by: Sven Harjacek [ ]
The Churchill tank was a British Heavy tank which was used in WWII by Britain,Canada, as well as Russia and Poland (a very small amount). Specifically, the Churchill Mk.VII was first used in the Invasion of of Normandy, with the key difference a 75mm gun. The barrel was wider, and the tank had more armor on it.
The OQF 75mm gun was used on Churchills, Cromwells and Matildas. It was based on the American 75mm gun fitted to Shermans, but that weapon was insufficient for long range because its explosive power was weak. It was fine for close-range targets, and proved itself in the Italian Campaign. But with the invasion of Europe planned, the Allies needed a better gun.
JBmodel.eu is well-known for selling lots of different metal barrels and other parts for 1/35 models (and other scales) at very reasonable prices. This review is of their replacement barrel for the OQF 75mm Mk.V which is used on the Churchill tank. You need a replacement barrel, because the Tamiya kitís barrel has too many inaccuracies and problems.
what you get
When I got this barrel in my mail, I was very excited to see what can a 3Ä barrel offer. I was amazed to see how professional is it made and how well-packed. It came in a nice envelope with a cardboard printed graphic and 2 (two) zip lock baggies, one smaller and one bigger.
The smaller bag contains 3 brass parts for the muzzle brake; the bigger bag contains one turned metal barrel
OK, the inaccuracies are that the muzzle brake on the kit is wrong: itís too big overall, and the hole is too small. In general, the kit barrel and JB's replacement barrel are very similar, with one key difference: the JBmodel barrel is one part, so there is no sanding or filling needed, while gluing and puttying the original kit barrel can waste hours and hours. But mostly it's that incorrect muzzle brake that makes the kit barrel wrong. The JB muzzle brake is correct.
I must say that the parts look amazing; the fit is superb, though I think you should wash them in soap and water to remove any mold release from the parts. It's also a good idea to pass a little mild sandpaper over the aluminum barrel so it will take paint better. Then itís ready for primer: no filling or other things complicating your build, just easy glue and paint. The metal parts require epoxy or CA glue; if you try using plastic cement, it will eventually break down, since itís not strong enough to keep the pieces all together and doesn't adhere to metal.
The only bad thing I found is that there are no instructions. Even though it looks easy, I decided to photograph each step of assembly just so you can check it out.
As for the historical accuracy, the barrel looks quite accurate from the pictures I have found.
So at the end, this is a superb, cheap metal barrel with nice fit and fine parts. As I said before, wash, glue and paint. Youíre done!