Emhar Mark IV Female - "...effectively useless"?

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Emhar Mark IV Female - "...effectively useless"?

Wes Beatty
Wes Beatty

November 13th, 2004, 4:52 am #1

Hello All:

I was recently scanning some old issues of George Bradford's AFV News when I came across a kit review of the Emhar Mark IV Male and Female by Dick Harley. Harley dismissed the kits as "...extremely inaccurate", "effectively useless" and "...almost unusable".

Amongst many other things, Harley criticized the scale ("...I don't care what anybody says, 1/35 is wrong for this period...) the widths of the trackframe panels, the positioning of the track roller bearings and transmission bearings, and the unditching rails ("The horizontal edge should project inboard not outboard").

I have an unbuilt Emhar Mark IV Female and began comparing some of the details with those of a Bovington Female featured at page 15 of Ellis and Chamberlain's Fighting Vehicles.

Simply put, I didn't see that the details are egregiously wrong and I'm wondering if Harley's views are the final word about these kits. Certainly they have their problems but "effectively useless"? Cheers W.D.B.
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Jakko Westerbeke
Jakko Westerbeke

November 13th, 2004, 10:24 am #2

Although I haven't read the review, it sounds fairly typical of a certain style of reviewing that might be called the "It's crap!"-school...

The mention of the scale being "wrong" is a completely bogus comment — if the model is not true to the quoted scale, pointing this out is a valid comment, but saying that 1/35th is not the right scale for WWI subjects indicates, IMHO, that the writer is probably of the type who goes looking for holes to shoot in a kit. The tank looks like a Mark IV to me, and that's what counts; yes, it can use a lot of extra detailling and probably has faults that "need" to be corrected, but the overall impression I get when I look at an Emhar kit is that it's a Mark IV.

The beam rails are easy to fix, BTW: cut off the end bits by which they're bolted to the tank, then swap around the left- and right-hand rails but leave the end sections on their original sides.
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gilles thomas
gilles thomas

November 13th, 2004, 11:25 am #3

I've built a lot of those Ehmar's kits, and convert some of them to other marks.
Yes there are bad points on the kits, some inaccuracies regarding dimensions and shapes, but the kits are easy to built, not too expensive and they look very good with some extra work. eventuelly they DO exist.
From other point, I don't understand why there are people who systematicaly destroy those kits. Most of the modells we built have accuracy problems, comming from drawings mistakes or the use of partially rebuilt references.
I can easely have a list of a dozen of points wich need to be modified on Ehmar's mark IV, none of them are really difficult to correct with some plastic cart and putty.
But I can hardly find a critic who try to do! Articles on those great subjects are very few on our publications.
Gilles Thomas
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Neil Barker
Neil Barker

November 13th, 2004, 2:12 pm #4

Hello All:

I was recently scanning some old issues of George Bradford's AFV News when I came across a kit review of the Emhar Mark IV Male and Female by Dick Harley. Harley dismissed the kits as "...extremely inaccurate", "effectively useless" and "...almost unusable".

Amongst many other things, Harley criticized the scale ("...I don't care what anybody says, 1/35 is wrong for this period...) the widths of the trackframe panels, the positioning of the track roller bearings and transmission bearings, and the unditching rails ("The horizontal edge should project inboard not outboard").

I have an unbuilt Emhar Mark IV Female and began comparing some of the details with those of a Bovington Female featured at page 15 of Ellis and Chamberlain's Fighting Vehicles.

Simply put, I didn't see that the details are egregiously wrong and I'm wondering if Harley's views are the final word about these kits. Certainly they have their problems but "effectively useless"? Cheers W.D.B.
Myself and Mike Cooper, (who probably knows as much about rhomboids as anybody) compared the Emhar MkIV to a set of factory drawings (which Mike has) and it is rather grim, the overall shape is wrong this is so essential to a rhomboid that in my opinion (for what its worth!) it will never look correct. The other biggest problems apart from the width are with the sponsons, the size and all the angles are wrong as well as the gun shield and barrels, if memory serves the sponsons arn't handed either being mirror images of each other, not having offset gun mounts as on the real tank. Ok none of this is incurable (good luck with the rivets) but with so many real examples about its just so sad that Emhar got it so wrong, if they had made this many mistakes with a Sherman there would probably have been rioting in the streets!
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Joined: March 21st, 2004, 11:17 pm

November 13th, 2004, 8:55 pm #5

Hello All:

I was recently scanning some old issues of George Bradford's AFV News when I came across a kit review of the Emhar Mark IV Male and Female by Dick Harley. Harley dismissed the kits as "...extremely inaccurate", "effectively useless" and "...almost unusable".

Amongst many other things, Harley criticized the scale ("...I don't care what anybody says, 1/35 is wrong for this period...) the widths of the trackframe panels, the positioning of the track roller bearings and transmission bearings, and the unditching rails ("The horizontal edge should project inboard not outboard").

