Tank Fan Builds Full-Sized WW1 Replica... With Just Wood!

Geoff Armstrong started the project at the end of January and has so far spent about 500 hours on it...

Mr Armstrong started the project at the end of January and has so far spent about 500 hours on the tank (Picture: SWNS).

A model-maker has crafted a life-sized First World War-era tank using only wood.

Geoff Armstrong, who enjoyed building models of cars, planes and tanks as a child, has created the incredible full-size replica of a Mark IV.

The British tank was used during the last year of the war - standing 8.5-metres long and 4-metres wide and weighing 29 tonnes.

The tank is made from soft wood and plywood, excluding only a plastic tube for a gun and the plaster of Paris rivets.

Mr Armstrong, a carpenter from Brampton, Cumbria, is building his version of the vehicle in a workshop at RAF Spadeadam on the county's border with Northumberland.

The 58-year-old has created the huge model by taking a kit made by manufacturer Emhar and increasing the scale (Picture: SWNS).

The remarkable creation will be the highlight of an event to mark the centenary of the Armistice which ended the conflict.

He said: "They're very good at showing a proper World War One tank.

"It gives you quite a lot of detail. I bought a 1/35 scale model and expanded everything by 35.

"Everything's hand dressed and hand cut. We don't have machines to laser cut everything and weld it together.

"It's just me in a workshop with a few saws and a tape measure. There's nothing hard about it.

"It's just getting your head around how you're going to build it. Making sure it's strong enough to hold it together and light enough to lift it."

Mr Armstrong has built the tank in 14 distinctive parts which can be dismantled to allow it to be moved easily (Picture: SWNS).

He added: "Each part has to be able to be lifted by two or three men. Everything's got to sit in the back of a Transit.

"I have to go down and assemble it. It shouldn't take that long to put back together.

"I'm up against a time limit so I've had to design it so it could be built relatively quickly."

Mr Armstrong is looking forward to visitors viewing his creation at the 'This Day in 1918: the event' at Carlisle Castle on 10 November.

He said: "I'm happy with it. That's all that matters to me. The most challenging thing was just getting it to look right.

"You're interpreting a tiny little model. It's a representation."

He hopes the tank is stored in a museum after it is used at the event, so he can take his grandkids to see it:

"They would go 'Grandad built that!' I think they'll be quite impressed with it."