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Indian Army Vijayanta Tank - Cromwell Models Vickers Mk1 MBT (CR2053)
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This Cromwell Models kit is the basic Vickers Mk1 MBT and needs a little bit of modification to convert it to a late version of the Indian Army's Vijayanta tank. I have replaced the 105mm gun with one from the Airfix Leopard 1 kit as the resin barrel was a slightly warped. The Centurion style bazooka plates were made from thin plastic card, and mounted over the original track guards. The original engine deck was a little bit untidy, so I carved it out and rebuilt using a reconfigured engine deck from the Airfix Chieftain kit. The infantry telephone, gun barrel lock and tow bar was added to the rear hull. The double headlight with guards and footsteps were built on to the glacis plate, which was quite a fiddly job. The pioneer tools and attachment points for the tow cables were fitted to each side of the hull to finish off the hull details. The commanders’ cupola, loaders hatch covers, smoke dischargers and searchlight were all scratch built for the turret. There was a certain amount of guess work involved in building the searchlight, but I think it looks the part. The commanders’ machine gun with mount was based on a Cromwell Models FN MG casting from my master. The turret basket was rebuilt by making the basic shape in plastic card and adding the plastic rod framework to the outside. This was filled with Milliput and shaped into different pieces of stowage. One section was covered with dry tealeaves from a teabag to create a camouflage net stowed in the basket. The crew is based on figures from the Airfix Bofors gun kit with heads that I have modified and had cast in white metal. Others details were added with plastic card and rod. The model was finished with Vallejo Model Air Sand Ivory 71.075 with the disruptive pattern hand painted using Humbrol 80 (Grass Green), 30 (Dark Green) and 186 (Brown).

Copyright Tim Neate