Orange Hobby
Churchill Mk.III Infantry Tank Update Set
Orange Hobby 1:35 Set # G35-011

Review by Terry Ashley

AFV Club
The set:

AFV ClubOrange Hobby are a new company out of China and one of their first releases is this detail update set for the recent AFV Club Churchill Mk.III (kit #AF 35153) which consists of one large and two smaller etched frets, four turned brass smoke emitter canisters, 4 small brass hexagonal bolts, a turned brass antenna mount and 8ft antenna plus a length of steel wire along with a small instruction sheet.

The standard of etched is excellent and on a par with the likes of ABER, Griffon Model, Lion Roar, Royal Model and Voyager Model to name just a few and have nice embossed and engraved details with the fine air intake mesh being expecially well done as well the usual engraved bending lines to ensure things go smoothly.

There are some small parts that will need care in handling and the smoke emitters are designed to be movable after assembly if care is taken and while the set is fairly basic as sets go these days, experience working with etched parts would be an advantage.

Etched and metal parts
Orange Hobby

The main items in the set are the side air intake mesh screens and cover plus the rear smoke emitter units, both these sub-assemblies simply replace the kit parts so no alterations are required on the kit to fit these.

The intake mesh screens are made up of three parts, the lower frame which has a small rear lip that required careful bending due to it being very narrow and the bending line has perforations that help the process but using a good quality etched bending tool and care will be needed.

added to the frame is the mesh itself which has excellent rendering of the mesh and an outer mesh frame that includes the mesh retaining bolts that fit into small cut-outs in the mesh itself for a very good appearance when assembled. The two frame sections result if a fairly robust screen assembly for easy fitting to the kit intake trunks as it just sits on top, you only need to make sure of the correct alignment of the screen overhang.

The top intake cover is also made up of three parts, the top section, rear plate and lower frame and these have small indented ridges where the parts fit together which makes aligning the parts quite easy.

It is best to solder these parts for greater strength and after adding the curve in the top section this is soldered to the rear plate, it's best to solder the inside join to leave a cleaner outside join and due to the good fit of the parts this process was quite straightforward. The assembled cover also fitted precisely to the lower frame again due to the indented ridge and good fit of the parts and soldering the frame to the cover from the inside produced a clean finish.

The cover can be fitted to the intake mesh as required with actual images of Churchills showing this was not always fitted and leaving the cover off will also show the excellent intake mesh detail to best advantage.

Detail Images
Orange Hobby

A quick tip when soldering smaller parts such as these is to ensure the soldering tip is nice and hot, avoid the "cold" tip syndrome by keeping the tip clean and by "tinning" by adding a thin film of solder to the tip.
Also use only a very small amount of solder for the join, I use 1mm rosin core rod solder sliced into small sections (about .5mm or less), laying this on the join with flux of course and then apply the heated solder tip for the solder to run under the parts to be soldered, using minimal solder avoids messy cleanup.

The smaller parts can be held together with tweezers and other "helping hand" devices but remember they will get very hot when you apply the soldering tip so watch the fingers.

The smoke emitter units included with this set are not confined to the Churchill and are used on most British AFVs of WWII included the British Shermans and these are also available as a separate set #G35-014 should you want to use them on other vehicles.

Each unit is made up of four etched parts and two brass smoke canisters, these have a large pin that needs to be filed from ends but that is all the cleanup needed.

The parts are designed to be movable after assembly allowing you to open or close the units, which is a nice touch and there are small pins on the etched parts that you have to be careful not to file off during cleanup thinking they are excess burs.

The two unit sections are best soldered for a stronger join using the same method, also there are two small pins on the lower folding section that fit into the upper fixed section and these have to be slipped in place as you assembly the parts as it's not easy fitting these together afterwards.

The two smoke canisters are easily fitted into place on the small inner bracket and there is the top securing bracket that can be raised or lower as required to open or close the units. If you don't want the workable feature it is easy to just assembly the uints in the closed position to make things easier.

Other details included are the numerous engine deck fittings that require you to cut off the moulded on kit detail to add the etched parts as well as the four small hex bolts and sections of the steel wire provided, the front mud channels are also provided in brass for a finer appearance than the kit parts.

All the kit pioneer tools have etched brackets and clips to be added after cutting off the moulded on brackets from the kit tools to give far better detail definition and on the rear fenders are the oil can racks and brackets in etched parts as are the rear plate fuel tacks mounting brackets.

On the turret the fire extinguisher brackets are replaced with etched parts and the aerial mounting bracket and base as well as the 8ft aerial are provided in brass and etched parts to replace the kit parts and add further detail. You need to take care not to bend the aerial but its quite easy to straighten if bent by rolling on a flat surface with a steel ruler.


A nicely detailed basic update set for the AFV Club Churchill Mk.III with the intake screens and smoke emitters being the standout features as well as the many tool clips.

Only minimal alterations are required to the kit parts and the good fit of the sub-assembly parts makes for trouble free assembly although some experience with etched parts would be useful. The set will be very useful for those wanting to add that bit extra to the already excellent AFV Club kit.

Highly recommended.

Instruction Sheets
Orange Hobby

See the Churchill Subjects page for reviews of other Churchill related items.


On the net:

Armour in Focus Profiles - The Churchill Tank


Mr. Churchill's Tank
The British Infantry Tank Mk.IV

David Fletcher
Schiffer Military Publications
ISBN 0-7643-0679-0

See review for details.

book Churchill vol.1
GUNpower 26

By Leszek Moczulski
Published by AJ Press
ISBN 978-83-7237-194-9

Tamiya Photographic Album No.3
British Churchill Tank

Tamiya Plastic Model Co.

Has some excellent line drawings of the Mk.III/IV hull, turret and smaller details as well as full walkaround of the Mk.VII.


Churchill Infantry Tank 1941-51
New Vanguard No.4
Osprey Publishing
ISBN 1 85532 297 8

Good overall coverage of all variants of the Churchill.

book the Funnies
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.

Thanks to Orange Hobby for the review set.

Page created January 29, 2009