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Emhar 1/35 scale Mk.A Whippet WWI medium tank

Kit: No. EM4003
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: Emhar, available from Squadron Mail Order, 1115 Crowley Drive, Carrollton, TX 75011-5010, 214-242-8663
Price: $29.98
Comments: Injection molded, 89 parts (6 vinyl), decals.

DESIGNED AS A PURSUIT TANK, the Whippet's top speed was only 8 mph. It featured twin 45-hp engines -- steering was accomplished by slowing one engine and accelerating the other -- and was armed with three or four .303 Hotchkiss machine guns. Several Whippets were captured and used by the Germans, and some of the 200 manufactured were sold to Japan after the war.

Emhar's parts are molded in thick, hard, dark gray styrene with six black semi-soft vinyl track parts. Despite the clunky appearance, the moldings are crisp with both raised and recessed details. The vinyl tracks are pliable enough to be formed around the bogies, yet firm enough to hold their shape. No interior parts are provided and all doors and hatches are molded shut.

The nine-step instructions are clear and the trio of four-view painting diagrams provide FS color numbers. Decals are provided for one captured German Whippet and two British versions.

Assembly was straightforward with no major glitches. The parts fit was tight, with minimal cleanup required. It's better to form the tracks in step nine after the side transom and bogies are installed rather than in step six. Carefully install the machine guns if you want them to move. I didn't apply enough glue and one gun fell inside the hull; another received too much glue and can't move.

Here's a tip on building the tracks: Build them around the bogies and hold them in place with rubber bands. Run hot tap water over the tracks, allowing them to form tightly in place. The tracks will hold their shape after the vinyl has cooled overnight.

The painting instructions call for gloss gray (FS 16118) overall for the British machines, but the box painting is green. I preferred the box rendition and painted my model with Testor Model Master medium green (FS 34102) mixed with Pactra tan enamel. The tracks were painted with Humbrol track brown and a dry-brushing of Testor steel.

The well-printed decals responded nicely to Micro Sol, but required extra careful nudges to fit over the heavy surface detail.
Emhar's Whippet compares well with the photos and dimensions in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the World's Tanks and Fighting Vehicles.

I spent 10 hours on my Whippet, and I enjoyed every one. The ease of construction and crisp molding should please modelers at all levels of experience.

Phil Kirchmeier


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