Sunday 1 December 2013

Churchill Mk III Esci 1/72 Kit

So I constructed a plastic kit that Jason very kindly donated. The Esci Churchill Mk IV [Correction - the kit is Infantry Tank Mk IV, Churchill III]. It has been about 35 years since I built a model, and I also have the very inaccurate Airfix Panzer, and the Esci Sherman M1A1. As I am going to build US and German 1944 forces, I thought I would build this one as a practice run.
So the good...  the kit went together reasonably well, although the front and rear sprockets don't quite line up with the kit mouldings. It's a nice kit, plenty of good detail, and I reckon will paint up well. Getting a crewman was a bonus.
The bad?

The only polystyrene glue I have is thick, splodgy and strings everywhere. I spent for ever picking strings off with a pair of tweezers. Plus the turret moulding doesn't quite line up. (The kit has been in a garage for years, and perhaps warped slightly in the Australian heat?) Nothing that can't be fixed with some green stuff, once everything is solid.

The ugly..  anyone know how to get the tracks to go on? Horrible rubbery things, they seems too short. The final part is to put the track guards on, which I can't do until I can figure out how to get the tracks reasonably tight without breaking the bogies and sprockets. Oh well, some time to be spent on the various internet modelling sites.

Well, some staples, hot water and elastic bands later..


  1. IIRC and I will admit, I am trying to recall correctly about 30 years ago which was the last time I tried an Esci kit, the tracks are stretchable. So, you are supposed to pop them together (two lugs and two holes at the end of the tracks I think. Perhaps a spot of glue, but polystyrene glue will not work on the tracks as they are vinly, then when everything is ready, put them over the sprocket and then stretch it across and over the idler wheel.

    Then sit back and watch the whole wheel and track assembly slowly bend inwards :-)

    Or. sit back and watch the tracks snap which the vinyl is wont to do after 20 years or so sitting in a hot Aussie garage - sort of like the vinyl in the car. At that point, using the humble stapler, staple the tracks together with a bit more slack hiding the staples as best you can :-)

  2. I am thinking I need to tie the ends together with thread in slipknots, put them over the sprockets and bogies, then cardually slide the slipknots closed, hopefully at the point where it is not sagging on the wheels , but before the sprockets and bogies ping off across the room...

    1. That is an idea and if you close the gap, you could try welding (melting) the ends together - stick a pin in a champagne cork and weld little bits that way :-)

      Or find an after market etched brass producer that does etched brass tank tracks ;-)

  3. So, goofing off for 10 minutes at the office, you could have a look at: which builds the ESCI 1/72 Churchill Mk.IV AMRCR Kit. Guess what he has problems with? :-)

    This site covers his method for the tracks – melt the buggers together and to get some shape in the tracks – dowel stick and hot water.

    He refers back to the first link for the build – otherwise - which is where many of the ESCI kits turned up … oh … out of stock!

    So, you thinking of Rapid Fire then or something else?

  4. Thanks Thomo, no, Chain of Command by TFL. Basically platoon plus a couple of assets each side. I have organised some boxes of Caesar 1/72 plastics from Taiwan, and Jason donated a Sherman, a Panther and a Churchill. I have bought a mix of the German boxes, and the two US infantry sets. So now I am just wondering whether to do them in winter guise, or for Normandy on.. Very cheap to do, and if you search YouTube, TFL have done some introductory videos, which look very interesting. I am also looking out for the UK ex Skytrex 20mm metal sales at 50% off, which have been promised.

  5. Updated with new pic showing the tracks on, and that it is a Churchill III not a IV.