Tamiya 1/35 Churchill Mk VII
I am going to bypass the history and development of the Churchill. It's long and complicated; needless to say the Churchill fought on every front and with the Soviet Union and was also present during the Korean war.
I'm a fan of box art. I've bought so many bad kits in the past because the box art was cool. Tamiya, on the other hand, does the opposite. I wish they would get away from the sterile box art and have some flare. The art in the 70's was unique and powerful. A few kits you could smell the cordite.
First we begin with the upper and lower hulls. Very well detailed upper hull that has the ejector pins on the inside of the hull. Nice touch of engineering. Fender covers are molded with the upper hull. A large ejector pin hole needs to be remedied. Lower hull is the original design for the battery operated motor. Battery outlines are still molded in, but the old switch locations have been filled in and no extra care needs to be done.
There are two vinyl tracks harking back to the old days of motorized kits. Very well detailed and each have three hole/pin locators for assembly. Four vinyl caps are also included for the drive sprockets.
Sprue F & G
This is the French farmer and cart. You have the farmer; cart; milk cans, basket and two crewmen are attached to this sprue. There is a clear sprue (G) that has vino bottles; lamp and goggles. If you like figures with your tank, you will be a happy camper.
This is the drive sprockets and wheels along with spare tracks and shovels. Really nice molding with no visible ejector pin marks.
This has parts for hull fittings and muffler assembly. The tow cables look very dated in style. One could use braided wire to make the cables more life-like. The towing hook could use some help. Very basic looking with hardly any detail, one can smell a 3D printed replacement.
Suspension and more hull fittings, super nice details, Commander's cupola can have hatches open or closed positions. There are a ton of ejector pin marks, be careful here, there are parts that will be showing on the underside of the Churchill, so plan on filling holes.
The turret is a two-piece assembly; gun barrel also old school two-piece. There's not an extraordinary amount of detail on the turret. The Mk VII's were cast turrets and there is a basic attempt to give a cast texture. One British Tommy and a crewmen and also included with this sprue. Also included are the mystery mounted bed rolls for the side of the turret.
Decals are the typical high quality that Tamiya produces. There are three options:
6th Guards Brigade 3rd Tank Battalion Scots Guards
34th Tank Brigade 107th RAC
31st Tank Brigade 9th RTR
Overall color to this tank is molded in dark green. Recommended color scheme is Tamiya XF-61 Dark Green. There is an option if one wishes to do a winter white wash over the Dark Green base.
If you like slow and heavy tanks, the Churchill is for you. If you want to build a tank that has overall good details and be that 900-pound gorilla on the shelf, a Tamiya Churchill is in your future. With some basic weathering and added detailing if one wishes; you have the basics of a very nice diorama with this kit. So if you don't have this kit already, go out and get one.