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Crusader Mk II Gun Tractor Mk I

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Introduction

The announcement some time ago of the pending arrival of the new Bronco 17pdr anti tank gun prompted me to get out the Crusader kit I had and the Accurate Armour conversion set for it. I’d had both sitting around for about 4 years, and it was then a further 12 months before I got around to starting the build.

The Crusader kit I used was the old Testors/Italeri Crusader Gun Tank Mk III kit that was given to me as a present (thanks Paul) and the conversion set came from Accurate Armour kit No C041. Both kits have been available for some time. To add to that I had bought a set of the Accurate Armour Resin Tracks.

To help guide me on my way I had a copy of an article by Phil Greenwoood on the build first published in Military Modelcraft International in December 2001. This proved a very valuable resource as the instructions with the conversion are of the older style and layout and tend to assume a level of knowledge you may or may not have.
Background
The Crusader Gun Tank was developed in three stages the Mk I, Mk II and Mk III and you can use any of these kits for the conversion. Around 5,300 were built, but by 1942 they were starting to become redundant being replaced by the M3 Grant and later the M4A1 Sherman Mk I. Operational use of the Crusaders finished around May 1943 and thereafter they provided a valuable training role for new tank crews.

Early in 1943 the new British 17pdr anti tank gun started to come on line. The 17pdr is a large beast and was too big for the Loyd and Universal carriers to handle. RA regiments started to use the M9 Half Track to tow the gun and also the Morris and Quad Gun Tractors but the wheeled vehicles didn’t have a great cross country performance. It became apparent that a new gun tractor would have to be developed. With large quantities of Crusader being available the decision was taken to convert some of these for this purpose and so the Crusader Gun Tractor was born. The Crusader could handle towing the gun well and offered good cross country performance. After development and trials the final vehicle was designated Crusader Mk II, Gun Tractor Mk I.

Phil’s article contains more detailed information regarding the overall background and deployment of the vehicle should you be interested.
Conversion Parts
You can see the make up and the quality of the conversion parts below, and the pictures speak for themselves.
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About the Author

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 ...


Comments

Hi John, Ken and Bill, Thanks for dropping in folks and the comments. John, you have to move away form the dark side Cheers Al
AUG 02, 2011 - 06:01 AM
Im assuming the base is only a temorary affair then? Who makes it and also the same question regarding the figure. Theres no mention of either of them in the article. Nice build again Alan .... pulling the 17 pdr will really give this the edge. Its good to have this as an article ... Im sure when the 17pdr is readily available, more will be looking for something suitable to pull it!!
AUG 02, 2011 - 07:21 AM
Hi Frank, Yes, just a temp base. It's from SB Models one of Stewarts SB Scotia Range. I've review some of his products here. http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showmaker&makerid=428 The figure is the RA Officer in Greatcoat from Resicast for the 25pdr, just added for scale, again review the fig here: http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=6043 I have a couple fo the SB Scotia bases I just use for fast pics, always better to have something to hand rather than my blue background. Thanks for looking in, and glad you found the article useful. Cheers Al
AUG 02, 2011 - 11:33 AM
Alan, nice job, as always. Very good and informative feature. Looking forward to it with 17 pdr. Cheers! Stefan
AUG 02, 2011 - 07:24 PM
Hi Stefan, Glad you found it useful. Cheers Al
AUG 03, 2011 - 07:28 AM
Hi folks, Just for info. If you happen to be looking for a donor kit I was over on the Italeri web site this afternoon. I see they have re-released their Crusader Mk III under their 'Vintage Collection' label. Al
AUG 06, 2011 - 03:41 AM
Not too bad a price at £23 too. I might just get one to replace the old one I did years ago. I can add the Eduard fenders too.
AUG 06, 2011 - 11:53 AM
Hi Ken, I haven't built this one as a Gun Tank yet so I may well get one to add to the collection too. Al
AUG 07, 2011 - 02:03 AM
This is probably the fourth or fith time I've read this article. A lovely building job and an entertaining text. Well done, Alan! Well done, indeed! This build is certainly going into my To-Do list. (Hoping that Bronco and HB, keep up bring plstic kits of such off-the-beat-track kits). Cheers, Guido
NOV 03, 2011 - 08:27 PM
Hi Guido, Thank you for the kind comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed the build and article. You probably raised a question many are wondering, will there be a 1/35 plastic version. I haven't heard of anything yet but with the increased interest by palstic manufacturers in all things British it is possible. Still they have yet to produce any new trucks to tow this new line of artillery but I am hopeful there. The AA conversion is quite an old kit but Italeria have just re-released the Gun Tank at a reasonable price so it should be affordable and do-alble by many. Cheers Al
NOV 04, 2011 - 12:45 AM