Inside the Armour
have continued to develop their range of Allied after market kits and parts. Recently released is a new interior detail set for the AFV Club Churchill (kits 35053 and 53034). This is a combined set suitable for either the Mk III or Mk IV Churchill and the set provides a comprehensive interior detail set complete with a new resin turret.
ITA has taken the original set and steadily improved on the level of detail and quality of the original parts, replacing many of them with etched brass for extra sharp detail. New casting have meant sharper easier to clean up items.
So let have a look at what’s inside.
The kit comes packed in a sturdy cardboard box with the company and product details clearly marked on the top. It contains 4 zip bags of resin parts, a further zip bag containing several lengths of coiled wire and some plastic rod are included to provide the internal wiring and pedals. There are two large frets of etched brass, a medium sized fret and two further small frets to complete the kit.
The parts are cast in a cream coloured resin and the quality and detail on the parts looks excellent. I saw no damage or cause for concern with the castings.
Build instructions come on a small CD which contains both the build instructions in pdf format, a read before assembly document and a folder containing 24 colour reference pictures.
The instructions cover 29 pdf files which are well presented and clearly detail the build steps. Also included is a Modellers Guide Folder with 9 pdf files of useful information and build tips for the modeller.
A resin parts listing showing the corresponding number of the part to the build instructions and a listing of the PE parts in similar fashion are also provided at the end of the instructions.
I would recommend reading through all the data prior to commencing the build and mapping the build in your mind depending on which version of the Churchill you wish to complete.
In this new set, ITA have included a complete new turret with excellent internal and exterior detail including casting numbers and internal roof detail. Full interior details are provided for the turret and basket.
Two very neat looking Thompson SMGs with grip handles are also included in this set, as are two metal Besa barrels, and a Bren Gun.
There is everything here you need to populate the inside of you Churchill, from headphone bags to the pedals in the drivers compartment. The casting of the parts looks really sharp and the pour plugs look much better positioned and easier to remove that in the first kit. Clearly ITA have not only developed the original kit but added considerably to the overall interior finish. You'll get a highly accurate and interesting interior with this one.
The Brass frets cover things like the ammo bins and many smaller details and should allow for a much sharper finish, so much so I would hazard a guess that you could put individual rounds into the bins if you wanted to!
This looks to be a cracking conversion. ITA have moved on considerably in a short period of time, producing yet another excellent conversion set for modellers of Allied Armour. Providing the options for the Mk III or Mk IV in one set is also a sensible move.
Interiors are not everyone’s cup of tea but if you like that sense of detail, getting a real feel for what went on inside these fighting machines then this set will provide just that. There is great diorama potential with this set as it could bring into play everything from the home front production line to the battlefield.
The resin parts should require minimal clean up and I can’t fault the detail provided in the set. There is a lot of PE, and I’m not a great fan of this medium, but it provides additional detail that cannot be replicated effectively in other mediums and will certainly spice up the build.
This is not a set for beginners, but if you have reasonable experience, have worked with resin before, like a challenge and something extra in your build then you will like this set. If you like Churchill’s then sooner or later you’ll be drawn down this route. I reviewed and built the original set for the Mk III and the sense of achievement and knowledge I gained from the build was immense. This new conversion set should be equally challenging, but produce even better results.
ITA have brought us yet more choice to the finished product and that is always a good thing. It was a brave step for the company to take, as interiors are a selected market and one I personally hope they continue to develop their range for other British AFVs.
Ordering Infomration afternote
When ordering you can specify a disc for either Mac or PC or alternatively request hard copy of the instructions.
For those interested in this build I would recommend the following references:
• Mr Churchill’s Tank
by David Fletcher, ISBN 9 780746 306792. This is a comprehensive account of the development of the Churchill Gun Tanks and contains a mountain of useful information for the Modeller.
• Armour in Focus: Website Link
. This contains a restoration build of the Mk III Vehicle and is a valuable resource for Churchill enthusiasts.
• There are two Osprey publications that may also be useful. Churchill Tanks 1941 – 51
Osprey Publishing (New Vanguard) ISBN 1-85532-297-8 providing a potted history of the vehicle. And for painting/building and inspiration Modelling the Churchill Tank
by Mark Bannerman, another Osprey Publication ISBN 9-781841 768694.
• Of course a visit to the Imperial War Museum on line site, Link
, will provide a wealth of actual pictures to aid and inspire you.