by: Dave Oliver [ ]
The Dieppe Raid of 1942, May well have ended in defeat but many valuable lessons were learned in the process. The Churchill MKIII tanks of the Canadian tank Brigade were fitted with wading gear, the beaches themselves proved more formidable, with the shingle dislodging the tracks, depriving the infantry of armoured support. It is one of these hapless Churchill tanks that Dragon Models have chosen to release.
The kit consists of:
4 Grey styrene sprues
1 lower hull
1 pair of rubber band style tracks
1 instruction manual
The evocative artwork on the front shows the Churchill wading ashore through rough seas in what would be a perfect diorama setting. The kit itself is moulded in grey styrene with one whole sprue covering the updated parts for the wading version of the Churchill. On first impressions the moulding looks very crisp with the various straps for the wading gear being very nicely represented. The engine deck is very well detailed, as is the whole of the upper hull with some nice touches such as separate parts for the delicate driver and commander periscopes. The supplied rubber band DS tracks also display a high degree of detail and in this scale seem pretty much compulsory. The sprockets and road wheels are also very well represented with the complicated suspension set up moulded to the hull sidewalls to make the alignment of the road wheels that much easier. A number of smaller items such as the main gun and machine gun are very delicately detailed and there is no trace of flash on any of the supplied sprues.
The instructions are very clearly laid out with a clear indication of what parts need modifying during the construction process. The only issue here could be the removal of the trenching tools from the rear deck. Retaining the detail in the surrounding area while leaving a smooth finish which could/maybe prove a little problematic. Apart from that, the modification of the front fenders is very clearly illustrated, as is the slightly more subtle modifications required on the turret surface.
Three decal options are supplied; these all depict vehicles of the Canadian 14th Armoured regiment and look to be well printed and in register, something that can sometimes be an issue on smaller scale kits.
Dragon Models have certainly produced an unusual variant of the Churchill. The new sprue containing the updated parts is very comprehensive and is consistent with the level of detail on the rest of the kit. The new exhausts and wading gear is especially well moulded, perhaps a modified engine deck wouldn't have gone amiss but this is a very minor criticism on what is a very well rounded kit.