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afv club churchill
ted_hayward
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Taipei, Taiwan / 台灣
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 04:25 PM UTC
Building the new AFV Club Churchill Mk. 3 kits

Construction Part 1 Suspension:

Much has been said on other sites about the new Churchill kits concerning the supposed complexity of assembling the workable suspension. NONSENSE!
These reviews have been written by people who haven't actually built the kits. Assembly of these kits from AFV Club is easy and straight-forward. The end result is a very detailed model with a fully-articulating suspension.
Step one is to trap the springs with their spring towers to the hull sides (called "panniers" in British tank terms). You can see from the photos, contrary to what other reviewers have written, they will definitely NOT launch off into space!
Once the springs are in place, glue the hull, or pannier, halves together -obviously without getting glue near the springs. Okay, that was terribly difficult. Now, on to the really hard part in Step 2: building-up the suspension assembly...I'll have a couple gallons of coffee now just to prove how easy it is, even with shaky hands.


Grumpyoldman
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 04:41 PM UTC
Ted, I deleted all the other duplicated post with the dreaded red X.
ted_hayward
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 05:19 PM UTC

I'm back with step 2, shaky hands and all! You really should be sure the cement from the first step is really rock-hard before starting this step!

As you can see, I've numbered some similar-looking parts with a pen before I cut them from the sprues. Those numbered bits are the spacers w/rubber bump stops (parts D17, 18, 19, 20) that fit between each girder. The girders (parts D1, 2, 3, 4) are the long bits that will actually hold the whole assembly between them. The girders also have the pins on which the suspension arms hang. Even though some of those spacers are dissimilar, it doesn't matter if you get them mixed-up. Nobody will see them once everything is together!
Cement ONE girder (parts D3, D2) and all those spacers to the hull pannier you assembled in Step 1. Make sure the spacers are straight and that the girder is straight. There are grooves and divets to help you line it up if you are completely drunk on caffeine at this point. Let all these bits dry (or use CA cement if you're impatient).
Now comes the REALLY tough part if you've had too much coffee...
Hang all the suspension arms (parts D21,22,23) on their respective pins on that girder. How does one keep them all in place? The WHEELS keep them all in place.
Once you've inserted the wheel axles though the suspension arms and spring towers, it all stays together (unless you're attempting this build while driving cross-country).
The holes in the suspension arms are even elongated to allow more flexibility.
The only hard part is to carefully remove the wheel from the sprue without damaging the outer (sharp) edge of the wheels! Stay tuned for installation of separately-available individual track links, and the rest of the build.
I'll be building both the Churchill Mk. 3 and Churchill AVRE in this forum. Ignore all other rubbish being shoveled to unsuspecting readers on the other websites and go out and buy one of these fine kits today!

To the editors of the "other" websites: Hope you get away from your keyboards long enough to actually build one of these -now that you see how easy it really is!
ted_hayward
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 05:27 PM UTC
An interesting aside:
After releasing their Centurion kits with workable suspensions, AFV CLub set about finding a more suitable and easily -manageable material for the springs in their new Churchill kits. These springs are thus none of the bother (being very weak, yet remaining "to scale") of the stronger springs found in the Centurion kits.

Here is a shot of how the suspension arms are neatly located by the wheel axles, and then "trapped" between the two long girders (second girder is now being offered-up):



Be very careful when removing the wheels from their sprues. As usual with AFV Club kits, the bolthead detail is superb:

ted_hayward
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 05:39 PM UTC


Although the kit-suppled vinyl tracks are as good as any, and have well-defined detail, you really must have the indy track links to do this kit justice and show-off that working suspension!
Building the tracks is a breeze -just a little tricky joining the two ends together on the tank. Assembly of the suspension/panniers is the same for both the Churchill kits, Mk. III and AVRE.
ted_hayward
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 07:25 PM UTC

The completed Mk.3 AFV Club kit w/Hobby Fan accessories...just to prove we actually build review samples, unlike other websites
http://www.armorama.com/photos/review/4085/hfchurchill1_overall.jpg
Removed by original poster on 03/12/09 - 13:29:33 (GMT).
bpunchy
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 07:50 PM UTC
ha ha looking good ted , hope that cafeine didnt keep you up ! I been a fan o AFV since i built their m88 . I'm building a Aussie centurion mk5 at present , again superb . I build modern gear but that kit looks beastly n i never say never . ha ha . more photos of that churchill please .
tjkelly
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Posted: Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 09:01 PM UTC
Great build Ted! Very detailed suspension, you've made it look easy. Am working on AFV's Flak 18 now, and it's very detailed and intricate, slow going but getting there. First AFV kit, but will be looking to build another, giving one of their 251's a try.

