by: Alan McNeilly [ ]
Inside the Armour should by now be a familiar manufacturer to most, especially those interested in the Churchill Tank. Just recently released is a new publication from Inside the Armour Publication Building Churchills Book I, which takes a detailed look a 5 very different Churchill builds and I would suggest further publications on the subject.
Publishing a book is no easy matter especially for a small specialised company like Inside the Armour and was only possible by the support given by the Premier Sponsors and individual supports all of whom are listed on page 3 of the Book. To that end ITA offers ‘Their Sincere Thanks to all.
The 5 authors of the publication are Chris Meddings, no doubt the driving force behind the book, Roman Volchenkov, Jim Guld, Sean McConnell and Kristof Pulinckx, so very much an international effort as is fitting of the hobby and the tank itself.
The book is an A4 sized colour soft cover of excellent quality. Consisting of 108 pages of text and detailed photographs covering 5 builds. The contents of the books are broken down in detail on page 5 and covers the following:
Build 1: SABRE, analysing the pictures, choosing the kit and aftermarket, the build, painting and finishing and marking guide.
Build 2: B19 Special Irish Mk VI, analysing the pictures, choosing the kit and aftermarket, the build, painting and finishing and the marking guide.
Build 3: Snow Bound Crocodile, analysing the pictures, choosing the kit and aftermarket, the build, painting and finishing and marking guide.
Build 4: Long Forgotten Carrier, analysing the pictures, choosing the kit and aftermarket, the build, reference pictures, painting and finishing.
Build 5 Soviet Rarity, a Russian Mk II, choosing the kit and aftermarket, the build, painting and finishing, marking guide.
Details Common to All Mks
Mk I to Mk IV details
Mk I and Mk II specific details
Mk II, Mk VII and Crocodile details
Part Templates, building the suspension the easy way and engine plans in 1/35th and 1/16th scale complete the contents listing. So a nice easy quick reference listing to find what you want, with each category page referenced.
The book aims to be the first in a series of guides to modelling the Churchill tank, looking at the detail, giving advice and guidance on correcting detail, scratch building parts through to super detailing.
Build 1 and finish is by Chris Meddings and covers one of the many AVREs of 79th Armoured Division, SABRE depicted carrying a fascine. This build uses the AFV Club kit as the starting point. Starting on page 6 the build and finish run to page 25. This offers an analysis of photographic evidence, can’t beat a picture, a listing on choosing the kit and after-market parts with the build proper starting on page 9. Each page contains 3 to 4 high quality colour build pictures and accompanying texts detailing the work in progress. The progress is logical and easily referenced and much can be learned on correcting or scratch building techniques as one reads through the various stages.
Build 2 is again by Chris Meddings with the finishing and painting of this model being done by Roman Volchenkov. This time covering a post war Irish Cavalry Corps tank B19 Special. Again the AFV Club kit provided the basic model Starting on page 26 and ending on page 42 again it is laid out in a logical fashion following the pattern of the first build.
Build 3 and finish is by James Guld and focuses on the Churchill Crocodile. Using the older Tamiya kit it is again logically laid out with good pointers and tips to help improve the model. The article starts on page 43 and ends on page 56, so a good detailed presentation with the original format continued throughout the layout.
Build 4 is by Chris Meddings with the painting and finish by Sean McConnell. This time the subject is a range battered 3inch Gun Carrier. This is perhaps the most interesting of the builds as creating a wreck and the realistic painting of same takes a high degree of skill and work. Again lots of good and useful tips here. Covering pages 57 to 80 the layout structure is the same as with the other builds and I like continuity within a book as it makes finding things easier.
Build 5 is by Chris Meddings with the painting and finishing by Kristof Pulinckx and features an early Russian variant. Again lots of detailed step by step pictures and text highlighting the build, with useful information and a painting guide.
On page 96 and 97 is the spotter guide to detail on features common to all Churchills and on pages 98 and 99 features common to the MK I to IV with pages 100 and 101 focusing on those variants seen on the Mk I and Mk II only. Page 103 gives some basic templates that will be useful and 104 and 105 cover tackling the AFV club suspension, whilst finishing off the book on pages 106 and 107 are some 1/35th and 1/16th scale engine plans.
Last but not least is the inclusion of a set of decals specifically designed for use on the 5 example builds shown in the book.
This is the first book on modelling the Churchill Tank for some time and overall I found this a very informative book, packed with lots of step by step guides and pictures and lots of useful data and building tips. Perhaps one of the things I liked most about the book is how it shows just an inkling of the possibilities that modellers can create using the old Tamiya kit and the new and superior AFV Club kit or what can be achieved with the use of after-market items. It is a great reflection of the time period and range of Churchill builds one could tackle, probably enough to keep you busy for many years to come.
The quality and layout of the book makes for an easy reference when needed and a detailed read on each build with good information on the painting and finishing techniques used. The inclusion of the markings for the vehicles depicted is yet another nice touch and for those interested in this vehicle or modellers in general. It should prove a very useful read and open up some of the many possibilities this vehicle actually gives.
As I mentioned at the start of the article much kudos to Chris Meddings of Inside the Armour in getting this valuable publication to print. And I look forward to book two.