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This is a mini WIP combined with an RFI, as I built this around 10 years ago, and some day I may get around to replacing the sand shields with some etched ones, but given the number of unfinished models that I have at the moment, that's not going to be any time soon.

A Brief Intro. Operation Battleaxe was the first time that Crusaders were used in any significant numbers, and they didn't exactly cover themselves in glory. Thin armour, an ineffective main gun which couldn't fire HE and reliability problems were three of it's drawbacks. On the plus side, it was fast.

I'd built Tamiya's 1/48th version of this, and decided to do the same in 1/35th, using the Italeri kit as a basis. Although the kit is for a Mk.l/ll, it didn't cover the version used in Battleaxe. There were some alterations needed, but nothing too drastic. First job was to add the prominent rivets along the sides of the lower hull. This early kit from Italeri omitted them, but the AA version included them. In all, there were approximately 300 rivets, but a day and a half saw the job done, and my sanity intact.

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I was going to finish this tank in the marking of 6 RTR, and their vehicles had different air filters to those supplied in the kit. They are a simple box shape and I made them from different thickness’s of card. The pipework leading from the filters to the engine deck was altered by removing the 90 degree bend and making new pipe from tubing. The track guards were also of a different configuration, so I cut away the kit part where it bends downwards, and made new track guards and glued them into place along with the new air boxes.

Along the back of these Crusaders was a rack for 2 gallon POW cans. The rack was made from 10thou strip and filled with cans from Accurate Armour.

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The kit's right front track guard has a box shape on it which is for the spare tracks, but again, not applicable for this version, so it was removed with a chisel blade. A length of track was glued to the left track guard and a 10thou strip of card was added as a retaining bar.

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Turret.

To my eye, the mantlet protrudes too far forward, so I sawed it in half, thinned it by about 4mm, and then reattached it and blended it in with Mr Surfacer. The main gun barrel was replaced with an aluminium one from Jordi Rubio. The searchlight was detailed with a bulb and lens and some etched bass from Eduard. On the other side there is a pot shaped item (it's purpose eludes me) which I made from a piece of dowel, fixed it to a square of card and glued in place on the side of the turret.

There was no blanket box fitted to the rear of the turret, so a number of rivets had to be added along with a pistol port, new hatch bump stops and some detail to the aerial mount.

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Painting and weathering.

I painted the tank in the Caunter scheme of Portland or Light Stone, Silver Grey and Light Grey. I mixed my colours from Tamiya paints using Mike Starmers mixes. Markings were minimal, being just the census numbers on the turret and rear hull. Weathering consisted mainly of chipping along exposed edges and dust courtesy of Mig's Beach Sand and Light Dust.

 

The rest of the photos are RFI. I've included one of the original photos which I took years ago, to show what the colours should look like as the ones that I took recently give it a rather grey appearance.

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Sand Shields.

As I said, I should replace these as they haven't lasted as well as I hoped. I cut them from thin card and scored the back so that they could be bent to shape. I glued thin rod into the groove to try and get it to keep the correct shape, but over the years, they have flattened out, hence the need for replacement with etched brass items.

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Thanks for looking.

 

John.

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Bullbasket said:

and my sanity intact.

Are you sure? I haven't seen much evidence of that. :wink:

 

Not that I've got any clue about targets tanks, but it looks like and excellent job to me - very convincing. 

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However old it is, it's very nicely done.  And the sand shields look just fine to me.  I'm very impressed with the precision of the masking for the stripes over the various shapes: not even a teeny bleed in sight.  The overall effect is very good.

 

There was a debate on another forum recently about a similar pot-object on a Medium MkII turret pre-war.  No firm conclusion as to what it was, though.  Opinions ranged from an antenna base to a smoke pot (pre smoke grenade launchers) to a base for a light.

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38 minutes ago, Gorby said:

Are you sure? I haven't seen much evidence of that. :wink:

 

Not that I've got any clue about targets tanks, but it looks like and excellent job to me - very convincing. 

Thanks Gorby. Whenever I think about all of those rivets, one song goes through my mind, over and over..............by Napoleon XlV!!

 

John.

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23 minutes ago, Das Abteilung said:

However old it is, it's very nicely done.  And the sand shields look just fine to me.  I'm very impressed with the precision of the masking for the stripes over the various shapes: not even a teeny bleed in sight.  The overall effect is very good.

 

There was a debate on another forum recently about a similar pot-object on a Medium MkII turret pre-war.  No firm conclusion as to what it was, though.  Opinions ranged from an antenna base to a smoke pot (pre smoke grenade launchers) to a base for a light.

Thanks DA. Oh there were some bleeds, but a touch up with a fine brush does the job.

I'd go with antenna base, along the lines of the radio pot on welded Shermans.

 

John.

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That really is a superb Crusader John. You have been making mighty fine looking models for a long time. Your detailing, paintwork and weathering look fantastic. Very well done. :worthy:

Kind regards,

Stix

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Thanks very much Stix. Coming from you, that's praise indeed. Much appreciated.

 

John.

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Wow John those rivets,something else,especially the ones you do not see after the running gear goes on,well and beyond the call of duty,love this one even for its age,(as my wife said to me once),Cheers.

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Only one word - SUPER. 

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Superb job! 👍

 

Interesting about the colours, I thought the 'greyer' look to be more accurate per Mike Starmer's research?

