The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
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.

Cromwell II with Vauxhall turret - A23 cruiser tank prototype - case report

Ladies and Gentlemen...
      Today lets know one of the prototypes that originated the fast and deadly British Tank Cruiser A27 Cromwell. Let me introduce to you the A23 Vauxhall prototype Cromwell II.

      The Cromwell tank, officially Tank, Cruiser, Mk VIII, Cromwell (A27M), was one of the series of cruiser tanks fielded by Britain in the Second World War (see more about Cromwell cruiser tan, in this Bunker's post...).
      Named after the English Civil War leader Oliver Cromwell, the cruiser tank Cromwell was the first tank put into service by the British to combine high speed from a powerful and reliable engine, the Rolls-Royce Meteor with a reasonable armour. The intended dual-purpose high velocity gun could not be fitted in the turret and the medium velocity dual purpose gun fitted proved inadequate. An improved version with a high velocity gun became the Comet A34 cruiser tank.
A34 Comet from 11th Armoured Division roaring through a German village- 1945.
    The development of the Cromwell and Centaur dates to 1940, as the Crusader tank was being readied for service. The General Staff was aware that the Crusader would become obsolete, and in late 1940 they set out the specifications for a replacement tank, expected to enter service in 1942, fitted with the QF 6 pounder gun. In 1943 Churchill production was scheduled to end and Vauxhall who had been building Churchills until then and were  to build Cromwells, in the future.
      In the end of 1942, Vauxhall built the A23 cruiser tank prototype Cromwell II, a scaled down version of their A22 Churchill infantry tank, armed with Ordnance QF rifled 57mm, 6-pdr Mark III (43 caliber), the first version designed for use in tanks.
Cromwell II prototype with Vauxhall turret with 6pdr. gun Mk.III - 43 caliber

Cromwell II prototype with Vauxhall turret with 6pdr. gun Mk.III - 43 caliber
right top side
      It was mounted co-axially with a 7.92mm BESA air-cooled machine gun and a sighting telescope (No 39 Mk IS) on the left.. This would had 75mm of frontal armour, used a 12-cylinder Bedford engine, carried a crew of five and would had the cast/welded turret like A22 Churchill design in the Cromwell hull. Vauxhall completed them with this new composite turret featuring cast sides and a welded roof, but the resulting Cromwell II never went into production. The Churchills proved very successful in Tunisia... so, production was to continue and Vauxhall would build no more Cromwells.
     In Vauxhall, the prototype Churchill turret would be slightly modified and would become the turret of the Churchill VII. And it's exactly this prototype that we will try to reproduce in a 1/35 scale. But first, see a true Churchill in a top of a Cromwell!!
Winston Churchill inspects a Cromwell Mk IV tank of No. 2 Squadron, 2nd (Armoured Reconnaissance) Battalion,
Welsh Guards, at Pickering in Yorkshire, 31 March 1944. The tank is named 'Blenheim'.
The tank was the mount of Major John Ogilvie Spencer,
commander the No. 2 Squadron, and later killed in Belgium on 9 September 1944.

Cromwell II prototype - Vauxhall turret
TypeCruiser tank
Place of origin                                                                             United Kingdom
Service history
In servicenever
Used byBritish Army
WarsWorld War II
Production history
No. built01 (?)
Mass28.0 t
Length6.35 m
Width2.908 m
Height2.49 m
Crew5 (Commander, gunner, loader/radio operator, driver, front gunner)

Armour76 mm
Ordnance QF rifled 57mm, 6-pdr Mark III (43 caliber)
2 x 7.92 mm Besa machine gun
with 4,950 rounds
EngineBedford engine  12 cylinder
Power/weight21.4 hp (16 kW) / tonne
TransmissionMerritt-Brown Z.5 gearbox (five forward and one reverse gear) driving rear sprockets
SuspensionImproved Christie
Ground clearance410 mm
Fuel capacity500 l
270 km on roads -130 km cross country
Speed60 km/h

The kit:
      For this project, I'll use the old Centaur hull, from Tamiya, that had been left over from an old project that I used the turret, in the Matilda II 6pdr.. As the Law on the Conservation of Modeling Matters says: "In scale models, nothing is lost, everything is transformed ..."
Matilda II Infantry Tank A12 with A24/27 6 pdr gun turret prototypeModel kit from Panzerserra
Tamiya kit - British Cruiser Tank Mk.VIII,A27L(#35232)
      And some spare parts from my Churchill collection, in special, roof turrets from Churchill Mk III, when I retrofitted some tanks from the MkIII model to the Churchill Mk I and II models and a complete turret Mk VII Tamiya, from my Churchill 3 inch 20 CWT gun carrier project. As you can see, it is always useful to have a nice box of spare parts close by ...

      But enough with the ramblings and let's go to the fight: here is a photo with some more visible changes that I will have to make in my kit:
  1. Different shape of the air intake / exhaust at the rear
  2. Different shape of the stowage compartment
  3. Early type commander cupola
  4. 6pdr. short barreled gun with mantlet
  5. Rectilinear fenders (front and rear)
  6. Different shape of the driver's hatch
  7. Gunner's harch with long-axis orientation 
  8. Rounded pistol port
Tons of fun by ahead!!
      First of all, the turret: my old Churchill Mk VII was in very bad shape. I removed the original mantel and installed a Mk.III mantel from my spare parts box. As the gunner's hatch was angled on the Churchill Mk.VII and in the Vauxhall prototype it is aligned with the long axis of the turret, 
Left: AFV Club Churchill MkIII roof turret; middle: Tamiya Churchill Mk VII roof and right,
Tamiya's turret Mk VII. Notice the "new" mantlet and breech gun from AFV Club
      I found it easier to change the entire turret roof than to graft the hatch. Something like this:
The tamiya's turret with AFV Club roof. Gunner's hatch fixed!!

