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For some time now I've been quiet fascinated by early-war British tanks.  They were all utterly rubbish and were no match for their German opponents.  At least, that is what conventional wisdom would have us believe.  The real situation was somewhat more complex than that.  True, they tended to be dogged by unreliable engines and cooling systems, but the 2 pdr gun fitted to most early-war British tanks could defeat anything put up against it on the battlefield.

 

British tank doctrine of the time led to two different types of tank.  The Infantry tank was slow but very heavily armoured.  They were intended, as the name suggests, to accompany the infantry and provide fire support.

 

On the other hand the Cruiser tanks were fast and lightly armoured.  Their role was to cut through the enemy lines and thrust into the supply areas causing destruction and confusion behind the lines.  Crusier tanks were the modern equivalent of mounted cavalry.

 

The first cruiser tank was the A9.  The first four models of cruiser were simply given mark numbers, but from the Mk V onwards, they were given names: Covenanter, Crusader, Cavalier, Cromwell and Comet.  After that came the Centurion, combining the speed and maneouvrability of the cruiser tank  with the armour of the infantry tank.  The Centurion was the first British MBT.

 

This build will be the Gecko 1/35 A9 Cruiser Mk.I built in the box art scheme. representing a vehicle of 1 RTR, 7 Armoured Division in operations around Tobruk in April 1942.

 

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31 minutes ago, TEMPESTMK5 said:

Welcome aboard and have fun with your build N°2

Now you know what I meant when I said my builds were scaring me...  :) 

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11 hours ago, Enzo Matrix said:

Now you know what I meant when I said my builds were scaring me...  :) 

Good morning Enzo

I am not very worried and in fact I am sure that you will succeed in a great build ..

Best Regards

Patrice

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Let's look at the sprues.

 

To be honest, I'm a little lost with these.  There are a lot of them and I'm not sure exactly what is on each one.  So I'm simply going to post the photos without any comment.

 

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Told you there was a lot of them, didn't I?  :lol:

 

It seems that the kit provides a detailed interior.   What is also clear is that a lot of thought has gone into the moulding of this kit.  Just look at how much slide moulding is involved.

 

So far it is simply a complicated kit which doesn't ring any alarm bells.  It's just going to requite time and care in assembly.

 

 

 

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Okay, here's the bit that does ring alarm bells!   This bit is frankly scaring me.  :door: 

 

The tracks are seperate links.  There are three parts to each track link:  link base, link upper including track guide horns and linkage.  There are seven of these sprues...

 

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Now you may see my concern.   I thought I would get a head start on these by starting to build the tracks a couple of weeks ago.  This would keep me well within the 25% rule but would mean I wouldn't waste too much time during the build.

 

As it happened, I found that the plastic needs a lot of polystyrene cement to secure it.  There simply isn't the mating surface area required - at least not if you want the tracks to work...  :fraidnot:   I found that when I had put a number of links together, the assembly would disintegrate when I moved it.    Two weeks later and I have only got this far:

 

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This is about 12% through the track assembly.  As you can see, some of it disintegrated as I was photographing it...  :wall:

 

The grey rectangular piece at the bottom is the assembly jig. 


It seems a good idea but unfortunately it has more than enough mating surface area to allow any glue to hold and keeps getting glued to the track!!

 

The Bronco kit of the same vehicle has link-and-length tracks which will be much easier to build.  After comparing the tracks in the two kits, I came to a realisation.  Why does the track actually have to work?  Why can I not build it in short lengths similar to what is supplied in the Bronco kit?  So that's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to make my own link-and-length components. 

 

But no more work on it until the GB starts. 

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Looks like you get your money's worth, those tracks look intresting you were wise to make a start on them. 

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6 minutes ago, Ozzy said:

those tracks look intresting you were wise to make a start on them. 

shame I didn't get very far!  :shrug:  

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Looking forward to seeing you build this as I love early war British armour,...... I don`t have this kit yet but have the earlier release,..... got to admit thoe tracks are putting me off buying another! 

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The A9 tracks remind me of the Bronco A13 kit I tried.

 

It was progressing ok until I got to the tracks and like the A9 the contact point was minute to say the least.

