I came back from the General Patton Tank Museum at Fort Knox, Kentucky, US of A. There are not a lot of tank museums in the US like this one. The place is divided into several sections telling about the history of the tank and General Patton. The place is filled with tanks from EVERY era. You don't get to crawl all over the tanks (even the ones outside) but you do get to touch most of them and look inside open slits. Being that close to history and actually touch it was awesome.
I have wanted to go to the tank museum ever since I learned of the T28/T95 super heavy tank. That's right, a real US super heavy tank from WWII! At the museum, they have one of only two ever built. The other got fire damaged and was scrapped. Essentially a tank destroyer, this beast had a 105mm gun and thick armor. It was slow and couldn't clear obstacles and later prototype designs came forth and the T28 never saw production much less action. It's just a mean looking tank and resembles a Shadowsword in my eyes.
Another personal favorite is the t38 a.k.a Hetzer. This was a small tank destroyer from Germany in WWII. It was cramped, not a very effective gun, and had poor vision. The design was original and gave plenty of ideas used in other tanks. It was easier to conceal and hard to hit due to it's size and sloped armor.
I about had a heart attack when I saw the mother of all WWII tanks, the King Tiger. Even if you don't think much of the tank, you gotta admit that it was a scary tank to see on the battlefield, especially if you were an Allied soldier/tanker. They managed to cut away sections of the tank with plexi-glass so that you can see inside. At first I didn't like the idea of cutting up such a machine but in the end appreciated the showing off the interior that would otherwise never be seen.
One of the best parts of the museum though was the WWI Mark V tank. This was simply the best diorama that I have ever seen. The tank is in mint condition. You can touch it and look inside. The scene is of it rolling up on a German MG nest with them throwing a potato masher at it. SWEET!BTW, this tank was taken out of action by being hit in the sponson. So if you don't think that can happen in 40K, think again!
If you have the time, go see this museum. It's worth the trip. There are tanks outside to see, a gift shop loaded up to the hip with tank toys, and best of all admission is FREE! I donated $50 as I found that worth it. As a tread head, this was real inspiring to get to work on my tank figs. I hope this gets you moving like it did for me.
Check out their website for more info:
More pics from the trip here:
Krazy Kage Tank Museum in Bessemer, Alabama