by: Andras [ ]
I’ve learned about this tank the first time when it was introduced into the online game World of Tanks, where it acquired somewhat of a hipster tank reputation (it was so underperforming certain people felt compelled to play it…). As with the T18, the ModellTrans conversion previously I reviewed, the looks sold this vehicle for me: it definitely looks unique.
It’s really difficult to find much information about this tank destroyer online. About fifty Churchill tanks were converted into tank destroyer roles (the numbers vary between 24 and 50) between 1941-’42. It tried to address a fundamental issue with the Churchill tank. The increase of firepower was always problematic as the turret was too small to significantly upgrade the gun it can house. The largest guns they could fit were the widely used 6 pounder, and the 75mm gun derived from it. By going the usual tank destroyer way, the tank has lost its turret, but received a larger, more effective gun in return. The 3 inch anti-aircraft gun was housed in a thick boxy superstructure (frontal thickness 3.5 inch) using a ball mount. Not one of these conversions saw combat, and were used later on for target practice… as you can see it on the example remaining in Bovington rusting away slowly (a shame really, it would be nice to see this tank restored).
The conversion comes in a ModellTrans blister pack as usual, which is quite an effective way to protect the parts from damage. Quality of resin is good, so the cleanup is relatively straightforward. The detail is also very nice for this scale. We get a new upper chassis for the Churchill, the boxy superstructure, the gun, and two tool boxes.
The conversion is really easy. It is designed for the DML kits. I’m not sure if it fits the Airfix, Hasegawa or Italeri offerings, but knowing their quality in comparison to the DML one, it’s probably better to use the DML kit anyway. The resin upper chassis fits very well onto the Churchill model; it can actually be snapped into place. The superstructure’s fit is also quite good, although there were some gaps where putty had to be used. Overall there are no real issues with assembly at all. The conversion essentially builds itself if you shake the box hard enough… One detail is missing: the vertical tubes next to the boxes mounted onto the superstructure. These should not be very difficult to do, but I still would have preferred to get them in the box. The whole building and painting process took about 3 hours (the model has only received its base colour yet).