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In-Box Review
135
Cromwell Conversion Set
Cromwell Conversion set for Tamiya Cromwell
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

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 first of these upgrades I invested in is the Cromwell up-armour and late detailing set.

Review

This offering from Cromwell Models arrives in a Ziploc bag with a card holder. Inside there are a number of resin parts that are well protected by the box that Accurate Armour pack their products in for shipping. The parts are on four resin cast plug rails and two stowage boxes with the pour plugs on the undersides and away from the edges. 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.

The two stowage boxes that are for the turret have recessed pour plugs around the lower face of the bins and these extend to the hidden rear of the boxes. These parts will be the hardest to free up from the pour plugs due to how much material has to be removed. If you take care these could easily be removed with a razor saw or if you are not feeling so brave sanding will remove them as well but will take time. On the detail front I particularly like the bracket detail provided.

The update set to a large extent provides heavier armour for the Cromwell and this comes in the form of a new front/lower hull plate with some nice detail moulded on it, the attachment for taking the tow rope shackles are particular nice here. The frontal armour fits directly to the model without the need for surgery to either part. The extra armour for the front of the turret around the gun has some very nice bolt detail and is shaped on the rear for accurate placement. A spare wheel is supplied that can be hung on the turret if desired, but this is up to the modeller to decide.

Extra armour plates are supplied for the plate in front of the driver and radio/machine gunner. These three parts fits directly to the base model with no issues that I can see , but my reference would indicate that if this armour is added then the tank should be a Mk VI or VII and armed with a 75mm gun. There is an optional diagonal split access hatch for the driver, but I am a little confused here as on the Accurate Armour website it states that this set should be used with the Vauxhall hatch set that completely replaces this area of the base model. Accurate armour has supplied separate hinges for the hatch.

Moving again to the turret and we get the later commander’s cupola in the set with the needed increase in periscopes. I would have liked these supplied as clear parts but it does save a lot of work in this area. New hatches are also supplied and these have very nice cushioning on the inner face.

The last parts in this set are for a coiling the tow cables on the front deck. This detail has been nicely tackled and finished off with the two cable retainers that the cables shackles secure onto.

Conclusion

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. The instructions could do with some added clarity as I feel that a modeller new to this area of the hobby could easily end up making an error, but the black & white image provided should keep you on track. My only gripe for myself is that I would have liked it clarified as to which Mk of Cromwell this set heads you towards beyond late as finding suitable reference took far longer than it needed to.
SUMMARY
Highs: Well moulded parts that should be easy to utilise.
Lows: The instructions could be better and clarity as to which Cromwell Mk this set heads you towards beyond late.
Verdict: I am not aware of anyone else providing a product like this and Accurate Armour gets the best from their resin from what I can see.
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: C047
  Suggested Retail: Ł13.00
  PUBLISHED: Mar 01, 2019
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.57%

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...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Hi Darren, These parts do look very useful! The diagonal-split hatch is a drop-in replacement for the driver's hatch on the Tamiya kit - they discovered the standard hatch tended to get fouled by the turret (trapping the driver!) and came up with this diagonal idea as a quick-fix that was applied to many C and D hulls in the run-up to D-Day. The front portion was hinged to open forward, while the back part was simply slid out of place to make a hole. The turret boxes originally came with the later type-F hulls with sideways-swinging doors for both driver and hull gunner - this meant losing a stowage bin on the fender, so the displaced stowage moved to the turret. As these parts were in the supply chain they soon found their way onto other Cromwell turrets as a tank can never have enough stowage space! Likewise the late "vision" cupola that was seen first on later types, but could be retro-fitted onto earlier tanks. It's a handy item to have! Not sure about the add-on armour - I had thought those were only seen on some welded-hull versions but need to check references. All in all a great set for Cromwell fans!
MAR 01, 2019 - 07:24 AM
While your reply and my own investigations reveal some unexpected results I do like the set. I, like you got the feeling that this set was for the F type version with the welded turret and that the welded turret should be offered with this set; however I also found most of the parts with the exception of the added armour on the hull in front of the driver and MG position on various tanks in my limited reference.
MAR 01, 2019 - 08:45 PM
I LIKE THIS STUFF!!! Hopefully, this trend to improve/correct the older 1/35 kits out there will continue!
MAR 02, 2019 - 09:56 PM
   

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