Google+ Panzerserra Bunker- Military Scale Models in 1/35 scale: A30 Challenger Cruiser Mk VIII - A case report
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sábado, 15 de dezembro de 2012

A30 Challenger Cruiser Mk VIII - A case report

Tankers...
       After the horrible kit from Alan, I'll show you guys a resin kit  from the times of Tutankhamun. Today, we are spoiled with the fantastic injected kits and the resin kits superbly executed and castings.But it was not always so... In the heroic times of 20 or 30 years ago, the models were much more simple and crude, as you guys will see...But first, let me introduce to you guys the real machine:

Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Challenger (A30) 
Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Challenger (A30) - front view
Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Challenger (A30) - rear view
        The Tank, Cruiser, Challenger (A30) was a British tank of World War II. It mounted the 17 Pounder gun on a chassis derived from the Cromwell tank to add heavier anti-tank firepower to the cruiser tank units. The design compromises made in fitting the large gun onto the Cromwell chassis resulted in a tank with a powerful weapon, but with less armour.
A30 Challenger crossing a village, acclaimed by citizens

      The extemporised Sherman Firefly conversion of the US-supplied Sherman to take the 17 pounder was easier to produce and, combined with delays in production, meant that only 200 Challengers were built. However, it was able to keep up with the fast Cromwell tank and was used alongside them.

History:
      The driving force in the development of Challenger was Roy Robotham. Robotham had been a Rolls-Royce executive in the car division who, with no work to do, had led a team to develop a tank powerplant from the Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engine. The Rolls-Royce Meteor gave the British a powerful reliable engine, which would power the A27M Cruiser Mk VIII Cromwell tank. Robotham's contributions gained him a place in the Ministry of Supply and on the Tank Board, despite his lack of experience in tank design.
      Initially, Vickers had been working on a "High Velocity" 75 mm (3.0 in) gun to be fitted to the Cromwell, but it was realised that the Cromwell's turret ring was too small to mount it. There were longer term plans to develop improved tanks to replace the Cromwell - this would deliver the interim Comet tank and, at the end of the war, the Centurion tank. The General Staff brought forward specification A29 for a 17 pounder armed cruiser tank. This was passed over for the alternate specification, A30 for a 17 pounder armed tank.
      In 1942, an order for a 17 pounder gun armed tank was placed with Birmingham Carriage & Waggon expecting it to be based on the A27M components. Turret and gun mounting was in the hands of Stothert & Pitt. Birmingham Carriage had to modify the Cromwell hull to take a bigger turret.

Design:
      The hull machine gun was removed to provide stowage space for the long 17pdr cartridges. It was expected this larger ammunition, together with its stowage forward, would require two loaders and hence a larger turret. To accommodate the large weapon and a second loader, a turret larger than that of the Cromwell was required and the hull had to be lengthened; and an extra road wheel added. This change in length, without a corresponding change in width across the tracks, reduced mobility compared to the Cromwell.
A30 Challenger in training at Gunnery School, Lulworth Camp, Dorset, England

A30 Challenger with foliage cammo

      In order to keep the weight under control, compromises had to be made and armouring was reduced. It was not possible to reduce hull armour, so it was reduced on the turret - 63 mm on the front and 40 mm on the side compared to 75 mm and 60 mm on the Cromwell. As the base of the turret was unprotected, a jacking feature was fitted to clear any jam resulting from enemy action.
      The first Challenger was completed in 1942. When the second was tested at Lulworth, it was criticized that, although it would be effective at long range against the current best-gunned tank in German service (the Panzer IV "Special" with the long 75 mm gun), at shorter ranges it would be at a disadvantage due to slow firing rate and thin armour. An order for 200 was placed in February 1943. In November of that year it was announced that no more would be ordered.

Service:
      Unfortunately, due to some short sightedness, no provision had been made for deep wading trunking and the A30 was unable to participate in the Normandy landings; the tank had to wait until ports had been secured and the Mulberry harbours completed. The Challenger, despite its high centre of gravity, was liked by its crews as it was somewhat faster and more agile than the equivalently armed Sherman Firefly.

