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Review
Tamiya: Cromwell Mk IV
CMOT
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Posted: Monday, June 17, 2019 - 03:00 AM UTC


Darren Baker takes a look at the Tamiya Cromwell Mk IV British Cruiser Tank in 1/35th scale.

Read the Review

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
nsjohn
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Posted: Monday, June 17, 2019 - 06:33 AM UTC
Very accurate review of what many still regard as one of the best Tamiya kits. I would differ in that in my opinion the Comet was the better tank by quite a margin. It is also in the kit's instructions that the mesh should not be fitted if using the Normandy cowl.
barkingdigger
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Posted: Monday, June 17, 2019 - 06:49 AM UTC
A very fine old kit indeed! One thing to note is that although the British made their own copies of the hedge cutters for the Cromwell based on what they saw the Americans doing, they were factory-made (not cut from Rommell's Asparagus), and arrived late enough that they weren't generally issued or used. So don't add it to your tank!

There was an excellent series of articles on the Cromwell in Tankette (MAFVA's in-club magazine) a few years ago - worth getting hold of for the Cromwell connoisseur...
CMOT
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Posted: Monday, June 17, 2019 - 07:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Very accurate review of what many still regard as one of the best Tamiya kits. I would differ in that in my opinion the Comet was the better tank by quite a margin. It is also in the kit's instructions that the mesh should not be fitted if using the Normandy cowl.



I agree as the Churchill was only rescued by its actions during a battle in North Africa, but I could not remember which battle it was. I did see the mesh comment, but as it was field mod I cannot see them removing the grill.



Quoted Text

A very fine old kit indeed! One thing to note is that although the British made their own copies of the hedge cutters for the Cromwell based on what they saw the Americans doing, they were factory-made (not cut from Rommell's Asparagus), and arrived late enough that they weren't generally issued or used. So don't add it to your tank!



Thank you for that information as I believed we used the same approach as the Americans.

Thank you both for the positive reception of the review.
nsjohn
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Posted: Monday, June 17, 2019 - 10:58 AM UTC
Not quite sure about the Cromwell replacing the Churchill. David Fletcher's British Battle Tanks vol 2 has a chapter on the Churchill where he states that the forecast end of Churchill production relied on having something to replace it with, but there seemed to be no one tank selected. Instead a selection of assault Tank projects were begun over a 2 year period , most of which came to nothing, hence the fact they built the Mark V11 which was in many respects virtually a new tank
CMOT
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Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 02:59 AM UTC
I have added some additional information as follows:

Tamiya has offered the Avon tyres that are solid in this kit and these are late war additions. The perforated tyres should ideally be sourced for a model depicted during World War 2 as they were commonly seen right up to wars end.
barkingdigger
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Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 05:01 AM UTC
Hi Darren,

That might be a bit premature. Perforated wheels (to keep the core of the rubber from overheating) were used on Cavalier & Centaur as well as early Cromwell, but by the time tanks hit Normandy new machines were sporting solid tyres. So there could be a mix, but by and large perforated tyres indicate either old machines (Centaurs were common donors for ARVs and CS tanks, and many early Type C hulls were upgraded for D-Day) or replacements from old stock on a newer machines. Also, IIRC the wheels from Crusaders could do in a pinch, despite being thinner and thus weaker. The evolution of the Cavalier/Centaur/Cromwell family is hideously complex!
CMOT
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Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 05:51 AM UTC
The information came from a tank craft book by Dennis Oliver on the Cromwell. I do know that most things during war are subjective as it was a case of 'that will do for now'; I am however always open to the input of others on a subject. What I do know is that for a model I bought myself I really enjoyed finding the time to write a review while providing as much information as possible.

I would like to thank you both again for your input on what is a more complicated and interesting history than I believed.
barkingdigger
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Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 10:01 AM UTC
I'm glad you discovered one of Tamiya's hidden gems! They are really nifty kits, and if you swap parts between the Cromwell and Centaur you can build quite a range of variants that would have been used around D-Day! (The RMASG Centaurs may have had early features like the perforated wheels and plugged hull MG port, but there were plenty of other CS tanks in the Armoured Brigades that had solid wheels and a hull MG coupled with the 95mm gun.). And a lot of the parts can be used to improve the SKP A30 Challenger and Cromwell kits, as they seem to have "borrowed" Tamiya parts as patterns for their own kits...

Certainly Tamiya at the top of its game!
nsjohn
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Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 11:47 AM UTC
Glad you enjoyed it Darren. I built mine about 6 months ago and found it to be a very enjoyable build. Tamiya comes in for some stick from various people on here, and they are still guilty of selling some of their earlier kits (but at a very low price point), but from the release of their updated Tiger 1 onwards, they are generally good, and exhibit a level of consistancy that other manufacturers could benefit from emulating
CMOT
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Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 11:47 AM UTC
I have several upgrades from Accurate Armour, Barrels from RB Models and tracks from Master Club; as such I think it has a chance to come out well.
nsjohn
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Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 02:09 PM UTC
Can't argue with any of those upgrades. I hope you will be doing a build thread, and look forward to seeing it.
CMOT
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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 04:53 AM UTC
I will do my best and I hope that both of you will throw helpful prompts into the mix.
petbat
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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 07:36 AM UTC
Great review Darren and some good info here. If you can lay your hands on a copy of the Museum Ordinance No 25 on the Cromwell do so. It is an article by David Fletcher and has some great info and excellent coverage for the condensed size it is. Of particular interest, supporting previous comments here, here is a pic of a Cromwell with both types of road wheels (also not the diagram shows mesh under the cowl, but I'll caveat that as it is not actually a pic)


A pic of solid road wheels on a Normandy landed Cromwell

nsjohn
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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 01:26 PM UTC
Delighted to see you are doing a build log and will be more than happy to contribute constructively when I can. Do you have a particular tank or regiment in mind and date or campaign as the tanks appear to have been modified as a result of battlefield experience almost continually?
CMOT
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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 05:44 PM UTC
I really like the scene in the image added bu Peter, but due to the limited detail visible I will likely look for a different tank and place it in such a scenario. I have three books on the Cromwell and so will look more closely later.

I think the bigger issue will be deciding what details are needed and so may add some pictures where as a group we can all decide what is and is not present. I believe the 1st RTR get mentioned a lot as do a Welch Unit.
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2019 - 10:23 AM UTC
I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED building both of my TAMIYA CROMWELL and CENTAUR kits not long after they first came out! They were a PLEASURE to build! The parts just seemed to fall together, i.e, the fit and engineering is typical TAMIYA- No muss or fuss. I substituted two MODELKASTEN Track sets for the kits' "rubber band"-style vinyl Tracks. These Tracks were the most troublesome aspect of the whole "double-project". They're beautiful Track sets, but "boy-oh-boy!!! Don't want to do THAT again for a while!

I enhanced both kits with my own "Camo-netting" and two of the EXCELLENT ABER PE sets, VERLINDEN resin CROMWELL/CENTAUR Stowage Boxes, plus various bits and pieces of British WWII Stowage. There really weren't any after-market "updates" or "corrections' sets that I really could have made use of at the time...

You want some "relaxing"-build projects? Get yourself a TAMIYA 1/35 CROMWELL or a CENTAUR, or BOTH!