From the day I bought my first AFV Club Australian Centurion Mk 5/1 (I now have four stashed away) I have been one grateful post war armour modeller. British and Israeli variants followed and they are all well engineered and accurate kits of a significant British tank.
There are always aspects of kits some of us wish the manufacturer had did differently, but in the case of AFV Club's Centurions, I find the rubber tyres for the roadwheels to be unusable - not only are they often oversized, but I also question how long that soft rubber will last before it shrinks, splits or perishes. The last photo on the right shows AFV Club's rubber tyre next to Firestorm's resin replacement tyre.
An early solution was provided by Legends, which offered a set of solid resin roadwheels from its Centurion kits. These did the job quite well, but a bit of work was required to fit them to the AFV Club kits, and in the case of the Australian version, you still needed to find two spares to be mounted on the glacis plate.
Firestorm has come to the rescue with a simple solution - replace the horrible AFV tyres with solid resin items, which allows the use of the kit wheels, and hence no alignment problems. For your money you receive 26 tyres - one of each of the 24 road wheels in 12 pairs and two for the spares for the Australian Mk5/1 version. Naturally, if you use these tyres on another variant, you will have two left over.
The parts are perfectly cast with no bubbles or warpage and only minimal clean up was needed to remove fine film and square off the rear of the tyres. The AFV wheel centres fitted perfectly and snugly, which only a smear of super glue needed to keep the tyres in place. Because the spare wheels are mounted with the rear of the resin tyre upward, you need to sort through the bits to find a couple that fill out the full width of the rim nicely ... obviously this won't be an issue on non Australian "Cents".
AFV Club's range of Centurions are great kits which depict popular subjects but a bugbear common to all variants are the ill fitting soft rubber roadwheel tyres. This set, from Australian manufacturer Firestorm Models offers an easy fix.
Highs: Perfect fit, no casting blemishes, an easy fix that makes a fine kit all but perfect. Tyres can be used on all types of AFV Club Centurions.Lows: Some tyres are very, very slightly too narrow, but this is only an issue for the spare wheels on the Australian 5/1.Verdict: A quick and effective fix of the only aspect of an otherwise fine kit that was holding me back from turning out a squadron of Aussie Cents!
About Mick Toal (Heatseeker64) FROM: NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
Journalist and photographer - aka :"scribbler and snapper" - based in Sydney Australia. Been modelling as long as I can remember and it's my great distraction away from work. Regards my career, well every time I think it's slowing down it goes and speeds up again! Check out my blog at: http://heatse...