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Chieftain Mk.V
(Great Britain - Cold War)

Chieftain MK.11 (Peter Trimming via Wikipedia)

The Chieftain was the follow-on AFV to replace the Centurion, and was developed by Leyland Motors in the United Kingdom. While used extensively by the Royal Army, and exported to nations in the Middle East such as Iran, problems with the multi-fuel capability (a NATO requirement) plagued the Leyland engine through much of the Chieftain's service life. Many improvements over time in the design and operation of the engine helped to reduce the original 90% breakdown rate, but in the end, even though the 120mm gun and targeting system were very effective, it was not a very successful AFV. 

The Chieftain was 35 feet 4 inches long (including the main gun), 12 feet wide and 9 feet 6 inches tall. Top speed was 25 miles per hour, range was 310 miles, and total weight was 62 tons. Armament was one 120mm rifled gun, plus two 7.62mm machine guns. 

Takom Chieftain Mk.V

This Takom kit of a Chieftain Mk. V was an interesting build. I bought the Takom 2-in1 box kits of Chieftain Mk. 10 and Mk.11 and started one of them, but stopped when I realized these kits had the updated Stillbrew armor on the front of the turret. I wanted to build an all "Dark Bronze Green" Chieftain, and that paint scheme was discontinued prior to the later marks of Chieftain.

A couple of years later, Takom released a Chieftain Mk. V (boxed with an FV432 APC) with the original Chieftain turret design, and that was appropriate for the Chieftain I wanted to build, which is what you see here. The photo-etch skirt armor was a little challenging: it came in four separate pieces per side, and was curled, due probably to the surface detail etching. After I uncurled the brass, I joined the skirt pieces together on the inner surfaces with scrap brass from the photo-etch fret, and after all painting was done, I installed the skirts to the model with 30-minute epoxy, instead of cyanoacrylate (this gave me working time to accurately align the skirts on the model).

All paint was Humbrol, including the pin washes and drybrushing. The minimal decals were from the kit; the radio antennae were bristles from a house-painting brush. Final clear finish was a 50:50 mix of Testors Model Master Semi-Gloss and Flat Lacquer. Click on the thumbnails below for larger images:

Seeing the pictures on the website, I see I probably should spray some Testors Model Master Clear Flat Lacquer on just the canvas shroud around the gun barrel; it shouldn't be glossy.

(USSR - Cold War)

USSR T-62 main battle tank (Google)

Below is the Trumpeter kit of the USSR T-62 main battle tank. The only details I added were the tank rider grab bars on the turret and the brush guard at the driving lights, all out of brass wire. This kit had one-piece track and road wheel units, which are easy to build but lack any detail on the inside surface of the tracks, as you can see in the overhead views in the pictures below.

All paint was Testors Model Master enamels, including the pin wash and detail highlighting. Decals were from the kit and worked very well, with no silvering. I used discs of Tamiya self adhesive paper to mask the green painted wheels while I airbrushed the tires and tracks. (Based on color photos of   T-62s, on this model I painted the modern steel alloy tracks in greys, instead of my usual dark rust.)

Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.

Centurion Mk.3
(Great Britain - Cold War)

British Centurion Mk.3 main battle tank

Below is the ACE kit of the British Centurion Mk.3 tank. This kit is very detailed and complete in its depiction of the parts of the tank. I had read advice from a poster on the Braille Scale web group concerning the need to proceed slowly and carefully with this somewhat more complicated than typical build. I took this advice, and enjoyed the build at a leisurely pace, while watching the Beatles' movie "Help!" on the DVD player over and over again (real Centurion tanks figure prominently in one scene in the movie - great inspiration).

All paint was Humbrol, including the pin wash and detail highlighting, except for the vinyl tracks, which were painted with Testors Model Master paint. I am not a fan of vinyl tracks on 1/72 scale kits, and searched for some kind of hard plastic or resin alternative, even to the point of ordering resin Tiger tank transport tracks from Armoury But in the end, I opted for speed over accurate effect; to my loss, I think.

Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.

Scale 1/72

Email: AtomicCannon(at)embarqmail(dot)com