First Look Review
Crusader Engine Set
Crusader (Cruiser Mk. IV) Engine Set for Italeri
  • move

by: Ted Hayward [ TED_HAYWARD ]


The 400 horse-power Nuffield Liberty Mk. III was a V12, twin-spark plug, liquid-cooled airplane engine designed in the USA during World War One. It was fitted to the Cruiser Mk. IV Crusader and Centaur tanks during WW2. This 1/35th scale resin engine kit by CMK is designed for the Italeri Crusaders.


5 engine deck hatches
Fuel tanks
Bulkhead and cooling fans
Rear belly-pan and transmission compartment side-walls
Exhaust pipe
Complete engine, with manifolds and accessories
Rear brake drums


After building this engine kit, one can appreciate the reliability problems for which the desert Crusader tanks were notorious - there is precious little space in the engine compartment, once this V12 monster is crammed-into its home. This means very little detail of the engine can be seen through the access hatches, and is a clue as to why the Crusader engines were prone to over-heating.

Anyone with some experience building resin after-market sets will have no problem, provided one is patient when removing parts from the parent resin. Extreme care is needed with the many small parts, as resin is very brittle; a low-speed Dremel tool is just the ticket for this. As with any resin set, removing flash is an unavoidable job.

Parting Shots

Though photos of the original aircraft Liberty engine (see Below) are common, I was unable to find any of this engine installed in a Crusader. The very prominent conduit for the spark-plug wires, seen in every photo, is absent in the set. The intake manifolds seem to be a very simplified version of those seen on the Centaur engine, but don't really resemble anything seen on earlier Liberty engines. All Liberty engines had very distinctive cooling pipes protruding from these manifolds, placed in a very visible location at the top of the engine.

Those wanting to accurately depict this engine will need to carefully research the subject, and add the 24 plug wires, a dozen of which ran from each distributor. Another job will be to build a pair of tin shields which cover the exposed valve springs and rocker arms. This is still the only engine kit for an important subject, and a great foundation for an accurate scratch build.

Highs: The only kit of its kind for this important subject. Includes hatches and transmission. A fairly high level of detail.
Lows: Detail in some areas are soft. Not sure about the accuracy of the engine's top-half.
Verdict: Though purists may want to add detail, it's a great little resin kit for the price.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 3115
  Suggested Retail: tba
  PUBLISHED: May 07, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to CMK!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
About Ted Hayward (ted_hayward)

From B.C., Canada. Living in Taiwan for past several years. I've been building kits for as long as memory serves -armor, aircraft, cars. Big fan of 1/16th scale armor kits. Currently serving as poster boy for working with CA adhesives in a well-ventilated area. My first kit was the positively awful ...

Copyright 2021 text by Ted Hayward [ TED_HAYWARD ]. All rights reserved.


I've almost lost hope with those old Italeri kits. I can safely say my interest is healthily(?) renwed now. Thanks for sharing this Ted!
MAY 07, 2011 - 11:41 AM
I may not want to part with my Italeri kit after all
MAY 19, 2011 - 12:17 PM

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move