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Centurion Mk.5/1


Angus Tura
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Hello.

 

I'd like to add this Australian Centurion. I ordered it from the Ukraine when I couldn't find one in the UK and hoped it would arrive by the first day of the GB: I'm a chronic non-finisher.

 

It arrived today in a broken down sort of way,

 

200824a Package

 

but reconstructed, it looks quite presentable.

 

200824b Box

 

I do like the customer service additions. Why don't Hannants send sweets with their orders?

 

Here are the bits. There are an awful lot of them.

 

200824c Contents

 

The molding is pretty good but there are some sink marks and quite a lot of clean up of mold lines to do. The sprue to the right isn't on the parts-map. It and the little sprue beside it are the specific additions for the long range and Vietnam RAAC versions.

 

I'm glad to have it at the start of the GB and not half way through and am really looking forward to this. I've got a couple of things to get finished before starting this.

 

See you soon,

 

Alan

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welcome along Alan, and yes it's great to see another AFV in the build (and a Centurion as well!!) plus an Aussie one!  :thumbsup:

 

It does look a nice model form the photos, looks to have plenty of detail. From what little I know about them, the side skirts were quickly removed and sometimes the mudguards at front and back because they clogged up quite easily in the mad. Plus I have seen photos of some with little "tent" structures build on the turrets for shade.

 

Good luck with the build, I look forward to following it.......it may tempt me to buy the Club AFV vession to add to the collection and every growing build list

 

......just don't take the "Brown sweets" man!!!!  :drunk:

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Cool choice!

 

I have this kit and part started it a couple of years ago. From what I can remember it went together rather well.

 

Now if only I could remember where it went!!

 

All the best

Ben

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

 

For some reason, everytime I see a Centurion I am reminded of a skit on the satirical programme "Not the Nine O'Clock News" from the early 1980's. Over a film clip of a Centurion barging around the voice over said "Centurion Mark 8 - designed by men with women drivers in mind" - still can't work out whether they meant to protect male drivers or female ones, though with that clutch designed for a Squaddies boot, I doubt many ladies would like driving it. Totally politically incorrect by today's standards of course, but then so was most of the show, such as the "American Express" sketch or the "Failed in Wales" one if you remember them. Probably one of the reasons it never gets repeated.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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  • 1 month later...

Hello. Finally some progress on this. If you like fettling, this is the kit for you!

 

Will Alcott has a build review of this at On-the-Way which I found really useful: https://www.onthewaymodels.com/reviews/ACE/WAlcott_Ace_72428_review.htm  

 

The hull is molded as a number of flat plates and to get you started there are a couple of bulkheads. I put them on the hull floor really carefully to make sure they are perpendicular,

 

201015b Bulkheads

 

and missed the fact that the bulkheads are not quite the right width.

 

201016a Bulkhead gaps

 

So, there's a step where the side plates meet the floor. So, the first of many fettles to come:

 

201017a Bulkhead gaps fix

 

20 thou. plasticard shims on the left, and some carving down on the right, and they're ready to glue.

 

201017b bulkhead gap fix glue

 

Here they are, all clamped up and next day they look OK.

 

201018a Hull 1

 

The back of the hull is a bit complicated. There's a flat plate to go across the back,

 

201018b Hull 2 back bits

 

This is a fraction too wide and needs a lot of careful sanding and scratching to get to fit into its grooves while letting the top of the engine deck fit right. Behind this plate is a part which comes molded flat, and needs to be bent to fit the hull. Here it is squeezed into the right shape after scoring into some grooves to help the bending with a no.11 blade.

 

201018c Hull 3 back bits

 

Here it is in place with a little stretched sprue and liquid glue in the groove to fix its shape,

 

201019a Hull 4 back bits top

 

and then, after that had dried completely, I've made the other bend with some tape. I'm hoping the three vertical plates perpendicular to this bend will hold it in this shape. Currently the glue is drying...

I'm anticipating that getting these to fit the three slots on the front of the rear plate will be a bit of a trial. All three of them stick out a bit too far as things stand. Nothing that several hours more fettling won't fix.

