login   |    register
Armor/AFV: British Armor
Discuss all types of British Armor of all eras.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Black Label Conqueror Quick-Build Review
BootsDMS
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: February 08, 2012
KitMaker: 684 posts
Armorama: 677 posts
Posted: Friday, July 10, 2015 - 06:36 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I guess I'll jump in here and add my two cents worth. No doubt I'll be shelled for my high opinion of the Black Label kit, but that's okay. I just finished a build review for AMPS and if you're interested, you can read it at:

http://www.amps-armor.org/ampssite/reviews/showReview.aspx?ID=3456&Type=FB

Frankly, I was very happy with the kit. Does it have some issues? Of course it does. Is it missing some detail? Of course it is. Show me a kit that doesn't fall down in either of those regards. However, I only have to look at the engine deck louvres on the Accurate Armour model posted above, think about the price I'd have to pay for that kit, and I'll put my money on the Black Label kit every time.

Have you fellows who lament about soft detail in the Black Label kit actually looked at the louvres on the Accurate Armour engine deck? I mean seriously, if ever there was soft detail, that is a text book case if I ever saw one. Odd that there's never any mention of that though. The Black Label kit is far and away superior in that regard. Have they missed detail on the deck itself? Yes they have but it still looks ever so much better than Accurate Armours.

The main fault with the Black Label kit as I see it is that it appears that they've incorporated a Mark 1 roof plate over the driver's station, instead of the horizontal version. Yes that's a major mistake, but in all honesty, unless you're a dyed in the wool rivet counter, the down angle is hardly noticeable unless you know what you're looking for. Compare it to the louvres in the Accurate Armour kit and tell me that they don't look MUCH worse.

Another complaint is that the kit includes a two piece barrel. All I can say to that is that it mates perfectly with very little seam clean up to be done. Yes, the grab handles on the transmission and engine deck louvres are molded as single piece blobs, but the same can be said about Accurate Armours Conqueror. Again, nothing said about that in anything I've read when comparing the detail in both kits. I think we can agree that in both cases, they're easily shaved off and replaced with wire, as are the handles on the fender stowage bins. These are minor improvements that can be made by any modeller. After all, it's not like we don't do that for just about any other kit, right?

I honestly can't comment on the shape of the turret as I don't have manufacturer's plan view drawings to compare it to. I doubt most others who are critical of it do either. All I can say is that it looks good to my eye, based on the secondary references I do have.

At the end of the day, the kit assembles like a dream, the finished model looks every bit like a Conqueror (to my eye) and the tracks and hull scale out perfectly when compared to secondary source measurements I have on hand. Some may prefer to spend the considerably higher price for the Accurate Armour kit for what they perceive as being a better kit. So be it, but you'll still have those engine deck louvres to haunt you. We may yet see a Conqueror from Amusing Hobby (or not) in styrene and I'll pick one up to do a comparison. Right now though, I'm pretty darned pleased with the looks of my Black Label Conqueror. Putting my money where my mouth is, I just bought another one.

Cheers,

Chris



Chris,

Hear! Hear!

I've noticed your review on AMPS and very useful it was too, not least in affixing the side skirts where, to be honest, a decent firm fix is absent. Many thanks for that. The rest of the kit is going well although I've had to stall a bit as I need to find a driver figure and am saving my precious shekels for a Hornet Head set; interestingly enough - well, to me at least - this is the only British Tank I believe where every crew member had his own dedicated hatch, so there's a great opportunity with this kit to portray every crew member should you so desire.

I understand the Amusing Hobby version is a Mk I so if we ever get to see it will be an interesting comparison.

But for the present, I too may purchase a second Dragon one.

Thanks again for your input.

Brian
ChrisJohnson
Joined: June 02, 2005
KitMaker: 65 posts
Armorama: 53 posts
Posted: Friday, July 10, 2015 - 06:05 PM UTC
I guess I'll jump in here and add my two cents worth. No doubt I'll be shelled for my high opinion of the Black Label kit, but that's okay. I just finished a build review for AMPS and if you're interested, you can read it at:

http://www.amps-armor.org/ampssite/reviews/showReview.aspx?ID=3456&Type=FB

Frankly, I was very happy with the kit. Does it have some issues? Of course it does. Is it missing some detail? Of course it is. Show me a kit that doesn't fall down in either of those regards. However, I only have to look at the engine deck louvres on the Accurate Armour model posted above, think about the price I'd have to pay for that kit, and I'll put my money on the Black Label kit every time.

