Legend Legend
LF1059 "Centurion Mk 5"
LF1060 "IDF Centurion 1967"
Conversion Sets

Reviews by Peter Brown

Designed to upgrade the Tamiya Centurion kit, these will fit any of the issues of this kit from the current 89555 static version back to the original motorised and remote control versions and should also fit the Academy clone and its Modelcraft rebox. These sets are mostly resin parts, with etched bazooka plates, string for tow cables plus brass wire and brass rod for fine details. Basically similar, both sets consists of -

A new turret depicting the turret style of the Centurion 5 with different loader’s hatch and sights and no rear access door as found on the early Mk 3 turrets. It is a big solid resin casting with suitable indentations under the hatches for crew figures. It has good detail with a cast surface texture which is not overdone, stowage bins, hatches, main gun barrel, smoke dischargers, lifting eyes, small fittings and commander’s machine gun come as separate resin parts with small etched brass brackets for the smoke dischargers and wire for electrical leads. This is a straight replacement for the complete kit turret.

Replacement trackguard stowage bins which needs the old bins removing, these have etched parts for the surrounds to the fire extinguisher operating handles

New idler mounts

Replacement etched brass bazooka plates, with resin spacer brackets and mounting bolts to attach them to new etched brass mounts

Tow ropes with nylon string cables and resin eyes

The differences between them are -

LF1059 depicts a production Centurion 5 (post-WW2 British tank nomenclature uses Arabic numerals and not Roman ones) and gives a 20 pounder Type B barrel with fume extractor, plus British-style aerial mounts. It does not include the cable reel carried on the right rear of the turret for some reason.

LF1060 has a 105mm L7 series gun barrel as used on Israeli Centurions, various Israeli fixtures on the turret with different aerial mounts and extra stowage bins, a jerrican for the front mudguard, and an optional engine deck plate with louvres. The two turret bins are a sheet metal one on the left rear which comes as a small etched brass fret, and a larger frame one with wire mesh which covers the rest of the rear of the turret. This has to be made from the thin brass wire provided, a bending jig is included but the parts will need careful soldering or gluing before the nylon mesh is cut to size and the sheet lead is cut into strips to add final detail.

Construction is described by a two-sided sheet with very clear full colour photos showing the parts and where they all go. This is very well done and manufacturers could use this as a pattern for their next instructions. No colour or marking details are given however, though the basic Mk 5 kit could appear in various schemes and the Israeli version would be in some shade of sand with number plates and tactical markings to suit. The older issue Tamiya kit decal sheet included a good set of British Mk 5 markings - the tank named DIDO for those who have it - as well as basic Israeli markings though the current issue only has options for Mk 3 tanks in Korea.

There are some drawbacks with these sets, they only update part of the kit so the basic hull needs more work with extra detail on the driver’s hatch, new tools and maybe replacement covers over the exhaust silencers plus replacement resin or link-by-link metal tracks from Accurate Armour or Fruil. Cable reels may need to be added, various local changes were made by the various countries who used the basic Mk 5 - for example, long-range fuel tanks on Australian vehicles - and Israeli tanks had various detail changes even before the fitting of the AVDS 1790 series engines and finally reactive armour, so some research will be needed.

Whatever, these sets improve an old kit though they are no substitute for a new-tool plastic Centurion or an all-resin kit. Anyone inspired by the recent New Vanguard on the Centurion will find one or both useful as they are or as a basis for later upgrades.

Etched Parts
Resin Parts
Legend Legend
Instruction Sheets

See the Centurion Subjects page for other Centurion related reviews.

Review sets courtesy:
Friendship Models
12, Delta Drive
East Lothian, EH21 8HR
United Kingdom
Phone: (0131)-665-4087

See the Legend Productions site for more details on this and other sets available.

Page created 16 November 2002

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