAFVA members only in the Member’s Area of this website.

The first Tankette of 2017 came back from the printers just in time for distribution at On Track, giving the members attending an added bonus.

The cover carries a full page image of a restored Stug III Ausf. D from the lens of John Woolford.

On page two we get the third instalment of Mike Gill’s article on building a British armoured train of 1940. From the pen of Mike Howard we have an article on working with a 3D printer to produce parts for models. This relatively new area of modelling has endless possibilities, and Mike explores the basics of how to work with it to produce accurate parts.

On the noticeboard, Robin Buckland’s new website is described. Since the information came in Robin has changed the site address to .

David Fletcher gives us a look at the Dragon Mark II from the 1920’s in an article amply supported by period images, followed by the 1/35th scale drawings of the same vehicle by Peter Davenport in the centre-spread. Petr also provides two pages of text describing the Dragon.

On page 14 Dick Harley continues his comparison reviews of WW1 kits, this time the Tank Mark V, Meng versus Takom. Dick includes some interesting photos and also a diagram to correct the mounting of the Crib Stowage for the Mark IV & Mark V. He is quite candid about the negatives and positives with these kits, and advises on how to correct the issues.

Bernard Goldstein is a long-time member, but I believe that he has produced his first article in this issue.  He was visiting Australia and although he was unable to visit established military museums, he managed to find a newer place near Cairns, Queensland; The Australian Artillery & Armoured Museum at Smithfield. He was fortunate to be given a guided tour by the manager and has supplied us with a set of photos to illustrate the impressive collection. Perhaps not a place for a day trip for most of us, but certainly somewhere to see when ‘down under’. The back page has a selection of colour images from the museum.  Another excellent magazine.

Paul Middleton 1528   27/02/2017




As we come to the end of another year we see the publication of the latest Tankette Volume 51 No 6. On the front cover is a rather imposing photo of an RSO model, and inside, a report on the Internationals Small Scale Convention at Heiden, Germany by Peter Vierhout. Reports such as this, supported by colour photos allow us to see how more distant model shows look. With the ease of travel this days, many modellers consider visiting or even exhibiting at these shows, either as an individual or club. If you have a report on your local show, the editor would welcome text and photos. Contact .

Page three, as usual, carries the officer contact details, but instead of an editorial, branch details are listed, as well as a notice for On Track, the major model show in February.  All MAFVA branch details are available on the website branches page, along with the diary page listing modelling relevant events. If you have branch, club or event details to add, send them in to the webmeister .

Mike Gill continues his build of a WW2 British Armoured Train on page 4, detailing his research and construction.

Chris Lloyd-Staples, our research officer then gives us a review of the recent Nuts & Bolts Volume 35 on the SdKfz 231 and 232 eight wheel armoured cars (Part 1).  This series gives plenty of information for both the model-maker and the armchair historian.

We then have an article on the first ‘Dragons’ by noted author David Fletcher. These early replacements for the horse used as artillery tractors were very much an experiment, and with the aid of period photos David explains their development. I would suggest that the recent Hobby Boss 1/35th scale kit would be a good basis to build a model, but experience indicates that the manufacturer will milk the chassis of the kit as much as possible, so we may yet see a kit of the Dragon!

MAFVA founder Max Hundleby continues to contribute with a review of a model of his favourite subject, namely the German A7V from WW1.  This John Jenkins Designs model depicts the sole remaining example ‘Mephisto’. I had the immense pleasure of being with Max at the recent ‘Landships’ Exhibition at Thorpe Camp, and his energy and enthusiasm is a wonder to behold.

Tankette regular Dick Harley then treats us to an article entitled ‘The Mother of them all’ where he details the design and development of ‘Mother’ (bizarrely the off-spring of ‘Little Willie’). The trials and demonstrations at Hatfield Park and Elveden, the Solomon camouflage schemes and further use of ‘Mother’. The centre spread of this issue is the latest revised drawing from Dick of ‘Mother’ in 1/76th scale with internal details, a larger scale detail page, several photos, and on page 20 (back cover) a colour impression of ‘Mother’ as she might have appeared in action. Dick also includes cross-sections of the obstacles traversed by ‘Mother’ at Hatfield Park in 1916.

Dick also provides the next article , a reality check of 1/35th scale kits of the Medium Mark A ‘Whippet, comparing the Meng and Takom kits. With the support of photos the good and bad points of both kits are listed, but as the Takom kit is nearly double the price of the Meng kit, many will be decided by finances.

Editor Tom Cole reviews ‘Modelling WW1 Tanks’ by Frederik Astier, which is a beautiful treatise on getting the best from the currently available WW1 tank kits and placing them in dioramas.  This book will certainly provide plenty of inspiration.

