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11
Churchill Black Prince

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Black Prince was designed in 1943, the idea to create a heavier version of the Churchill mounting the effective 17 pound anti tank gun. Designed like the Churchill by Vauxhall Motors, Black Prince was wider in the hull to accommodate a larger turret to house the new gun, but in most other respects the two tanks had a lot in common. Armour thickness was the same as was the suspension system, but the strangest similarity of all was that both tanks had the same engine, the horizontally opposed 12 cylinder Bedford.

Later models of the Churchill tank which weighed 40 tons and were generally regarded as under powered, yet the designers elected to use the same engine in Black Prince which weighed ten tons more. Many experts believed it would have been wiser to fit the 600 hp Rolls Royce Meteor but there is no evidence that this was ever done. Indeed the prototypes did not appear until 1945 by which time there was no further use for them and the project ended.

The development of Black Prince closely paralleled that of Centurion and it was planned at one stage to fit the Centurion turret to the Vauxhall tank. Once again there is no reasonable explanation as to why this was never done. The Black Prince turret was not an impressive design, being vertical slabs of armour except at the front, and both turrets were designed to mount the same gun. Bovington Tank Museum houses the only complete Black Prince.

The text is from the information boards at Bovington Tank Museum.
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About the Author

About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...


Comments

This is awesome Darren, I didn't even know this one still existed! Thanks for sharing
OCT 07, 2010 - 06:13 PM
As the included text states it is the only remaining complete example in existence, and you are welcome.
OCT 07, 2010 - 06:31 PM
I'd love to see one of these done in 1/35th. I doubt a mainstream manufacturer would make one so resin would do fine for me.
OCT 07, 2010 - 11:33 PM
Ken I don't believe it would be too hard to scratch one from a Churchill kit, I am always willing to get extra pics for you within reason.
OCT 08, 2010 - 05:31 AM
If the economy ever improves there's a resin kit all mastered and ready for production out there. It just has to become financially viable to release. Which is making me nuts as I want it NOW! Sigh. Matt
JUN 15, 2012 - 05:22 AM
I'd still love to see one in Plastic Fantastic! I'm sure AFV Club could be persuaded, seeing as they already have the tooling for all the running gear! (And a 17-pdr from their Achilles...) Tom
JUN 15, 2012 - 08:24 AM
Dunno. Meng expressed interest but we'll see. The problem is the running gear and tracks are actually different that the previous Churchills, so aside from the main gun it's all new. Someday. Matt
JUN 15, 2012 - 09:30 AM