Airfix 1/76 Churchill Bridge Layer
KIT #: A04031
PRICE: $5.00 'used'
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Tank, Infantry, Mk IV (A22) Churchill was a British infantry tank used in the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour, large longitudinal chassis with all-around tracks with multiple bogies, its ability to climb steep slopes, and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. It was one of the heaviest Allied tanks of the war.

The origins of the Churchill's design lay in the expectation that war in Europe might well be fought in conditions similar to those of the First World War, and thus emphasised the ability to cross difficult ground. The Churchill was hurried into production in order to build up British defences against a possible German invasion. The first vehicles had flaws that had to be overcome before the Churchill was accepted for wide use. After several Marks (versions) had been built, a better-armoured specification, the Mark VII, entered service with the British Army. The improved versions performed well in the later stages of the war.

The Churchill was used by British and other Commonwealth forces during the North African, Italian and North-West Europe campaigns. In addition, 344 Churchills were sent as military aid to the Soviet Union during the Second World War and more than 250 saw active service on the Eastern Front. It was also the basis of several engineering vehicles, including a bridge layer.


The Churchill tank kit is one that Airfix has had in its catalogue since 1961 and reissued at least a dozen if not more times. In 2009, they decided to produce the bridge-layer version to give some new life to the old kit. Those who like to do road wheels will be thrilled with this one as there are 22 sets of three piece assemblies to build up. These are then trapped in between the inner and outer running gear assemblies along with the idler, sprocket and the vinyl tracks.

Upper and lower hull are assembled and then attached to the track assemblies. Then the bridge assembly, which is quite complex and takes up about 2/3 of the instruction booklet is built up. This assembly is designed to be articulated so you can pose the bridge in several different positions from fully extended to folded atop the hull. When you are done, you'll find several spare bits that used to make up the turret and other bits not needed for this variant.

Instructions are quite large, as we've come to expect from Airfix. There is only one option and that is for a vehicle from the 31st Armored Tank Brigade on D-day in 1944. The small decal sheet is nicely printed and should work without any issues.  


Despite the age of the initial tooling, the molds have held up well and detail is still quite good. If you like small scale armor and are looking for something a bit different, this one is for you.


June 2022 

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