Built Review
Australian Centurion Mantlet
Firestorm Models' Centurion Canvas Mantlet Cover with Searchlight Mount
  • MT2_0219sm

by: Mick Toal [ HEATSEEKER64 ]

Although the AFV Club Australian Centurion Mk 5/1 is a highly accurate kit which offers all of the features for the unique variant that fought in the jungles of Vietnam, every Aussie vehicle that served had a canvas cover on the mantlet. While the kit presents an very accurate mantlet right down to the uniquely Australian .50 cal ranging gun, scratch building a mantlet cover would be beyond the skills or motivation of the average modeller.

AFV Club has since released soft rubber manlet covers for Australian and British tanks, although I am yet to see them, and hence can not comment on their accuracy or effectiveness.
the mantlet
Firestorm Models comes to the rescue with an easy and quick fix ... actually, it provides your choice of two Aussie mantlets with covers - one with searchlight mount base (reviewed here) and the other without (FS35141).

Basically, you just clean up the part and install it on the kit's turret using an appropriate glue. The part may need to be formed after heating for a perfect fit, but the end result is very convincing right down to various folds and seams, casting numbers (not present on the kit part) and securing strips with bolts around the edge and machine/ranging gun mount.
AFV Club's Centurions are fine, accurate and well engineered kits, but a notable omission on all variants are canvas covers for the turret mantlet which were pretty much standard items on all tanks in service. Firestorm Models offers a quick fix for this.
Highs: An accurate and easy update.
Lows: None
Verdict: Great way to authenticate your Aussie Cent!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: FS35142
  Suggested Retail: AUD$15
  Related Link: Mantlet with cover
  PUBLISHED: Nov 11, 2008
  NATIONALITY: Australia

About Mick Toal (Heatseeker64)

Journalist and photographer - aka :"scribbler and snapper" - based in Sydney Australia. Been modelling as long as I can remember and it's my great distraction away from work. Regards my career, well every time I think it's slowing down it goes and speeds up again! Check out my blog at: http://heatse...

Copyright 2021 text by Mick Toal [ HEATSEEKER64 ]. All rights reserved.


Looks like a nice and easy aftermarket part for the AFV Club Centurions. Shouldn't there be some kind of mounting holes on the exposed searchlight rail?
NOV 10, 2008 - 05:40 PM
I'll need to check that out ... it that is the case, it should be simple enought to drill holes in the appropriate places.
NOV 12, 2008 - 02:15 PM
The mantlet cover when fitted to the IR light models had a long zip in place, so as the mount bolts could be undone and the mount could be removed , Regards Col
JAN 26, 2011 - 06:34 PM
Excellent looking release. Has anybody test fit it to the AFV kit yet?
JAN 26, 2011 - 07:10 PM
I've used a Firestorm mantle on one of my Centurion builds and it fits nice with only a little putty needed.
JAN 26, 2011 - 07:49 PM

Click image to enlarge
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  • MT2_0222sm