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A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

Churchill Mk VII - case report

      Today we will talk and know about the "final" version of the Great Family of Churchill tanks: The mighty Churchill Mk.VII.

A brand new Churchill Mk.VII infantry tank
        During 1943 the British began working on another version of Churchill Infantry Tank: The A22F Heavy Churchill  or Churchill Mk.VII, wich was considered the final production model of the Churchill Infantry family of tanks.
      The most important features of the new tank was thicker armour, evolving from a maximum armour thickness of 102mm to 152mm (thicker than the German tan Tiger) in the front tower and hull and a new turret. Despite the increased armour protection the Vauxhall engineers somehow managed limit the resultant increase in weight to only and extra ton however this did result in a drop in top speed from 24 km/h to 21 km/h.
      Welded construction was employed throughout the hull and the side hatches were made both rounded and slightly conical in section, as was the driver's visor. This had two advantages:
  1. The round hatches does not create weak spots in the structure of the hull, like the  corners of the old squared ones.
  2. And the conical shape of the hatches prevents them from being driven into the hull when hit from outside, which was a complaint levelled against the Mark IV. 
      The main armament was the Ordnance QF 75 mm tan gun for the Churchill Mk. VII while some vehicles were fitted with the Ordnance QF 95mm Howitzer (in a slightly modified type VII turret) and designated Churchill MkVIII CS - Close Support.
Churchill MkVIII CS - Close Support.
      About Churchill Mk. VII, the turret itself was an original design. Cast turrets, such as those fitted to the Churchill Mark IV, had many structural advantages but one problem was the manufacturer's inability to control material thickness effectively on all surfaces. This lack of standardization in the thickness of armor can generate weak points, with great danger to the crew.
Adjusting the top rear plate to new cast shell of Churchill Mk.VII turret
Babcock and Wilcox foundry - Scotland
      Thus if one desired thick walls the roof could not be thin, so a weight and space penalty was inevitable. The new Heavy Churchill turret, apparently developed by Babcock and Wilcox of Renfrew, displayed a most effective compromise. The four sides were a single casting, flared out at the base to give added protection to the turret ring, while the roof was a flat plate welded into place at the top. It was fitted with a raised cupola to give the commander better vision during combat action, although some initial production tanks still maintained the simple commander cupola of the Mk. IV models..
Churcill Mk. VII turret with crew. Notice the lip in the turret's bottom,
 the QF 75mm gun and the "early"flat commander cupola (type Mk. IV)
France - 1944.

Churchill Mk. VII turret with production raised all-round vision commander cupola
     The Churchill Mk. VII was stated as meeting all requirements except in respect of armament ( the crews wanted a more powerful gun...). With the release of the new tank — 700 having been ordered towards the end of 1943 — the rework programme for earlier models of Churchills took on a new lease of life. But this upgrade program ended with few results, in 1944.
    Many Churchill Mk.VII tanks became Crocodile flamethrower tanks, indeed in Normandy the 141st Regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps (141 RAC, previously 7th Battalion, The Buffs) were entirely equipped with Crocodiles. Some Mark VII tanks were issued to normal infantry tank units as replacements, where many squadron and platoon commanders snatched them up as their personal chariots.
Two Churchills Mk. VII: left a standard gun tank and right a flamethrower version, Crocodile.
     The Churchill Mk.VII saw service in Normandy and France, Holland, Italy and Germany, as well as the Korean War.
Churchill Mk.VII - Infantry tank
TypeInfantry tank
Place of origin                                                                        United Kingdom
Service history
In service1944–52 (British Empire)
Used by
  • United Kingdom
  • Soviet Union
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • Poland
Production history
ManufacturerVauxhall Motors and others
No. built1600  approx.
VariantsChurchill Mk.VIII CS
Churchil  Mk VII Crocodile
  • 40.7 t (40.1 long tons)
Length7.44 m
Width3.25 m
Height2.49 m
Crew5 (commander, gunner, loader/radio operator, driver, co-driver/hull gunner)

152 mm hull and turret front, 95 mm hull sides and turret sides and rear, 51 mm hull rear
EngineBedford 12-cylinder, 4 stroke, water-cooled, horizontally opposed, L-head petrol engine
350 hp (261 kW) at 2,200 rpm
Power/weight9.1 hp (6.7 kW) / tonne
TransmissionMerritt-Brown 4-speed constant-mesh epicyclic gearbox
SuspensionCoiled spring
90 km
Speed21 km/h
Steering system
Triple differential steering in gearbox

