AFV Club 1/35 Churchill III
|KIT #:||AF 35153|
The Tank, Infantry, Mk IV (A22) was a British heavy infantry tank used in the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour, large longitudinal chassis with all-around tracks with multiple bogies, and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. It was one of the heaviest Allied tanks of the war.
The origins of the design lay in the expectation that war in Europe might be fought under similar conditions to those of the First World War, and emphasized the ability to cross difficult ground. The Mk I had a 2 pounder in a cast turret and a 3” howitzer mounted in the hull. The Mk II dispensed with the howitzer in favor of a hull mounted machine gun. The Mk III, introduced in February 1942, introduced a larger welded turret with a 6 pounder (57mm), which significantly improved it's anti-tank capability.. It also introduced a new pattern tracks covered on the top run. The Mk III was used by the British in North Africa and Italy and around 300 were supplied to the USSR, where some saw action at the Battle of Kursk.
The instructions are quite complete in A4 booklet form of 20 pages consisting of 30 steps. A very nice nice history is included, as well as color call-outs in Gunze Sangyo, Humbrol, Revell, and LifeColor paints. Page 3 has a cool line drawn pictorial history of the various marks of the vehicle. Included in the various steps are grayscale photos of the actual part of the vehicle you are modeling, for parts placement clarity. Camo colors and decal placement are shown in 4-view drawings for 4 vehicles: a dark green British, a dark green Canadian, a sand/green British, and finally a dark green Soviet.
Construction starts with the suspension. A very detailed and fully working suspension, I might add. Each side contains 11 working “shocks” with captured springs (yes, metal springs). Below these sit pivoting rockers that the wheels are attached to. Basically a lot of parts that build up into a working suspension. It may be overkill, but it is really neat. Once these two sides are complete, a bottom and back plate is added to start forming the hull. Additional pieces/plates are added all around until a proper hull is formed.
I wasn't ready to put the tracks on yet, so I skipped ahead and started assembling the turret. Nothing fancy .. a main piece to which attaches a front, rear, and bottom. Hatches (with separate hold-down latches), vision periscopes, and antenna are just some of the bits that make the detail pop out. The turned aluminum barrel is a very nice touch.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
At this point I painted everything; the tank and the not-yet-attached track top covers getting a good coat of Model Master Dark Green (34079 or 34102, don't remember which) while the tracks were painted a rusty red brown. When dry I gave the tracks a slathering of a black oil wash. At this point I glued the tracks on and then added all the top covers. The tracks are vinyl but I heated them together and epoxied them to the track runs on top, which are of course easily hidden under the top covers. These covers are very thin and care must be taken to get everything to fit properly.
I threw on a several thin black and brown oil washes to pop out some detail and give it a good used look, let it dry and then sprayed a gloss coat overall to prep for decals. The decals went on without a hitch. The Soviet slogan is from a 1/48 scale Yak-7 that fit the turret side perfectly. A flat coat was next, and she was pretty much finished.
This is a fantastic kit by any measure, with great detail thru-out. If the Mk III doesn't tickle your fancy, AFV makes numerous other marks from the same basic kit. Highly recommended.
Kit courtesy of me and my wallet.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main PageBack to the Review Index Page