Sunday, September 15, 2013


Mk 3 Centurion at Duxford Imperial War Museum UK
in colours of the British Forces during the Suez crisis era.

Well it was a very exciting day for me when i received my SDS Centurion MK3 tank
 (it doesn't take much does it )

Beautifully packaged and presented ,the tension built.Opening the box and carefully removing the contents from its foam cradle .I looked and turned the model marvelling at the detail, then--------------------------
I though to myself this doesn't look right what have they done ?

Upon closer inspection.
The overall dimensions are very close to the prototype with 1 exception the overall length.
(more on this latter)
1/ The tracks have not been positioned poorly and have a nasty bend in towards themselves at the bottom
2/ The rear deck casting has a very nasty dip or depression in it which carries threw from the rear of the hull
    to the air inlet louvres.

                                                         Photo illustrates point 1 and 2

3/ The rear of the hull should taper in at the base but has been made straight.
4/The bottom of the turret has been raised by a piece of 1mm styrene which gives the turret the correct             overall height .But doesn't give the correct diameter at the base .This is quite large and overhangs
     the stowage bins along the track guards by about half there width on the prototype.

                                                                  Photo illustrates point 4

5/The overall shape of the turret has been stuffed up.With the angles and dimensions all wrong which  
    combine to make the wrong shape altogether.The easiest way to explain this is to overlay the model
   on a plan and you can see problems.

6/The loaders hatch(The rectangle shape below the round commanders hatch) should be parallel
    with the bottom edge of the turret.

7/Although the overall height of the turret is correct from a side view.But incorrect dimensions have been
   used which combine to make the wrong profile and wrong positions for the turret stowage boxes.
   The first angle of the turret is to sharp.Which gives a measurement of 2.9mm to the top of the stowage
   boxes ,this should be 1.6mm.
   The sides of the stowage boxes are to small measuring 2.4mm this should be 4mm.Which gives too
   much angle to the lids on the boxes.
   The bottom of the stowage boxes is too low .An easy way to explain this is that the bottom of the boxes        should be in line with the bottom of the turret rear bustle overhang.Or half way threw the pistol port.(this is    the round casting  mark between the boxes on the opposite side of the turret from the side in the picture        below)
8/The rear turret bustle dimension isnt correct being 5.7mm but should be 7.2mm from top to bottom.
   All this combines to give the model a stockier or squatter appearance than should be.
9/The main barrel appears to be to low because of the turret bustle problem .But isn't actually.It should be in    line with the bottom of the turret bustle.
                                        Photo illustrates the correct positioning of the turret boxes.
                                         And barrel positioning.
                                         Photo shows turret boxes alignment problems and also
                                          barrel to low.I have put in a new packing piece to try
                                          to fix the overhang problem.And moved the turret forward
                                          as in point 10.

                                                                    Model as supplied

  10/ The overall length of the model is incorrect which is caused by the complete turret assembly being
       positioned to far towards the rear of the hull.To correct this it needs moving forward by 3.2mm
      As in the picture below.This positioning also changes the overall appearance with the turret reversed
      and barrel in the travel lock for rail transportation .Which i suppose is the main reason for the model ?

11/ Then there's the colour which for a MK3 should have been Deep Bronze Green Gloss which on this
      model looks more like Lustreless Olive Drab

  Overall this model is very disappointing .I'm not sure how they came about the design and proportions
  given that plenty of plans and prototypes are available to get it right.
  And the pricing which is a lot more than the other available models of this tank , doesn't reflect  the
  finished standard of the model.


  1. You state that their are other models available. Just wondering if they are in HO scale?

    1. Rod
      If you look at the previous post to this one.The Artitec models and details are show at the end.The only problem is the side skirt section is molded over the tracks and cant be removed to reveal the tracks .Locking the model into a pre -Vietnam timeframe.
      But overall a better model and cheaper.