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Having been given the encouragement by Richard to post some of my builds on here, this is one I built a few years ago. Apologies to those who have seen this before, but I’m a little short of new builds at the moment.

Basically, this is a 1/48th build of a RMASG Centaur based on he excellent Tamiya Cromwell. When Tamiya first issued their 1/35th Cromwell, back in the 90’s, they followed it up with a Centaur, so I naturally assumed that when they did the same in 1/48th scale, they would do the Centaur also. Sadly, no. But that’s what modelling is all about, and if it’s not available as a kit, scratch build it.

This build would need several items scratch building, most obvious of which are the road wheels and the 95mm howitzer. Also, the distinctive markings would need to be sourced from somewhere as none were available in this scale. But I’ll cover all of these items as I come to them.

The vehicle that I wanted to depict was one of the earlier Centaurs, carrying the name of “Seawolf”. This meant that there would be more scratch building needed as the front track guards on Seawolf were different to the ones in the Tamiya kit. In Normandy there is a memorial with a Centaur on a plinth and it is named Seawolf, but it’s not the original. I believe that it is cobbled together from various vehicles, including a Centaur dozer.

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This one is the original.

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Okay, so I’ve laid down a marker, and with any luck I’ll start the WIP properly in the next couple of days.

Thanks for looking.

John.

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Hull Modifications.

The first task was to construct a new vertical armoured hull front plate. There’s nothing wrong with the kit item, apart from the fact that unlike it’s 1/35th scale big brother which has a separate driver’s visor, the 1/48th version has the visor moulded shut. I wanted to depict the visor open, so the only way of doing this for me, was to cut out the visor and hinges from the kit part and then separate the hinges from the visor using a new No.10 blade. Naturally, this trashed the hull plate, so a new one was made from 40thou card. A hole was drilled to accept a closed visor and a circular blanking plate was made from 10thou card to cover the BESA machine gun position as these were not carried on RM Centaurs. Bolt heads were punched out using a Historex hexagonal punch and die set. Before gluing the plate in place, I filed the angled notches in front of the periscopes, and attached the visor hinges. I detailed the inner face of the visor with card and bolt heads, referring to a sketch in the Darlington Publications booklet on the Cromwell.

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The next piece of butchery was the removal of the front of the moulded on track guards on a line with the vertical hull plate. Some of the side plastic was carved away before reattaching; only now they would slope downwards at the front. This left a gap at the back of the reattached part which was filled with some plasticard and blended in on the left side. The right didn’t matter so much as it would be covered by one of the storage bins. Working from drawings (albeit 1/35th scale), new angular track guards were made from 10thou card and fixed in place.

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Final detailing to the front of the hull included installing cabling for the two side lights, as well as the brackets where the cables pass through the glacis plate. These came from the Hauler set for the Cromwell. The left hand side light is actually made from a piece of sprue, as the kit part was eaten by the carpet monster!

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Thanks for looking.

John.

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On the 1/48th Cromwell, Tamiya have compromised with the left hand, side opening crew hatch. They’ve moulded it as a separate item, but in the closed position. As I wanted to depict it with the hatch open, I treated it in the same fashion as I did the drivers visor. The hinges were glued in place and the hatch was detailed with some etch from the Hauler set. The five missing bolt heads to the rear of the hatch opening were also added.

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As already stated, Seawolf was one of the early Centaurs and had a B or C type hull, which means that there was no need to rescribe the engine deck hatches, but the moulded on grab handles were removed with a sharp chisel blade and replaced with brass wire.

The set that Eduard do for the 1/48th Cromwell includes the header tank for the cooling system, which they don’t include on their 1/35th scale set. This was made up and installed in the recess on the engine deck, along with some sprue to represent the associated piping.

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The rear of the model would require quite a bit of modifying and I started by altering the shape of the top of the exhaust box. Instead of being flat, the rear third slopes downwards so I removed the plastic along the moulded line. No Normandy cowl would mean that the exhausts would be conspicuous by their absence, so two exhausts from a Hobbyboss M4A3 were modified and glued in place. The mesh that comes with both the Hauler set and the Eduard etched set came up short once bent to the new shape, so I cut a piece of Accurate Armours diamond mesh (I think that it should be square pattern, but I didn’t have any), and super glued it in place. On top of this and around the perimeter, I glued some 10x20 thou strip to represent the frame, and to tidy it up a bit. I was glad that I did add the exhausts as they can be seen quite clearly.

I also added a pair of smoke candle holders and the cabling as well as the all important towing brackets for the Porpoise ammunition sleds. These again came from the Hauler set and are the ones meant for the lifting brackets on the turret, suitably modified.

