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In-Box Review
172
1/72 Churchill Mk.IV
1/72 Churchill Mk.IV
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by: Peter Ganchev [ PGP000 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

The Churchill tank is probably the last machine created with the “infantry tank” concept in mind. Slow and heavily-armored, the initial versions had a 2 pounder gun in the turret and a 3 inch howitzer in the front hull. Churchills served in North Africa and on the European fronts from 1942 till the end of the war, and were famous for their thick armor and ability to crawl up hills that would defeat any other tank.

With aging earlier releases by ESCI, Airfix and Hasegawa the Braille scale world has been expecting an up-to-date kit for quite some time. Well – here it is! Dragon has the most-numerous Churchill – the Mk. IV, which featured a cast turret and a 6 pounder main gun with much greater anti-tank capabilities. The howitzer in the hull was replaced with a Besa machine gun.

the kit

The kit contains 70 parts:

68 in grey plastic
2 runs of DS track
A decal sheet for a single Mk. IV tank from the North Irish Horse is included.

the review

There are two main hull components, cast as separate parts – the upper one represents the top deck and the fenders, and lower part is the slide-molded hull tub. It is interesting to note that there are fuel can racks at the aft end of the fenders, and Dragon has included two pairs of British-style 2 gallon cans to be posed there should the modeler so desire.

The rest of the details reside on three sprues, with the turret another slide-molded part. The commander’s and the loader’s hatch doors are separate parts, and can be posed open or closed. Antenna base, storage bin, fire extinguishers and periscope are all separate details, too. Two alternative parts are provided for the main gun, possibly representing the 6 pounder and the QF 75 mm, respectively. There is also a nice Besa machinegun to fit in the mantlet. There are no specific instructions regarding the mantlet itself (it is a separate part), which probably indicates it is not intended to be poseable out of the box.

A second Besa machinegun is controlled by the hull gunner. It’s interesting to note that the vertical armor in front of the gunner and the driver is made from one piece, but there is detail molded onto the inside of the driver’s direct vision port. The motor deck with molded-on tools is a separate part, as are the exhausts, the radiators and their top covers.

The bogie assemblies are nicely-detailed, with the springs represented with actual raised spiraling detail. The instructions inform you the one-piece DS tracks are 205mm long and contain 75 links each. You are advised to either cut them if they are too long, or stretch them if they are shorter than needed.

There are two tow cables molded onto the sponson sides. Two spare track links are provided in plastic (one for each side).

Instructions & painting guide

The instructions consist of 5 very straight-forward steps with standard Dragon graphics.

The painting guide shows one overall dark green machine of C Sqn, North Irish Horse, Italy, 1944.

conclusion

This is another of the newer Dragon kits, which appears to be mainly designed for ease and speed of assembly. DML has expertly filled the gap between earlier Marks (I and II by Hasegawa and III from ESCI) and the later Airfix Churchill VII with an excellent, hassle-free kit.

Related Reviews

Churchill III Live links

Churchill IV build review Live links

Churchill NA 75 Live links
SUMMARY
Highs: Quality-molded, nicely-detailed kit, straight-forward build.
Lows: Molded-on tools and tow cables.
Verdict: Excellent kit with clever parts breakdown. A no-frills build of a Churchill Mk. IV replica in 1/72. Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 7424
  Suggested Retail: $17.50
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 28, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 84.77%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Peter Ganchev (pgp000)
FROM: GRAD SOFIYA, BULGARIA

I bought and built my first kit in 1989. Since then it's been on and off until about 4 years ago, when modelling became the main stress-relief technique. Starting with 1/72 aviation I've diversified into armor, trucks, artillery and figures, as well as a number of other scales.

Copyright ©2017 text by Peter Ganchev [ PGP000 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Thanks for the review Bill, i've been thinking of getting this one but I wanted to wait for a review first. While overall it looks like a nice kit I just can't help but feel Dragon has been a little lazy with this one. I mean moulded on tools and only 1 decal option just feels like a half hearted effort. Compare this to earlier armor pro kits and it really seems like a step backwards to me. I think i'll wait until its in the sales bin before getting this one.
DEC 29, 2011 - 05:46 AM
Looking at the pictures in the review it also suffers from a number of issues (not mentioned in the text) The smoke dischargers are in the wrong place (and not by a small margin) and are depicted fully deployed. The exhausts and covers seem to dip o the rear deck as if the exhausts are not there and the covers are just sitting on the deck there are only two engine hatch props instead of the 4 needed on the actual tank. The cover for the ends of the props, which should be located in the centre of the engine hatches is instead located between the front two hatches where the other two prop rods should be The 6pdr barrel is a very strange shape One of the large conical rivets on the right side behind the pannier door is in the wrong place. The kit has two at the top and one at the bottom. This is correct for the left side but the right side should be two at the bottom and one at the top Overall it doesn't look a massively bad kit, but very very sloppy on the details
DEC 29, 2011 - 07:08 AM
Regardless of issues, ( and some sound quite bad) this is a kit I have been looking forward too for while. I guess Dml is treating the new braille releases with some carelessness, maybe in an effort to chuck them out at speed, or , to lead the way with new tech, ( i'm looking at you horch with slide moulded hull.
DEC 30, 2011 - 06:19 AM
What DML is realizing is that the main customer mass of the kits they produce are people that wouldn't notice most of what ChrisDM has pointed out. So yes, as every other kit out there this particular one has its faults and a fair share of simplifications. Perhaps most of us had their expectations bar raised a bit high after earlier releases (most of my recent 1/72 AFV purchases are Dragon kits for a good reason). My guess is DML is trying to balance price with quality and level of detail - I can remember well the sentiments of modellers when the 1/72 Pz.Kpfw. IVs came out at over $20. What I can tell you is that the build is pretty straightforward and as far as the growing number of occasional modellers are concerned - this will turn into a very nice and eye-catching addition to the collection without the need to fiddle with a heap of tiny parts and flimsy PE. I'd be happy to look into the expected Mk. III and compare parts changed (in addition to the turret and the external fuel tank).
DEC 31, 2011 - 10:55 AM
I doubt it would have cost any more to get these things right. Its not a matter of adding any extra detail at all; just spending a few more minutes looking at the wealth of information freely available on the net and putting the details in the right place. These are not tiny details we're talking about, or a matter of something being a few scale millimeters out, they are major components that have been done wrong for lack of care on the part of the designers. The mystery is why they got it wrong in the first place. Matchbox, Hasegawa, Airfix etc all managed to get these parts right.... For what its worth I personally think these mistakes are a fair bit more significant than the usual imperfections we see on kits. No kit is perfect, thats true. But some are a lot less perfect than others It looks like the kit can be fixed though, with a little micro surgery to relocate parts and add the missing rods, but it looks like a tricky job
JAN 01, 2012 - 06:04 AM
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