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Das Abteilung

Any Correct Centurion Wheels in 1/35 kits?

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What started out as a discussion on another forum about the new GUP/AFV Club A41 Centurion MkI led me to do some investigating about the roadwheels and to draw an alarming conclusion: they're wrong in pretty much all 1/35 offerings as far as I can tell.  Perhaps we can turn this into a little survey of the kits in peoples' stashes to see how different kits of Cent-based vehicles show the wheels.


Centurion wheels started out on the early Marks as unaltered Comet wheels: certainly on Mks I - 3.  These had 2 thin circumferential reinforcing ribs inside the rim.  Over time these ribs grew thicker and ended up as 3 quite pronounced ribs.  The visible thickness of the edge of the rim also increased.  No injection-moulded wheels can possibly represent these ribs because of the limitations of steel moulds: no undercuts, as we well know.  Slide moulding is no help here.  In order to show the ribs correctly, the rim would need to be made up from rings or slices.  IIRC the AFV Club wheels are single-piece mouldings, so they can't be correct.


Resin casting in flexible moulds has a chance of representing the ribs, and there are several after-market wheel sets out there.  At least one has the ribs.


My stash of Centurion-based vehicles that are still running on Centurion wheels is limited (as distinct from those running on Merkava wheels).


The Academy Nagmashot does not show the ribs at all.


The Tiger Models early (non-doghouse) Nagmachon actually does show the late triple ribs.  But for some daft reason Tiger have chosen to mould the entire wheel rim outside the central disc as part of the flexible vinyl tyre, making them IMHO pretty much useless.  It's certainly pointless having a separate tyre that includes the rim as it gives no painting advantage.  And we all know about painting vinyl.  I presume the flexible material allowed the undercut moulding.


The only AM wheel set I currently have is the Legend offering.  These have a step moulded into the rim at about half depth, not present on the real thing.  Useless.


Looking at pictures on line, the Panzer Art spare wheel set does show the late triple ribs.  It's impossible to tell if the full wheel set does the same, but I'm going to risk getting a couple of sets anyway.  Panzer Art clearly know what they should look like and if they can cast it in one set they can surely do it in the other.  I noticed on another forum that someone described the PA wheels as "not the best": if they have the ribs then they've just been promoted to "the only correct ones"!


It would be interesting to hear about the situation in any other Centurion kits and AM wheel sets you may have stashed away.


Here is a sketch of how the wheel rim design evolved over time, taken from looking at the various Bovington Centurions.




And here are some supporting photos.  First, Comet.



Centurion Mk I (also Mk3)



Mk 7









Unused spare wheel, last type


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I got a pair of Panzer Art wheels as spares for the sides of my BARV a couple of years back. Just had a look at them and I would say they probably represent the 'final' version but would pass as the 'second' type.


I dont much care for resin but these wheels are among the best resin parts I have used as far as clean moulding and lack of air bubbles.



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Thanks.  Yes, those are the "final" type.  The central rib should actually be slightly taller than the other two, but it's only about 0.1mm in scale.  But these are infinitely better than wheels with steps or no ribs.   You can see how noticeable the ribs actually are.  I can see from the photo that the AFVC wheels don't have the 2 outer ribs, as I believed.  They do seem to show the inner one at the disc/rim join.


I do love the BARVs.  That's really good work on yours.  I'm very impressed.  I've always fancied the BARV Family with Sherman, Centurion and Hippo but my scratchbuilding skills aren't up to the last 2 (and Hippo needs a full interior with the big windows) and the Resicast Sherman conversion costs a small fortune.

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8 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

  I can see from the photo that the AFVC wheels don't have the 2 outer ribs, as I believed.  They do seem to show the inner one at the disc/rim join.



The kit wheels are Tamiya. I used a pre-built Cent I got cheap as the donor, it was the Academy branded version hence the colour.

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I completely failed to notice that the cut in half Centurion at Bovington has a sectioned roadwheel.  So here's a real cross-section rather than my sketches.  This is the final type with the 3 deeper ribs, which are not appropriate for the Mk3 they have them on.  I imagine they were swapped when the tank was cut in the early 80s.




Something else I've noticed are different configurations of the small holes around the edge of the central disc.  The 1st type had 3 holes whereas the intermediate and final types had 6 holes.  Many of the final type wheels evident at Bovington, including the stacks of brand new spare wheels in the Tank Factory and the wheels from the Mk3 pictured above, have no holes at all.  I have seen it suggested that Israeli-made wheels had 5 holes, but I believe this is just confusion with Merkava wheels often fitted to Puma, Nagmachon etc.

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very interesting topic, i'm not a specialist of Centurion but if I decide to build one, I guess this thread will be helpful B)


Did you try the Accurate Armour Centurion wheels (#A128) ? They seem to be of early style ...


Regards, E

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There is no way any of those can be injection moulded without a transverse split which will add a lot more problems than the inner wheel profile. If you want raised ridges, look at resin



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