 

201019c Hull 5 bendy bit bent

 

While the glue has been drying and for a little light relief, I've started on the running gear.

 

201014a Wheel mold shift

 

As you can see, there's a bit of slippage on the mold and having got the return rollers on the left cleaned up they're a bit trapezoid. All of the wheels suffer with this too. I'll try to position them on the model so that this isn't too noticeable. Here are all the wheels and return rollers cleaned up:

 

201019e wheels prepped

 

The sprockets and idlers aren't cleaned up yet. I've left all the wheels and return rollers on a single sprue attachment each to make painting easier.

 

One of the fronts of the bogies in the standard kit contents is the wrong shape but there's a separate one given on the sprue of parts specific to the long range marks. I've cut it out and cleaned it up to see what will need to be painted before gluing the half-bogies together. There's a little spring trapped between the two halves.

 

201019d Bogie trial

 

Having seen this, I'm going to paint the interiors of the bogies and the springs before assembling them and then I'll mask the springs and spray the "lustreless OD"  overall. As you can see there are some annoying sink marks on the bogie. Probably the next job is to fill those and the hull joints.

 

I'll let you know. Thanks for looking.

 

Alan

 

 

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On 9/8/2020 at 3:42 PM, PeterB said:

Hi,

 

For some reason, everytime I see a Centurion I am reminded of a skit on the satirical programme "Not the Nine O'Clock News" from the early 1980's. Over a film clip of a Centurion barging around the voice over said "Centurion Mark 8 - designed by men with women drivers in mind" - still can't work out whether they meant to protect male drivers or female ones, though with that clutch designed for a Squaddies boot, I doubt many ladies would like driving it. Totally politically incorrect by today's standards of course, but then so was most of the show, such as the "American Express" sketch or the "Failed in Wales" one if you remember them. Probably one of the reasons it never gets repeated.

 

Pete

 

Pete,

 

I've looked for this on youtube in vain: it must be very non-PC.

 

Alan

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Very nice work on your Centurion Alan.

She certainly has the look of a limited edition moulding from the mis-matching and mould slippage visible on some of the parts. You are doing a great job on her though and making sure that everything is aligned properly right from the start will save a lot of issues later on.

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12 hours ago, Angus Tura said:

 

Pete,

 

I've looked for this on youtube in vain: it must be very non-PC.

 

Alan

At the time Amex were running ads on TV where a customer showed his card and the vendor said "American Express - that will do nicely sir." They had Pamela Stephenson standing behind a desk in what looked like airline uniform, but it turned out that the service she was accepting payment for was not quite one Amex would want to be associated with - I will say no more!

 

Are you building this with the side skirts on? I gather they tended to get damaged when barging through the bush so they were often removed. I have for years been intending to build one of the Aifix ones in my stash with the skirts off as it changes the appearance noticeably.

 

Pete

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Hi Graham,

 

I had just moved down to South Wales at the time the series started, and the WDA had for some time managed to encourage the influx of a number of fairly high profile industries into the area which they were a little boastful about. Unfortunately some of them did not last very long - LG for example, hence the "Failed in Wales" skits on Not the Nine O'Clock News. Of course, being a topical prog like "That was the week, that was" it would probably not work too well with modern audiences which may be why they never repeated it much, which is a pity as some of it was rather good. The one that went ""I'm prepared to believe that Nixon wasn't a crook; I'm prepared to believe Love Story's a readable book..." and finally concluding, "I believe that the devil is ready to repent; – but I can't believe Ronald Reagan is president." might be quite apposite at the moment with an appropriate change of President depending on your vierws!

