My son’s recent interest in World of Tanks has proved more than just a bit contagious. In the last year I’ve spent quite a few ‘odd hours, here and there’ playing this online game, and we’ve visited the Tank Museum at Bovington twice. Even without this interest it’s definitely a museum worth visiting – it’s well thought out, well laid out and puts the history first. Kids will like it, and they’ll pick up a lot of stuff about the world wars that they don’t cover in junior school anymore. Particularly about just how unpleasant trench warfare was. There’s lots of interactive stuff, including how manufacturing works, a brilliant restaurant and even an interesting car park.
You can also go and see the storage facility, which a lot of museums don’t make available, and it’s quite atmospheric to see so much ‘stuff’ in a warehouse. And in the summer they demonstrate some of the vehicles daily – which is a massive improvement on a lot of other collections. Actually seeing how big, loud and basically scary this stuff is provides a welcome change to boring, static museums.
World of Tanks has become a bit of a monster in terms of online gaming, with hundreds of thousands of players around the world. It’s a phenomenon I suppose. And the fim Fury reflects this, although I think Kelly’s Heroes is a much more entertaining tank film, the comedy makes it more human. So I’ve decided to do some tank pictures as a way of exploring the imagery of the things. I’ve started with a Cromwell tank – which is a bit like a sportscar in the armoured world, better at going fast than at being shot at. The turret is interesting to draw too – mostly because of the big rivets, the domes, all over it.