Have you fellows who lament about soft detail in the Black Label kit actually looked at the louvres on the Accurate Armour engine deck? I mean seriously, if ever there was soft detail, that is a text book case if I ever saw one. Odd that there's never any mention of that though. The Black Label kit is far and away superior in that regard. Have they missed detail on the deck itself? Yes they have but it still looks ever so much better than Accurate Armours.

The main fault with the Black Label kit as I see it is that it appears that they've incorporated a Mark 1 roof plate over the driver's station, instead of the horizontal version. Yes that's a major mistake, but in all honesty, unless you're a dyed in the wool rivet counter, the down angle is hardly noticeable unless you know what you're looking for. Compare it to the louvres in the Accurate Armour kit and tell me that they don't look MUCH worse.

Another complaint is that the kit includes a two piece barrel. All I can say to that is that it mates perfectly with very little seam clean up to be done. Yes, the grab handles on the transmission and engine deck louvres are molded as single piece blobs, but the same can be said about Accurate Armours Conqueror. Again, nothing said about that in anything I've read when comparing the detail in both kits. I think we can agree that in both cases, they're easily shaved off and replaced with wire, as are the handles on the fender stowage bins. These are minor improvements that can be made by any modeller. After all, it's not like we don't do that for just about any other kit, right?

I honestly can't comment on the shape of the turret as I don't have manufacturer's plan view drawings to compare it to. I doubt most others who are critical of it do either. All I can say is that it looks good to my eye, based on the secondary references I do have.

At the end of the day, the kit assembles like a dream, the finished model looks every bit like a Conqueror (to my eye) and the tracks and hull scale out perfectly when compared to secondary source measurements I have on hand. Some may prefer to spend the considerably higher price for the Accurate Armour kit for what they perceive as being a better kit. So be it, but you'll still have those engine deck louvres to haunt you. We may yet see a Conqueror from Amusing Hobby (or not) in styrene and I'll pick one up to do a comparison. Right now though, I'm pretty darned pleased with the looks of my Black Label Conqueror. Putting my money where my mouth is, I just bought another one.

Cheers,

Chris
BootsDMS
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: February 08, 2012
KitMaker: 684 posts
Armorama: 677 posts
Posted: Friday, July 10, 2015 - 03:33 PM UTC
Let's not be too scathing here. At long last we have an injected plastic version of a rare British tank - which let's face it - we never thought we'd ever see in the shops.

Lack of handles on the rear decks isn't really that difficult to deal with; you may wish to note that the AA resin kit also has moulded on handles. Sanding off and replacing with wire isn't that much of a challenge I would have thought.

I recognise that purchasers may hope and expect for everything to be perfect, especially given the high price (some 60 pounds in the UK)- but can we just not be happy that we've got one in 1:35 - in plastic?

Talking of the price - you may be lucky enough to locate one cheaper; I picked mine up for 48 pounds at a model show recently which is more than reasonable; I can live with a few shortcomings and am looking forward to building it.

Having roughly assembled using Blu-Tak the model has considerable "presence" and will only add to any display of Cold War armour. Comparative vehicles such as the M103 and of course, the whole rationale of the heavy armour project in the shape of the T10 (yet to come in injected form in 1:35) could all make for an impressive display.


Regarding Deep Bronze Green: I find that the Revell enamel matt colour 65 - with a coat of gloss varnish - just about nails it - in my ever so humble opinion. That said, there's an awful lot of pictures and footage out there that show the beast clearly in a matt finish.

Let's just enjoy the model.

