Monday, December 28, 2009

Old Glory A7V WWI German Tank

Here's a composite resin/metal Old Glory model that I wanted  mainly for it's primitive look. Historically, it only appeared on the battlefield in the last few months of the war. So, with most of my Germans in the early to mid-war uniforms, I would only use this piece in a fictional scenario. Or maybe class the guys in pickelhaube   helmets as reservists (although even they would be in the newer uniform and stahhelm by the time the A7V entered into service). In fact, I don't think this tank was even used against the French (which is my other Great War army); I think the French were pretty much drained, both physically and mentally, by 1918 and were letting the Anglo-Americans finish things up.

The model was very easy to build - basically the top half in resin and the tracks in metal. It is very heavy, and gives the impression of a large ponderous behemoth - just like the real ones! I was debating doing it in camo, but thought it looked more "WW1" in plain feldgrau. This was the basic paint job for these tanks, of which only around 20 actually were on the battlefield before the war ended. I used my 20-dolla Testor's Aztek airbrush for the initial coat of dark grey. Then the dang thing wouldn't work again, so I ended up dry-brushing over the base coat with successive coats of Vallejo Field Grey. I actually had a nice coat of lighter stone-grey, but then I read that the actual tanks were painted feldgrau - so I did double the work for my error. This is the problem with projects like this. I had done some pretty good research some time ago, then forgot all about it after being side-tracked on other projects. Luckily I had all the websites bookmarked - although I should've looked at them again before painting.

The painted model was given a brush on finish of Future for protection. Even with careful (read light) brushing, some of the detail work, like shading around the bolts, ended up running. I may go over these details again. It also still needs markings like Maltese crosses and maybe a name, like "Thor" or something like that. After the markings are applied, the tank will be given a spray coat of matte.
The photo above shows the rear of the vehicle with two of the six MG08 HMGs - which are basically copies of the Maxim HMG. The front of the tank has a 57mm main gun mounted on a swivel.

Here's a surviving example which was captured by the Australians at Villers-Bretonneux, and now appropriately displayed in the Queensland Museum Down Unda.
 A wartime photo of one that appears to be painted in camoflage.
A schematic showing the crew and inner workings of the tank.
Here's a shot of three A7Vs with their crews indulging in the favorite past time of soldiers - pouring over tech and field manuals (yeah right!).


  1. Nice work. I am tempted to buy one of these myself.

  2. Thanks! For the price (I'm in the US and bought it with the 40% OG Army membership), it can't be beat IMO. I only regret not getting the Renault FT-17 also when I had the membership. I just saw a History Channel segment last night with the FT-17 last night - driven by none other than R. Lee Ermey. They even fired off a round with the 37mm gun. It had that nice camo paint job too. Regards, Dean

  3. Looks great, Dean. I've always wanted to do this kit. I had a book years ago about the A7V. The Germans had so few of them, they were like children (and captured tanks were like adopted children). The book had extensive info on each one, including its name, markings, and color scheme.

  4. Well done Dean. Now you just need a nice Whippet or Mk. V as a bookend.

  5. Thanks guys. Looking over the WHH Great War rules for tanks & other vehicles, I'm looking forward to adding them to the game - should play fairly fast. I like how it allows the HMGs to fire even after full movement - six guns blazing in all directions!