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Finished - PK-177 Churchill AVRE bridgelayer tank


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159662-80245-13-pristine.jpg

 

It's a possibly little known fact that Matchbox kits were available years ago in China. When I lived in Beijing I picked up a few, including this. They came with rub-on decals and instructions in 中文. Now that I don't live there anymore I of course regret not buying everything I saw. 

 

But I did pick this up - a kit I'd always wanted as a kid but never got because I thought it would be too hard.

 

35 years later, I'm pretty sure I can punch it out in a weekend!

Edited by bianfuxia
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An excellent choice and one Matchbox kit I am most keen to see being built. I actually once owned (and then stupidly sold) a Chinese issued A20 Havoc and besides what looked to be a scanned box top the contents inside looked pure Matchbox. Even the decals looked really good and I’m still kicking myself to this day that I let it go. Anyway, this thread is about your Churchill AVRE so thanks for nominating to build this beauty. 

 

Cheers, welcome aboard and best of luck.. Dave 

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Not a kit I've ever built, but that just makes following this one all the more enjoyable.

I would imagine you would need to virtually fill the tank with weights if you wanted to build it with the bridge being deployed ?

Good luck with this one.

 

Cheers Pat 

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On 1/1/2022 at 11:43 PM, JOCKNEY said:

Not a kit I've ever built, but that just make following this one all the more enjoyable.

I would imagine you would need to virtually fill the tank with weights if you wanted to build it with the bridge being deployed ?

Good luck with this one.

 

Cheers Pat 

Yes I think a ton of weight would be needed - or maybe screw it down onto the base (just to be sure).

 

I have lost the instructions and decals, but the former I downloaded from the internet and the latter are probably easy enough to freehand anyway (or find in the spares box).

 

IMG_20220106_173459928.jpg?w=1352&ssl=1

 

 

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Just like Bi-Planes have too many wings.... this Churchill kit appears to have too many wheels! 

Good luck mate, the screwed down option might work best.

Cheers.. Dave  

 

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On 1/1/2022 at 12:43 PM, JOCKNEY said:

Not a kit I've ever built, but that just makes following this one all the more enjoyable.

I would imagine you would need to virtually fill the tank with weights if you wanted to build it with the bridge being deployed ?

Good luck with this one.

 

Cheers Pat 

Yes, it does need quite a bit of weight but it does look good. At the time I believe it was the only 1/72 or 1/76 model of an earlier Churchill Mark than the Airfix Mk VII, both the turret and the hull escape doors being different - without looking it up I think the wartime AVRE conversions were based on either the Mk III or Mk IV, this kit being the latter. The choice of colour scheme seems to be between the brown mid war SCC2 as probably seen on the RM Centaur CS tanks in Normandy and SCC15, the British version of OD introduced early in 1944 pre invasion which is what I believe Matchbox went for but might have called dark green or Nato Olive depending on which boxing you have - if they were used in Italy the colours may have been different. Post war they would eventually have been repainted in Deep Bronze Green I suppose.

 

Good luck with the build.

 

Pete

 

 

Edited by PeterB
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On 1/6/2022 at 11:53 PM, PeterB said:

Yes, it does need quite a bit of weight but it does look good. At the time I believe it was the only 1/72 or 1/76 model of an earlier Churchill Mark than the Airfix Mk VII, both the turret and the hull escape doors being different - without looking it up I think the wartime AVRE conversions were based on either the Mk III or Mk IV, this kit being the latter. The choice of colour scheme seems to be between the brown mid war SCC2 as probably seen on the RM Centaur CS tanks in Normandy and SCC15, the British version of OD introduced early in 1944 pre invasion which is what I believe Matchbox went for but might have called dark green or Nato Olive depending on which boxing you have - if they were used in Italy the colours may have been different. Post war they would eventually have been repainted in Deep Bronze Green I suppose.

 

Good luck with the build.

 

Pete

 

 

Thanks for this info! 

 

I've done a bit of googling and it's a case of information overload, i think. But your post has been helpful. 

 

Because I prefer, and can only readily find, Vallejo acrylics, I had to do some more googling to figure out how to get to SCC15. 

 

This modeller made a Churchill and luckily for me used a combo of vallejo paint. What do you think of the colour he/she ended up with?

 

https://leicestermodellers.weebly.com/churchill-mk-iv-wmk5-l50-6pdr-gun.html

 

I have no idea, but I now know enough that I can't just use my bottle of US Army olive drab...😆

 

Edited by bianfuxia
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To me, the paint in the link looks a bit too light and perhaps needs a little black adding. SCC15 was described as "greener" or "less brown" that US OD No 9. Mike Starmer suggests a mix of 4 x Humbrol 150 with 5 x Humbrol 159 and 2 x Humbrol 33 or 5 x Tamiya XF81 plus 1 x XF71 if you can't get any "accurate" version locally. He also says that both the British and US OD were pretty similar when applied but that the US version rapidy faded to a browner shade if that helps. This pic is not as clear as I would like.

