Plastic Soldier


Mk IV, Mk IV 75mm,

Mk V, Mk VI and AVRE

Kit #: WW2V20017 Article by Danilo Carli - 172normandyafv(at)gmail(dot)com
Edited by Marc Mercier

I didn’t plan to make one of these simplified Churchill. Anyway, after speaking with a modeller who had a box of them, my curiosity grew and he kindly shared with me one of his. The kit is for designed for wargames, so I didn’t expect quality or fine details.

The kit is composed by two couples of mouldings, for a total of two models in a box. No decals are supplied. The kit depicts two very simplified Churchill tanks Mk IV/V/VI with the late turret. The details are a bit soft and some of these were too much raised. Here and there I had to sand them down. The plastic is a bit soft and makes little curls when worked, but it keeps very well the liquid glue. When inspecting the sprues, the two mouldings revealed some wrongly shaped parts (the tracks which run in the wrong way, the ugly unusable spare track length, the missing inner sides bogies…) while some others looked clearly oversized (the turret bin, the oil cans, the air intake mesh…). One can have a look here: or here .

The huge squared sprue looked useful for other projects to me. However something made me feel the potential of the kit. The general dimensions were fundamentally quiet correct; the turret had the correct shape and four optional gun barrels are given: QF 6pdr (long barrelled Mk V), QF 75mm, QF 95mm and the Petard mortar. A very well made crew chief, observing at long distance with its binocular (an item I appreciated particularly, because apparently forgotten by the nowadays kit makers). The kit had some wrong parts that looked inspired by the Dragon kit (the exhaust layout, the turret rounded hatch…) while it shares with Italeri and Dragon the wrong mud discharger’s layout. Nevertheless, a dry fit test confirmed to me that something good can be made out of this kit, at least if a spare track set is available. Also this item was supplied by the same generous buddy.

Enthusiastically I started this new challenge. For this job I consulted the Tamiya photographic album no. 3 and a good net source, this one: .
Here is what I did; trying to change this wargame kit into something that could look like a display model. I choose to depict an early turret Mk IV up gunned with the 75mm for D-Day.


• The mantlet hole was re shaped (in the case of a Mk V it was slightly different, see the article on ).
• A sink mark just above the right pistol port was filled with cyanoacrylate glue.
• The periscope needs to be scratch build with plastic (this is very easy).
• The kit gives us two smoke launchers. Both positions are wrong. The external would be for the early Mk IV turret, the inner one for the later Mk IV and for the Mk V. I shaved both off and replaced them with a plastic disk in the early position.
• I chose an early turret, so I added the rear turret overhang. For a later type see the turret article on
• I choose the 75mm gun for my Mk IV. Being solid, the muzzle brake holes were drilled. This should also be done to the other barrels should you use one of them. Furthermore the 95mm is a bit to long and if used, needs to be shortened. The Petard mortar is a bit too much simplified and some details need to be scratchbuilt.
• The Besa MG is oversized and its mantlet is too much simplified in each type proposed. I corrected it and replaced the barrel.
• The loader hatch is a bit too large, however this is no drama, so kept it as it is. If opened each half needs an inner pad.
• The cupola has the same mistake as the Dragon one. I carefully cut off the hatch from the opened type and after having reshaped the hole, I scratch built the periscopes and the hatch stoppers. I reshaped the hatches and glued them in place adding the pads.
• The rear bin is much too long. I carefully shaved off the fire extinguishers, and then filed away the plastic from the turret side until the moulding line. The cover was glued and shaped in place to the new dimensions. The fire extinguishers were glued in place. The bin was glued to the turret with four rounded shims, as in the original tank.
• The signal flags case needed a bit reshaping because of the oversized fasteners and cap before being glued in place.
• The aiming device was scratchbuilt with thin metallic wire wrapped around a template.

Changes to the hull I’ll list under either those on the central body or those on the sides (aka as sponsons).

Central body

• The towing point and the two bolts on the front plate are incorrect. Both details were replaced by plastic scratch built parts.
• The lights were shaved off and new ones were added, found in the spare box.
• The Besa mantlet is too long and the barrel oversized. I resized and detailed it; the barrel was replaced with stretched sprue.
• The huge driver port details were sanded down.
• I corrected the periscopes with plastic pieces (it’s easy) like on the turret roof.
• The crew hatches are well done but their alignment is wrong. This forced me to an, otherwise unnecessary job of shaving them off and scratch building new ones. If someone doesn’t mind this mistake, he can leave them as they are.
• The exhausts are inspired by the Dragon ones. To remove these, I’d to file down the whole engine deck, which details look too much raised to me. New hinges and handles set were made with plastic stripes segments after having engraved the outer hatch lines.
• New exhausts were required. To detail the rear part I cut the upper hull and after having filed away the solid lower part, a rounded one was glued. The two longitudinal parts were made with plastic rods. The two little pipes were made with curved stretched sprue.

• Most of the rear details are oversized. The rear upper panel height was lowered and thinned from the inside. The huge sides were erased and replaced with 0.50 mm plastic sheet pieces, shaped in place.
• I made the telephone box with plastic pieces. The Tamiya album says it was on the right side on a Mk IV, while the Mk V and VI had it on the opposite side.
• The central rectangular blob was filed off and a new hook support was made with plastic. The hook itself was scratch built.
• The smoke dischargers were made with plastic pieces.
• The belly received its maintenance hatches set.

