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  1. As sitting at my modelling desk is not an option for me at the moment, so therefore I can't get much modelling done, the following WIP is a model that I built about three years ago. Apart from Shermans, the other WWll tank that I have a real liking for is the Cromwell. I've built around half a dozen in 1/35th and 1/48th scales and I'm always on the lookout for second hand ones at various shows as there are more variants that I want to build. The Cromwell that I will be doing the WIP for, is the Mk.Vllw. These tanks were basically upgraded Mk.lV's with added armour and 15.5 inch track as opposed to the 14 inch of other Cromwells. Some of them also had welded hulls instead of riveted ones, hence the “w” in the designation. In addition, some (if not all, not too sure of my facts here), were fitted with the so called “Vauxhall Hatch”. This hatch made it easier for the driver to exit the tank in an emergency, something that proved to be impossible when the turret was in a certain position with previous hatches. To build this model would require the only game in town in this scale, namely the 20 year old Tamiya kit (yes, I know about SKP's offering, but this is an easier build). Even by today's standards, this is still an excellent kit, but it has one or two mistakes, which I will come to later. As well as some scratch building, I used the 75mm main gun from RB Models and also the 15.5 inch tracks from SKP (never again!) Photos of Mk.Vllw Cromwells are few and far between, but I did come across one in the Capricorn Publication book on the Czech Independent Armoured Brigade on page 38 showing T121777w. There are also three photos of a Mk.Vllw in the Polish publication Tank Power No.373 Cromwell, that show the additional armour quite well. I had a couple of SKP's rub down decal sheets covering the CIAB, so I could do this tank, just needing to source the “62” on the turret from elsewhere. And so to the build. Starting with the lower hull, there were a couple of modifications that I wanted to make to the swing arms so that part of the suspension could be compressed to appear to be travelling over uneven ground. I did this once before in a previous build and it is quite easy. I wanted the second and third road wheels to be able to compress and to do that the stops were removed with a sharp blade. This allows the arms to swing free.......... ...................and allow the arms to do this. Because I was going to position the drivers hatch in the open position, I put a rudimentary interior in place. This consisted of a seat from Academy's Stuart and the brake levers from the same maker's M3 Grant. Added to that were some pieces of card to represent the various panels etc. Thanks for looking. John.
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