Slow and Steady Wins the Race
The Churchill A-22 PackBefore Christmas I ran a poll on my Facebook page (Deweycat Productions) asking the FB page followers what AFV they would most like to see a file made available for. There were a substantial number of votes cast, and they ranged from a German field kitchen to the American Weasel transports, but the winner was the British Churchill tank. I then went to work on as broadly-based package of 28mm scaled Churchill tank models, suitable for an FDM printer.But first let’s take a brief look at this, the last British “Infantry Tank”End of the Infantry Tank LineThe A20 British infantry tank design was a prewar General Staff specification, meant to be a replacement for both the Matilda and the Valentine. Just like the former, it incorporated typically trench-warfare features. It was envisioned as slow (infantry pace), heavily protected with an armament only suitable to deal with fortifications (low velocity, high caliber, high explosives), crushing barb wire in the process. The tracks had to be long enough to allow large trench crossings, including anti-tank ditches. This was developed into the A-22, which became known as the Churchill Tank/.The A22, Tank, Infantry Mk.IV (the Mk.III was the Valentine) might seem like it was named after the iconic British leader of the time. But -according to Churchill himself- the name honored the memory of his XVIIth century ancestor, Sir John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. It could also have commemorated the instrumental leadership of Sir Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, and the head of the “Landship Committee”, the initiator of British tank development during the Great War. The first two versions were armed with the 2 pounder ATG, and in the case of the Mark 1, a 3” howitzer in the hull, where the hull MG would later be placed. The first use in action was during the August 19, 1942 “raid” on Dieppe France by the Canadian 2nd Division. The landing was a disaster, the Canadians sustaining 70% casualties, with almost 1000 dead, plus thousands more wounded and/or captured. There were 29 Churchills that made it to the beaches, but they had problems gaining traction on the shingle beach, and only one was able to enter the City proper. All the tanks landed were lost, and all crews were killed or captured. It was reported that the Germans assumed, after examining the abandoned tanks, that the Churchills were an unsuccessful prototype that had been sacrificed. At the same time, the Germans were starting production of the Tiger tank, which was a much more advanced tank at that time.Further modifications were made, and the innumerable teething problems were eventually worked out. Service the later stages of the North Africa campaign demonstrated the Churchill tanks ability to climb steep gradients, its robust abilities and its thick armour provided remarkable protection to the crew.The Churchill was the basis of many of “Hobart’s Funnies”, and it soldiered on through the war and it carried on to fight in Korea and into the early Cold War. I encourage you to look at the tank encyclopedia entry for this classic AFVhttp://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/gb/A22_Churchill_Tank.phpThe .stl filesI started with the 1/200th scale model from the Bergman collection. This posed the obvious problems, as a 1/200th scale model will lose a tremendous amount of detail when upsized by 370% to 1/56th scale. I did the following
- upsized it, separated the tracks from the hull,
- added engine grills, tools, bolt detail
- created new driver’s vision hatch, hull MG gunner port
- created new crew hatches
- created new barrels and turret packages for the variants offered
- created a “from scratch” Crocodile flame thrower trailer
- Cast turret, armed with the 6 pounder ATG.
- NA 75, armed with the 75mm gun the M4 Sherman (not the same as the 75mm QF gun normally mounted on the Churchill.) this brilliant piece of field engineering is described here
- The Mark VII turret pack, armed with the 75mm QF gun
- The AVRE turret, armed with the 290mm Spigot mortar
- The Churchill Crocodile Flame Thrower tank. I included the flame projector to replace the hull MG.