The kit:
      For this article, I decided display an overhauling I performed on an old Tamiya British Infantry Tank Mk.IV Churchill Mk.VII (#35210), a kit he had built more than 20 years ago.
Tamiya British Infantry Tank Mk.IV Churchill Mk.VII (#35210)...Old, but very good!!!
      She was relatively well built, but with wrong markings, of a time I did not research as much as now. As the model had a solid construction, I decided to remove the original paint with caustic soda. In this step, all care is little, because the caustic soda is very corrosive !!!
Wear rubber gloves and eye protection in these steps.
The Prime Minister in his corrosive bath ...
After an hour, the paint dissolving ...

After three hours of bathing in caustic soda, the kit was washed and brushed
with an old toothbrush. Totally clean !!!
      The kit gets very alkaline with this caustic soda bath. To avoid possible problems in the future (paint corrosion in recesses ..) I usually chemically "neutralize" the kit with an acid bath. I use vinegar for salads diluted in water and dip the kit for a few seconds. Vinegar is not aggressive to the skin, but neutralizes the strong alkalinity that may have remained in the kit.
Chemical neutralization of the kit ( acid + alkaline = salt + water). Model kits are also culture !!!

      And the kit dry, neutralized and ready for damage assessment.
Churchill Mk.VII after all the paint removed ...
      Hmmm ... Some details really bother me: Tamiya's 75mm gun barrel is really bad... And the hatches of the Commander and the gunner are badly damaged ...
Houston, we have a problem!!!

The side scars of the hull are easy to repair ...

But the damages in the turret are extensive and almost irreparable ....

      If the problem were only in the commander's cupola, the solution would be easy: its replacement by a surplus part of Churchill of AFV Club, from my spare parts box... But the edges of the gunner's hatch are simply horrible ...
Houston, we have a very big problem!!!
My solution: replace the turret's roof by a Churchill Mk.IV one from AFV Club spare turret...
Dremel time: surgery to replace the Tamiya's turret roof by AFV one!!!

Committing the heresy !!!

Done!!!  Pfew!!!

Upgrading  the old Tamiya with young parts (light green)  AFV Club !!

      In my research, I came across Churchills Crocodile with Cullin hedgerow cutters (or Prongs). Well ... If the Crocodile used, why not in the Mk.VII standard guns ??

      Scratch time...I love model kits!!!

The prong in place...

Like a rhino!!  CHARGE!!!!

As Tamiya's plastic gun barrel is simply horrible, let's replace it with something better ... and in metal!
 I got this Jordi Rubio!!

Much better!!  notice the new details...

Ready for painting...

Green tones... old school!!!

      While the painting is dry, we will choose the details that will be added in the model ... Value Gear stuff!!
Value Gear details being chosen...
      As always, I try to make a profile of the tank with the markings. This time, after a good search, I think my girl will not look ugly or wrong before my eyes ... She's IRON DUKE, a Churchill Mk.VII of the 34th Tank Brigade, 9th Royal Tank Regiment in Normandy, France - 1944.

Painting and detailing the accessories and other parts of the kits ...

Exhaust device ready for weathering...
Notice the spare track links in the turret and hull as extra armour...
Pledge applied with airbrush to seal and "smooth" the surface to avoid the silvering of the decals...

The IRON DUKE is being born...

AoS and Tactical marking in place...

Right view

Rear view

And with acessories in place...

She's looking like a real weapon, now. Weathering in progress...

     And I can call her ready! Meet IRON DUKE, a Churchill Mk.VII belonging of the 34th Tank Brigade, 9th Royal Tank Regiment, performing their duties in Normandy Landings, France - 1944.
Churchill Mk.VII IRON DUKE - 34th Tank Brigade, 9th Royal Tank Regiment.
Normandy Landings - France - June -1944.

Churchill Mk.VII IRON DUKE with Kojak and Rover, the dog.

Kojak is very, very satisfied with this restoration work.
I think he likes this kind of work more than simply building a "virgin" kit.

Two legends in France: Churchill Mk.V CS 95mm and Mk VII 75 gun

Churchill Mk.VII IRON DUKE - 34th Tank Brigade, 9th Royal Tank Regiment.
Normandy Landings - France - June -1944.

2 comentários:

  1. Show, a reforma deu outra cara ao modelo.

    1. Olá Marcão...Muito obrigado pelo incentivo e pela visita...Abração e volte sempre!!!