Thanks for sharing your work, came out fantastic! Cheers -

Tim
DaveCox
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Posted: Sunday, March 08, 2009 - 07:09 AM UTC
Thanks for this article Ted. I have 'clumsy finger', but the Churchill is my favourite tank.

Based on your article I bought one of these today to go alongside my two AVREs.
AlanL
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 09:33 AM UTC
Hi Ted,

I believe the front fenders need to be fitted if your using the dust excluder. The removal of the fenders and said excluder helped I believe cut the dust down so that the driver could see more. Might be worth checking but that's as best I remember it.

Kits looking pretty good but I think the tracks look way too rusty with no shine to the exposed steel. Same detail on the rusty rear deck, way too rusty for a mannned working vehicle. Worn and exposed steel in some areas would be more likely especially with all that sand around.

I like the stowage set but am I right in thinking the turret won't swivel without getting jammed by it? Looks like it might in the pics. All the stowage looks the same with no variation of colour, which makes it look a bit bland rather than interesting.

The rear ammo box looks like it might fall off as it's not tied down or jammed in. The rust on the tracks has spread onto the wheels which would have had a shinny edges.

I like the paint colour it looks good and the build looks good.

Look forward to eeing the finished model, AFV have certainly given us a cracking kit.

Keep up the good work and thanks for the info on the tracks.

Hope you take these observations in the poitive way they are intended. You've got the makings of a cracking tank here, just needs a bit more work.

Al
ted_hayward
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 05:53 PM UTC
Thanks, everybody - I guess this Churchill sat idle on my workbench too long, hence all the rust on the running gear. Those damn 1/35 Tamiya Jerries must have nicked the front fenders (and headlamps, coxial Besa, and spotlamp) during the night
ted_hayward
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Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 01:24 AM UTC

The springs compress easily and the suspension articulates -as much as a Churchill suspension can articulate. Hey, it was no torsion bar design!
ted_hayward
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Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 - 01:53 PM UTC


Although the bolthead detail in this kit is superb, I went one step further and installed the seperately-available AFV Club brass conical boltheads. These will make an already great kit into a real show-winner. Check out my review of this item here:
http://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=3763

ted_hayward
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Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 - 01:56 PM UTC

The suspension assembled, track links installed on one side, and bolt heads installed. As it's a multi-piece hull, a little care is needed in keeping everything squared-up -it's a little more work than your typical Tamiya kit, but worth it!
It's starting to look like a Churchill now! The turret is just test-fitted for the photo
3442
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Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 - 06:10 PM UTC
the quality of the kit looks slightly better than the old Tamiya offering.

looking good so far! Keep it up.

Frank
ted_hayward
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Posted: Saturday, March 28, 2009 - 02:23 PM UTC
It would not be fair -actually, it would be a waste of time, to compare this to the ancient Tamiya kit.: Like comparing Pac-Man to a modern online PC game.
ted_hayward
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Posted: Saturday, April 04, 2009 - 04:33 PM UTC

After assembly of the multi-piece lower hull, it's time to do that exquisite exhaust system and hull hatches. It's nice that the engine access hatches are separate -there are already resin AM engine kits available.



ted_hayward
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Posted: Saturday, April 04, 2009 - 04:37 PM UTC
http://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=3763
ted_hayward
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Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 10:45 PM UTC

Hobby Fan continues to release resin figure sets for this kit.
ted_hayward
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Posted: Friday, April 17, 2009 - 04:15 PM UTC



Hobby Fan tank crew (Alamein) with the AFv Club Churchill
ted_hayward
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2009 - 04:14 AM UTC
The fenders and track guards are in multiple sections. One can choose to display different sections missing, as seen in wartime photos. The mid sections either side of the turret were most commonly removed during operations.

ted_hayward
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2009 - 04:18 AM UTC



All hatches can be positioned in the open position -there are already resin engine kits available for the Churchill. The detail is, again, superb.
ted_hayward
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Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2009 - 04:12 PM UTC
Stay tuned as I finish-off the hull and move-on to the turret! I'll be covering both versions: Mk.3 and Mk.3 AVRE turrets in this blog.
ted_hayward
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Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 11:37 PM UTC



Two types of commander's cupolas were used on Churchills. The All-Round-Vision cupola (bottom) was a latter version, not usually seen on the Mk.3. I used the more common Mk.1 cupola, in keeping with an early Mk.3 variant (North African Theatre).