This is the fourth 1/72nd scale Churchill kit to be released by Dragon Model
. The Dieppe Churchill is for the most part, a duplicate of the Churchill Mark III, kit, #7396. Even from casual inspection, it exhibits all the potential issues of the original release of the Mark III. This incarnation sports a few subject specific changes. The upper fenders of this version are limited in nature, the moulded on tools are different in type and of course, there is the wading exhaust extension.
Build reviews of the Dragon Model
Churchill III and Churchill IV by Peter Ganchev (PGP000), as well as Jan Etal’s (tread_geek) Churchill NA-75 are available here on Armorama.
This review will examine the building of the Dragon Model
1/72nd Armor Pro, Churchill Mk. III Dieppe 1942, kit #7510.
After opening the box, one is presented with two clear plastic bags containing sprues moulded in the standard Dragon Model
grey styrene. One bag contains two sprues while the second bag contained the Dieppe Churchill specific parts as well as the upper and lower hull. Also present were two smaller bags with one containing the Dragon Model
DS tracks and the other a small sheet of Cartograph water-slide decals.
Sprue and parts breakdown is as follows:
Sprue ‘A’ - 39 (Generic Churchill Mk. III parts)
Sprue ‘B’ - 16 (Lower Hull parts and details)
Sprue ‘D’ - 14 (Turret and details)
Sprue ‘E’ - 9 (Dieppe Churchill specific parts)
Sprue ‘Y’ - 1 (Lower hull)
Sprue ‘Z’ - 2 (Dragon, DS tracks)
Total parts count is 81 with 16 styrene parts marked as unused.
A four sided instruction card is provided, displaying a parts diagram, five instruction steps in the form of exploded view line drawings with arrows for parts placement and one page showing painting and markings. The painting and marking illustrations are for three tanks that are an overall brownish colour (S.C.C. No. 2). All the tanks are from the 14th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Calgary Regiment), 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, Dieppe 1942. Of the three tanks, two are from ‘B’ Squadron (“Beefy”, “Blossom”) and one from ‘C’ Squadron (“Calgary”). The colour references provided are for the GSI Creos Corp Aqueous Hobby Color, the same company’s Mr. Color and Model Master enamels.
First impressions of the overall moulding detail are that compared to some Dragon Model
kits, it is not quite as crisp on the upper hull (hatches, engine covers) and sponson sides. Speaking of hatches, while the hull ones are moulded on, the turret crew hatches are position able in either the open or closed position. While there are not a lot of visible tools on this vehicle, what there are, and the tow cables, are moulded on. One particularly nice feature or detail are the open, top and bottom engine vents at the rear of the engine compartment. These clearly show what Dragon Model
can achieve with their state of the art moulding technology.
Some light flash was evident on a few smaller parts and moulding seam lines are quite light and removable with a light sanding or scraping with a sharp hobby knife. Ejector pin marks are located where they will not be visible after construction. Sink holes or other moulding flaws were non-existent on the provided sample kit.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing that modellers will find is the sprue attachment points (gates). On a number of the larger parts the gates are quite large, thick and numerous. Many are located in odd positions and will need care to remove from the sprue and then time to clean them up. This is particularly so with the road wheel bogie sections. The bogies with their 11 road wheels are moulded as single pieces. Bogie parts B3 and B4 each have no less than 18 sprue connection points that will need to be cleaned up prior to installation.
Building the turret is the focus of a two part Step 1. Overall, this will prove to be the easiest and fasted part of the model’s construction. Generally the part fit is quite good but some may find handling the small parts a chore.
Depending on the builder’s choice, the main turret hatches can be modeled in either the open or closed position. One annoying issue seems to plague many if not all the Churchill kits with this turret. The forward facing hatch half (A8) is surrounded by flash. For the hatch to be positioned in the closed position, this will require the flash to be carefully removed so that it fits properly. As the hatch is so small, this will be a time consuming and tedious process.
The Peter Ganchev Churchill IV review covers many issues that pertain to the hull and suspension (these same issues apply to the Mark III). These included the necessity to thin the driver’s/hull gunner's front armour plate (A11) and that the idler sprocket instructions are incorrect as to the assembly order of the pieces. In the case of this kit, the instructions call out for the rear sprockets to be made up of parts A27 and A28 but should be A25 and A28. A similar case exists with the front sprockets where parts A24, A27 are the correct one’s to use. Further to be noted, is that the sprockets with the lightening holes are for the front while the solid ones go on the rear.
The mounting of the sprockets will have their own unique problems. The pins for the front sprockets need to be shortened as they are too long. The fit of the rear sprocket will require some serious surgery (trimming) to get them to fit properly in their positions. Another point with this kit’s instructions was the numbering for the assembly of the bogies. For the right side use parts B1,B3 and for the left B2,B4.
There are also a number of omissions in the instructions. There is no mention of the rear towing pintle (C10), even though it is shown in place in the illustration in Step 4. A similar case exists with the left and right, rear clevis shackles (B8).
Overall the fit of smaller parts in general, is what one might expect. Clean up of some of the smaller pieces is more time consuming than actual assembly. As a last thing to note, there is absolutely no fixed attachment feature for the extended exhaust stacks. No pins into holes, collars or any form of positive locating feature. The builder will be required to “butt join” the extension to the regular exhaust stub and align everything by eye.
Despite a limited number of parts, this kit will not be a quick build if you want it to look good. From photos available on the Internet and in books, the overall shape and details look pretty much about right. Perhaps the nicest feature of this kit is the way Dragon Model
handled the lower suspension. The long slide-moulded bogies should be a real time saver, as opposed to the Airfix incarnation of a Churchill. Unfortunately, the fit of these rather complex mouldings is less than stellar and will cause problems for many.
While not the most trouble free kit, those with some experience should be able to overcome any issues. The end result will be a decent representation of this somewhat unique version of a Churchill III.
Churchill NA 75
Churchill NA 75