Designed as the successor to the Matilda, a new infantry tank prototype was introduced in November 1940 and the first batch of mass production tanks saw service in June of the following year. This series of tanks was named after Winston Churchill who was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty at that time, due to his contribution to the development of the tank as a weapon.
As an infantry tank, the Churchill featured heavy armor and reliable suspension systems. Initial Mk. I's were equipped with a 2 pounder gun in a cast turret and a 3 inch howitzer in the hull. The Mk. II replaced the 3 inch gun with a 7.92 machine gun. The Mk. III was introduced in February 1942 and featured a larger welded turret and a upgraded 6 pounder main gun. The Mk. IV returned to a less costly cast turret and the later versions had the L/50 6 pounder main gun. The Churchill Mk. IV saw service with the Commonwealth forces in Western Europe after D-Day. The Soviet Union also received 301 Churchill Mk. III's and Mk. IV's under the Lend-Lease program.
The kit consist of 542 parts molded in AFV's dark green plastic. The detail is typical for AFV and all parts are molded perfectly with no flash. There is a small sprue molded in clear for the periscope pieces. Also included are band type tracks, decals for 4 different tanks, a small sheet of photo etch parts, string for the tow cable, metal springs for the suspension and a beautiful turned brass main gun barrel. Also included in this version are a limited edition print of the box art and 2 trees of individual track links.
Notice the casting numbers? Nice!
Steps 1 thru 7 have you constructing the suspension components and the sides of the lower hull. This suspension is fully workable! Each bogie has its own metal spring. All parts fit great throughout these steps. In step 4, you need to reverse parts D18 and D19 as they will not fit as drawn in the instruction sheet. Other than that, everything goes great. Keep track of where you are during these steps as there are 11 wheel sets on each side. One nice touch from AFV is the inclusion of real photographs of actual vehicles in the instruction steps. This helps a lot, especially where you have the option of different versions.
Steps 8 and 9 have you adding detail parts to the sides.
As you can see, the detail is just beautiful. AFV really shines in this area!
Suspension remains fully workable after assembly! Nice touch AFV Club!
Steps 10 thru 12 have you adding more detail parts to the lower hull.
Steps 13 thru 18 have you assembling and adding details to the upper hull. No problems were encountered here at all. Fit is near perfect.
Step 19 has you glue the band track together and put them on the tank. Here I ran into the only problem with this kit and I have run into it before with other AFV kits. They want you to glue the band tracks together. Sounds simple, but these tracks are impervious to any type of glue that I tried! Here is my list that I went through: Tamiya Extra Thin, Gunze Mr. Cement Deluxe, Revell Contacta and Pactra Liquid Cement. Now these are all cements for plastic models, but they didn't even phase these track links. A quick Internet search said to use any type of CA (Super) Glue. Ok, I tried ZAP medium CA and nothing happened. Then ZAP thin CA, still nothing. All right, out came the 5 minute epoxy. After this set up I stretched the tracks a little bit and POP!, apart they came. The tracks just laughed at me, they would not be glued! So, as I sat at my modeling bench, staring at the un-glueable tracks, I knew that all of my modeling buddies would eventually find out that I had been defeated by rubber tracks and I would never live it down, so I had to go Old School and stitch them together with black thread, knowing that the ends would be hidden under the track guards. Not pretty, but it worked!
Steps 20 thru 23 have you installing the track guards. I did this after painting the suspension and the track links. Everything fit really nice here.
Steps 24 thru 29 are the turret assembly. Step 25 calls for part P13, but P13 was used in an earlier step so I used part E34 instead. These are the periscope guards. The texture on the cast turret is really nice and some quick touch up with some Gunze Mr. Surfacer 500 covers the seam line between the upper and lower turret parts.
Step 30 is the final assembly and again everything fits great.
Ready for paint!
I started by base coating the tank with Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green. I then mixed a 50/50 color of XF-58 Olive Green and XF-4 Yellow Green and sprayed a thin coat in the center of all the panels. I added a little more XF-4 to the mix and high lighted some of the raised detail. I then did all of the detail painting. Weathering began with 2 different filters. These "tone" down the base colors and make them a little more uniform. I then applied my pin wash, using several colors of brown, around all of the raised and recessed details. The final step was to apply some MIG Pigments.
Another superb kit from AFV! No construction issues (except those tracks!) at all. Fit and detail are second to none.
My Sincere Thanks to
for the review sample!
Model built and painted by Dave Manter