No-1 Lincoln Machine “Little Willie”
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A 1/35th scale model kit of Little Willie (developed from the No-1 Lincoln Machine) in resin and etched brass by Tim Babb. The model depicts Little Willie as she looks today*, and this model is based on Tim Babbs’ measurements of the real vehicle. Construction of this “Landship” was started in August 1915 at William Foster & Co. Ltd in Lincoln and tested for the first time in September of the same year.
In it’s original “No-1 machine” form commercial track and suspension units were fitted, but were soon discarded in favour of a new British design which became the standard WW-1 plate track running on, and locked into, frames with no suspension. Further trials continued into 1916 alongside a second far superior and larger machine, Centipede (AKA Big Willie, and eventually Mother), in which both machines performed very well, and concluded with a full scale demonstration on 8th February 1916 at Hatfield Park in front of the King. (We post this on the Accurate Armour web site 95 years later: 8th February 2011)
Following this great success the report sent to Winston Churchill described these Landships for the first time as TANKS. And the rest is history. Little Willie was the first machine of it’s kind brought to trial which combined the layout, armour construction, track system and steering which we would recognise today as a TANK. Mother went on to be developed into the familiar shaped machines which changed the face of mechanised warfare for ever, and Little Willie, stripped of the original dummy turret and the useless tail wheels now has pride of place in the RAC Tank Museum at Bovington. *Note: This model depicts Little Willie as she is today but with the obvious damage to her “rapaired by us” to be kind to her image, we have now included a wee sheet of decals with the name for the vehicle sides.
The completed model is 6.25”(160mm) long and 3”(76mm) wide and tall.