 

The tracks had to be built long before the model was completed and the end result was that the tracks literally exploded into dozens of parts that simply could not be put together again. With no aftermarket alternatives the kit ended up in the bin. ☹️

 

Hope the same thing doesn't happen to your A9 because the early war British Cruisers are cracking subjects.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Gordon J said:

With no aftermarket alternatives the kit ended up in the bin. ☹️

 

I believe that the tracks on the A13 were similar to those on the Crusader.  Accurate Armour provide aftermarket resin tracks for the Crusader which I will definitely be using on my planned A13 builds. 

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And off we go.  Hold on tight, rider! :lol: 

 

The lower hull parts are a surprise.  I'm used to Tamiya tank kits where the lower hull is a single moulding.   That doesn't happen here.  All the parts are flat, probably to allow detaiuling on both faces.  The modeller has to carefully build them up.

 

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But as you can see, there are two components for the fighting compartment bulkheads, which provide some internal bracing.

 

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Once built, the unit is quite strong.  I have added some ballast as well, because I like tank models to have a bit of weight.

 

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It's a good idea to dry fit the hull top during construction to make sure everything fits together nicely,

 

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49 minutes ago, Ozzy said:

The moulding looks really nice.

It's a lovely kit.  Just the tracks which are a bit scary.

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  • 1 month later...

There is a reasonably detailed interior in this kit, which I admit that I didn't bother with.  It won't be visible on the finished model, especially as I intend to have crew in every open hatch.

 

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The suspension units a ridiculously over engineered.  I think the team at Gecko have taken the opportunity to show off their moulding skills at the expense of buildability.  Each suspension unit works.  The springs are moulded plastic which also actually work.  But here's the problem.  Try and get them off the sprues without destroying them!  The first one I did exploded into have a dozen sections which I could not reassemble neatly as you can see below.

 

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I'm just going to accept that this crew will be very uncomfortable while crossing rough ground.  :D   Thankfully this unit should be hidden behind the sand shield.

 

Rather than snipping the other springs off the sprue, I snipped the sprues themselves away so they were easily handled and used a very fine razor saw to remove them.  In the even, only one of them came away intact, but at least the other broken ones only ended up in two pieces.

 

I think it would be far better for Gecko to replace these parts with a real spring. 

 

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A very surprised looking driver figure, from the Ultracast set for the Matilda.

 

My figure painting skills are not the best so I'm trying to improve them by adding as many figures as possible to my tank models.

 

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Here he is in place.

 

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Main turret and the two seperate machine gun turrets built.

 

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And the whole thing temporarily assembled.

 

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Time for some tidying up of joints.

 

 

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Primed with my usual grey auto primer from a rattle can.

 

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And sprayed overall with Lifecolor UA-107

 

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The first section of the Caunter camouflage has been sprayed using Lifecolor UA-525.

 

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  • 1 month later...

A lot has happened since my last update.   I finished the Canter camouflage using Lifecolor UA-227.  I then built the tracks.   As discussed earlier, the tracks are composed of myriads of tiny pieces which are intended to make a workable track run.  Well, I don't care about workable track runs!  :fraidnot:  I built up short runs of non-workable tracks and make my own link-and-length assembly.  The tracks look better than I expected them to.  :phew:  

 

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From this angle, the hull reminds me of an old Commer van.   

 

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The camouflage still needs a bit of tweakage. 

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Excellent job on the camo. I've got three of these in the stash and the tracks are the only thing putting me off making a start on them! 

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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2 hours ago, fatfingers said:

Excellent job on the camo. I've got three of these in the stash and the tracks are the only thing putting me off making a start on them!

 

Try my solution.  Just start building the short track lengths some time before you start the main assembly.   I found that lengths of six full links plus a single lower link were ideal.  You will also need a number of single links to fit around the driver and idler. 

 

I also have a couple more in The Stash.  I'd really like to build a BEF CS version.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm calling this one finished.  There didn't seem to be much left to do, but in the event the detailing was quite time consuming.  But here we are.

 

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Did I enjoy building it?  Well, let's just say I enjoy having built it...  :lol:    Would I build another?   Yes, definitely.  In fact I'm looking for an excuse to build a BEF CS version. 

 

 

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