Oh, the glorious TOG II… with shots of the interior, no less. Only on this blog, folks. Only on this blog.
And the rest of the museum in no particular order.
And this concludes the Bovingdon visit.
Next week: Takom’s Panther. Probably.
There were several vendors in tents selling replica weapons, army surplus and scale models. There were several food vendors, too (selling for surprisingly reasonable prices), and a lot of heat-stricken people wandering about. Since it was Friday, the program was only a “dress rehersal” for the main events of Saturday and Sunday; regardless, seeing (and hearing) these tanks was pretty impressive.
I never thought the clicking of the tracks would be louder than the engine’s roar… these things are loud.
It was also very interesting to see how small the IS-3 was compared to the other heavies; however what it lacked it size, it made up for it with smoke… the engine was belching white diesel exhaust like nobody’s business.
As I said it was really hot. If I recall correctly, the Centurion actually had to wait in the arena a bit so it cooled down before it could go back to its parking spot.
I probably should have taken a couple of videos, too, but I wanted to enjoy the show. When you are taking photos, you already focusing on something else; I did not want to compound the issue with switching between photos and video, too. Probably should have given the camera to my ever patient wife, but she was actually enjoying this part of the festival.
There were people dressed in historical uniforms, actual tankers, and tank restorers mixed with us, mere mortals.
Later in the afternoon there was a demonstration of infantry-tank tactics in WWII. An M4 was attacking a German position with a PnzIV defending, but since it was only a rehersal, the soldiers were just strolling next to the tank. This, and the lack of pyrotechnics made the show distinctly uninteresting…
Needless to say, we did not mind the short program. The interior of the museum was really inviting with the airconditioning on.
Well, this is one of the most interesting areas of the museum, and if my information is correct, it is normally closed for the public. Except on Tank Fest!
Lots of spare parts, lots of tanks and other vehicles in various states of direpair… things you can’t usually see: T14 Heavy Tank, Conway tank destroyer and many other vehicles I have only heard about.
The only problem was room: it was difficult to squeze through the tanks and take half-decent photos. The exhibit is also so very useful as a reference for scratches, faded paint, paint chips, oil stains, dust and rust.
Wargaming set up a World of Tanks event here: you were allowed to play thirty minutes on a press account, and you got a code for a Churchill III, a T-shirt, and a backpack. (Not very sturdy ones, but still.)
I managed to try the FV4005 (presently grinding for it), and the Defender -to see how OP it is. In my hand it was not very… Unfortunaltely I had no time to try the rare, or never released tanks also in the garage of the account.
Keep an eye out -more photos are incoming.
The Tiger exhibit. Lots of Tigers…
Tiger II (Henschel turret)
And finally, the Panther (which is in another part of the exhibition)
Tried to take photos of scratches, oil leakage and damage. (Obviously they are museum exhibits, but they still can come useful.)
Keep an eye out -more photos are incoming.
A cool exhibition of a Centurion cut in half, along with a somewhat corny video of a tank maneuvering and shooting on the range.
A cutaway T-55… this is something I’m definitely going to do. I mean I did try to do one before, but I always held back of fear of ruining the model. Not any more… The new MiniArt T-55A Mod 1981, here I come. (I really like the idea of cutting away the side of the hull by the driver.) There are other examples, too, for inspiration.
Assorted thanks sitting around. Black Prince, Comet, Archer, Panzer IV, The Penis Tank, and the rest. A WoT wet dream.
An armored plate with some projectiles sticking out…
Keep an eye out -more photos are incoming.
Ever since I’ve learned about it, I wanted to see a Tankfest. Back when I was still sitting in Florida it seemed very unlikely that I’d ever get to one; but even though I did live in the UK for more than 8 years somehow I still managed not to go even once. (To be fair, Bovington is not exactly public transport friendly, and I did not have a car for most of the time.)
This year, by accident, I actually got to see Tankfest. I guess I am Good Luck Brian now.
