This set from Legends is designed to be used with either of the Tamiya Churchill kits (#35100, #35210) and consists of 58 parts in light cream resin with and additional 72 resin parts for the early style track, a small etched fret and a metal 75mm barrel plus of course the instruction sheet.
The quality of the resin parts is excellent without any air holes, major warping or other blemishes with just the usual casting blocks to be removed. These will require some care as on some parts the casting block overlaps the actual part and you have to determine the excess to remove, the two side exhaust intakes will require extra care as there is the small lower attachment bracket that is incorporate with the casting block so you can’t just cut the block off but have to work around the bracket.
The track links have eight long lengths of track and 64 individual links to go around the drive and idler wheels and there is a fair bit of thin resin film to be removed from the sprocket holes and also the longer lengths were slightly warped and will require straightening with warm water.
The turret and associated details is made up of 34 parts with the metal barrel and this set is available separately as set #LF1093 if this is all you require?
There is quite a bit of surgery needed on the Tamiya kit to take the new resin parts which is clearly shown on the instruction sheet but will require care, this includes removing the front portion of the lower hull tub, the sections of the upper track guards either side of the turret ring and the front hull side panels plus removing some moulded on details on the remaining side hull panels as well as the option of removing the front track guard sections but check references as not all NA75s had these removed.
The entire front hull/glacis section is replaced with a large resin part that includes the driver’s front hatch and separate Besa MG bracket but according to David Fletcher in his book “Mr Churchill’s Tank” the hull Besa MG was replaced with a .30cal MG the same as in the turret to ease ammo supply so you may have to find a .30cal barrel to add here.
After removing the front hull sections the new resin part is attached but due to some minor shrinkage there is a slight gap between the resin part and the side hull which will require filling probably with a thin sliver of plastic card?
There is also optional front hull/track guide parts and the front two suspension bogies parts that will require surgery to the Tamiya parts C19, C20 to fit the new resin parts but unless you plan not to fit the full fender guards these could probably be overlooked, the decision is up to you after examining the instructions?
On the hull sides are new square escape hatches, front side panels with additional etched mud slides, new rear side engine intakes with etched top screens and the five large round rivet heads on the hull sides characteristic of the early Churchills. Fitting these parts is quite straightforward after removing the applicable moulded on kit details and shouldn’t pose any problems.
It should also be noted that most photos of NA75s show them having the additional side panel and door appliqué armour fitted and this should be easy enough to add from plastic card and also most photos show the NA75s fitted with the later style track that comes in the Tamiya kit and not the early plate type track as included with this set, but at least you have the option so check references as to the appropriate track type.
Additional hull parts are the early style periscopes for above the driver’s station and etched intake screens on the upper rear hull intakes plus other smaller fittings on the hull sides as well as etched track guides if you choose to leave off the track guards.
The turret is a large solid casting with indentations under each of the hatches for a half figure if you wish and has the front M3 style gun shield included in the casting but the definition of the shield turret join is a little vague towards the bottom with details such as the pistol ports, ventilator and other details being well defined but the turret itself appears slightly undersized when comparing to available data and the corners also appear a little too sharp but this can easily be fixed unlike the size issue.
Other features include a separate gunner's periscope on the left front of the turret roof but the separate Commander’s hatch ring unfortunately doesn’t fit inside the raised hatch rim on the turret roof and will require a bit of trimming to get a good fit while the four separate Commander’s and Loader’s hatches fit snugly in their openings with only minor trimming where the hatches were attached to their casting blocks and there is the rear turret storage box and two nicely cast fire extinguishes. Also note that some NA75 turrets had the signal flag case attached to the front left cheek and again you should check references to see if this is applicable to your model?
The gun rotor shield has separate lifting eyes and collar guards to be fitted and these are marked for left and right sides so make sure you fit them correctly and the metal 75mm gun tube has the subtle flair at the muzzle as well as being slightly drilled out but you may want to drill this further for a better appearance and the gun fits very tightly into the rotor shield opening with the shield being just a butt join to the front of the gun shield so you must determine the angle of the gun before gluing in place and the nicely cast .30cal barrel is added making sure it lines up the barrel.
The fit of the turret to the Tamiya hull ring is good with very little movement but note there aren’t the notches that hold the plastic turret in place so unless you glue the turret in place it will take off if the model is turned over.
The instructions are the usual colour photos of the model during assembly with the parts called out by number and include clear indications of the plastic that needs to be removed for the Tamiya kit for the new resin parts and I found these to be easy enough to follow.
Overall a nice conversion that will require a fair bit of surgery to the Tamiya kit with cleanly cast parts but the turret dimension issue is probably something you will have to live with but may not be that noticeable after assembly?
The inclusion of the early style track is a bonus and as mentioned most photos show the later style track used so this can be held over for possible other projects.
See review for details.
Churchill Infantry Tank 1941-51
Good overall coverage of all variants of the Churchill.
Tamiya Photographic Album No.3
Has some excellent line drawings of the Mk.III/IV hull, turret and smaller details as well as full walkaround of the Mk.VII.
Tanks Illustrated No.25
A good overall coverage of the Churchill with many shots of the AVRE with close up of the petard.
Page created 24 April 2005