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In-Box Review
135
Churchill Mk III/IV Interior
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Inside the Armour have continued to develop their range of Allied after market kits and parts. Recently released is a new interior detail set for the AFV Club Churchill (kits 35053 and 53034). This is a combined set suitable for either the Mk III or Mk IV Churchill and the set provides a comprehensive interior detail set complete with a new resin turret.

ITA has taken the original set and steadily improved on the level of detail and quality of the original parts, replacing many of them with etched brass for extra sharp detail. New casting have meant sharper easier to clean up items.

So let have a look at what’s inside.

The Kit

The kit comes packed in a sturdy cardboard box with the company and product details clearly marked on the top. It contains 4 zip bags of resin parts, a further zip bag containing several lengths of coiled wire and some plastic rod are included to provide the internal wiring and pedals. There are two large frets of etched brass, a medium sized fret and two further small frets to complete the kit.

The parts are cast in a cream coloured resin and the quality and detail on the parts looks excellent. I saw no damage or cause for concern with the castings.

Build instructions come on a small CD which contains both the build instructions in pdf format, a read before assembly document and a folder containing 24 colour reference pictures.

The instructions cover 29 pdf files which are well presented and clearly detail the build steps. Also included is a Modellers Guide Folder with 9 pdf files of useful information and build tips for the modeller.

A resin parts listing showing the corresponding number of the part to the build instructions and a listing of the PE parts in similar fashion are also provided at the end of the instructions.

I would recommend reading through all the data prior to commencing the build and mapping the build in your mind depending on which version of the Churchill you wish to complete.

In this new set, ITA have included a complete new turret with excellent internal and exterior detail including casting numbers and internal roof detail. Full interior details are provided for the turret and basket.

Two very neat looking Thompson SMGs with grip handles are also included in this set, as are two metal Besa barrels, and a Bren Gun.

There is everything here you need to populate the inside of you Churchill, from headphone bags to the pedals in the drivers compartment. The casting of the parts looks really sharp and the pour plugs look much better positioned and easier to remove that in the first kit. Clearly ITA have not only developed the original kit but added considerably to the overall interior finish. You'll get a highly accurate and interesting interior with this one.

The Brass frets cover things like the ammo bins and many smaller details and should allow for a much sharper finish, so much so I would hazard a guess that you could put individual rounds into the bins if you wanted to!

Conclusion

This looks to be a cracking conversion. ITA have moved on considerably in a short period of time, producing yet another excellent conversion set for modellers of Allied Armour. Providing the options for the Mk III or Mk IV in one set is also a sensible move.

Interiors are not everyone’s cup of tea but if you like that sense of detail, getting a real feel for what went on inside these fighting machines then this set will provide just that. There is great diorama potential with this set as it could bring into play everything from the home front production line to the battlefield.

The resin parts should require minimal clean up and I can’t fault the detail provided in the set. There is a lot of PE, and I’m not a great fan of this medium, but it provides additional detail that cannot be replicated effectively in other mediums and will certainly spice up the build.

This is not a set for beginners, but if you have reasonable experience, have worked with resin before, like a challenge and something extra in your build then you will like this set. If you like Churchill’s then sooner or later you’ll be drawn down this route. I reviewed and built the original set for the Mk III and the sense of achievement and knowledge I gained from the build was immense. This new conversion set should be equally challenging, but produce even better results.

ITA have brought us yet more choice to the finished product and that is always a good thing. It was a brave step for the company to take, as interiors are a selected market and one I personally hope they continue to develop their range for other British AFVs.

Ordering Infomration afternote


When ordering you can specify a disc for either Mac or PC or alternatively request hard copy of the instructions.

Recommended References:
For those interested in this build I would recommend the following references:

Mr Churchill’s Tank by David Fletcher, ISBN 9 780746 306792. This is a comprehensive account of the development of the Churchill Gun Tanks and contains a mountain of useful information for the Modeller.

• Armour in Focus: Website Link. This contains a restoration build of the Mk III Vehicle and is a valuable resource for Churchill enthusiasts.

• There are two Osprey publications that may also be useful. Churchill Tanks 1941 – 51 Osprey Publishing (New Vanguard) ISBN 1-85532-297-8 providing a potted history of the vehicle. And for painting/building and inspiration Modelling the Churchill Tank by Mark Bannerman, another Osprey Publication ISBN 9-781841 768694.

• Of course a visit to the Imperial War Museum on line site, Link, will provide a wealth of actual pictures to aid and inspire you.


