ARM: Review - AFV Club 1/35 scale Centurion Mk. 5 with Dozer

Kit Review: AFV Club 1/35 scale Kit No. AF35106; Centurion Mk. 5 w/
Dozer; 544 parts (451 in olive drab styrene, 52 in black vinyl, 18
clear styrene, 15 etched brass, 6 coiled copper springs, 1 turned
aluminum, 1 length of black nylon string); price unknown but estimated
at US$48
Advantages: another nice variation on the early model Centurion
family, well-done dozer blade
Disadvantages: copper springs will need blackening; vinyl tires
somewhat pesky to paint
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Korean War and =93Cent=94 fans
While the Centurion did begin to enter service at the very end of the
Second World War, it was not until Korea that it got a proper baptism
of fire in combat. While most other British AFVs such as the Churchill
and Cromwell were soon withdrawn from combat there, the Centurion
served for the course of the war. It did suffer the irony of having
the first vehicle a Centurion destroyed in combat be a Cromwell which
had been captured by the North Koreans!
AFV Club has now released a Korean War vintage version of their
excellent Centurion family with a bulldozer blade attachment. The
blade appears to be an operating type and as such has a large number
of moving rods and parts. There are a few sink marks on the upper edge
of the scraper face at the bottom of the mold board, as well as some
ejection pin marks on the mold board extension but overall the parts
are cleanly done and look the part.
The kit follows the standard system used for all of the AFV Club
Cents. This means it retains the working suspension which is not as
bad as some, but the springs are bright copper and will need
blackening in a chemical blackener to tone them down for painting. I
am not a fan of separate vinyl tires for the wheels as they complicate
more than they enhance, but they are still part of the kit. Tracks are
old-fashioned black vinyl but still nicely done.
AFV Club has done a great job with the engine decking, as like most
British armored vehicles it has a very complex arrangement of venting
and air handling and they have done a masterful job of capturing the
right look without consorting to a few hundred parts to do it! The
moldings here are delicate and look right.
The turret is beefy and massive as per the original, and comes with
the correct late Centurion Mk. III/Early Mk. 5 roof. A .30 caliber
Browning is included for use in Korea or with other periods. The
mantlet seems a bit odd, and I do wish AFV Club would have included
the vinyl flexible mantlet cover they make with this kit to give it
the right look. All of the periscopes are clear as is the entire
commander=92s cupola, so careful masking of the viewers will be
necessary when painting.
Painting and finishing directions as well as targeted decals are
included for four vehicles: British Army (not otherwise specified) in
bronze green, serial 08 ZR 56; British Army (this one is Korean War)
in bronze green, =93CALDERA=94 with white stars; Danish Army (olive drab),
serial 52 761; and New Zealand Army in bronze green, =93SCORPION=94. I
have no idea how accurate the markings are but some do not look
complete. All are shown sans blade for clarity.
Overall this is a lovely kit and it does provide the modeler with the
option of building it with or without the blade.
Thanks to Miin Herng Tsueng of Hobby Fan for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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