I have an unbuilt Emhar Mark IV Female and began comparing some of the details with those of a Bovington Female featured at page 15 of Ellis and Chamberlain's Fighting Vehicles.

Simply put, I didn't see that the details are egregiously wrong and I'm wondering if Harley's views are the final word about these kits. Certainly they have their problems but "effectively useless"? Cheers W.D.B.
Hi,
There was a time when models were motorized and everything was moulded in place or shut, most details were poorly represented and the tracks were definately of the "rubber band" type. Yes Emhar may have a long way to go, but at least they are giving us a starting point. As for 1/35 being wrong ! It was when it first appeared and look where it is now.
Just my thoughts
Paul
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Wes Beatty
Wes Beatty

November 14th, 2004, 2:22 am #6

Myself and Mike Cooper, (who probably knows as much about rhomboids as anybody) compared the Emhar MkIV to a set of factory drawings (which Mike has) and it is rather grim, the overall shape is wrong this is so essential to a rhomboid that in my opinion (for what its worth!) it will never look correct. The other biggest problems apart from the width are with the sponsons, the size and all the angles are wrong as well as the gun shield and barrels, if memory serves the sponsons arn't handed either being mirror images of each other, not having offset gun mounts as on the real tank. Ok none of this is incurable (good luck with the rivets) but with so many real examples about its just so sad that Emhar got it so wrong, if they had made this many mistakes with a Sherman there would probably have been rioting in the streets!
Hi Neil:

I hear you about Emhar being so unaccountably negligent. I suspect, however, people will build the kits because they contain the kind of visual cues one expects of the Mark IV. This is a truly weird phenomenon; what if people are buying these kits not because of their fidelity to scale but because they conform to the picture in the mind's eye of what a World War I rhomboid tank looks like? I know it's heresy but I'm just askin'.

It's funny you should mention Shermans because it seems to me that as a group Shermaholics seem to gravitate towards bolt counting like no other. I recently read a review in FineScale Modeler about DML's reworked Sherman Firefly. The reviewer was practically dancing in the street at the news that DML had shortened the hull four millimeters. Yesiree a whole four millimeters!

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Mike Cooper
Mike Cooper

November 15th, 2004, 9:31 am #7

Hello All:

I was recently scanning some old issues of George Bradford's AFV News when I came across a kit review of the Emhar Mark IV Male and Female by Dick Harley. Harley dismissed the kits as "...extremely inaccurate", "effectively useless" and "...almost unusable".

Amongst many other things, Harley criticized the scale ("...I don't care what anybody says, 1/35 is wrong for this period...) the widths of the trackframe panels, the positioning of the track roller bearings and transmission bearings, and the unditching rails ("The horizontal edge should project inboard not outboard").

I have an unbuilt Emhar Mark IV Female and began comparing some of the details with those of a Bovington Female featured at page 15 of Ellis and Chamberlain's Fighting Vehicles.

Simply put, I didn't see that the details are egregiously wrong and I'm wondering if Harley's views are the final word about these kits. Certainly they have their problems but "effectively useless"? Cheers W.D.B.
Hiya

I never really understood why Dick Harley disliked 1/35th so much and I couldn't help thinking that this detracted from the much mor etelling criticism in his review in Tankette.

Landships has a piece from me giving a set of comparative measurements of the Emhar Mk IV, which I feel demonstrate taht it is out of shape in most major componenets.

This being so, criticism of its detail appears to miss a point. My own view is that I couldn't use either their 1/35th Mk Iv or that in 1/72 as they are fundamentally innacurate.

This said, if you want a 1/35th Mk IV and don't want to convert back from the MK V that is available, use this one and accept that what you've got only looks rather like a Mk IV rather than actually represents one.

Mike Cooper
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Ian Stapley
Ian Stapley

November 15th, 2004, 5:56 pm #8

Although I haven't read the review, it sounds fairly typical of a certain style of reviewing that might be called the "It's crap!"-school...

The mention of the scale being "wrong" is a completely bogus comment — if the model is not true to the quoted scale, pointing this out is a valid comment, but saying that 1/35th is not the right scale for WWI subjects indicates, IMHO, that the writer is probably of the type who goes looking for holes to shoot in a kit. The tank looks like a Mark IV to me, and that's what counts; yes, it can use a lot of extra detailling and probably has faults that "need" to be corrected, but the overall impression I get when I look at an Emhar kit is that it's a Mark IV.

The beam rails are easy to fix, BTW: cut off the end bits by which they're bolted to the tank, then swap around the left- and right-hand rails but leave the end sections on their original sides.
I do find it extremely off putting to read some of the reviews of kits these days. I haven't built an Emhar 1/35 scale tank but a friend has done a couple of the 1/72 ones. Not being an expert on WWI tanks I can't comment on dead on accuracy but to my untutored eye, they look like what they are supposed to represent - e.g. MKIV tanks and as WWI subjects aren't as widely covered by mainstream plastic kit manufacturers as WWII and later ones are then I suppose we should consider ourselves fortunate that such kits are available at all.