Since we were leaving the UK for a job on the Continent, we decided to spend a couple of days around Bournemouth. It is an incredibly nice place, especially when it is summer (and I do not mean the usual British summer. I mean the 30 degrees, baking hot summer), and I wanted to see the Museum on the side -who knows when I would be able to come back to visit, right? (My poor wife was very accommodating and did not object spending a day among these metal contraptions.)
I planned to get to Bovingdon on Tuesday but we decided the last minute to do the Tank Museum on Friday. I had some vague memories of Tankfest being around the end of June, but with the trans-Continental move and all I did not exactly pay attention. Friday morning comes the shock- Tankfest. And I do not have tickets…
The 40 minute drive to the Museum was a bit intense for my taste; I just wanted to see some tanks, and was worried that I would not be able to get in due to the event.
Well, I was in luck – even though both Saturday and Sunday was sold out, Friday was still available. It was not a “proper” day yet, more of a trial run for the big day. No famous youtubers, no wargaming events, and no pyrotechnics for the tank show.
The place was not very crowded, on the other hand, so you got to get close to the tanks, and could enjoy the show without other people pushing and getting in the way, which was definitely nice. I overheard someone who worked there remarking that it was so much better than the usual overcrowded events. I also saw the end of the day a big group of people shepherded around -and recognized Quickybaby in the crowd. I guess this was the Youtuber section being introduced to the Museum. The Chieftain was also there; I wanted to say hi to him, but a certain Youtuber cut in the queue, and stepped in front of me. (I was a queue of one.) Shame on you, mate. And you call yourself British. (No, it was not QB.)
I got some freebies from Wargaming for playing the game on site (a T shirt, a small backpack and a code for a Churchill tank), and I got to enjoy the tank show in the arena. To be honest the whole event was much smaller than I thought it would be. The tanks were really noisy; I never thought the tracks can be this loud.
I also got to crawl around the tanks in the museum. And this is where I saw something that was both hearbreaking and funny in equal measure. (I know I’m going to hell.)
A small kid was just standing by the cut-in-half Centurion, completely still. His face was set in the grimace of complete despair and abandonment, and the tears were just streaming on his face. Apparently he was left there by his family. A Tank Museum volunteer was talking to him, while calling others on the CB, so there were about ten people swarming around him, trying to console him, while he was just standing there, staring in the distance, still in shock, not reacting to anything, and only responding to questions in a very subdued, muted voice.
I may go to hell for finding this whole situation both sad and funny, but the father of this child will definitely be there waiting for me. SHAME ON YOU, MISTER. YOU ARE A BAD PARENT.
I mean I get it, I like tanks, too, but seriously? You forgot about your own kid?
Interesting photos of the Sd.Kfz 251: the armor looks really rough. I always assumed that it was smooth; after all, none of the photos I’ve seen suggested this level of roughness, not to mention the models have not featured it, either. (Cast/rolled armor texture is something that is shown in modern kits.) Its counterpart inside the museum featured smooth armor. This may -or may not- be a Czech-made vehicle, retrofitted to look like a German Sd.Kfz. 251. (Someone suggested it might be the leftover texture after the rust removal process.)
I really liked these abandoned, weathered tanks- the two big Cold War Warriors, the Centurion and the T-55. Good reference photos for extreme weathering.
Matilda I – you have to love it if for nothing else but for the eyes. Cool little tank.
Assortment of tanks standing around.
Churchill turrets shot up on the range… good reference for damage and rust.
Cold War tanks in profile.
American heavy -M103.
Russian heavy- the IS-3. Astonishingly small… the same size as the Type 59 and the T-72 standing next to it. I also took a sneaky photo of the interior as seen from the driver’s hatch. The only interior photo I’ve ever seen of the IS-3.
Type-59… the legendary WoT premium vehicle; otherwise a Chinese copy of the T-54.
T-72… now this is a tank I’d like to get into. I would love to see the autoloader in person.
And we’re inside… (It was HOT outside.) Starting with the KV-1. It’s surprisingly large… I’d love to see it next to a Tiger.