 

regards,

Jack

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7 hours ago, Bullbasket said:

Thanks DA. Oh there were some bleeds, but a touch up with a fine brush does the job.

And here was I thinking you're the Masking Zen Ninja Master...................  To coin a phrase, you can't see the joins.

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11 hours ago, Jim Wasley said:

Wow John those rivets,something else,especially the ones you do not see after the running gear goes on,well and beyond the call of duty,love this one even for its age,(as my wife said to me once),Cheers.

Thanks Jim. Once you get into the swing of it, it doesn't take too long. Getting them in a straight line was the biggest problem. I've got another Mkl/ll to build, but it might have full sand shields, so maybe the rivets won't be required.

 

John.

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10 hours ago, Kris B said:

Only one word - SUPER. 

 

6 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

And here was I thinking you're the Masking Zen Ninja Master...................  To coin a phrase, you can't see the joins.

Thanks to you both.

 

John.

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On 26/05/2018 at 01:03, JackG said:

Superb job! 👍

 

Interesting about the colours, I thought the 'greyer' look to be more accurate per Mike Starmer's research?

 

regards,

Jack

Thanks Jack. Actually, the model comes out somewhere between the two. The photos were taken with two different cameras, the original was a Fuji Finepix and the recent ones were with a Lumix. They say that the camera never lies, but sometimes it does tell little porkies.

 

John.

Edited by Bullbasket
spelling

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Lovely job there John. Nice dust and chipping effects and great camo as well. I always liked the look of Crusaders. It's a shame they were an absolute pile of :poop: in action... or should that be 'out of action'?

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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That's a very neat Crusader John and I really like the extra detail you have added. Those additional rivets look the business. How did you do them?

 

Cheers

 

Terry

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Thats an excellent Crusader. The Italeri kit is still a respectable model as you show! Would be fantastic if Tamiya bought out a new moulding however. Well done. 

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10 hours ago, Badder said:

Lovely job there John. Nice dust and chipping effects and great camo as well. I always liked the look of Crusaders. It's a shame they were an absolute pile of :poop: in action... or should that be 'out of action'?

 

Rearguards,

Badder

Thanks Badder. Along with Shermans and Cromwells, Crusaders are one of my favourite tanks.

 

John.

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8 hours ago, Terry1954 said:

That's a very neat Crusader John and I really like the extra detail you have added. Those additional rivets look the business. How did you do them?

 

Cheers

 

Terry

Thanks Terry. At first look, they seem a bit daunting, but it's really simple. There are several punch and die sets on the market (Historex do some). Mine is a set by Waldron, and I got it from Rolls Models in the States. The tedious part is punching them out individually, but once I have a few done, I then set about fixing them in place. With the Crusader, I drew a line with a pencil and marked where each one needed to be placed. With a thin brush, I put a dab of MEK on the spot and then picked up a  rivet with a number 10 blade and placed it in the correct position. Once you get into a rhythm it doesn't take long. The Crusader was a fairly big job, but normally I'm just adding a few rivets here and there.

HTH's.

 

John.

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1 hour ago, Threadbear said:

Thats an excellent Crusader. The Italeri kit is still a respectable model as you show! Would be fantastic if Tamiya bought out a new moulding however. Well done. 

Thanks Grahame. The Italeri Crusader has been around for a long time now, and has appeared in several guises, Mk.l/ll, Mk.lll and the two different AA versions. It's also been issued by Revell and Tamiya and at least Tamiya got rid of that strange step in the front track guard. It's about time that the kit manufacturers stopped issuing an interminable line of Tiger l/ll's, and gave us an accurate, up to date kit of the Crusader.......please!

 

John.

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1 hour ago, Bullbasket said:

Thanks Terry. At first look, they seem a bit daunting, but it's really simple. There are several punch and die sets on the market (Historex do some). Mine is a set by Waldron, and I got it from Rolls Models in the States. The tedious part is punching them out individually, but once I have a few done, I then set about fixing them in place. With the Crusader, I drew a line with a pencil and marked where each one needed to be placed. With a thin brush, I put a dab of MEK on the spot and then picked up a  rivet with a number 10 blade and placed it in the correct position. Once you get into a rhythm it doesn't take long. The Crusader was a fairly big job, but normally I'm just adding a few rivets here and there.

HTH's.

 

John.

Thanks for that John. That helped a lot. I'd heard of the punch and die sets and wondered whether its worth investing in some, and your work and description has convinced me it would be.

 

Cheers

 

Terry

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Have a look around to see what's available first before you buy. There are several brands on the market now at varying prices. As well as the ones for punching out flat rivets, you can also get ones to punch out hexagonal  bolt heads. I have no connection to Historex, aside from being a satisfied customer, but they do quite a good range of these and other tools.

 

John.

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Top job. The kit is no spring chicken but you’ve done it more than justice. As has been said, it’s the only game in town if you want a Crusader. 

 

Pete

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10 hours ago, Buzby061 said:

Top job. The kit is no spring chicken but you’ve done it more than justice. As has been said, it’s the only game in town if you want a Crusader. 

 

Pete

Thanks Pete. Yes, although it's a bit long in the tooth, the one thing that it does have on it's side is accuracy.

14 minutes ago, stevej60 said:

Excellent finish on this one John,look's superb.

Thanks Steve.

 

John.

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