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Built Review
Centurion Skeletal Idler Wheel
Skeletal Idler Wheel as used by Australian Centurions in Vietnam.
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by: Mick Toal [ HEATSEEKER64 ]

Although AFV Club's 1/35th range of Centurions are very accurate kits, numerous detail differences may be noted on various vehicles in service with a host of nations. In addition to the accurate type of idler wheels depicted in all AFV Club Centurions, two other distinctively different versions were seen fitted to Australian Mk5/1s serving in Vietnam from 1968-1972 in particular.
While another Australian manufacturer, Firestorm Models, offers a "dished" idler with round lightening holes (item FS35155), Mouse House Enterprises produces the much more intricate "skeletal" idler wheels (which I believe were welded steel) in white metal.

Both types are almost certainly standard British manufactured items made by different subcontractors, and hence they may also very likely be seen on British or Israeli vehicle, or any of the many other nations which the Centurions served.

The replacement wheels follow the kit parts' design and come in two pieces as halves. The kit's axle insert centres the halves and a dimple with corresponding locating hole aligns them properly. Minimal clean up of the spokes with a blade is needed and a quick lick of the wheels' running suface with a file or sanding stick tidies them up with little effort.The outer wheel half has the "half moon" locating hole for the kit hub.

Mouse House initially provided these parts in resin, but switched to the more robust white metal castings to cope with the potential stresses placed on them by "rubber band" tracks.

I used two part epoxy to glue the wheel halves together and the fit was perfecly snug.
Modellers will need to check their references as to which idler was fitted to the tank they are depicting, and bear in mind that the vehicle's appearance very likely changed from month to month. Perhaps even during the course of an operation in the case of Aussie Centurions, as parts were replaced to keep them busting jungle. It is even possible that different types were fitted.
Highs: Well cast, sturdy and accurate replacement parts at a value price.
Lows: None.
Verdict: A great way to add some detail differences to any type of 1/35th AFV Club Centurion.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MA114
  Suggested Retail: AUD$9
  Related Link: Mouse House Enterprises
  PUBLISHED: Nov 28, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Mick Toal (Heatseeker64)

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...

Copyright 2021 text by Mick Toal [ HEATSEEKER64 ]. All rights reserved.


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