DSC05939-crop

Taken in low sun as 2.30pm you can see perhaps that the A30 Challenger at the bottom is a bit darker than the Sherman Jumbo at the top, which has a sort of yellow/brown tinge to it. More obvious in real life. These are Millicast resin tanks I built last year and painted them in the old White Ensign version of Colourcoats SCC15 and US OD. Be warned that a lot of preserved British tanks in the Tank Museum were at least initially painted in pre/post war Deep Bronze Green according to a conversation I had with the previous curator David Willey - they had a stock of it so it saved money at the time. Since then they have gradually started repainting them in more accurate colours. This Cruiser Mk I aka A9 was photographed 20+ years ago.

A9

and is definitely DBG whilst this Firefly on the other hand seems to have been painted in something similar to SCC15.

DSC00530

though the official painting instructions said that it should have normally remained in US OD but patch painted in SCC15 where alterations had taken place, ie the gun barrel, mantlet and the box at the rear of the turret that contained the radios. This actually looks pretty close to the mix in the link, and is maybe a bit lighter than my Colourcoats paint though I have no idea how accurate a match it is to the wartime paint.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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19 hours ago, Rabbit Leader said:

Why not jump onto the BNA Modelworld website (Melbourne based) and purchase SCC 15 from the AK Real Color British Armour paints range? They are lovely paints to use. 
Cheers.. Dave 

Haha this could be the solution - I'd looked on there for the Mig Ammo one which was on pre-order. By the time I pay postage though I might as well get the two vallejos at the local shop (there's a games shop nearby that recently opened selling D&D type things but it has a huge and very full range of Vallejo acrylics and the Mecha ones). That way I'll score two bottles of a different shade for future flexibility.

 

 

15 hours ago, PeterB said:

To me, the paint in the link looks a bit too light and perhaps needs a little black adding. SCC15 was described as "greener" or "less brown" that US OD No 9. Mike Starmer suggests a mix of 4 x Humbrol 150 with 5 x Humbrol 159 and 2 x Humbrol 33 or 5 x Tamiya XF81 plus 1 x XF71 if you can't get any "accurate" version locally. He also says that both the British and US OD were pretty similar when applied but that the US version rapidy faded to a browner shade if that helps. This pic is not as clear as I would like.

DSC05939-crop

Taken in low sun as 2.30pm you can see perhaps that the A30 Challenger at the bottom is a bit darker than the Sherman Jumbo at the top, which has a sort of yellow/brown tinge to it. More obvious in real life. These are Millicast resin tanks I built last year and painted them in the old White Ensign version of Colourcoats SCC15 and US OD. Be warned that a lot of preserved British tanks in the Tank Museum were at least initially painted in pre/post war Deep Bronze Green according to a conversation I had with the previous curator David Willey - they had a stock of it so it saved money at the time. Since then they have gradually started repainting them in more accurate colours. This Cruiser Mk I aka A9 was photographed 20+ years ago.

A9

and is definitely DBG whilst this Firefly on the other hand seems to have been painted in something similar to SCC15.

DSC00530

though the official painting instructions said that it should have normally remained in US OD but patch painted in SCC15 where alterations had taken place, ie the gun barrel, mantlet and the box at the rear of the turret that contained the radios. This actually looks pretty close to the mix in the link, and is maybe a bit lighter than my Colourcoats paint though I have no idea how accurate a match it is to the wartime paint.

 

Pete

Thanks for all this info!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I finally plumped for a 50/50 combo of Vallejo 924 and 888 as in the website I linked earlier. I realised the following things:

1. I rarely build armour, trucks, etc

2. I don't have any tanks apart from this one 

3. I don't have any green UK armour apart from this and no WW2 US stuff either

4. I was therefore agonizing way too much over a Matchbox kit I only got because I like the bridge!

 

So:

 

IMG_20220123_215926840_HDR.jpg?w=1352&ss

 

I just decided to get moving on it and after painting that stuff over the last few days, I did this tonight:

IMG_20220123_223840567.jpg?w=1352&ssl=1

 

IMG_20220123_223903895.jpg?w=1352&ssl=1

 

Plenty of touching up will be needed still.

IMG_20220123_225237830.jpg?w=1352&ssl=1

 

This here (above) is why I rarely build tanks! The last one I built was a T-55 in about 2016 for a Cold War group build. I don't like all the wheels they have! Fortunately, being Matchbox, the entire assembly you see above has only seven parts!

 

And now a question. Why do the markings for this British tank include the white five pointed star in a circle one would normally associate with an American tank? Is that some kind of "avoid friendly fire" thing from D-Day, or something like that?

