Thursday, 11 July 2013

Churchill Mark 1

I started off  as a plastic modeller in the late 1960s before discovering wargaming and kept modelling up through the 1970s, both Airfix (what else!) 1/76th scale but also various 1/35th scale projects. As my wargaming moved more into 6mm I ended up chopping up a lot of my 20mm wargaming toys into various conversions. I can't claim any great originality with them, most were based on Airfix guides, articles in Airfix magazine or Military Modelling and occasionally on Bellona prints.

One model I was quite pleased with was a Churchill Mark 1, converted from the Airfix hybrid Churchill Mark IV/VII.

The finished model in mid war SCC2. Scratch built turret and various modifications to the hull. This is actually a Mark II(?) as it is missing the hull 3" gun. I am pretty sure it used to have the hull gun and I suspect it has fallen off at some point in the past.

The turret is a central frame made from plasticard filled out with milliput. Hatches and stowage boxes made up from card and the 2pdr gun is from the Airfix Crusader.

Main modification to the sides (apart from cutting off the track guards) are square hull hatches and rounding off the air louvres. The underside of the turret doesn't look very straight.Oh well.

Minor engine deck modifications with extra piping and an external fuel tank added, again from a Crusader.

This particular model is based for Megablitz and marked up as a battalion from 25th Tank Brigade where it can join my other Tunisia marked Churchills (a few Mark Is and IIs made it to Tunisia). It was repainted about ten years ago over the original scheme using black undercoat with a heavy drybrush of SCC2 (I used Humbrol khaki as a close enough match) and in this case, a rather heavy handed application of pale tan 'dust'.

As I recall I did this model around 1975 and it finally saw action in a wargame a few years ago when I ran Steamroller Farm using Lionel Tarrs WW2 rules from Don Featherstones book. A thirty year wait isn't bad!


  1. Great stuff, I have just posted about some of my older kits. Nothing as old as this one though... I looks great and I love the old Airfix conversions in their annuals and magazines. It's kinda like Airfix are saying 'We're a bit crap and can't be bothered to make our kits realistic, so you'll have to do it for yourselves...'

  2. Thanks, I actually really enjoyed doing these, there are several more which might be making an appearance at some point...

    My kit bashing these days is more restricted, mainly hacking around various types of lorries.

  3. Very nice conversion! Isn't it funny how we love/hate the old Airfix kits and continue to try and make their 'classics' look good...

    I have a couple - Stalin tank and T-34 - in my stash and I am waiting for the time when I get inspired with how I would convert them.

  4. A classic conversion! My own Mk1 is the rather more prosaic Hasegawa kit...

  5. Well, one day I'll finally do that Dieppe game and all the Mark 1s can come out to play.

  6. Dieppe
    Good work on the old Churchill warhorse
    All to be commended
    Stands up to nicely the "bigger 1/72 Hasagawa" IMHO