The Mark VIII Liberty was the largest armored vehicle built by the United States, and history's second largest production model tank (second only by a few feet to the Char F2CM). It was a joint project by the Allies, developed to provide a heavy breakthrough tank in the expected battles of 1918-1919. Although the design was essentially ready by mid 1918, there were teething and production issues. The French dropped out of the program, leaving the British and Americans as the two remaining Allied powers actively involved in the project. Neither side had readied production models prior to the end of the Great War, and the versions produced were both slightly different. This particular vehicle was the more common, American vehicle, to the tune of which approximately 130 were built. Many were scrapped not long after they were built, but at least 30 remained in American service until 1936, when the last were retired. The Mark VIII was, for its' time, the most powerful tank in the world, but suffered from numerous mechanical problems. In addition to simply being too massive to pass through many tunnels and too heavy for many bridges, the M1917 had an operational range approximately 50 to 60 miles, which was no better than the M1917 Six Ton, nor the French FT-17 that had inspired it. In addition, while the vehicle could handle most roads, older roads tended to crack under the weight of the tracks, causing problems when maneuvering in urban areas. Experience with the Mark VIII essentially convinced the United States that Heavy Tanks were neither practical nor reliable, and played a huge role in preventing the few American Heavy Tank designs of the Second World War from actually seeing any real service. If the tank looks familiar to you, then don't be too surprised: this model (and not the British Mark VIII*) was used as a model for the turreted monster seen in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." This is, and I am not exaggerating here, a -huge- model. Even hollow, it's a big model. Fortunately, it weighs very little, and Jan Huybrechs, the sculptor, did a masterful job producing it. You will find that it fairly dwarfs just about every other tank from the era, though the Stanley Steam Tank (also offered on our main site, BlackArmyProductions.com) comes very close. I have offered three options. While they cost more, I must tell you that I strongly recommend the Frosted Detail variant if you have the extra cash. My experiments with White, Strong, and Flexible have provided a vehicle with barrels that do not always print properly, and unditching rails that rarely, if ever, show up on the final product. Black, Strong, and Flexible shows up a little better in other models, and might be worth experimenting with. I have, however, had very good results with FUD. I know it costs more... but if you're looking for an accurate, massive piece of threat to put on the table, look no further. Those who've purchased this have used it for the ACW2 setting I've been developing, for the First World War, and for "that other big sci fi game with the Space Marines", if you get my drift. All seem to be very satisfied. If it makes you feel better, the same vehicle offered in resin or metal would be markedly more expensive.
Note: Recently, Shapeways has been allowing customers to order this in materials I don't offer. Including Sandstone. Please note that the only materials a model of this type will print successfully in are the metals (which are far too expensive), WSF, BSF, and possibly some of the other colored plastics. I do not recommend attempting this in any of the unusual materials. It's simply far too detailed a model, and at any rate, will cost you more than you should faierly pay.