book The Serious Modeller's Guide to:
Canadian Centurion Gun Tanks

by Barry Beldam.
Canadian Armour Series - Volume 1
ISBN 0-9734277-0-1

Distributed by Quartermasters Depot
1111-1071 Ambleside Drive
Ottawa, ON K2B 6V4

Spiral Bound 180 pages; Clear plastic front cover, Black plastic rear cover. Colour cover, colour pull out of Camouflage Schemes.
Dimensions (in inches): 1.16 x 11.26 x 8.92

Review by Terry Ashley

The first volume in the Canadian Armour Series is devoted to the Centurion as used by the Canadian Army and is aimed squarely at the modeller with the pictorial information provided and lack of text.

Comprising 181 pages the book is bound with a large spiral spine with loose pages, this allows the pages to lay flat on your workbench as you use the pages for reference without any damage, another sign the book is designed to be used and not just sit on the shelf.

Apart from the one page introduction and a couple of technical data lists the only other text is the captions on the photos and illustrations with the rest of the book devoted to superb super detailed illustrations from the various field manuals and a series of close-up walkaround photos of the Cent.
Many of the illustrations and diagrams are one or two to a page resulting in large images with plenty of details showing.

There is also a series of action photos of the vehicles in use during training exercises and on duty in Germany during the 60s and 70s as well as colour profiles showing the two main cam schemes carried by Canadian Centurions.

The book is broken into sections dealing with different parts of the vehicle so we’ll have a brief look at each section;

The first is General Data & Specifications and lists all the variants from the Mk.I to the Mk.13 with illustrations of each type as well as internal layout diagrams of the Mk.I and II.

Click for larger viewSection two is Armament Detail and has detailed manual diagrams of the 17pdr and 20pdr breeches as well as other gun mount fittings plus a chart showing the different ammo used in each gun.

Click for larger viewSection three is Turret Detail and again there are superb illustrations from the field manuals showing incredible details of the Commander’s cupola inside and out, the Loader’s hatch details plus the Commander’s, Loader’s and Gunner’s seats and mountings. The various periscopes are shown in equally good details plus transparent turret views showing the electrical system layout and finally some photos of the radios fitted to Mk.Is and IIs.

Click for larger viewSection four is Hull Detail and has cutaway diagrams of the Co2 Fire fighting equipment and electrical systems as well as detailed diagrams of the rear engine deck layout and rear air outlet vanes as well as the rear towing hook with the illustrations again showing an incredible amount of detail.

Click for larger viewNext is the Fighting Compartment Detail with superb illustrations of the rear bulkhead with and without the engine access panel removed plus the driver’s seat and hatch details and the various ammo trays and storage bins again with detailed illustrations of each type. Other details shown are the Gear shift connecting rods and driver’s hood and windscreen.

Click for larger viewSection six is the Main/Auxiliary Engine and Transmission details and it seems each new section tries to outdo the previous one with the amount of details shown.
The engine compartment is shown with the bulkheads and fittings only plus illustrations of the engine in place with the associated plumbing. Next to help make sense of all this are separate illustrations of the engine showing the Lubrication system, the cooling system and the fuel system plus separate illustrations and photos of the fuel tanks and fittings. This is followed by the oil pipes and fittings plus the radiators and the Ignition harness and wiring plus illustrations of the exhaust manifolds on the engine and silencers on the rear fenders.
Next are photos of various Meteor engines out of the vehicle to show the main engine block details as well as the Auxiliary Generator shown from various angles with the transmission again shown with superb photos and diagrams as well as the rear cooling fans and cowls for what is a superb coverage of the rear end.

Click for larger viewSection seven is a short section on the Suspension Detail and has photos of the drive sprockets plus cutaway drawings of the idler wheels and main suspension units, return rollers and a section of track.

Click for larger viewNext are Storage diagrams and consists of many interior and exterior diagrams showing the various storage layouts for the turret, fighting compartment and driver’s station as well as exterior.

Click for larger viewSection nine is the Photo Gallery and has 15 pages of excellent close-up walkaround type detail photos of the hull and turret exterior showing just about every section of the vehicle, more than enough to satisfy most modellers on there own let alone all the other details shown in the book.
Next is a series of action photos of the Centurion in Canadian service showing to good affect the different layouts and fittings on the vehicles.

Finally there is a double foldout page with colour illustrations of the two main cam schemes carried by Canadian Cents while in service.

Well what can you say, this book is sensational in the details included and if you are not satisfied after this then I would suggest you take up gardening.
While the book concentrates on Canadian Centurions with some fittings such as radios, turret baskets and the cam schemes peculiar to the Canadian vehicles many other details such as suspension, engine and hull details apply to Centurions in general and so will be of benefit to anyone wanting to model a Centurion of any one of the many users with the only exception being the much modified IAF Cents but even then the suspension and basic turret details still apply.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Dana from Quartermasters Depot for the review copy.

Page created 24 December 2003

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