Tuesday, July 28, 2015

PSC Churchill

I haven't been able to do much in the way of model building recently, but last weekend I tried to squeeze in a quick build of a Plastic Soldier Company Churchill.

The PSC kit contains two models that the instructions say can be built into a variety of cast turret Churchill tanks, although the turret itself is not quite accurate for any of the versions. An excellent resource on the appearance of the various types of turrets used for the Churchill can be found at Armour In Focus.

The Mk III AVRE is mislabeled - a carryover from the
15mm kit, which includes parts for a welded turret.

I plan to build the CS and AVRE versions of the Churchill with the two models in the kit, but because the AVRE version would require a lot more work to make the various fittings mounted on the hull, I started off with the CS version.

The build was modeled after Ballyrashane, a Churchill Mk V of the North Irish Horse.

The tow cables of the model are molded in a position that prevents the spare track armor from sitting flush against the hull. I shaved a section of the cable away from each side so I could glue the tracks in place, and then used some stretched sprue to connect the two ends of the tow cable.

The first tow cable I did looks particularly awkward, due to some fairly sharp curves. The second one with shallower curves looks a bit better, but I'm not particularly happy about either of them.

I drilled out the barrel of the 95mm howitzer and inserted a section of brass tubing in the hole (A). The barrel of the howitzer protrudes a bit past the counterweight, but I probably should have made the tubing flush with the end, since the actual extended portion would be almost unnoticeable at 1/72 scale.

Some plastic card was used to represent the padding on the inside of the hatch covers (B). The flag canister on the side of the turret was mounted angled to the front, but I've seen it straight up, or tilted to the back as well (C). Plastic strip was glued around the turret ring to represent the additional armor of the late style cast turret (D).

I still need to add an armor plate to the side of the turret to cover the gap in the armor protecting the turret ring, and I'm going to have to cut the mantlet aperture to make it square, as befits a Churchill Mk V

Some exhaust pipes were added, since they are completely non-existent on the simplified exhaust system.

Below are some comparisons between the PSC Churchill, and diecast Churchills from Matchbox and Unimax.

The PSC Churchill is similar in length to the two diecast models, but is not as wide. This is consistent with the diecast models being Mk VIIs, which are wider than the earlier versions.

PSC Mk V and Matchbox Mk VII

Unimax Mk VII and PSC Mk V

Overall, I like the PSC Churchill. It's easy to build, and the completed model is weighty and well suited for wargaming. With a little bit of effort, I think it can also be made into a decent display model by more serious modelers.