Sunday, February 21, 2016

Centurions of Tchagai

With the departure of Brian  ( A Fist Full of Plastic) to greener (and more stable) North Island pastures, my part in his Harad project has been taking a seat in the vehicle so far back, it's sitting on the tailgate of the trailer. But over the last couple of days I thought I would do something about the squadron of Centurion tanks.

My two Centurion tanks.  One's a kit, the other a toy...
 One of these is a second hand kitset vehicle, originally painted green, that I have spray-painted over with a tan/khaki colour.  The other was a shiny green toy with wheels that had its whole tracked drive assembly suggested by printed transfers on the sides.  After a bit of work bringing it up to (my rather liberal) war game standard, it, too got rough black undercoating and a spray-paint.  Can you tell which is which?  
With a little bit of work, the toy vehicle looks much
improved and usable.
How the toy vehicle was adapted into a usable
war games AFV.  Rough and ready, but it will do, I think. Still
undecided about flooring the vehicle.

To make use of the latter, I tried (and failed) to remove the transfers, roughly shaped the tracked drives with balsa wood, and glued cardboard circles to suggest sprocket drives and road wheels.  The sides upon which the transfers hasd been glued, I trimmed back with scissors to make into side skirts.  

The tracks themselves I cut from some non-slip matting that I then wrapped longitudinally around the balsa, overlapped the ends, and fastened down with a thumbtack.

Having removed the wheels and cut back the lugs that held the axles, I then jammed the tracked drive assembly between the sides and what remained of the axle lugs.  As the sides tended to curve inwards owing to the lack of anything to stop this, I shoved in a small block of balsa to hold them out.  Finally I added pieces of sheet balsa to form the lower hull, fore and aft. I am not sure whether to floor the thing with more balsa or cardboard.

The gun I also had to replace.  This is simply a plastic tube, inserted through a short piece of wider bore tubing by way of a fume extractor. Into the gun mantlet I bored a hole that would accept a piece of wire over which the gun assembly could be fitted and held rigid.  I haven't actually glued the gun on, yet, so it still slides off if I'm careless.

There is still a bit of work to do on this vehicle, but the guts of it has been done.  Although far from identical, this pair makes, in Command Decision terms, a fine little Centurion Tank Squadron for the Army of the Nabob of Tchagai.


  1. Very, very nice! Between those two, and the Airfix Leopard Is, Tchagai has quite the nice armoured force.

    Good to see you still chipping away at moderns!

    1. Very slow, Brian, but now and then something will get done. Much as it pained me to overpaint a nice job, I've done the 'other' Leopard as well. Both will get the green with darker green outline scheme, then the ink wash, sometime soon. They and the 'junior Chieftain" will form the Tchagai tank battalion.

  2. Nice recovery job Ion. You should have replaced the meteor engine while you were at it!

    Good skills.

    1. You flatter me, Paul - it's a pretty rough and ready job. It wouldn't win any prizes, that's for sure. Having said that, I'm tolerably pleased at how the thing looks - and it's a heap better than the thing in its original condition! You'd almost never know the meteor engine was missing!

  3. I like em too, why would anyone want to move to the Nth Is???????????????