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A41 Heavy Cruiser (prototype Centurion) Operation Sentry.


diablo rsv
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Around 12 years ago whilst out walking my dog I met and became friends with lovely gentleman named Ron. One day the subject of Ron's military career came up and it  turned out that Ron was part of the BAOR in the mid 50's where he drove Centurion tanks. He would often tell me tales of his time there and seemed to have a fondness for the Centurion. At the time I was mostly building models of WW1 aircraft and I hadn't built an AFV for many years but I thought it might be a nice idea if I could build Ron a model of his tank. I tried to get as much information as I could from him but sadly Ron's mental health was declining rapidly and he was taken into care before I could present him with the finished model.

Thanks to Ron though my interest in and building models of British armour was reignited and of them all the Centurion is probably my favourite.

 

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The photos above are of the model I built for Ron, a Mk.5 from the AFV Club kit. The model was painted in Bronze green from a mix of Tamiya paints that I found on the internet. I have never been happy with my paintwork on it though and I do intend to strip and repaint it one of these days. I did however thoroughly enjoy building the kit so I soon built another one, this time as a MK.11LR.

 

82TmZifh.jpg

 

 

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The Mk.11 was one of the last of the line for the Centurion ( in British hands at least ) and so when AFV Club announced the Mk.1 kit I jumped at the opportunity to build the first Centurion as well. 

 

dMF7lvPh.jpg

 

I particularly want to build one of the prototype Centurions that were sent to Germany at the end of WW2 for testing and evaluation purposes in Operation Sentry. The tanks didn't arrive in time for actual combat but valuable lessons were learned about how the tank could be improved upon. 

The AFV Club will need some additional work and parts to build it as one of the A41 prototypes but I have managed to source most of what I need. There was talk on some other forums about the rear hull vents not being correct in this kit but looking at the instructions it appears the AFV have amended those parts.

 

hbYzBXSh.jpg

 

I have been watching and admiring @simmerit's build of the Amusing Hobby Mk.5 and I know Darryl @Jasper dog has just started a Shot Kal build so I will try not to repeat too much of what they are doing but it may be interesting to compare the AFV to the Amusing Hobby kits.  

I'm looking forwards to getting started on this one. Hopefully I shall something to show in a couple of days.

 

Wayne

 

Wayne

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When I was building AFV's this was the one that I wanted to build the most but alas in those days there was a dearth of British vehicles, so I will just have to tag along with your build if that's OK.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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3 hours ago, diablo rsv said:

 I know Darryl @Jasper dog has just started a Shot Kal build so I will try not to repeat too much of what they are doing but it may be interesting to compare the AFV to the Amusing Hobby kits.  

Jeeeeeeez thanks Wayne no pressure! :boom:

 

So my "slammer" build is going up against @simmerit build and your own....along with my ongoing Tiger and T34....

 

All that said, great back story and a most impressive collection of am!

 

Good luck!

Darryl 

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So glad the 20mm was dropped,  even if only for aesthetic reasons.

Quite fancy one of the amusing hobby AVRE versions and of course the FV4005, purely because it's one of the exhibits from Bovington that sticks in my mind from the very first time I went, late 70s early 80s.

 

Dont think the AH kit is a direct sprue for sprue copy but it has similarities to the AFV club one. 

 

Really looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

 

Cheers 

 

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On 23/10/2021 at 19:40, APA said:

So the prototypes used Comet wheels?

 

They did, as did the Mk.1s as far as I know. The later Mk's have additional reinforcing rings. The wheel hubs look slightly different though so I may need to change them.

They also ran on a 20' track which is why I have the resin ones from Accurate Armour.

 

Wayne

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On 23/10/2021 at 19:47, spitfire said:

When I was building AFV's this was the one that I wanted to build the most but alas in those days there was a dearth of British vehicles, so I will just have to tag along with your build if that's OK.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

 

Welcome along Dennis,

British AFV's are certainly well catered for now, surely there is something to tempt you back to the world of AFV modelling.

 

Wayne

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On 23/10/2021 at 20:17, Jasper dog said:

Jeeeeeeez thanks Wayne no pressure!

Sorry Darryl :D

Your more than capable of producing excellent results though and I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing how yours progresses.

I agree that the Mk.1s aren't  the most aesthetically pleasing of the Centurions but it makes an interesting comparison to see how they evolved into one of the finest tanks to have been built.