As far as I am aware, the only other kit available in a scale larger than 1/72 is the Scale Link all metal MK IV and it isn't exactly cheap.

I can only speak for myself but there seems to be an increasing fashion to be extremely negative when it comes to reviewing a kit or in some cases, criticising someone else's work (see the "Despatch" column from the last few Mil Mods). This isn't going to encourage people to continue in the hobby; irrespective of what the critic feels about somebody else's work, shouldn't they at least try to be objective in their criticism? Failing that, how about if they themselves submit one of their models for review?

OK we want to make our models as spot on as we can get them, however I wonder how many people are put off from trying when they read such disparaging comments?

Rather than reading that "kit x isn't worth wasting your time on - buy kit y instead" I would sooner have a more in depth critique of kit x, pointing out its high and low points and leaving me to make up my own mind as to whether to buy it or not. Unfortunately not everyone who posts here or reads the mags can afford to lay out £20 to £30 upwards in getting the perfect kit and I often wonder if we modellers who operate at the lower end of the budget scale are becoming marginalised.
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Kevin Keefe
Kevin Keefe

November 15th, 2004, 8:13 pm #9

Hello All:

I was recently scanning some old issues of George Bradford's AFV News when I came across a kit review of the Emhar Mark IV Male and Female by Dick Harley. Harley dismissed the kits as "...extremely inaccurate", "effectively useless" and "...almost unusable".

Amongst many other things, Harley criticized the scale ("...I don't care what anybody says, 1/35 is wrong for this period...) the widths of the trackframe panels, the positioning of the track roller bearings and transmission bearings, and the unditching rails ("The horizontal edge should project inboard not outboard").

I have an unbuilt Emhar Mark IV Female and began comparing some of the details with those of a Bovington Female featured at page 15 of Ellis and Chamberlain's Fighting Vehicles.

Simply put, I didn't see that the details are egregiously wrong and I'm wondering if Harley's views are the final word about these kits. Certainly they have their problems but "effectively useless"? Cheers W.D.B.
...isn't the best engineered kit that I've ever built and it certainly has it's faults here and there but, IMHO it was a fun and enjoyable build. (Yeah, even the tracks.) My main issue with it is that I didn't have enough hands to hold it together (and drink beer) while the glue set. (Clamps would've been awkward.)

Profiles on or off, and not being a rivet counter, It looks like a British WWI AFV to me. My overall dimensional calculations scaled out to be not that far off. (Remember the beer mentioned above.)

I hope to build the 'straight' MK. IV Male someday as well.

Thanks,
Kevin Keefe
http://www.mortarsinminiature.com
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Neil Barker
Neil Barker

November 15th, 2004, 9:33 pm #10

I do find it extremely off putting to read some of the reviews of kits these days. I haven't built an Emhar 1/35 scale tank but a friend has done a couple of the 1/72 ones. Not being an expert on WWI tanks I can't comment on dead on accuracy but to my untutored eye, they look like what they are supposed to represent - e.g. MKIV tanks and as WWI subjects aren't as widely covered by mainstream plastic kit manufacturers as WWII and later ones are then I suppose we should consider ourselves fortunate that such kits are available at all.

As far as I am aware, the only other kit available in a scale larger than 1/72 is the Scale Link all metal MK IV and it isn't exactly cheap.

I can only speak for myself but there seems to be an increasing fashion to be extremely negative when it comes to reviewing a kit or in some cases, criticising someone else's work (see the "Despatch" column from the last few Mil Mods). This isn't going to encourage people to continue in the hobby; irrespective of what the critic feels about somebody else's work, shouldn't they at least try to be objective in their criticism? Failing that, how about if they themselves submit one of their models for review?

OK we want to make our models as spot on as we can get them, however I wonder how many people are put off from trying when they read such disparaging comments?

Rather than reading that "kit x isn't worth wasting your time on - buy kit y instead" I would sooner have a more in depth critique of kit x, pointing out its high and low points and leaving me to make up my own mind as to whether to buy it or not. Unfortunately not everyone who posts here or reads the mags can afford to lay out £20 to £30 upwards in getting the perfect kit and I often wonder if we modellers who operate at the lower end of the budget scale are becoming marginalised.
Ian.
I fully understand where you are coming from, but in this day and age of CAD and other computer whizz-bangs where a master is'nt even made there is little of no excuse for some of the howling errors we see these days, ok even dragon have dropped a clanger with the new Pz1 (rear idler), but with the Emhar MkIV we are talking very fundamental errors such as overall shape and incorrect angles, details I'm happy to fiddle with, re-building the damd thing so its the right shape I certainy ain't!

Yours frustratedly waiting for a decent rhomboid.

Neil.
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