Size comparison between two tanks armed with 17 pounds of gun: A30 and Firefly
      The Firefly design, which had been a backup, proved to be easier to build and production of the Challenger was stopped with about 200 built. Many of the A30s were issued to units using Cromwells, which eased maintenance as they shared many parts.
      As well as with British units, the 1st Czechoslovak Armoured Brigade which was supplied by the British, used the Challenger in its operations besieging Dunkirk. The 1st Polish Armoured Division received a few in mid-1945.

Variants:
      The Avenger or SP 17pdr, A30 (Avenger) was a variant on the Challenger idea with a differently shaped open topped turret to help reduce weight.
Avenger  SPG 17pdr.

      With priority production at Vauxhall Motors for the Comet tank, those built in 1945 were not ready for use until after the end of the war in Europe. Some 250 were built and these formed part of the BAOR in Germany.

Specs:

George Bradford drawing






















TypeCruiser tank
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
Used byUnited Kingdom
Free Czechoslovak units
Free Polish Forces
Production history
DesignerBirmingham Carriage & Wagon Company
Number built200
Specifications
Weight31.5 long tons (32.0 t)[2]
Length26 ft 4 in (8.03 m)[2]
Width9 ft 6.5 in (2.91 m)[2]
Height8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)[2]
Crew5 (Commander, gunner, loader, co-loader, driver)

Armour20–102 mm (0.79–4.0 in)
Main
armament
QF17 pdr, 42 rounds
Secondary
armament
7.92 mm Besa machine gun
EngineRolls-Royce Meteor V-12 petrol engine
600 hp (450 kW)
SuspensionChristie suspension
6 road wheels
Operational
range
105 mi (169 km)[2]
Speed32 mph (51 km/h)[2]
font:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruiser_Mk_VIII_Challenger

Building the kit:
      First of all, the kit itself was an archaeological find, a true relic that I bought (very cheaper ...) on eBay. Notice the date of the kit:
An archaeological Accurate Armour kit - box in good conditions...

The kit in polyurethane resin

Old times, good times...
... the "spartan" instructions...
      The kit was perfect, except the gun (warped) and the tracks (awful casting). I changed the resin gun by a metal one from RB Models and the resin tracks by a vinyl tracks from.Centaur / Cromwell (scraps from Tamiya) to maintain the low cost of this project...Please do not condemn me!!!
The chassi and upper hull: Notice the date and the resin color; Resin inhomogeneous but steady.
Wheels, wheels, wheels!!!

Hull's dry-run
        The kit had amazing detailing considering the age. Turret's interior...
Notice the details and the breech of the gun
Turret's interior - right side
Turret's interior - left side
metal gun by RBModels and the warped resin gun
        The assembly the kit was very easy ...
The resin blocks begin to take the shape of a tank...


Copper wires as headlight guards
the little details resisted for decades ....

Huge girl !!!!



Notice the details in plastic from the Tamiya's Cromwell (scrap)

Ready for primer and paint...

Primer

Ups and down tones of green...
       For markings, I chose this profile: Go, Poland !!!

        And my Polish Girl was ready:
Ops...wrong picture !!!!
        Ok...The right stuff now:

Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Challenger (A30) - 1st Polish Armoured Division
Uroczy - Charming...


Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Challenger (A30) - left side

Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Challenger (A30) - right side

Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Challenger (A30) - rear view


Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Challenger (A30) - upper view
Cruiser Tank Mk VIII Challenger (A30) 
            I love the shape of this girl.  Well, that's what happened, guys!

7 comentários:

Pablo J. Álvarez disse...

Brutal, realmente bello, I love it, This is one of my prefer tanks.

Evandro Moreira dos Santos disse...

Legalzão.

Panzerserra disse...

Pablo, gracias e un gran saludo, meu amigo...
Feliz Navidad

Panzerserra disse...

Evandro, um abração e se cuida!!!

Witold Hałub disse...

Czy taki zestaw jest jeszcze do zdobycia, jeśli tak to w jaki sposób?. Będę wdzięczny za odpowiedz. Dziękuję

Marcos Serra disse...

Witold, do you wrote this ??
Is such a system is still to come, if so, how ?. I would be grateful for your reply. thank you

Sorry, but what system??? I don't understand....

Hugs

Witold Hałub disse...

It's probably a translation error, not only system for bonding. Also want to build such a model, but I can't get it cock. Thank you for your reply

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