 

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Nice progress, those bridge pieces do look good. Sorry, I'm unable to help with your decals query, perhaps it was a US unit that was equipped with British Tanks?? I'm way out of my subject matter material, I probably shouldn't even guess that! 

Cheers.. Dave 

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On 23/01/2022 at 12:20, bianfuxia said:

nd now a question. Why do the markings for this British tank include the white five pointed star in a circle one would normally associate with an American tank? Is that some kind of "avoid friendly fire" thing from D-Day, or something like that?

 

Hi B,all allied equipment used in N W Europe after D-Day carried a white star as identification mostly to avoid air attack be friendly

aircraft usually on the roof,turret top or bonnet but this spread to smaller stars on the sides too,great progress I'm liking the look of this kit

never seen one in the flesh.

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I am looking forward to seeing this progress. 

I was hovering over the buy it now button a few weeks ago, but got the M16 halftrack instead during a moment of nostalgia. 

Good luck with your build. 

Chris

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On 23/01/2022 at 12:20, bianfuxia said:

Well, I finally plumped for a 50/50 combo of Vallejo 924 and 888 as in the website I linked earlier. I realised the following things:

1. I rarely build armour, trucks, etc

I used that mix,  on this Cromwell 

The mix origin is from here 

https://alliedarmour1940.wordpress.com/vallejo-paint-mixes-for-british-armour/

Attributed to Mike Starmer.

 

I have on of these Churchill AVRE stashed as well....

 

I asked some questions on colours here 

 

 

HTH

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On 1/25/2022 at 3:45 AM, stevej60 said:

Hi B,all allied equipment used in N W Europe after D-Day carried a white star as identification mostly to avoid air attack be friendly

aircraft usually on the roof,turret top or bonnet but this spread to smaller stars on the sides too,great progress I'm liking the look of this kit

never seen one in the flesh.

thanks - makes sense! 

 

On 1/25/2022 at 11:02 AM, Troy Smith said:

I used that mix,  on this Cromwell 

The mix origin is from here 

https://alliedarmour1940.wordpress.com/vallejo-paint-mixes-for-british-armour/

Attributed to Mike Starmer.

 

I have on of these Churchill AVRE stashed as well....

 

I asked some questions on colours here 

 

 

HTH

thank you! I guess my tank is now in good company!

 

So I did a little more on the weekend. Tons of weight inside - it is now pretty heavy. I found a great article about these tanks HERE which says that when carrying the bridge they were forward-leaning due to the weight. So hopefully mine will do that without toppling over.

 

 

 

IMG_20220126_162425090.jpg?w=1352&ssl=1And now it's starting to look like an actual tank. I better do something about the ugly seam on the gun turret though.

IMG_20220126_163230870.jpg?w=1352&ssl=1

 

 

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Looking really good and we’ll watch to see how the forward tilt goes. I reckon yours will work just fine. 

Cheers.. Dave 

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24 minutes ago, Rabbit Leader said:

Looking really good and we’ll watch to see how the forward tilt goes. I reckon yours will work just fine. 

Cheers.. Dave 

Hope so, with all the weight in it!

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So another reason I think I rarely build tanks is because of my experience as a kid with these 80s rubber tracks. Hate those things!

 

On this kit, they are so old they snapped anyway, so when I thought it through, I realized that the mudguards on top would conceal a good amount of the tracks anyway.

 

So I just held it tight and superglued it!

 

IMG_20220130_203201582.jpg?w=1352&ssl=1

 

Nasty but I reckon it'll work.

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Quite a few years back my wife must have spent rather more than usual on Christmas crackers as we had some with "gifts" that were almost worthwhile! In my case I got a small "Bambi" stapler which got put away until one day I was having problems like you wth tank tracks. A couple of staples in parallel at the joint save messing about with glue, heated knife blades etc and are also good for repairs such as splicing in a replacement section. As you say, the Churchill does have completely covered upper tracks which helps, though this particular version had the front and rear covers left off.

 

Looking good so far.

 

Pete

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  • 3 weeks later...

Since the last post I've put the mudguards on and puttied and sanded the messy seam on the turret. The framework thing on the back there is for holding the cables for the bridge - it's not glued on yet, just sitting roughly where it goes.

IMG_20220215_221230569_HDR.jpg?w=1352&ss

 

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NIce.

 

The tubular thingy on the left rear of the turret was for the signal flags(set, distinguisher, flags and poles officially apparently according to the stowage diagram) and is something Airfix missed off their kit so good for MB.

 

Pete

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I see a Churchill there.. nice going and I suspect it will almost appear dwarfed once you add those bridge sections to it. 

Cheers.. Dave 

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  • bianfuxia changed the title to Finished - PK-177 Churchill AVRE bridgelayer tank

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