Centurion Part 2: Long Weekend Progress

This kit is the 1/35 AFV Club Royal Australian Armoured Corps Centurion Mk 5/1

AFV Club have managed to get a surprising amount of fine detail into this kit, simply by increasing the parts count, which (presumably) gives them more flexibility with the moulds and what they can achieve with them.

I got a surprising amount done in the first two days, given the high parts count and fiddly nature of the suspension – see Part 1. The basic turret shell is together and those VeryBadWords suspension units are on. Everything fits well so far, it’s just a bit fiddly.

2 days into the build.

2 days into the build.

Quite a lot of detail has been added to the rear of the hull. Barely visible in this pic, because I forgot to deal with the light. The big storage bin has been added to the right side of the turret. Still no problems.

Invisible progress.

Invisible progress.

Here you can see the fiddly bits. The suspension system that has many movable parts. It’s not designed to be motorised, but you can pose the tank on diorama with rocks and have the wheels realistically deflected.

All the springs and fiddly struts!

All the springs and fiddly struts!

On the left here is the big storage bin that hangs off the rear end of the Centurion. This is a four sided box that was a little fiddly to get together while the glue dried. On the right are odds and ends salvaged from the spares box that will go in the basket storage. Water bottles, Coke bottles, canteens, jerry cans etc.

Rear storage + spares box raided.

Rear storage + spares box raided.

That’s it for this weekend. How are your projects coming along?

Part 1


Centurion Part 1: That Bl***y Working Suspension!

“Wait!”, I hear you ask, “What happened to the Chieftain?”

I have had to set it aside, because the resin camo nets still, after 3 weeks, haven’t arrived from CastOff.  *sigh*

So, I’ve started the AFV Club 1/35 RAAC Centurion. Lovely kit – the first I’ve tackled by this company.

The mouldings are not as crisp as, say, Tamigawa but. because of the higher parts count, they are much more detailed. The instructions are sometimes a little vague. The working suspension is fiddly.

More piccies tomorrow.

Click for larger image.

6. Suspension Arghhh

Chieftain Part 5: First camo colours on.

It’s been a busy weekend, but I got some hours in at the workbench. All the major (and much of the minor) assembly work is now complete. The first coats of the camo colours are also on. I’ve taken some artistic license here because:

  1. There is great variation in the many Mk.VIII photographs I can Google
  2. I had to mix the paints anyway – an imprecise art – at least when I’m doing it.
  3. It’s my model.  :-p

The darker green is a mix of Tamiya Flat Black, Flat Green and Semi Gloss Clear – the Flat Black is so flat I find it hard to work with. This is why it’s slightly shiny. Loads of washing, weathering, beating up and ageing to start next weekend. That will bring it all together.

 Clickety-click for hi-res versions.

Most assembly done + base green goat.

Most assembly done + base green goat.



Right side.

Right side.



Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Chieftain Part 4. All the Bl***y Wheels!

Busy weekend at the workbench. I remembered what I hate about armour – all the ruddy wheels! *sigh* Still, they’re on the hull now, after many BadWords. The first coat of green (Revell Aqua Color 46 – NATO Olive) as a base to work from, so the model is looking a bit ‘flat’ right now. Next weekend, I begin the weathering, ageing, roughening up etc. This is the process that will bring it to life.

A little 'flat'.

Click for hi-res goodness.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Chieftain Part 3: Resin all in Place.

I have run out of workbench time for this weekend, sadly. But I did get heaps done. Most of the non-resin parts are now on the kit. What’s left are things, like the commander’s MG, that are too fragile to be attached yet.

All the resin parts are on now: barrel, stowage baskets, gun travel lock, exhausts, rear storage, various hatches, commander’s cupola, Clansman radio box and two antenna bases, smoke dischargers, NBC box on rear of turret, engine grill.

This is the first time I have used resin and I am amazed by the difference it makes. That barrel, for example, is incredible! I shall be using resin again in the future.