The final article for this issue, and 2016 is by Graham Cobb who gives us an excellent treatise on the colours of WW1 vehicles using contemporary illustrations from postcards, cigarette cards and other illustrations to describe the subject.  This article shows the usefulness of having colour covers for Tankette, without which the impact of Grahams article would have been seriously impaired.

Another great Tankette from editor Tom covering many subjects.  This is possible because we have a portfolio of articles to choose from, but the ‘bank’ needs regular topping up, so if you have a favourite subject that can be melded into an article, get in contact with Tom.

Whilst writing, be aware that Tom is looking to step down from his role as editor after too many years in post, so if you fancy having a go, again, get in contact with Tom.

Paul Middleton 1528   20/12/2016




So the penultimate issue of Tankette for 2016 has arrived, and the cover photo from John Woolford is a DUKW at the War & Peace Show. Inside the cover are colour photos of the British armoured train to go with the article by Mike Gill on page 4.

Replacing the editorial is a list of some of the local MAFVA branches along with the usual admin. Mike Gill’s article on building a British armoured train is a detailed guide to items used,  how to use them, and part two will appear in Vol 51/6.

Next we have Part two of Dick Harley’ reality check on the current 1/35th scale Tank Mark IVs from Takom.  Here he looks at the Takom kit of the Mark IV Hermaphrodite, and elaborates on what can actually be built from it.  As it happens, there were no Hermaphrodite Mark IVs, as they were all converted from Mark V & V*s, so the kit is misleading.  Dick also gives information on the Takom kit of the Mark IV Tadpole tail, describing the few vehicles that were actually built. The article is well supported with period photographs, and rounded off with an updated configuration checklist and a summary of Mark IV Male, Female & tender production.

Mike Starmer gives us a precis on colours for the new kit from Hobby Boss of the Vickers Medium tank.  As most of you will know, Mike has made a quest of researching colour schemes to provide accurate information,  in this case, the inter-war period.

The centre spread for this issue comes from the pen of the late John Church and gives us plans of the Bedford QLR special bodies, complete with interior detail.  With plastic kits of the QLR in both 1/72nd and 1/35th now, this will be very useful for the model maker wanting to detail their model.  There were many variations an fits of this WW2 communications vehicle, and this helps clarify some of it.

Page 12 is taken up with information on Association elections and the AGM.

From the very beginnings of motorised military transport, Bill Ward brings us an article on the Cugnot steam wagon of 1769.  Complete with illustrations and an unscaled plan, this would make for a very different model.

Editor Tom Cole then brings us an article which covers the Transportable water unit, known as Bikini, based on the Commer Q4 4×4 chassis. These were designed to support the Green Goddess Fire Pumps of the Auxiliary Fire Service in the 1950’s.  This is supported bt photos and scale drawings in 1/76th by Mick bell of the Commer Q4 Transportable water unit and also the General Purpose version used as a hose layer and foam tender.

We close with another article from Bill Ward on the Auxiliary Omnibus Companies, describing their vehicles, colours and markings 1914-1919. Each company is described with their vehicles and an illustration of their unit marking. Several photographs support the text and this spreads over to the inside of the back cover with a modern photo of a surviving example of a B-Type bus at Tyne Cot Cemetery in 1914.

The rear cover carries colour photos of a preserved example of a Bikini unit.

Another excellent compilation of articles Tom!

Paul Middleton 1528   28/10/2016

Back Issues

including Extinct Issues. We sometimes have extras available – they do not last long!

past issues– 

52/1  51/6  51/5  51/4  51/3  51/2  51/1  50/6  50/5  50/4  50/3  50/2  50/1  49/6  49/5  49/4  49/3  49/2  49/1  48/6  48/5   48/4   48/3   48/2   48/1   47/6   47/5   47/4   47/3   47/2  47/1   46/6  46/5  46/4   46/3   46/2   46/1  45/6   45/5  45/4  45/3   45/2   45/1   44/6   44/5  44/4  44/3  44/2   44/1   43/6   43/5  43/4   43/3   43/2   43/1   42/6   42/5   42/4   42/3 

 MAFVA Members only: For back issues contact Neil Wharton

Please note: You will be required to give a valid MAFVA membership number

Volume 1 -2 Anton Maund
Volume 3-5 Gerry Dooley
Volume 6-7 Max Hundleby
Volume 8 John Sim
Volume 9 Gerry Dooley
Volume 10-20 John Wilkes
Volume 21-37 Spike Judd
Volume 38-47 Neil Wharton
Volume 49-52 Tom Cole


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