Encyclopædia Britannica Online
claims the Churchill tank is the most-successful British tank used in World War II. It certainly was the most heavily-armored one at the time of its introduction, but its armament left a lot to be desired. Improvement came in 1941 when the Ordnance QF 6 pounder was introduced on the Mk III and IV versions. Later Marks were fitted with more powerful guns, various engineering equipment and even a flamethrower.
Churchills served with distinction in Africa and all the European fronts during WWII. A squadron of Crocodile flamethrower tanks saw action during the Korean war. The last Churchill soldiered on in Ireland up till 1969.
Dragon has released a cast-turreted Mk IV in 1/72nd scale (the in-box review is here
The usual box comes with:
3 sprues totaling over 65 gray styrene parts
2 hull halves (top and bottom)
2 runs of DS track
A Cartograf-printed decal sheet containing markings for a single Mk. IV tank from the North Irish Horse
A simple instruction sheet with 5 easy-to-follow steps, the last one showing the mating of the hull and turret.
This build was one of those rare occasions when I decided to follow the instructions by the book.
I started by test-fitting the turret top and bottom. The locating teeth at the front and back of the turret base accounted for a step, so I removed them altogether. There are two optional parts for the main gun (C3 and B7)– just as every guy would do, I opted for the bigger one. I had to sand its rear end a bit to fit it snugly into the mask. With the Besa machinegun installed, I fitted the mask and closed the turret.
Next on my list was the turret bin. The four molded “angles” on the rear turret wall are not locating pins– the box has to sit on them, as it was mounted some distance away from the turret itself. The rest of the turret details fit quite easily in their places. I elected to model the hatches closed on my example.
Adding the “centipede” of the suspension to the lower hull also offers no surprises.
At “driving wheel and idler wheel” time (step 2), I realized the numbers on the part plan and the sprue are different. Instructions insist front wheels are made up of part 24 and 25, but that should be 24 and 27 (at least on my example). Glue parts 25 and 28 to create the driver wheels. To make it clear: all wheels with lightening holes are destined for the front; all solid wheels go on the back. When fitting the drive wheel, I removed the rear end of the sponson box, as it was interfering with the fit– this change is not visible on the finished kit.
The vertical armor plate in front of the driver had to be thinned around its inside perimeter to accept the hull sides and roof properly. I also installed the air intakes and painted the hull with a mix of Revell greens.
The tracks were shortened a bit, painted Model Master Burnt Metal, weathered with several brown colors, then dry-brushed the ridges with Tamiya X-11. They were then super-glued to some of the roadwheels, and their ends were affixed with copious amounts of Humbrol Liquid Poly to the top of the sponson boxes.
Next I fitted the pre-painted hull top, exhaust pipes, fuel cans, spare track links and the air inlet covers, and went on to decal and weather the vehicle.
paint & markings
The model has been painted with a mix of several Revell enamel greens – 65, 68, 46 and 48. I later airbrushed a lighter variation on select areas to simulate wear and faded paint. Decals were placed according to the marking guide in the instructions– I used the number 4 in red circle on the turret and placed no vehicle number on the hull sides.
Further weathering was done by dry-brushing Tamiya X-11 on the edges for chipped paint, and with pastel chalks for the mud and dust. I sealed the finishing with Vallejo acrylic matt varnish.
All in all this has been quite an enjoyable build– I spent about 4 hours building the kit, and almost 4 more painting and weathering it.
Churchill NA 75