All the resin!

All the resin! Click for larger image.

Part 1
Part 2

Chieftain Part 2: Resin Going On.

I’ve managed 4 hours at the bench today and got a lot done on the resin and storage bins. I’ve not worked with resin before, and so have no idea if it is normal to have to do so much fettling and sanding to make it fit.

It makes a huge difference to the kit and I am very happy I was able to find the CastOff Mk.VIII upgrade set to the Tamiya 1/35 Chieftain Mk.V kit.

Yes, I did remember to wear a mask when sanding the resin!

Yes, I did remember to wear a mask when sanding the resin!

Part 1.

Chieftain Part 1: Major Plastic Surgery.

This is a full build, warts and all, of the Tamiya 1/35 Mk.V Chieftain tank, also using the CastOff Mk.VIII resin upgrade set. I managed to get 5 hours at my workbench today. Yay! Here’s what I’ve got done:-

  • All 24 roadwheels sanded – that took the most time. They’re assembled now, but not painted. Yes, there were mumbled BadWords.
  • Hull bottom has holes in it, because this kit was available in a motorised version many moons ago. The plasticard covers the holes from the inside, so I can…
  • … use plastic filler made from spare sprue (soak in liquid cement overnight and you get a paste) fill the holes from the outside. When set, this filler can be treated just like the kit plastic for sanding purposes.
  • Major plastic surgery part 1: cutting out the rear engine decking, because there’s a much finer replacement in resin to go in there. I’m unused to cutting away large sections of plastic, so it was a bit nerve-wracking. You can see the missing plastic in the upper hull in the picture below.
  • Plastic surgery part 2: removing a lot of raised detail from the rear of the turret. The Mk.VIII NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) box was much larger, so the parts moulded in had to go. Precision work with a chisel, then sander. Resin replacement parts on standby.
  • Plastic surgery part 3: cutting away the storage boxes around the rear light cluster. The CastOff upgrade kit provides much finer resin replacements.
  • Oh! Washed all the parts – especially careful with the resin bits.

And that’s it until next weekend.

Plastic surgery results.

Plastic surgery results.

All the wheels!

As I said at the end of last weekend, I have had to set Nanette aside until after our house move. Her undercarriage is spindly, even with the SAC metal replacements. So I have started on the Tamiya 1/35 Mk.V Chieftain, with the CastOff Mk.VIII resin upgrade set.

Then I remembered what I ‘love’ about armour: all the ruddy wheels! Worst of all, this old mould has a mould line around the entire circumference of all 24 road wheels, plus idlers and drive wheels. This has to be carefully sanded off, while preserving the circle.

There have been BadWords.



Lovely resin.

Lovely resin. CastOff pic.

Where Did Another Weekend Go?

I only got around 4 hours at my workbench this weekend. But I did get the fuselage weathered and the whole thing matt coated. Considering the problem I had with DecalFix residue, I’m pretty happy with the result.

Sadly, this is all I can do on Nanette for now. We are moving house in a couple of months and, even though I’ve invested in metal undercarriage legs, I don’t trust it in a move. So Nanette’s been lovingly wrapped in bubblewrap and put away, probably until the Autumn.

I will be starting on the Tamiya 1/35 Chieftain with the out of production Cast Off Mk VIII resin upgrade though – armour is much easier to transport.

Starboard side weathered. Tamiya tape protecting gloss varnish instrument fronts and rear panel.

Starboard side weathered. Tamiya tape protecting gloss varnish instrument fronts and rear panel.

20. Port side weathered

Port side – these aircraft got terribly weathered – as can clearly be seen in contemporary photographs.

21. Belly weathered

Nanette’s belly – complete with tar ‘smile’ on her nose. I haven’t weathered the u/c bays yet.

Nanette part 1
Nanette part 2
Nanette part 3
Nanette part 4
Nanette part 5
Nanette part 6
Nanette part 7
Nanette part 8
Nanette part 9
Nanette Part 10