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Thanks for looking.

John.

 

 

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Apologies for the next bit as it's a bit wordy.

When I started this project, I naively thought that the main armament was the only thing that would need changing. Yes, I knew that the road wheels on the Centaur were different to the Cromwell in so far as they had holes all around the tyres, but I thought that I could just substitute Crusader’s wheels instead. That’s what happens when you make assumptions and don’t check the facts. Crusader wheels are thinner than Cromwell’s (by about .5mm in 1/48th scale), and they sit slightly closer together. So I had two choices. Accept the obvious short comings of the Crusader’s wheels, or try and come up with a better solution. I went for the second. 

The method I used was to cut out plastic washers using an Olfa P cutter from .5mm card and glue them onto the backs of the inner and outer Crusader wheels. When they had hardened, they were trimmed back, flush with the tyres, and blended in with some filler. I then took the outer wheel and removed the whole of the wheel drum, within the tyre and rim. I did this by a series of drilled holes around the perimeter and finished off with a pointed blade. The rim and tyre were then cleaned up with a half round file, being careful not to break it. I then took the outer wheel from the Cromwell and cut away all of the tyre. There then followed some laborious filing and sanding of the Cromwell drum and the Crusader rim and tyre, until there was a snug fit between the two. I glued the two together, making sure that the Cromwell rim protruded slightly proud of the tyre.  The inner wheel was easier. I removed the centre from the Cromwell inner wheel (still with me??) and glued it into a slightly enlarged hole in the Crusader wheel. When they had all hardened, they were placed on one of the stub axles on the Cromwell hull along with a pair of Cromwell wheels, and they all lined up satisfactorily.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       That pair took the best part of a day, so I wasn’t about to repeat it for the other nine sets. So a request on Missing Lynx web site brought an email from Jason Miller of Arms Corps Models in Australia, who kindly offered to cast the wheel sets for me. These were duly dispatched Down Under, and a few weeks later back came 12 sets (2 spares) of beautifully moulded Centaur wheels. After a small amount of clean up, they were loosely mounted onto the stub axles, and as can be seen from the photo, they really look the business. Thanks Jason.

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Thanks for looking.

John.

 

 

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Another show of pure talent. Very neat and precise, those wheels are top quality.

Looks like Gorby has some competition in this area of expertise.

Regards

Paul

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10 minutes ago, Toolmaker said:

Looks like Gorby has some competition in this area of expertise.

Compared with the wheels John has done, the wheels I've made look like they've been carved with a chainsaw with my eyes closed (which is my preferred way of using a chainsaw).

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12 minutes ago, Gorby said:

carved with a chainsaw with my eyes closed (which is my preferred way of using a chainsaw).

A bit dramatic there mate, I reckon you had at least one eye open 😂😂

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3 hours ago, Toolmaker said:

Another show of pure talent. Very neat and precise, those wheels are top quality.

Looks like Gorby has some competition in this area of expertise.

Regards

Paul

Thanks Paul. I appreciate the comments.

John.

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I was originally going to make the rear track guards from card, as per the front ones, but instead I modified the kit items by carefully removing all of the moulded on detail until I was left with the bare shape. I attached inner guards from 10thou card and then glued the whole assembly in place.

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The three stowage bins came from the Eduard set 28 046. I soldered these and fixed the two right hand ones in place in the closed position and the left hand one, open. I folded up some thin pewter sheet to represent a blanket, and put this in the open bin, along with a couple of tins of food and a box of compo rations. The box was just a piece of 80 thou card, scored across the middle to represent opening flaps, and the tins were made from small pieces of plastic tube with the lids punched out of thin card.

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Prominent on all Centaurs and Cromwells were the two, double tow ropes carried down the right hand side. I had run out of suitable diameter wires for this scale, so the only course was to make my own, as to me the nylon ones supplied by Tamiya in their 1/48th scale kits look anything but realistic. I used four lengths of 5 amp fuse wire, twisted together at one end and then firmly clamped in the chuck of my Minicraft mini drill. I have mine wired in to an H&M “Clipper” model railway power controller so that I can vary the power output. By doing this, I was able to spin the strands of wire very slowly until I had the cable just how I wanted it. I repeated this four times and then cut the pieces to the correct length and c.a. glued the ends into the Tamiya tow rope ends. The finished articles were then fixed in place along the side of the stowage bins and hooked onto the front tow shackle.

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Just visible here are the mesh grills over the engine air intakes courtesy of Eduard.

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On the home straight now. Just the sand shields and the turret to do before moving onto the painting.Thanks for looking.

John.

 

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