ARM: Review - DML 1/72 scale Churchill IV NA 75

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 scale Armor Pro Series Kit No. 7507;
Churchill Mk. IV NA 75; 77parts (75 in grey styrene, 2 DS Plastic track ru
ns); pre-order price US$19.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: new kit of a popular conversion of the Churchill; simple but ef
fective design of complex suspension solves many problems
Disadvantages: nothing major noted other than no etched brass, which will d
isappoint some
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all British and Commonwealth armour fans
When the US supplied M3 Grant and M4 Sherman tanks arrived in North Africa
, it showed up the one major shortcoming of the British 6-pdr tank gun in t
hat it could not provide effect high explosive fire support. As a result, f
ield shops soon took it upon themselves to salvage 120 M3 guns from the She
rman and install them in the then new Churchill Mark IV tanks. This was the
first use of the 75mm in British built tanks, and later saw the boring out
of the 6-pdr to 75mm caliber to handle the same rounds.
DML has now released a kit of this variant in 1/72 scale. This particular
Churchill kit swaps out the turret sprue of the welded Mark III for a cast
version and all of the additional elements needed for the Mark IV NA 75 var
iant. Oddly, while it provides the complete M3 75mm gun installation with m
antlet and mantlet cover, it also provides a late production 6-pdr barrel a
nd the British built 75mm gun barrel as well as a normal M3 barrel. All are
slide molded.
The kit is rather brilliantly designed with a slide molded hull pan that e
ven includes see-through vents at the rear. The entire lower suspension run
s on both sides consist of but two parts, but still capture the right look
of the spring bogie assemblies and rimmed wheels. Separate drivers and idle
rs complete the suspension.
Unlike the Mark III turret the Mark IV uses a shell and base arrangement.
An antenna base is provided (A9) but no antenna recommendations are include
d for it. The hatches may be posed open and the cupola may be posed rotated
. No interior is provided other than both the hull and turret Besa machine
guns being complete, but this version does not use the turret Besa.
This is one of the later DML DS Plastic track kits where DML indicates the
proper length for the tracks is 205mm and advises stretching or cutting th
em to fit. The ones on the kit measured 208mm so may need trimming to fit.
Three finishing options are listed: C Squadron, North Irish Horse, Italy 1
944 (T number, red circle, white 4, ?Castlerobin IV?); Unidentified Uni
t, Italy 1944 (T number, red triangle, white 3); and Unidentified Unit, Ita
ly 1944 (red triangle, white 2). A sheet of Cartograf decals is provided. H
owever, I admit to being no expert on British and Canadian markings.
Overall, the model itself is a gem and should be popular with Commonwealth
armour fans.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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