The set consists of 68 parts cleanly cast in light grey/green resin plus a small etched fret with turret detail parts and a small seven paged instruction booklet.
The first task is to convert the Tamiya Mk.VII hull back to MK.IV standard and for this you are provided with a complete new front hull section which requires you to cut of the corresponding sections from the Tamiya parts, something which is quite easy to deal with.
The new part has excellent details such as bolt heads, flush screws, bullet splash strips and weld seams as well as a separate driver’s hatch to allow this to be shown open or closed and the fit of this hatch to the front plate is spot on and there is also a separate Besa MG with nice details.
A new hull top loading hatch is provided which replaces the left crew hatch and new early type periscopes and central ventilator for the front hull top which also simply replace the Tamiya kit parts.
For the hull side parts you are required to firstly remove the moulded on
details on the Tamiya parts such as the escape hatch hinges and front mounting
bolts as well as the three small plates from the exhausts (Tamiya parts B18).
The new resin parts are nicely detailed and provide the new square escape hatches which simply are glued over the round openings in the Tamiya hull and the two distinctive AVRE mounting brackets each side of the hull as well as the seven large round rivet heads which are also provided in resin. No precise location is shown in the instructions for these parts but it is fairly easy to determine from the photos of the model under construction.
There are an additional 27 small rivet heads that will have to be added to the rear side panel behind the exhausts and these can be obtained for a number of sources and there are minor alterations needed on the rear hull plate, see my AVRE build for details on these.
A complete new turret is provided with the hollow turret shell and a separate lower turret section and additional separate turret ring with the size and shape of the turret being spot on when compared to available plans.
The join of the upper and lower turret parts is along a weld seam on the actual turret and the resulting join line can be filled to represent this weld seam which is easier than filling the seam and also does not compromise the subtle cast texture on the turret.
The turret has separate side pistol ports and upper crew hatches and these have internal details if you wish to show these open but no other turret interior is provided with the fit of the hatches being very good. To fit the Commander’s hatch ring to the turret you will have to slightly trim the inner lip of the hatch opening on the turret to clear the internal detail on the hatch ring, but this is minor and takes a few seconds.
At the back is a solid storage box and two nicely cast fire extinguishers as well as the left side flag satchel plus additional etched parts to add the finer details such as the sight vane, hatch latches and antenna mount details.
The petard mortar is especially well detailed with the barrel having the inner four rifling strips and small casting numbers on the outside with separate rear mounting plate and pivot mount. The small side armour plates are also separate and incorporate the retaining spring for raising the barrel with the whole assembly fitting to the turret mantlet which has nice weld seam and other details.
You will have to take care when removing the casting blocks from some of these parts especially the rear mounting bracket and barrel as the remaining resin parts are quite fine and easy to damaged during this process.
If you are careful during construction the barrel will rotate up for reloading as it simply clips into the rear mounting bracket and by not gluing the two side armour parts together it will be movable.
As a bonus you also get two nicely detailed Petard “flying bustbin” rounds which feature finely cast open rear fins and this fits precisely into the barrel without any lateral movement so you can show a fully loaded mortar if you wish.
The small seven page booklet lists all the parts by number for easy identification and has text notes on the construction supplemented by small black and white photos of the model during construction. You will need to study these photos in conjunction with the text notes carefully to fully understand the assembly.
As a bonus there are some photos of the real AVRE turret which will help in assembling the petard and the Resicast website also has additional reference photos of the turret and mortar.
Resicast also have a decal sheet for the AVRE which will come in handy in finishing your model.
This is a superb conversion set with well cast parts that feature excellent details especially with the petard mortar but there is still some work to be done on the Tamiya kit to fully represent the Mk.IV AVRE but you get all the major parts needed with the set and as mentioned is the only AVRE conversion set currently available with the correct sized turret.
A History with scale plans of the 79th Armoured Division
Geoffrey W. Futter
ISBN 0 85242 405 1
Is out of print and may be hard to find but has a detailed coverage with 1/76th scale plans of all the specialised vehicles used by the 79th AD from D-Day onwards.
Mr. Churchill's Tank
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 6 June 2005