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Built Review
135
Cruiser Tank A10 Mk.I
Cruiser Tank A10 Mk.I – Panzerkampfwagen Mk.II 742(e)
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by: Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The Cruiser Tank A10 was developed by Vickers in 1934 for the British Army. The Mk.1 was considered to be a ‘heavy cruiser’ as it was upped armored based on the A9 Tank. As part of British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France, 31 A10 Mk.I’s were deployed, but proved to be unsatisfactory during the Battle of France. With the evacuation of men at Dunkirk, these A10's were left in France, with many captured and used by the German invaders.

A new kit from Gecko Models represents the A10 Mk.I as sent to France, and includes marking for those captured by the Germans.
Contents

25 Plastic Sprues(some small containing few parts)
1 Clear Plastic Sprue
1 Photo-etched fret
Wire & String
Decal Sheet
Instruction Booklet

Review

The kit from Gecko Models arrived in a very sturdy box, and upon opening, I was amazed at the number of sprues in the box. This large number of sprues is due to the use of smaller sprues for items like wheels, running gear, tracks, etc. A look at the parts on the sprues shows some nice moldings and details. The surface of the tank is covered with rivets, and there are plenty molded on the surface, and look to be very well done. There are also may fine parts that also look very well done. I did find some flash, but very little, and should be easy to cleanup. I also found no sink marks, but there a couple of ejector marks that may need to be filled, as the kit does include a partial interior.

Yes, the kit does include interior parts, this includes the driver and MG gunner area, as well as turret interior with breech, turret basket and radio. There is also some molded on wiring detail on the interior surfaces, but there is still room to add more wiring for those who desire. The radio set in the turret includes a nice photo-etched ‘guard’ that should add to the detail. There are some small fine parts that will require extra care, especially for the seats and breech. Solid molded ammunition stowage is included for mounting in the lower hull.

On the exterior the kits includes position-able hatches for the crew, which could be built in the open position to show off some of the interior. As mentioned, there are plenty of rivets showing on the exterior surface, but in my opinion some of the look to be a little exaggerated in size. The running gear and road wheels look to be very well done, including the springs for the suspension 3D molded very nicely in plastic and actually ‘spring’. It should be noted that in the kit I received, one of the spring parts was not fully molded, but contact with Gecko Models provided replacement parts quickly.

As for the tracks, individual track links are included molded on seven sprues. These track parts are small, but have some very nice looking details. The assembly is the top and bottom of each link, with the double connector rods in between.

The kit does include a decent sized photo-etched fret, with mostly parts for tool tie does and the muffler guard. I did find this a little inconsistent as some tools have molded tie downs and other used the photo-etched parts. But I must say those with molded tie downs do look decent. Clear parts are included for the view ports and lights. Also lengths of string and wire is included, where the wire is used to add wiring detail to headlight, and the string can be used for tow cable(though not shown in the instructions).

A single figure is included in the kit that has two heads for either British or German use. While a novel idea, the figure is molded with a British uniform, and would not be suited for German use.

The decal sheet from Gecko Models looks to be very well printed, nice color and all in register. The markings on the decal sheet are labeled and divided to match the color and marking schemes shown in the instructions. The instruction look to be well laid out, with 37 steps across 22 pages.

As for markings, the kit includes markings for the following:

  • 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers, HQ Squadron, 2nd Armoured Brigade, 1st Armoured Division, France 1940
  • HQ, 1st Armoured Division, France 1940
    5th Royal Tank Regiment, HQ Squadron, 3rd Armoured Brigade, 1st Armoured Division, France 1940
  • HQ, 3rd Armoured Brigade, 1st Armoured Division, France 1940
  • German Tank Crew Training Unit, Kummersdorf, Germany, 1940

Build

Building the Cruiser Tank A10 from Gecko Models starts with the lower hull tub. The fit is great, no issues. Next is the start of the driver and MG gunner positions, this is actually built onto an sub-floor before attaching to the hull. The driver controls are small parts, and the seat are fine, so some care is needed here. The rest of the lower interior goes together fairly well. On together, the interior was painted primed then painted with Vallejo Air Steel.

Moving to the upper hull, all went together with no issues, fit was great. I left the fenders off while I assembled and painted the lower hull section, running gear, and track. The running gear goes together rather nicely, including the use of the plastic molded springs. With care, the running gear can be built to be workable. Some extra attention is required for the road wheels, as there were relatively large ejector mark on the inside surface where the two hubs meet. I just used my Dremel tool, and cleaned them up, no problem.

Now the track. The track with its individual links looks great, but requires a lot of work and care. First off, it has to be removed from the sprues and cleaned up, a daunting task in itself. Then comes assembly, the parts are delicate, and very very small surface contact between the top and bottom of the link. This means a lot of care when applying glue if you want to make them workable. I even found after assembly due to trying to use a little glue as possible to make them workable, they were very fragile, but look awesome. A nice touch from Gecko Models was a little jig for the track assembly.

Tracks and running gear were painted, attached, then masked off with cling wrap.

The turret interior is decently detailed inside, with a radio and complete breech. Everything assembled well, just some care as the breech has some fine parts. Again primed and painted with Vallejo Air Steel.

The rest of the exterior went together very well, with the hardest part being forming and attaching the photo-etched muffler guard. The tank was then primed with Stynlrez and painted with AK Interactive Real Colors, choosing Khaki Green No.3 and British Dark Olive Green. A small amount of weathering was done using Vallejo washes and AK Interactive enamels. The decal from Gecko went on very nice, even though it is a bit of a struggle to get them over some of the large rivets, but SolvaSet was helpful.
Summary

Overall this is a great kit from Gecko Models, the moldings are great and fit during assembly are good. The kit contains some nice details, including a partial interior and some photo-etched. While the kit shows the German captured version on the box, marking for British use are in the kit. The only real struggle I found during assembly, the individual track links while looking very nice, are very delicate to assemble if you wish to make them working. I would definitely recommend this kit from Gecko Models, and I might even want to do another.
SUMMARY
Highs: Great moldings and fit, very nice looking detail, including a partial interior
Lows: Individual track links very fine
Verdict: Great kit to build and look at, highly recommended
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35GM0005
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Oct 28, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.35%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.00%

Our Thanks to Gecko Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Kevin Brant (SgtRam)
FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA

I am an IT Consultant and father, with a passion for plastic models. I mostly prefer 1/35 Armor and 1/48 Aircraft. My main interests are anything Canadian, as well as WW2 German and British Armor and Aircraft. I have been building models since I was a young kid, got away from it for awhile, but r...

Copyright ©2019 text by Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

I have the A10a kit & if the radio in this kit is the same as the one in this review it is incorrect! The radio is a N set o. 19 radio set which needs 2 aerials one 2ft (60cm) long & one 4ft (120cm) long; apart from this these radios were not fitted during the life of these tanks TMK as they had not been issued. there is a choice of two radios either a No. 9 set, as fitted to the Morris armoured cars, or the number 11 set as fitted to early tanks in the Desert; either radio only used one aerial. This was fitted to the rear of the turret & had a unit that allowed the aerial to be laid horizontally as they were not whip aerials.
OCT 28, 2018 - 08:37 PM
   

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