Crusader Mk II Gun Tractor Mk I

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External Fitting and Spare Wheel
The Crusader Gun Tractor had new air ventilators and large stowage boxes fitted to the rear of the vehicle, the rear deck remained unaltered so to round off the build you’ll need to add the external fittings. These are all nicely done and I didn’t experience any particular problems with them, just remember space is very tight between the bins and the spare petrol cans so test fit everything first.

The spare wheel is provided for the 17pdr and sits up on a small stand, I assume because of the heat that would be generated by the engine. Accurate Armour provides two folded up camouflage nets for the top of the side bins and these can be fitted if required. Alternatively part 5 could be fitted there as I couldn’t see anywhere else they might go and they are not mentioned in the instructions or build pictures.

Final fittings will most probably be the rear lights and tow hook and the frontal plates and front tow hook. Again no issues here follow the instructions and all should be well. The kit has a small PE Fret that provides padlocks for the bins and I was particularly impressed with the quality of these.

The conversion set provided two side panels to fit into the kit once the square frame is added. You can model these in the open or closed position. The panels are very thin and if you are going to model them closed you may like to replace them with some alternative plastic card. I modelled them in the open position so just used the conversion parts. I also added some thin holding wire to each hatch, this was based on a best guess rather than any specific knowledge so they may be more accurate or less accurate - if anyone has clarity on that please let me know.
The older kits are not noted for their tracks so I added a set of replacement resin tracks from Accurate Armour – Kit No Trakpak T46. I built three top lengths and then bent them around with the heat from a hairdryer, then added the other two sections. If I used them again I would build 4 lengths on top which might make for an easier initial fit. They are a good improvement on the kit tracks but the detail between the bars is a bit suspect.
Painting and Finishing
I painted the overall vehicle in OD, a mix of Tamiya Dark Green XF 61 and Tamiya Olive Drab Xf58 about 50/50 with a mixer of Vallejo Yellow Ochre 70913 to get the colour I wanted.

I paint by hand as I go, and with the sub assemblies this would seem sensible but you will use what ever method you are most comfortable with.

Decals were from the excellent Finger Print Design range and spares from previous Accurate Armour sets. I also added a decal from the Bronco 17pdr ammo set to the top ammo box on the load to brighten things up

Data on the deployment of these vehicles is limited and they seem to have been deployed at Corps level so I opted for a vehicle from 73rd Anti Tank Regiment , Royal Artillery. 195 Battery, B Troop, who were with XXX Corps up to Oct 44. My thanks to Derek Barton for keeping me right on the markings and answering my many questions and to Ken for pointing out my original error!

Phil’s article indicates that some may have been deployed at Divisional level with 7th, 11th and Guards Armoured but I had no data or reference for those.

Additional stowage was added from Resicast and Accurate Armour to fill up the rear deck and make it look a bit more busy.
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About the Author

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...


Hi John, Ken and Bill, Thanks for dropping in folks and the comments. John, you have to move away form the dark side Cheers Al
AUG 02, 2011 - 06:01 AM
Im assuming the base is only a temorary affair then? Who makes it and also the same question regarding the figure. Theres no mention of either of them in the article. Nice build again Alan .... pulling the 17 pdr will really give this the edge. Its good to have this as an article ... Im sure when the 17pdr is readily available, more will be looking for something suitable to pull it!!
AUG 02, 2011 - 07:21 AM
Hi Frank, Yes, just a temp base. It's from SB Models one of Stewarts SB Scotia Range. I've review some of his products here. https://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showmaker&makerid=428 The figure is the RA Officer in Greatcoat from Resicast for the 25pdr, just added for scale, again review the fig here: https://armorama.kitmaker.net/review/6043 I have a couple fo the SB Scotia bases I just use for fast pics, always better to have something to hand rather than my blue background. Thanks for looking in, and glad you found the article useful. Cheers Al
AUG 02, 2011 - 11:33 AM
Alan, nice job, as always. Very good and informative feature. Looking forward to it with 17 pdr. Cheers! Stefan
AUG 02, 2011 - 07:24 PM
Hi Stefan, Glad you found it useful. Cheers Al
AUG 03, 2011 - 07:28 AM
Hi folks, Just for info. If you happen to be looking for a donor kit I was over on the Italeri web site this afternoon. I see they have re-released their Crusader Mk III under their 'Vintage Collection' label. Al
AUG 06, 2011 - 03:41 AM
Not too bad a price at £23 too. I might just get one to replace the old one I did years ago. I can add the Eduard fenders too.
AUG 06, 2011 - 11:53 AM
Hi Ken, I haven't built this one as a Gun Tank yet so I may well get one to add to the collection too. Al
AUG 07, 2011 - 02:03 AM
This is probably the fourth or fith time I've read this article. A lovely building job and an entertaining text. Well done, Alan! Well done, indeed! This build is certainly going into my To-Do list. (Hoping that Bronco and HB, keep up bring plstic kits of such off-the-beat-track kits). Cheers, Guido
NOV 03, 2011 - 08:27 PM
Hi Guido, Thank you for the kind comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed the build and article. You probably raised a question many are wondering, will there be a 1/35 plastic version. I haven't heard of anything yet but with the increased interest by palstic manufacturers in all things British it is possible. Still they have yet to produce any new trucks to tow this new line of artillery but I am hopeful there. The AA conversion is quite an old kit but Italeria have just re-released the Gun Tank at a reasonable price so it should be affordable and do-alble by many. Cheers Al
NOV 04, 2011 - 12:45 AM