 

Sorry for the thread hijack Angus - how are things in Halifax these days - I was born and raised over the hill in Horton Bank Top (BD46), and used to cycle over to your town when I was younger and fitter! There used to be some good book and model shops in the Piece Hall but I guess they are long gone, but it looks like they have done a good job on the restoration. Is it true Halifax had the Guillotine years before the French, hence the old Yorkshire prayer used at the namimg ceremony for the Halifax bomber -  "From Hell, Hull, and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us" - Halifax chopped criminals heads off, and Hull apparently tied them to stakes on the river bank and drowned them, or so the story goes - so neither were good places to get caught stealing in those days!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

 

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there's some proper modelling work going on here, nicely done Alan! :thumbsup:

 

Hmmmm "flat-pack" hulls.......not the best of fun things to have to do, least they weren't warped! I have a couple of resin horror AFV's that have to have the hull made up....needless to say I haven't gotten very far with them!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rich,

 

Thanks for bringing this thread back to the point!

 

Some progress in making up the hull.

 

Here is the plate which needed to be bent in place, and the three plates perpendicular to it carved down to let the rear-most plate fit. I overdid the middle one a bit and added a little scrap to that and then carved that back when the liquid glue had dried.

 

201020a Hull 6 bendy bit in place

 

The other plates to make up the rear deck are here. The (?) radiator is visible through the slots in the rear deck so I've painted that and the inner face of the engine deck. The radiator is Tamiya metallic grey followed by two thin coats of Tamiya smoke.

 

I heart searched a bit about what colour to use for "lustreless olive drab." There is a piece on Tapatalk by someone who previously painted several of the real things. He gives several different oaint mixes for various different paint brands. I've gone for Mr.Color C303 (USAF light green) and 5% white. The inner face of the engine deck is neat C303.

 

201028a Back of hull bits painted

 

Here are the bits sequentially added, clamped on, glued and then left to dry for a few hours each:

 

201028b Back of hull assembled 201029a Back of hull gap 201029b Back of hull no gap

 

Having got these on, the rest of the hull, being the roofs of the fighting compartment, driver's section and glacis, went on quite well albeit with a bit of scraping and sanding to keep the gaps small.

 

201030a Hull ready to finish

 

So, here are the basics of the hull finished . The glacis is still taped in place waiting for the glue. I've started filling the little gap at the bottom of the hull side with Mr.Surfacer 500. The three holes at the upper edge of the filler are for posts which support the side skirts. These seem to have been removed with the side skirts when the RAAC arrived in Vietnam. I've filled them too with Mr.Surfacer.

 

Next on will be the fenders. Here they are in rough.

 

201030b Unaltered fenders

 

and in a bit more detail at the front of the hull.

 

201030c Unaltered fender fit

 

The glacis has these cut outs along its sides to let the side skirts fit closely but the fit here is poor. I'm going to fill the cut outs and just try to fit the side skirts closer to the edges of the glacis.

 

Night night. Manana.

 

Alan

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for a bit of a complex assembly process she looks great, you've managed to sort out those gaps as well. Not an easy thing to do with an assembly like this one.

 

She's starting to look like a Centurion now.

 

The scheme may be a solid Drab one, but with a bit of careful pre-shading and highlighting should bring it to life nicely.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello. Long inactivity. I got a bit bogged down in the fender fit and side-tracked by the Revell BAe Hawk GB.

 

Here are some little fillers for the glacis,

 

201113a Glacis fillers

 

The front and back of the fenders seem to have been cut back on the RAAC centurions in Vietnam. I based that on this reference which I've had hanging around for ages. 

 

201114e Book

 

Having cut them back they needed thinning out:

 

201111a Fenders thinned out

 

The fit of the fenders to the hull is a problem however. This is partly self inflicted. I could just clamp the fenders on, apply the glue and wait but I'd then have to put on, and paint, the tracks after the fenders were attached, which I didn't fancy. Here's the problem.

 

201113b Left fender gap

 

When the back of the left fender is right, there's a gap at the front, and vice versa. Incidentally you can see the new shape of the fenders here. The fit on the right is fine.

 

I made these saw cuts on the inside of the left fender,

 

201113c Left fender gap fix 1

 

Stuck the fender in place with tape,

 

201113d Left fender gap fix 2

 

so that the gaps were closed up back and front. Then filled the saw cuts with stretched sprue,

 

201114a Left Fender gap fix 3

 

and voila!