SUMMARY
Highs: Exceptional detail, quality cast parts, providing a unique build experience.
Lows: None I can think of
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
97%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35022
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 03, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.46%

Our Thanks to Inside The Armour !
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 Alan McNeilly (AlanL)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2019 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thank you for the clarification Alan. It does still seem a little strange not to include printed instructions with a product, don't get me wrong the PDF format is ideal and a brilliant inclusion for me as it would help my eyes no end. It does seem wrong to me somehow to charge for printed instructions when if there is an option when ordering it would need to be spelt out loud and clear and there should not be an extra charge depending on your choice. If interiors are your thing this company seem to provide an excellent selection, which from reviews I have read are accurate and well caste. The point I am trying to get across is I would have an expectation of printed instructions being in the box, and if then asked for an extra amount to get printed instructions would not bother with them as a supplier after that. I am not telling them how they should think but how I would think and suspect I am not alone in that.
JUL 03, 2011 - 03:38 AM
Hi Darren, Not really so strange if you think of the costs involved in printing which is probably why as a smaller AM producer Chris has chose to go the CD way. I could be wrong but I would imagine you can specify at time of purchase if you want CD or hard copy, but if you opt for both then there is an additional cost. I am sure Chris will pop in with the answer, but as he aims his products at a specific limited market then why run up the costs of printing instructions unless people individualy want them? Just my thoughts. Al
JUL 03, 2011 - 05:27 AM
Put very simply Darren, the disc costs me 13p. Paper and ink for c40 pages of instructions costs me over £2. In addition, using a disc allows me to keep the box below a certain size. Relaistically there is no way you could fit 40 A4 pages into a box the size I use for my kits. Bigger pboxes means more material cost and more postage cost So to sum up, using a disc means I can make the kit c£3.50 cheaper for those customers that are fine with a disc. These are the vast majority of customers. So far only one actual customer has requested paper instructions and three have requested a Mac compatable disc This represents less than 1% of transactions. So put simply - over 99% of customers have benefitted from this decision through reduced cost Chris Inside the Armour
JUL 03, 2011 - 05:32 AM
Sorry Alan I misunderstood I thought you meant there was an extra cost if you wanted printed instructions not only if you want both printed and PDF.
JUL 03, 2011 - 05:36 AM
There is an extra cost if you want paper instructions, as explained above Darren. Small AM businesses like mine are balanced on a knife edge regarding profits. I make the kits as inexpensive as I can, with an extremely narrow profit margin and every additional cost inevtably has to be added onto the kit. As explained, this is an issue of cost for me, if I offered free paper instructions, people would take them anyway in order to avoid having to print them themselves, which would push up my costs and the price of the kits As I said, only one other person has ever complained about this, and only one other person (other than the customer and yourself) has ever enquired if paper instructions are even available (free, at cost or otherwise). Based on this experience I am inclined to think it has not damaged sales of my kits in any way
JUL 03, 2011 - 05:47 AM
Thank you for joining in with this discussion Chris. As I have said your products look excellent and being based in the UK I can appreciate how hard it is to keep price attractive to the customer while making a return that makes it worth the needed effort. My concern would be that in the belief your products are not only advertised online (meaning the potential customer has a PC or access to one) would all customers be aware that there are only instructions included that can be viewed with a PC? My only complaint would be if not aware that this is the case being charged extra for them unless I knew in advance. I look forward to your reply and thank you again.
JUL 03, 2011 - 06:09 AM
Customer care and the small amount of extra thought it involves is something sometimes a bit lacking in this business, so consequently I always make customers aware of something like this when I think it might be an issue Darren. In the case of the instructions, if someone made an order by mail ('snail' that is) or by telephone, or even if they have used a friends email address to order, anything that might hint that it could be an issue, I make them aware before I charge them for the goods I am a firm believer that customers deserve all the facts before they part with their money. I only wish I could afford to provide the paper instructions for free on demand, but sadly I can't and maintain the price. I do try to provide the extras that make a customer a long term customer, but when I can't the least you can do is make people aware of what a kit includes and does not, and any potential issues with that Chris
JUL 03, 2011 - 06:47 AM
Thank you Chris and it is good to hear customer service mentioned. Just for information the link in your tag and the link in your profile to your website needs editing as you need to remove the LINK from the address portion that you have.
JUL 03, 2011 - 07:16 AM
I know Darren, but every time I delete it and save my signature, it seems to reappear by itself. I think the site adds it automatically, and after several attempts I've given up!
JUL 03, 2011 - 10:53 AM
   

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