How to Build a Full-Size Model WW1 Tank

Published: 25/01/2022

Isaac Gouge purchased a ‘Haynes’ Manual and set out to create his very own static model of a WW1 MKIV  Tank. Fast forward to 2022 and he has completed his goal!

As a child Isaac’s love for militaria was fostered through his families forces connection, being stationed in Strasbourg France and being surrounded by static Tanks all over the town. But it was a school trip that ignited the spark for a project he would later complete decades later.

Isaac remembered “On a school trip we visited Verdun and as I remember we stopped in to a local museum (I cannot remember the name) and they had a Mk4 tank in period-correct environment on display and I remember telling myself… yeah, I gotta have one of those…  I was maybe 13 years old at the time, and now at 40 I finally decided to go ahead and make that childhood dream a reality!”

While he had created many smaller projects before, like a tank bike and other road-worthy vintage-inspired custom creations, this was his first larger piece but the most astounding part of this story is that he created it all from a humble Haynes Manual.

Isaac explains: “I searched the internet high and low for blueprints only to find very low resolution side and top renderings, and I really needed legible measurements.

“Ultimately I found the Haynes manual and inside the front and back covers were clean, crisp and useable SAE measurements, not to mention the great colour photos of used and abused operational examples.”

A colour image of a man painting a white replica of a First World War tank. He is outside.
Image Credit Isaac Gouge

The whole process took several months over winter to complete and is now proudly displayed on his front lawn. He has been fortunate enough to have some very supportive neighbours, who don’t seem to mind the wooden beast being on display or the many hours of noisy building, and Isaac has subsequently become somewhat of a local celebrity.

Though this type of project isn’t for the faint hearted. For anyone planning on replicating this, you do require some pretty deep pockets. The total budget for this model replica came in at a cool $3200, plus the additional man hours. But comparing this to a running version tank lovers and modellers alike will probably agree that it’s a value for money!

The full-scale Tank now sits comfortably in the wooded paradise of Ozark, MO and one of many projects to date that Issacs has created. He doesn’t have any plans to start another project just yet however when he does you will be the first to know!

The Tank Museum’s South West Model Show will be taking place this Feb find the programme here. If you want to create your own scale model we have plenty of options in our online shop.