 

201114c Fenders on

 

They fit. They're just held on with blu-tack here. You might wonder, "why bother?", but now I can paint the hull and fenders separately, fix up the running gear and tracks, and then add the fenders at the end for dusting/mud and what have you.

Here's the fit at the glacis:

 

201114b Glacis and fenders fixed

 

After this, I've just spent a pleasant day sticking other bits and pieces to the hull. According to the instructions the first-aid and telephone boxes (part B14), transposed from the rear of the hull to the side of the additional fuel tank on the back of the hull, should have the boxes side by side,

 

201114d telephone box instructions

 

but I think they should be one above the other:

 

201114f Telephone box on

 

Here is one improved exhaust pipe and one not:

 

201114g Exhaust drilled out

 

and here's as far as I've got:

 

20201114_235621

 

It does take a bit of time. I'm interested that it seems to be a computer designed kit and it's packed with detail. Generally the fit is pretty good too, but the mold quality does really let it down. There's a lot of flash, and a lot of pretty heavy mold lines. Everything needs a lot of clean-up before it goes on. I should probably have done a Tamiya Sheridan too!

 

Alan 

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Hi, again.

 

Thanks Mr.Minion.

 

A little more progress today. I've been trying out the fit of the tow cables which are molded in vinyl. I'm keen to use them to be completely OOTB but the "on-the-way" web-review mentioned above thought them not much use. I know what he means but I do think they're usable.

 

 

201115a Cables try out

 

The clamp-thing on the back of the fuel tank is quite a tight fit without glue and I think I can paint it in situ without the cables and then add the cables and paint them. They feel terribly delicate, and they're going to need a bit of painting, but I think they're usable. The instructions in the kit do say that its important to prime the kit before adding the tracks. I think this is about the vinyl and the polystyrene reacting over time if they're in direct contact. I presume that applies to the cable as well as to the tracks.

 

I've also got the turret assembled tonight.

 

201115b Turret construction

 

The fit is pretty good and this was pretty straightforward: I was dreading it being like the hull. There are some gaps but nothing that some creative Mr.Surfacer texturing won't cover.

 

I'm surprised, not for the first time, by the shape of the centurion turret without the stowage boxes.

 

Alan

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11 hours ago, Angus Tura said:

 

 

. I think this is about the vinyl and the polystyrene reacting over time if they're in direct contact.

 

Alan

Hi Alan,

 

Now that is interesting - not come across that before. I wonder if tht is why the "stretchy tracks" on a lot of my older tanks have gone brittle over the years and broken - do you have any more detail on this reaction?

 

Pete

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Hi,

 

Not much done. The turret needs a lot of help to fit:

 

201117a turret on

 

On 11/16/2020 at 12:21 PM, PeterB said:

Hi Alan,

 

Now that is interesting - not come across that before. I wonder if that is why the "stretchy tracks" on a lot of my older tanks have gone brittle over the years and broken - do you have any more detail on this reaction?

 

Pete

 

Pete,

 

"I'm glad you asked me that question," usually means "I haven't the foggiest". That would have been the truthful answer to your question. However, I have read up on this. I've certainly seen it happen to old model car tyres which have become a bit gooey and stuck to polystyrene, and I've seen unpainted Dragon DS tracks get very brittle. 

 

I am not an industrial chemist but I understand that it isn't a "reaction" as such. Rather, the soft plastics are not inherently soft but have "plasticers" added to them to make them soft. PVC, in its raw state, is seemingly very brittle. The plasticisers might or might not be volatile but they leach out of the PVC or whatever over time and they can melt polystyrene in the same way that liquid glue does. So, I suppose that painting the polystyrene in contact with the PVC protects the polystyrene from the platiciser. I presume that painting the track should stop the platiciser leaching out and thereby stop the track becoming brittle. I wonder too if this effect is why PVC and other soft plastics have a smell even when they're quite old, whereas polystyrene has no smell.

 

So I am glad you asked that question, because I didn't know any of this when you asked it.

 

Alan

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