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Built Review
135
Churchill Crew (ETO)
British Churchill Tank Crew (II) West Front (3 figures)
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by: Ted Hayward [ TED_HAYWARD ]

Introduction

A range of resin accessories and figures are regularly being released for the recent AFV Club Churchill kits (items AF35167: Mk.3 AVRE, and AF35153: Churchill Mk.3). This set of three British tank crew members is suitable for the European Theatre of Operations. The Commander, Loader, and Driver figures are intended for either the new Churchill AVRE, or the Churchill Mk.3 tank.

Contents

The usual sturdy Hobby Fan box contains three zip-lok bags of resin parts packed in bubble wrap. The Commander and Loader are dressed in hooded “Pixie” suits and berets typical of Commonwealth tankers of the Western front during 1944/45. The Driver figure is wearing the more common battle dress overalls, leather vest, and netted RAC helmet.

Construction and Painting

My first experience with resin proved my misgivings about working with this material unfounded. It is easily cut with a hobby saw or sanded with emery cloth. I made the rookie mistake of attempting to cut one figure from its pour stub using a hobby knife and snapped-off a foot: The saw is essential!

There are virtually no moulding seams or flash to remove. Painting is easy after applying a coat of primer –I used Tamiya flat enamel as such. After this coat dried, the figures were painted with Tamiya acrylics and received a pinwash of Windsor & Newton Burnt Umber. I didn’t even bother to give the figures the usual wash of soapy water before painting. Because the only painting guide provided is the box photo, one should really check references when selecting colors. I, too late, realized I really used too dark a color for the Pixie suits -they should be a much lighter khaki. The webbing, holsters, and ammo pouches are khaki green.

Overlooking its higher price over plastic, the definition of detail is outstanding in resin. Unfortunately, one can only go by the box photo or other references as a painting guide. As with all Hobby Fan sets, positioning arms and heads is easy –pins and holes are provided for first-time fit and a realistic pose. Plastic figure sets always require some gap-filling between arms and bodies, but that's not the case with these resin figures from Hobby Fan.

Conclusion

It was an enjoyable nine hours spent constructing and painting this set; I highly recommend it to any fan of Allied armor. The locating pins eliminate any trial-and-error positioning. With all Hobby Fan sets, each figure's pose is perfectly matched to the particular AFV Club kit for which it's designed.

These are relatively the same size as 1/35th scale figures from other Hobby Fan kits and from other sets of plastic figures, so I would say they are scaled closely to real human dimensions. I've found with other sets it's often necessary to slightly modify the position of limbs to attain a desired pose -to rest a hand upon a hatch, for example. All resin Hobby Fan figures are the work of a world-renowned sculptor whose primary subject matter is of international sports celebrities.




SUMMARY
Highs: Great detail, no flash or moulding. An excellent addition to a Churchill in an ETO diorama.
Lows: Resin is, of course, more pricey than the usual plastic figure sets. No color guide.
Verdict: Highly recommended. Fits both Churchill kits by AFV Club.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: HF 586
  Suggested Retail: US $21.99
  PUBLISHED: Apr 25, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 92.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.86%

Our Thanks to Hobby Fan!
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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 ...

Copyright ©2017 text by Ted Hayward [ TED_HAYWARD ]. All rights reserved.


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