AFV Club 1/35 Centurion Mk.5 w/Dozer Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2009||Manufacturer||AFV Club|
|Subject||Centurion Mk.5 w/Dozer||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35106||Primary Media||544 parts (451 in olive drab styrene, 52 in black vinyl, 18 clear styrene, 15 etched brass, 6 coiled copper springs, 1 turned aluminum, 1 length of black nylon string)|
|Pros||Another nice variation on the early model Centurion family, well-done dozer blade||Cons||Copper springs will need blackening; vinyl tires somewhat pesky to paint|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$48.00|
While the Centurion did begin to enter service at the very end of the Second World War, it was not until Korea that it got a proper baptism of fire in combat. While most other British AFVs such as the Churchill and Cromwell were soon withdrawn from combat there, the Centurion served for the course of the war. It did suffer the irony of having the first vehicle a Centurion destroyed in combat be a Cromwell which had been captured by the North Koreans!
AFV Club has now released a Korean War vintage version of their excellent Centurion family with a bulldozer blade attachment. The blade appears to be an operating type and as such has a large number of moving rods and parts. There are a few sink marks on the upper edge of the scraper face at the bottom of the mold board, as well as some ejection pin marks on the mold board extension but overall the parts are cleanly done and look the part.
The kit follows the standard system used for all of the AFV Club Cents. This means it retains the working suspension which is not as bad as some, but the springs are bright copper and will need blackening in a chemical blackener to tone them down for painting. I am not a fan of separate vinyl tires for the wheels as they complicate more than they enhance, but they are still part of the kit. Tracks are old-fashioned black vinyl but still nicely done.
AFV Club has done a great job with the engine decking, as like most British armored vehicles it has a very complex arrangement of venting and air handling and they have done a masterful job of capturing the right look without consorting to a few hundred parts to do it! The moldings here are delicate and look right.
The turret is beefy and massive as per the original, and comes with the correct late Centurion Mk. III/Early Mk. 5 roof. A .30 caliber Browning is included for use in Korea or with other periods. The mantlet seems a bit odd, and I do wish AFV Club would have included the vinyl flexible mantlet cover they make with this kit to give it the right look. All of the periscopes are clear as is the entire commander’s cupola, so careful masking of the viewers will be necessary when painting.
Painting and finishing directions as well as targeted decals are included for four vehicles: British Army (not otherwise specified) in bronze green, serial 08 ZR 56; British Army (this one is Korean War) in bronze green, “CALDERA” with white stars; Danish Army (olive drab), serial 52 761; and New Zealand Army in bronze green, “SCORPION”. I have no idea how accurate the markings are but some do not look complete. All are shown sans blade for clarity.
Overall this is a lovely kit and it does provide the modeler with the option of building it with or without the blade.
- A 1 Lower hull
- B 54 x 2 Centurion small details and accessories
- C 43 Centurion 3-5 hull roof and details
- CA 8 Individual links of Centurion track
- D 18 Centurion clear styrene
- E 57 x 2 Centurion wheels and suspension components
- F 38 Centurion 3-5 Hull components and spare wheels
- G 15 Etched brass
- H 26 Centurion final drives, fenders and hull details
- I 66 Centurion Mk 5 and later style turret
- J 36 Centurion bulldozer assembly and mounts
- LA 1 Black nylon string
- K 2 Centurion side skirts
- M 1 20-Pdr Type “A” turned aluminum barrel
- M 6 Coiled copper coated springs
- N 17 Centurion exhausts and air deflector
- R 26 Black vinyl keepers
- R 24 Black vinyl tires
- T 2 Black vinyl track runs