Hull sides

• The hatches have their details too much raised. These were sanded down.
• The right side has the three central bolt heads in the same layout as the left side. Photographic evidence says on the right side there were two in the lower position and only one in the upper, I carefully shaved off the wrong bolt head and glued it in the correct place.
• I made my tank without the forward fenders, a common occurrence. This leaves the idler horns visible. Anyway their lower edges have the wrong inclination: this inclination is correct if the fenders are in place and a stretched triangle (missing in the kit) was applied on the lower horns edge. When these were removed, the triangular parts were removed too. Having the incorrect slope, the kit idler horns look stretched and the front hull with the track tensioner bolt is too much forward. See image right. To correct the horn length and shape, I filed off the front until the forward track tensioner edge. Then the upper and lower edges were corrected. If the fenders were kept, I’d add the triangular reliefs.
• The inner horns were corrected too. The lower edge step was filed straight as in the original part. The inner forward idler horns were glued to the hull instead to the sides to avoid gaps.
• The track tensioners were detailed with plastic stripes and four resin bolt heads.
• The visible catwalk forward edge was thinned as well as the flexible rear fender pieces.
• The upper thickness of the mud discharger hole forward edge was thinned.
• The dischargers itself were replaced by thin plastic.
• The last catwalk stiffener ribs need to be removed.
• The ribs overhang a little on the sides. They were sanded flush.
• The turret rotation area is undersized. If my tank had the later type turret I’d never see the problem, but I did an early Mk IV turret. This enhanced the problem because the rear turret overhang jammed in the narrow ring and forced me to correct the area. I removed some plastic after having marked the new circumference (33.50 mm diameter) and then I replaced it with thin plastic sheet. If I’d made my tank with a late turret type I’d ignore this correction.

• The air intakes are 2.50 mm too long and their lower side is opened. They were shortened, the hinges were replaced. The hull interlocks were erased. During dry fitting a little problem arose: there is a little discrepancy between the catwalks ribbing and the bolted plate where a single track link was usually stowed. If correctly placed the intakes are at the right place, but the alignment with the ribs is wrong and the space rearward them is too narrow (look here: ), if correctly aligned they will be a millimetre too much forward, a thing noticeable when the hull is compared with a Dragon kit. It looks still worse when compared with an Italeri hull, which had the intakes a millimetre shorter. I choose to place them correctly with the catwalk ribs alignment, because if not seen side by side with the other kits it looks better.
• Their raised mesh is really oversized too (also for a 1/35 model!). I planned to replace them; anyway I had two covers from the Dragon in my spare parts box, so I used them after having sanded down the mesh raised ribs.
• The rear oil cans are really oversized. I filed them down to the 1/72 dimensions. The shelves sides were made with thin plastic as well as the holders.
• With stretched sprue and tiny metallic wire I made the rods (I suppose the gun barrel cleaning set) fastened to the catwalks.
• The backward panels miss the huge hinges; I made them with stretched sprue short segments.
• After having glued the sides to the hull body, I made the turret ring with plastic rod.

Wheels and tracks

This is the worst area of the model. The tracks run in the wrong way!

Here, I think, PSC missed an easy target: the Churchill tank was one of the few WW2 tanks which had a smooth track link type: the “heavy” one. If they’d made this type, the flat face of the links (sprocket teeth holes apart) wouldn’t have been a big problem. Every wheel couple is depicted as a single solid cylinders, the suspension springs are smooth and the central arms are missing as well as the inner part of the bogies. This is the point where a aftermarket “bogies & wheels” set would be highly desirable.

I’m not so skilful (or patient) to make a full scratchbuilt set and I didn’t wanted buy a kit just to have this area, so I modified the PSC one. The result is not as good as the set visible on the Italeri or Hasegawa kit, anyway is not particularly more worse than the Dragon one. I’d have a bigger problem with the tracks if I couldn’t replace them. I used a couple of Dragon ones.


• First of all I removed the tracks.
• The idlers and the sprockets were emptied with a motor tool. The idler holes were opened. The teeth were carved with a file along the exposed edge.
• The wheels were almost separated filing from the underside. Then I finished the job with a sharp knife.

• The springs are smooth. It would have been visually a better solution to replace them with metallic wire, but the job would weaken the set too much. In the end I kept them as they are.
• The wheels are attached to the hull only by the springs and the thing looks very strange. The inner arms were added with plastic rod segments.
• The inner bogie sides are absent. From a wargamer's perspective this is not a problem and other fast assembly kit has the same errors. I made the missing sides in plastic. They aren’t very detailed and if I were more apt with homemade resin castings, I’d duplicate the outer part to ease the job.
• I glued the Dragon tracks. Because of the track guide rail width I had to adapt the wheel sets cutting off the lower edge of the inner row wheels, to restore them I glued a punched plastic diskette set. With the Italeri tracks, it would have been more easy to adapt the rail.


For wargaming I think this is a good kit. To make a display model, you have the Dragon Mk IV kit, which is better detailed and easy to make, but also not error free. Anyway a price comparison reveals that a single PSC Churchill costs 1/3 of a Dragon kit (at least in my country) which needs some correction jobs (some of them are shared with the PSC kit), has an unusable decal set and has the suspension springs moulded only on the outer side. The PSC kit can be used, as the review has proven, but isn’t an easy solution. To finish it as acceptable display model it needs a lot of work, some plastic rods and sheets and a couple of spare tracks. The kit is not compromise free, but no one it is. Two further pieces could have been easily moulded by PSC to make the inner bogies and wheels, like in the Dragon kit, but then again this is only a display modeller speaking and the kit is not aimed at them.

I think this kit can be used to provide spare parts needed for a conversion: it has four optional barrels, two tankers and two cast turrets who shape's are quite correct. They can be used an Italeri or a Hasegawa hull, while the catwalks would be handy on a Hasegawa kit where they are missing.

A special thanks goes to Gianluca Trivero who gave me the kit and the opportunity to build it.


This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 23 September 2015