1⁄35Cromwell ARV Mk I Conversion
BackgroundOnly 58 Cromwell ARVs were delivered by the end of 1944 so pictures of this vehicle are few and far between. Its development was kept ‘Top Secret’ due to the Cromwell being the new British Tank and these vehicles were all based on converted existing gun tanks, usually the Mk IV. The ARV saw service from 1944 onward as an Armored Recovery Vehicle both at the Squadron Level and at Divisional Level and were manned by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The Accurate Armour conversion for the Tamiya Cromwell kit has been around for some time. Designed to fit Tamiya’s Cromwell Mk IV Gun tank, it gives a reasonably simple and accurate conversion to create the Cromwell ARV Mk I. The Accurate Armour kit No CO52 conversion comes with 39 resin and 24 PE parts plus brass wire and square rod for the lifting arms.
The buildThe build is fairly straightforward, following steps 1 to 9 of the Tamiya instructions. The only change needing to be made at the beginning is to replace Tamiya part C29 with the new back plate part B and the removal of the brackets that support Tamiya parts 22. The mold for Tamiya part 17 also needs to be blanked off/filled, so nothing major in terms of cutting is required. Accurate Armour provides a small 8 page booklet complete with pictures and a fairly straightforward set of instructions that outlines the steps needed to be taken to convert the vehicle. The only difficulty I had was with the rear towing hook placement as there is no clear picture of how the parts fit together, so my thanks to Kevin Tucker who clarified that for me. I wanted to build the vehicle with the crew hatches open but no interior conversion is available for this kit that I know of and I was unable to find any specific plans on the layout of the interior of the ARV. I did have plans of the drivers/gunners layout, so started from there to build an interior of sorts, the main purpose being to create the illusion of shadow and shape within the vehicle. For the crew compartment, I used my imagination as to what might reasonably be inside such as a radio, stowage boxes, fittings, wiring etc, using bits from the spares box. There are a lot of sink holes to fill and smooth off if you choose to go down this route. Once I had completed the interior I added a No 19 Radio Set from Formations, painted the interior, and then joined the two parts of the hull remembering to put the mesh grills in before I joined the parts. Wiring and straps were made from lead wire and added as well. The Accurate Armor parts were of good quality, no major bubbles but several were a bit warped and need to be straightened out. The PE is excellent and all the bends are marked so that process was thankfully reasonable easy. I replaced the kit fire extinguishers with a set of Resicast ones, having used the same kit set in the interior, which meant laying them along the side and not across it.
Painting and TracksI paint as I build which is just as well as with this vehicle there are a lot of nooks and crannies to get to and, unless you airbrush, it might be difficult to paint the vehicle by hand if you build and then paint. For base colour I used a 50/50 mix of Tamiya Olive Drab and Dark Green with several squires of Vallejo Yellow Ochre, not very scientific, but it works for me. For steel items and to give some pre shading, I used Humbrol matt 70, a bit like red lead, and then build the metal from there. Various fixtures and fitting were treated with small amounts of Metallic Grey and Gun Metal as appropriate. Pin washes were added to small fittings and the runs between the side board. Wooden elements were painted with Vallejo Yellow Ochre as a base coat and then developed with washes of dark brown/black to produce a realistic wood effect. The model received a couple of coats of Mig Filter P245, dark brown for green, to blend the paintwork together. Small exposed steel marks were added with a lead pencil. I opted to use the kit tracks, mainly for convenience, and although they lack inside detail they produce a reasonable representation of the real thing. Some garden mud and Mig pigments were used to finish off the kit.
Copyright ©2019 by Alan McNeilly. _OPINIONS IPMS-UK KitMaker Branch, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of KitMaker Network or the British Bulldogs IPMS-UK group. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2007-09-20 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 21882