The 1/35th scale Cromwell Mk IV from Tamiya is a very nice model with some very appealing features. I am lead to believe that the model built straight from the box builds into a fairly accurate C hull type; unfortunately the C hull Cromwell’s are not believed to have made it into combat in Europe where the D type engine deck Cromwell’s where usually identified. Due to this I have spent some pennies with Accurate Armour in the UK and invested in some upgrades to smarten the Tamiya kit up to a version see in combat in Europe after D-Day. The next of the upgrades I invested in is the Vauxhall hatch.
This offering from Cromwell Models arrives in a Ziploc bag with a card holder. Inside there are three resin parts that are well protected by the box that Accurate Armour pack their products in for shipping. The parts are on two resin cast plug rails. With this being a resin set there are of course issues that are particular to resin and I am pleased to say that I did not find any of the potential problems in this set other than some minor flash that is easily dealt with.
This offering from Accurate Armour is one of those upgrade products that tends to make modellers break into a sweat due to having to take sharp instruments to the base model and cut away a significant area of it. This requires that the driver’s hatch is cut away and a sizeable portion behind it as well. This has been tackled in a clever way by Accurate Armour as there are panel lines in the area you need to remove and so if you cut to the inner face of the panel lines you can then lightly sand as required to get a perfect fit. I appreciate that Accurate Armour has left lips on both sides of the resin part that will provide a positive location on the model.
The other two parts with this offering consist of the hatch that has detail on both faces and so can easily be displayed open or closed. There was what I thought was mould release on the inner face of the hatch, but it turned out to be a small glossy area on the cured resin which is usually caused by a mix that is not perfect and sometimes results in a sticky spot; however in this case I believe that once painted no issue will be visible. The last part is a nicely cast periscope; I would have liked this to be clear but is that is not an insurmountable issue.
Looking at the mouldings and the contents provided I am very pleased with what Accurate armour has provided here as it is good in all regards other than some very minor flash that is to be expected. There are no instructions provided with this set, but it is obvious what needs to be done even to me. This offering is described as being for Vauxhall produced Cromwell’s, which I find of limited use as information goes. I have spent some time looking through the few books I have on the Cromwell and I believe that this hatch style was only used on Mk VI tanks, but please jump in and correct me. I have done quite a lot of digging and I am torn on using this part as I am being directed that this was only used on welded turreted tanks that failed to go into production.
Highs: I like the consideration Accurate Armour has put into making this conversion as easy as possible to use.Lows: I am confused about the use of this conversion.Verdict: A well thought out product that should be fairly easy to use despite requiring a large chunk of the model hull to be cut away.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s 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 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...