EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Astounding New Technology

The early 20thC was a time of excited invention and a push to make use of new technologies and to make money. One hotbed of invention and experiment was the continuous or caterpiller track tractor. Companies like Hornsby  in the UK and Holt in the USA were demonstrating effect models by 1905. Hornsby even proposed mounting a gun on one but did not pursue the project.

Early Hornsby Tractor.
Picture from Wikipedia article.
In WWI such caterpiller tractors were widely used by the Allies for hauling artillery and other heavy loads and eventually provided the basis for the design of the Tank.


WWI Holt Tractor
from http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cacunithistories/Vehicles%20of%20the%20AEF.html
I am sure it will be no surprise to readers that Atlantica was way ahead of the curve. In late 1905 the Dinkie Arms Company produced a lightly armoured, tracked, combat tractor nicknamed the Armadillo. It was very small with a crew of 2 men, a driver and a commander/machine gunner, but it was a promising entry into the market and its excellent cross country ability  was of especial interest for those areas where lack of good roads and train tracks limited the possibilities of support by armoured cars and armoured trains. The design of this early vehicle was so successful that 30 years later it was scaled up and turned into a light tank.

Bidding by competing interests was fierce.

11 comments:

  1. Lovely model. I can't see that sort of thing catching on though - either real tanks or grown men playing with toy versions....

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    1. Yes well, this is an imaginary world after all, at least its being sold by the right store.

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  2. Ross Mac,

    I really like your little tank; it fits in really well with your 40mm-scale figures.

    For some reason the image reminded me of John Buchan's book COURTS OF THE MORNING, which if you haven't already read I would recommend you to do so.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Bob, I thought of Courts as well. I downloaded an ecopy last year on your recommendation but its still on my reading list. I'm going to bump it up.

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  3. A beautiful model.
    At one time I had such a tank and others which had been my father'sas a boy. Somehow they got lost in moving many moons ago.
    I look forward to seeing the tank in action. It goes really well with the forty mm chaps.

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  4. That's a terrific tank, though knowing how Gov Can procurement works, the purchases will be scrapped at the last minute and it will take ten more years to find something worse.
    I was chatting with my brother at the War Museum in Ottawa about WW1 era tractors and whether there was a shortage of mechanics and drivers in early 20th century Canada. I suspect that there was a small base of early adapters, young men who were as fascinated with internal combustion motors as geeks are with computer coding today, but beyond that, a lot of people who needed to be trained in a hurry. What do you think?

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    1. I have the impression that farming and various industries took eagerly to various mechanical innovations from the late 19thC on. They were relatively straight forward to learn and I have the feeling it was all user maintain, no local shop. So probably a reasonable base to draw on by 1914.

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  5. Great stuff Ross. He looks very sharp. Will he be getting a pennant?

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    1. Only if I end up with a squadron, which is unlikely.

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    2. Only if I end up with a squadron, which is unlikely.

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