A range of resin accessories and figures are now available for the recently-released AFV Club Churchill kits (items AF 35167: Mk.3 AVRE, and AF 35153: Churchill Mk.3). This set of two British Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) crew members is suitable for a North African setting.
The usual sturdy Hobby Fan box contains 2 zip-lok bags of resin parts wrapped in bubble packing. These are 4-part figures consisting of full bodies, separate arms, and separate heads.
Both figures are wearing pull-overs (sweaters) and RAC berets with hat badges. One is dressed in khaki shorts and socks with sand gaiters, the other in long pants…sorry, trousers. The poses and facial expressions are exceptional. While one figure is posed for cleaning the 6 pdr. gun barrel, the other is supposed to be carrying a couple of rounds of ammunition. The ammunition (Item #AF35174) is, however, not included with this set. You will also need to supply a piece of nylon for the barrel cleaning pull-through rope. The follow-through weight is included, to dangle from the end of the nylon string.
Construction and Painting
My first experience with resin proved my fears about working with this new material unfounded. It is easily cut with a hobby saw or sanded with emery cloth. There are virtually no moulding seams, and no flash to remove. Painting is easy after applying a coat of primer –I sprayed Tamiya flat enamel for this. After this coat dried, the figures were painted with Tamiya acrylics and received a wash of Windsor & Newton Burnt Umber oil paint.
The definition of detail is outstanding in this material. Unfortunately, one can only go by the box photo or other references as a painting guide. Affixing arms and heads is easy: pins and holes are provided for first-time fit and a realistic pose. Unlike these sets from Hobby Fan, I have often found that plastic figures require some gap-filling between limbs and bodies in order to position limbs in the desired pose.
In all, I spent about eight hours building and painting this set -the majority of this time was spent painting. I enjoyed the break from doing vehicle builds.These are relatively the same size as 1/35th scale figures from other manufacturers, so I would say they are scaled accurately. At the risk of calling the kettle black, I must say the gun-cleaning crewman is certainly a homely chap. The only downside to this set is that it includes no ammunition for the loader to be carrying in his arms.
Highs: Great detail and poses. Will be suitable for other Commonwealth AFV s of this theatre.Lows: No ammunition is provided -although brass ammunition is available separately from AFV Club. I therefore have to deduct points for this ommision. No detailed color guide.Verdict: An easy addition to any diorama featuring the Churchill in a North African setting.
About Ted Hayward (ted_hayward) FROM: TAIPEI, TAIWAN / 台灣
From B.C., Canada. Living in Taiwan for past several years. I've been building kits for as long as memory serves -armor, aircraft, cars. Big fan of 1/16th scale armor kits. Currently serving as poster boy for working with CA adhesives in a well-ventilated area. My first kit was the positively awful ...