I have got the Amusing Hobby AVRE and I very nearly started that one. It looks as though it can only really be built into the Gulf war version though as it doesn't have the fascine carrier on it and I didn't fancy doing another desert scheme. I don't know what happened to the AFV Club AVRE, it seems like ages since it was announced.

 

Wayne

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On 24/10/2021 at 07:45, Bullbasket said:

Very impressive couple of models there Wayne. I'll definitely be following along with this build. It might even inspire me to resurrect my Mk.lll build.

 

John.

 

46 minutes ago, Hamden said:

 

Looking forward to watching you work your magic on this one Wayne.

 

   Stay safe     Roger

 

Thanks John and Roger,

Seeing how you are cracking along with your armoured car build John I think you should have time to come and join the Centurion party with your Mk.3

 

Wayne

 

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15 hours ago, diablo rsv said:

Seeing how you are cracking along with your armoured car build John I think you should have time to come and join the Centurion party with your Mk.3

 

There's a distinct possibility, seeing as it's quite well advanced and on the shelf in front of me. You never know.

 

John.

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Hello mate - sorry I've not managed to reply but I've not been on the site much over the last few days.  Those two Cents at the start of the thread look lovely and we appear to have a bit of a Cent fest going on at the minute between the three of us.

 

An interesting subject choice you've ran with.  I looked at the kit when it was released but havent picked one up and my childhood memories of the Cent are of the Airfix plastic 1/32nd one that I used to shove around as a seven or eight year old with my paras and commandos.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing how you progress.  It will be nice to check in on your build and the Shot Cent build just to compare notes as we go.

 

Cheers

 

Si

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On 25/10/2021 at 19:42, diablo rsv said:

 

Your more than capable of producing excellent results though and I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing how yours progresses.

 

7 hours ago, simmerit said:

Those two Cents at the start of the thread look lovely and we appear to have a bit of a Cent fest going on at the minute between the three of us.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing how you progress.  It will be nice to check in on your build and the Shot Cent build just to compare notes as we go.

 

Pressure.......:whip:

Right, fine I'll re-park the Tiger and T34 and dig out the Shot kal.....

 

Folk can be so demanding!! :winkgrin:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally I have some progress to report on this build.

Most of the construction of this kit is the same as all of AFV's other Centurion kits and seemingly the same as Amusing Hobbies so I thought I would mostly post about the differences in this kit compared to the others.

The original release of this kit was from Platz and was part of the Girls und Panzer series but there was an inaccuracy regarding the hull. The kit was basically the AFV Mk.5 with a new sprue for the turret however the prototypes, Mk.1s and 2's had a longer hull at the rear. It was decided on later marks to shorten the hull to save  some weight  (100lbs). Thankfully AFV have corrected this in their own release and have included some hull extensions, the correct grill and radiators.

gZYEhjwl.jpg YnaTRjKl.jpg

 

 The final drive housings have reinforcing ribs on them which were only present on the later Mk's so these needed to be removed. 

 

GgxLfhql.jpg

 

There a few annoying ejector pin marks on some of the parts in quite prominent positions. A lot of the sprues come from the original Mk.5 release but the pin marks are surprisingly mostly on the new sprues as can be seen here on the new rear plate.

 

P2llMpih.jpg

 

The centre Horstmann suspension unit on the early Mk.'s was also slightly different but AFV only include the latter type. However this will be hidden by the bazooka plates so I decided to let it go.

The wheels in this kit are AFV's standard centurion wheels with the vinyl tyres that have the rims moulded into them. They do this so that the distinctive reinforcing ribs can be incorporated and the injection moulding process would make it impossible to do so in plastic. Amusing Hobby have left out these rings completely in their kits. Fortunately there are after market resin wheels available.

The early Centurions ran on what were basically  Comet wheels which had one less reinforcing ring and a smaller outer ring as explained in this thread HERE by @Das Abteilung.

 

7e9gUHgh.jpg

 

I decided to order some Comet wheels from Brach model in Italy. I still needed to make some alterations to them though as the Comet hubs are wrong, so I had to cut the AFV ones from the wheels and fit them to the Brach ones.

 

HOE8faYh.jpg

 

The next problem was that the Comet ran on ten wheels and the Centurion has twelve. The Brach wheels aren't cheap and I didn't want to order an extra set just for two wheels so I thought I would be a bit cheeky and cast some myself. :whistle:

 

 XSFht8Rl.jpg  FtAgSHNl.jpg

 

kfpyW3fl.jpg  lkgQP9sl.jpg

 

I have continued with the rest of the hull and made a start on the turret without any major problems and I have added some texture to some of the surfaces. I will need to add some weld beads here and there

and I will also replace the plastic moulded on grab handles with some made from wire and then it will be the dreaded tracks.