Regards,

Brian

avenue
Visit this Community
Philippines
Joined: May 25, 2013
KitMaker: 532 posts
Armorama: 530 posts
Posted: Friday, July 10, 2015 - 12:17 PM UTC
most british tanks in the 50's use bronze green.can anyone know the right mixture.will tamiya NATO green as an alternative?
TheModeller
Visit this Community
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: March 01, 2010
KitMaker: 127 posts
Armorama: 22 posts
Posted: Friday, July 10, 2015 - 11:51 AM UTC


I recognise those crew figures! Nice to see some still floating about!
dylans
Visit this Community
British Columbia, Canada
Joined: March 05, 2009
KitMaker: 379 posts
Armorama: 365 posts
Posted: Monday, June 08, 2015 - 09:08 AM UTC
I totally agree with your assessment of the kit. fit is spectacular but some of the details are kind of clunky and thick...like the mount for the 30cal.
I hope you dont mind me posting some shots of mine. I managed to get some paint on her last week.





JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
Visit this Community
Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 7,464 posts
Armorama: 2,321 posts
Posted: Monday, June 08, 2015 - 07:13 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Fit- excellent
Detail- soft and oversimplified
Engineering- good
Accuracy- it looks like a conqueror



Sitzkrieg, Thomas, thanks for this thread! I have read the complaints of the Black label line. Those molded handles, etc., smack of a previous generation. But to have this tank in 1/35, the fit and engineering is what I need to keep my interest in some models. Maybe someday after I've built all of my "must haves" I will tackle one of these.
TankManNick
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: February 01, 2010
KitMaker: 426 posts
Armorama: 421 posts
Posted: Monday, June 08, 2015 - 03:44 AM UTC
Good to see this one - thanks for posting. Kinda reminds me of a 70's kit, but at least I didn't immediately go arrrgh! Took a hard look at the turret and I can't really say Dragon or AA totally nailed it. I think the Dragon would be improved by a little 'flattening' in the front.

How are the tracks? I was a bit concerned since DS is flexible and the tracks are wide. Hard plastic would be better I would have thought.
TankSGT
Visit this Community
New Jersey, United States
Joined: July 25, 2006
KitMaker: 1,139 posts
Armorama: 946 posts
Posted: Sunday, June 07, 2015 - 05:38 PM UTC
If you don't mind I wanted to post some quick views of the Accurate Armour kit for comparison. It was built several years ago. The AA kit did not come with an empty bustle rack it had to be scratch built. The rack and cammo were with an assist by Ossie. Its a Conqueror MK2








There is a noticeable difference in turret shape. Dragons back deck may be better. The white metal suspension in the AA kit was also a challenge.

Tom
C_JACQUEMONT
Visit this Community
Loire-Atlantique, France
Joined: October 09, 2004
KitMaker: 2,428 posts
Armorama: 2,320 posts
Posted: Sunday, June 07, 2015 - 04:46 PM UTC
Good, I'm keeping my two Cromwell resin kits! :-)

Thanks for the review.

Cheers,

Christophe
ALBOWIE
Visit this Community
New South Wales, Australia
Joined: February 28, 2006
KitMaker: 1,539 posts
Armorama: 1,499 posts
Posted: Sunday, June 07, 2015 - 01:08 PM UTC
Thanks for posting this. I have one on order and look forward to an interesting project but once again it looks like the Black Plague label lives up to it's reputation. Comparing the turret to photos makes it look short. I hope it's just the camera angle,
I for one really like the simplicity of construction but can see the trade off in sharp detail etc.
Cheers
Al
jd_curran
Visit this Community
Ontario, Canada
Joined: August 16, 2005
KitMaker: 19 posts
Armorama: 18 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 06, 2015 - 12:25 AM UTC
Picked this thing up about two weeks ago. Figured I'd throw it together as a "just-for-fun" project. It's a Black Label kit so my expectations were already low- which spared me the disappointment I would have felt had this been my first kit from that line. Here's a quick breakdown:

Fit- excellent
Detail- soft and oversimplified
Engineering- good
Accuracy- it looks like a conqueror

The kit basically fell together. It's almost like a lazy scientist made some mistakes while cloning a Tamiya kit... The suspension was a notable exception- it was harder to get properly configured than it needed to be, with overly shallow attachment pins on arms for the road wheels. Beyond that though no problems. My biggest gripe would be the atrocious moulded-on handles/levers/fuel doors on the rear deck. Anyway it was fun, and will look interesting under some paint. Here are some pics: