Modelcraft 1/35 Centurion Mk.III Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 1999||Manufacturer||Modelcraft|
|Kit Number||35-9009||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$24.00|
The Centurion was developed as a big game hunter, designed to bag Panthers and Tigers. Development was begun in 1943 for a new class of Heavy Cruiser Tank, however by the time it entered service in 1945, the war was all but over.
The Centurion Mk.III began in 1946, incorporating an 83.4mm (20 pdr) main gun. The British produced 600 Centurion Mk.IIIs. The Centurion served the Royal Army and NATO as a cold warrior, serving as part of the deterrent force in Western Europe and inside West Berlin. It made its combat debut in the Korean War, serving with Royal Army and Australian forces. In all, Centurions were exported to the armies of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Holland, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland.
Modelcraft is best known for releasing kits produced by other manufacturers, revising the instructions and/or decals, and usually providing a better price than the original release. Such is the case with the Centurion. Originally produced by Academy, Modelcraft has packaged this nice kit in a new box with some very nice markings.
The kit is comprised of five trees of parts, in addition to the upper and lower hull halves, molded in olive colored plastic. The lower hull sports the usual openings for motorization kits. While you may groan and wonder why kits still have the motorization features, youíll want to know that with miniaturization technology, remote controlled motorized tanks are on the come-back in Japan. Don't be surprised to see new armor offerings with options for motorization.
The Academy kit has the usual flaw common with tank kits, if you look under the fender, you can see out the other side of the tank. As with other tanks, this is easily remedied with a little sheet plastic and cyano. You'll also need to remove the injector pin marks on the underside of the fenders as well. The openings on the lower hull are also easily blanked off with sheet plastic, and if you are so inclined, you can also remove the Academy logo text molded to the underside. With the exception of the hull around the drive sprockets, these won't even be an issue at all of you install the armored side skirts.
Overall, the kit is free of flash, and other than the underside of the fenders, there are no ejector pin marks in any area that would be visible after assembly. The track is the normal rubber band-type molded in a rubberized silver-grey plastic. The detailing molded into the track is nicely executed, and with the appropriate amount of weathering, the track will be perfect.
Detailing is quite extensive in the kit, including detailed smoke grenade launchers, spare track, flexible tow cables, and your choice of two gun mantles. The kit also provides an optional tank commander figure, as well as a few rounds for the main gun.
Modelcraft provides markings for four different Mk.IIIs: a British 8th Hussar Regiment example from the Korean War, a Canadian Army example; an Australian Army Mk.V that served during Vietnam, and an Israeli Defense Force example.
Overall, this Centurion is a nice kit and can be built up into an impressive addition to your armory.