Sunday, 6 June 2010

'Warts' In Close Up!

Here is the latest in my series of updates; A27M Cruiser MkVIII, Cromwell MkIV to give it its full name! This tank was designed to replace the Crusader Cruiser tank and was Britain's equivalent of the U.S. M4 Sherman Medium Tank. It was also roughly equal to the German PzKpfw IV. If I was to call any Tamiya model perfect, it would probably be this one. In terms of accuracy of detail, ease of construction and clarity of instructions, this model has them all!

Tamiya have always had a reputation for quality, but in the early days, they had a rather poor reputation for accuracy. This was because a lot of their models were designed for younger modellers, in that they had a lot of what I have called in the past 'Toy Features' i.e. moving parts. Another problem was that the models had to be slightly enlarged to accomodate an elctric motor and running gear. This meant that the models weren't built to an accurate scale size. However, later Tamiya models have done away with the motorisation option, which has meant that they have been able to vastly improve the scale accuracy of their models. There are now very few model manufacturers that come anywhere near Tamiya for quality or accuracy. In my opinion, there is only Academy, AFV Club and Dragon Models that can match Tamiya.

Anyway, back to the Cromwell! As I mentioned in my earlier post about the Cromwell, I decided to fit the 'Normandy Cowling' and the 'Cullins Hedgerow Cutter' to represent a vehicle that took part in the Normandy Campaign of WW2. This is probably my second favourite British tank model after my Churchill. The decals are of a tank from the 7th Armoured Division AKA 'The Desert Rats'. Monty specifically recalled the Desert Rats from the Italian campaign to take part in the D-Day landings. It was also Cromwells from the Desert Rats that fell victim to the German Tank Ace, Michael Wittman at the Battle of Villers Bocage.

And there, in a nut shell, is why I enjoy model making so much. It enables me to get a real feel for history. Instead of just reading books or watching television, I can almost literally have history sitting in the palm of my hand! I remember when, as a junior model maker, my Mum would ask me why I had so many models cluttering up my bedroom, my answer was always "But Mum, I only buy models of Historical Significance"!

Here then, are some more pictures of my 'Historically Significant' Cromwell Cruiser tank!

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