After plastic internal reinforcements and putty, the new roof appeased Chuck!!

The diameter of the Centaur turret was a little too large for the Churchill turret socket.
Like a glove!!!
But starting by the beginning... wheels!!

I forgot to mention a detail: I removed the two protrusions from the Churchill Mk VII turret.
The Vauxhall turret didn't have them yet ...

The turret without front protrusions and with skirt corrected!!
Speaking of protrusions... removing bulbs of the bases of the turret periscopes ...
As the turret of Churchill Mk VII had bulbs !!!

Continuing the adjustments, plugging the driver hatch and using putty
to correct differences from the Churchill turret to the Vauxhall one...

No savings with the Tamiya putty !!

Going and going!!!

Here's proof of why the driver's hatch had to be modified when using the largest Vauxhall turret ...

Details fixed on the turret roof. The weld beads will be added later ...

Time to make the small plane tilted at the Cromwell's tail.
The good news is that the Tamiya kit features this detail prominently ...
It's just a matter of cutting that part ...
And notice the removing the detail (metal box) on the tail of the kit and correcting it with plasticard.

The new tail and new grill under construction...

The Tamiya turret with many details from by AFV Club (in light green).
The gun is from my spare parts box 

Replacing the hull periscopes with AFV Club periscopes, for reasons of symmetry with those of the turret...
The exhaust fans (in white) were made in scratch...

Making the "pistol ports" (?) of this version: cutting plasticard with dry-point compass ...

And adding to the turret... left side

Right side!!

Sorry for not showing the carving of the new driver hatch in the tank hull.
Notice the hinges made with Plastruct rod.

Final details in the turret: aerials (acupuncture needles), the Commander's sight
and the locking clips of the gunner hatch covers.

Uff...Since we're in the rain, let's get wet !!
Making the stowage bin on the rear of the tower, in scratch ...

Putyy, putty, putty...and wait to dry !!
Stowage bin almost done...

The stowage bin in the turret's rear...

Cutting the front hull to to rectify the front fenders ...

The driver's hatch carved in the roof hull

The front fenders made in scratch with plasticard...

Building the weld beads on the turret roof using 0.4mm Plastruct rod

After gluing the rod to the turrets roof, make the weld markings with this "sophisticated" device:
scalpel blade 15C "tied" to the active tip of a 40W electronic welder.

Plastruct rod in the edges of turret's roof...

Making "edentations" with heat of the welder tip on the plastic rod ...

Done!! Notice the searchlight and electric wire...

A padlock made with plastic and copper wire ...

Retrofitting the rear fenders to the simplest model of the prototype:
just cut the excess plastic from the kit ...
Notice the rear air intake...

The rear fenders...

The front fenders...left side

The right side... Next step; painting!!!
      This girl will not be the exact reproduction of the existing photo, but will follow the painting pattern, non-operational and with discreet markings.
My interpretation of Cromwell II prototype with Vauxhall turret 6pdr. gun 43 caliber
     Green as color-base and Archer casting markings decals. I use an application pattern for these decals that is a little different from what Archer recommends: I apply the base color without its tonal variations ... then, I apply gloss varnish or Future (Pledge) to avoid silvering. After drying the casting decal and sealing it with varnish / Pledge, I make one last application of base color and make the tonal variations. This makes the thickness of the paint layer over decal thinner, the casting marks clearer and the decal film is completely invisible.
Casting markings from Archer without final sealing..

Notice the decal film, still visible...after the final layer of varnish/Pledge, the film fades away...

The decals with final layer of color base and tonal variations...

Rear view of colors...

The casting markings...Perfect!!

Almost ready for final layer of gloss varnish.


The kit with serial number decal and final layer of Pledge

Next step; weathering!!
Oh my God!!
      I was forgetting to make the structural reinforcement crease on the outer side of the front fenders! 

      Let's do it!!
First of all, remove the paint in the region, for better adhesion on the plastic ...

Gluing a 0.4mm Plastruct rod as a reinforcement crease...

Same recipe for the other side...

After painting with a brush using the same color variations applied to the fender..
Like a glove!!

Right fender!!  Ufff...done!!
      Time to put the tracks on... The tracks are very well made, although they are made in vinyl. The thing is to simulate the trim and weight of the links on the wheels. I will use the glue technique with cyanoacrylate (superglue), since this vinyl perfectly accepts this glue ...

The track and the glue. Notice the the popsicle sticks keeping the track
with "weighted" on the wheels, while the glue sticks ...

Smooth, quick and easy !!! Right side...

Left side!!

With the turret...right side...

With the turret...leftt side...

3/4 front view

3/4 rear view

Steel cables !!
      And the rare girl was finally ready !! Here is the prototype of the Cromwell II with Vauxhall turret - A23 cruiser tank prototype:

Cromwell II with Vauxhall turret - A23 cruiser tank prototype

Cromwell II with Vauxhall turret - A23 cruiser tank prototype

Cromwell II with Vauxhall turret - A23 cruiser tank prototype - left view

Cromwell II with Vauxhall turret - A23 cruiser tank prototype - right side

Cromwell II with Vauxhall turret - A23 cruiser tank prototype with Kojak and Rover, the dog.

Cromwell II with Vauxhall turret - A23 cruiser tank prototype
Kojak is proud with his rare girl!!

Cromwell II with Vauxhall turret - A23 cruiser tank prototype and

Two Crommies in line!!

Front eyes!!

Cromwell II with Vauxhall turret - A23 cruiser tank prototype

Thanks for following, Ladies & Gentlemen...
... and syphilis in the Coronavirus !!