Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wednesday 18th April 2012 - Taaaaaank!

So yeah, over Easter I decided I needed a bit of a break, and managed to combine all of my interests (World War 2, Medieval History and Cider) by travelling to the south of England, where there's the largest tank museum in Western Europe, and a rather high density of apple orchards.

Bovington Tank Museum:

Greeted by a Challenger I with highly reflective Aluminium armor. This was fun to draw, but all the conflicting angles were a pain!

The King Tiger (Panzerkampfwagen VII). This beast is incomporably massive. The photo doesn't even do justice to its scale. The chassis by itself is over 6ft high. These collosal tanks are incredibly rare, and the museum owns two of them!

 The Jagdtiger (Tiger Hunter). Possibly bigger, if not the same size as the King Tiger. Classified as a Tank Destroyer; a stealthier sub-class of tanks, made for hulling down in concealed positions and sniping with a more accurate, higher calibre cannon than regular tanks. Although how this thing was meant to be concealed when it's as big as a barn is anyone's guess.

Panther (Panzer V). Classified as a medium tank, medium tanks are (usually) quite small, rapid tanks. Made for either troop support or to be used in flanking attacks where armor is secondary to speed and manouverability. Note how I said 'usually'. This was my first time seeing a Panther, and even this was massive. Once again the chassis was easily 6ft high.

Indulging in medieval history, Corfe Castle was a short trip down the road. Being ruins, it was hard to judge its scale and imposing status over the medieval landscape, but this was such a fun place to sketch! We arrived early in the morning, so there were no school trips, no tourists (besides me.), just a few vigilant staff members and early rising visitors. I was allowed by my long suffering non-arty friend to sit and draw for a good 2 hours, and made the most of it!

We sized it up, and judging by the local geography, ir seemed as though Corfe Castle was built on the site of an older Motte and Bailey castle, with a very strange triple hill configurement: The first mound had the bridged entrance from the village, this followed onto the second which seemed to be where the wooden structures would've stood, as there was a large flat plained area, perfect for barracks, tents, blacksmiths, etc. And the final mound housed the keep, chapel and central workings of the castle.

All the surroundings appeared to have been worked in some way - a river flowed around the castle, barring access from 2 sides, with a suspiciously artificial looking hill rising to the south of the castle. All very intriguing, and much nicer looking than the grey city of Birmingham.

The bridged entrance from the walled grounds to the keep - an excellent vantage point for a defense, if ever one was needed.

And some generally interesting looking parts of the ruins.

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