Dragon 1/72 Churchill Mk.III
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Churchill infantry tank is a most distinctive design with its extremely long chassis and wraparound tracks. Named after the British Minister of Defense of the time, the Churchill tank was very well armored. It was produced in a series of versions that offered heavier armor and more powerful armament as the war progressed. The Mk.III, weighing in at 39,626kg, arrived on the scene in March 1942. It featured a 6-pounder gun in the all-welded turret, and the hull-mounted howitzer fitted in previous variants was deleted. Its baptism of fire was in the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942, in which six Mk.III tanks were involved. The Mk.III was also famously involved in the failed landing at Dieppe in northern France.
Deciding to give British tanks a go, Dragon has created another version of one of the least aesthetically pleasing tanks of WWII, the Churchill. Though marketed in the Armor Pro series, this kit is devoid of photo etch, much to the delight of some who do not like this material.
The kit does include Dragon's excellent DS tracks. Thanks to including the bogies as part of the side suspension pieces and having the return rollers hidden under the rather ungainly looking skirts, all of that seam removal and painting of what would be a multitude of small parts is no longer an issue. In fact, in terms of parts count, this one is quite reasonable with only 65 in the final count. The turret and main gun are nicely done with the end of the barrel indented. The basic difference between this and the later Mk.IV is the turret and fuel tank. Basically, sprue D. With the skirts an integral part of the upper hull, it should make for a fairly quick build. Below is a full list of features from the Dragon folks.
- Newly tooled fuel tank produced
- Realistic Churchill Mk.III
- Cupola and hatches on turret can be assembled open/closed
- Slide-molded turret for Churchill Mk.III represented by separate parts
- Inlet louve molded w/detailed pattern
- Intricate on-vehicle tools molded on
- Side fenders w/pattern detail on both surfaces
- One-piece slide-molded lower hull
- Bolts and rivets delicately represented on hull bottom
- One-piece gun barrel w/detailed hollow muzzle brake
- Idler and sprocket wheel are authentic and easy to assemble
- One-piece bogies produced for easy assembly
- One-piece DS track
Markings in this one are provided for three vehicles. First is the box art tank in sand and brown from the 145th Regiment, 21st Tank Brigade in Tunis during 1943. Next in British OD is 'Bill' from the Canadian army during the Dieppe raid during 1942. From that same raid is 'Betty', also with the Canadians.
Looks like Dragon is going to do the full line of Churchill tanks and will hopefully include the Crocodile in a later release. A fine kit that will build up rather quickly.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop.
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