 

Qs7xTvQh.jpg

 

CAFOoFuh.jpg

 

Wayne

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great work Wayne, attention to detail is first rate, as ever. Its all the little tiny alterations that that really stand out for me, stuff that no one else would really even notice, brilliant. 

Must go and visit my parents as it'll be an excuse to visit the Leyland Centurion parked up by the road side on the grass verge, no idea which mark, yet....

 

The enhanced texture of the plate, thinned humbrol filler?

 

I don't feel ashamed about my builds progress (or lack of)at all....:weep:

 

Darryl 

 

 

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On 17/11/2021 at 06:49, Jasper dog said:

Great work Wayne, attention to detail is first rate, as ever. Its all the little tiny alterations that that really stand out for me, stuff that no one else would really even notice, brilliant. 

Must go and visit my parents as it'll be an excuse to visit the Leyland Centurion parked up by the road side on the grass verge, no idea which mark, yet....

 

The enhanced texture of the plate, thinned humbrol filler?

 

I don't feel ashamed about my builds progress (or lack of)at all....:weep:

 

Darryl 

 

 

 

Thanks Darryl,

I was hoping I wouldn't have to add much in the way of detail to this one but I just can't help myself. The texture is Tamiya basic putty dissolved in extra thin cement, I would imagine the Humbrol one would work just as well.

At first I thought that's a bit random, someone's parked a Centurion at the roadside, but I guess it's because they were built nearby. I had a peek on Google and I would say it's a Mk.5/2 but I'm no expert. I'm lucky enough to live down the road from Duxford so often pop in to have a look at the real things. I find seeing them in the flesh often gives me the urge to build them in model form.

Once you get into your build I'm pretty sure you will enjoy it, the AFV ones go together quite quickly and don't really need much extra work to get a decent result. I imagine the AH ones aren't that different. The lack of mantlet cover is a bit of a pain in the backside though, I feel considering it's such a prominent feature that they could have included something. 

 

Wayne

 

On 17/11/2021 at 07:52, edjbartos said:

Looking really good Wayne, nice detail, looking forward to seeing more of this, this should look lovely when done...

 

Ed

 

Thanks Ed,

It's going together quite nicely, I just need to get through the track stage.

 

Wayne 

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On 18/11/2021 at 20:18, diablo rsv said:

 

Thanks Darryl,

I was hoping I wouldn't have to add much in the way of detail to this one but I just can't help myself. The texture is Tamiya basic putty dissolved in extra thin cement, I would imagine the Humbrol one would work just as well.

At first I thought that's a bit random, someone's parked a Centurion at the roadside, but I guess it's because they were built nearby. I had a peek on Google and I would say it's a Mk.5/2 but I'm no expert. I'm lucky enough to live down the road from Duxford so often pop in to have a look at the real things. I find seeing them in the flesh often gives me the urge to build them in model form.

Once you get into your build I'm pretty sure you will enjoy it, the AFV ones go together quite quickly and don't really need much extra work to get a decent result. I imagine the AH ones aren't that different. The lack of mantlet cover is a bit of a pain in the backside though, I feel considering it's such a prominent feature that they could have included something. 

 

Wayne

Thanks Wayne, they where built by Leylands in Leyland and funnily enough there's even a road Centurion Way to commemorate them.

 

Unfortunately regardless of what I get done at home I still can't get anywhere near the bench, getting pretty narked by it truth be told!

 

Good luck with yours, best I can do at present is observe others! :blush:

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The tracks on the early Centurions were narrower than the later versions at 20 inches wide and AFV only supply the standard width tracks in this kit and those are the rubber band type.

Fortunately Accurate Armour kindly sold me some resin 20'' tracks from their A41 conversion set.

 

pffesnBh.jpg

 

A little clean up was required and a couple of the lengths hadn't quite cast properly so some of the ends of the links were missing but these would be hidden by the bazooka plates.

I found the easiest way to fit them was to glue the lengths together to make the complete run and then using a hairdryer to soften the resin they could be moulded around the wheels.

 

DBKieXLh.jpg

 

This was my first experience with resin tracks and I found the fitting process wasn't too bad and the final result is actually pretty good.

 

bjau4Dxh.jpg

 

It's starting to look like a Centurion now.

 

Wayne

  

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