Book Review
Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank
Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank the last Cold War Era tank of Britainís Armoured Corps
  • move

by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Tankograd has built up a formidable library of what I refer to as quick reference books: by quick reference books, I mean a book that covers the essentials of a subject to a depth dictated by the number of pages in each book. This book covers the Challenger 1 from its inception until it was replaced by the Challenger 2.

This is what Tankograd had to say about their new title:

the FV4030/4 Challenger 1 MBT was the last vehicle of the type developed and fielded by the British Army during the Cold War era. Procured as a stop gap measure in the early 1980ís to replace part of the aging fleet of FV4201 Chieftain MBTís, the new vehicle was intended to battle Warsaw Pact armour on the plains of Northern Germany in the event of the Cold War turning hot. This publication tells in great detail the development history, describes the technology, Challenger 1 variants Mk 1, 2, and 3, the CRARRV, the training tank, the Al Hussein as well as the MBT in action during IFOR, SFOR, KFOR, and in Operation Granby.


The book is a paperback in A4 size consisting of 64 pages, and has 128 full-colour photos and 5 black and white photos. As is usual with Tankograd books, the text is in German and English.


This book starts with 12 pages of text under the sub-titles below:

  • A number of factors
  • FV4201 Chieftain
  • MBTs for Iran
  • Project FV4030
  • Finally a replacement for the FV401 Chieftain
  • Into service
  • Challenger 1 technology
  • Hull
  • Driverís compartment
  • Power pack unit
  • Running gear, Suspension, and Tracks
  • Electrical system and Fire extinguisher system
  • Turret
  • Ammunition
  • NBC filtration and ventilation system
  • Radios and communication equipment
  • FV4030/4 Challenger 1 Mk 2
  • Thermal observation and gunnery sight (TOGS)
  • FV4030/4 Challenger 1 Mk 3
  • Challenger 1 procurement
  • Armoured regiments
  • Canadian Army trophy disaster
  • Upgrade programmes
  • Operation Granby
  • Challenger armoured repair and recovery vehicle (CRARRV)
  • Challenger training tank
  • Al Hussein Main Battle Tank

The text included under these sub-titles provides a fair insight, given the small amount of available space, which turns out to be a good introduction to the subject.

The pictures in this book are very good for the most part, considering the age of some of them, as most are reasonably sharp. The walk-around of the Challenger 1 Mk 3 is a particularly good reference for anyone looking at using the book as a detail guide for a model. The pictures in the book are broken down into the following groupings:

  • Prototypes
  • FV4030/4 Challenger 1 Mk 1
  • FV4030/4 Challenger 1 Mk 2
  • FV4030/4 Challenger 1 Mk 3
  • Challenger 1 Mk 3 in detail
  • Operation Granby
  • KFOR
  • Challenger training tank
  • Challenger armoured repair and recovery vehicle
  • Al Hussein

Of particular interest to me are the images of the Challenger 1 chassis fitted with the Marksmen turret with two Oerlikon 35mm KDA automatic cannons. I would really like to see a model of this configured vehicle in model form, despite only ever getting as far as a trials vehicle.


I have a small library of Tankograd books on subjects that are of particular interest to me that I use as quick reference guides, and this title Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank will be joining that library. And I suspect it will become heavily thumbed-through. The data included in this book is just enough to give you a fair history of the vehicle without providing information overload; if it is huge amounts of data you are after, this is not the book for you, but could still be a handy book on your shelf. If you have an interest in the Challenger 1 tank, it's very worthy of your consideration. Carl Schulze has done a fantastic job of getting the right mix of text and pictures in this offering.
Highs: There were two highs for me which are: the Challenger 1 Mk 3 in detail pictures and the images of the Challenger 1 chassis fitted with the Marksmen turret.
Lows: For me there were no lows as it is a good mix of text and pictures.
Verdict: Recommended.
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: Nr. 9020
  Suggested Retail: Ä14.95
  PUBLISHED: Apr 11, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
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  

About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


APR 11, 2013 - 06:52 AM
what you request, sometimes happens. see the link above, the link runaway from me.
APR 11, 2013 - 06:55 AM

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