Churchill Mk II (early and reworked) and Churchill Mk I CS Close Support - case report

      Tankers !!!
      This is my new project: a triple building on these early models of Churchils: two versions of the standard Churchill Mk II (2 pdr. gun in turret and MG Besa in the hull) and one Churchill Mk I reworked, adapted in Italy to carry two 3 inches howitzers (the original in the hull and another in the turret), with Pz III cupola to improve the vision range of the commander.
   
Churchill Mk I with two howitzers and Pz III cupola.
History:
      The Tank, Infantry, Mk IV (A22) was a heavy British infantry tank used in the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour, large longitudinal chassis with all-around tracks with multiple bogies, and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. It was one of the heaviest Allied tanks of the war. The origins of the design lay in the expectation that war in Europe might be fought under similar conditions to that of the First World War and emphasised ability to cross difficult ground. The Churchill was rushed into production in order to build up British defences against an possible German invasion and the first vehicles built had flaws that had to be overcome before the Churchill was accepted for wide use. After several Marks had been built a better armoured version - the Mark VII - entered service.
The Churchill was used by British and Commonwealth in North Africa, Italy and North-West Europe. In addition many were supplied to the USSR and used on the Eastern Front.
      About development and versions of this tank, see the article in the Bunker, here.


 I'll build these three girls:
  • Churchill Mk I CS (reworked) - field adaptation: armed with two 3in. howitzers and Pz III commander cupola:
Profile corrected with help of Chris Meddings (Inside the Armour) and Mike Starmer
    • Churchill Mk II (early version):
    Profile corrected with help of Chris Meddings, from Inside the Armour
    • Churchill Mk II (reworked):
    Profile corrected with help of Chris Meddings, from Inside the Armour

    Specs:



              Churchill Infantry tank - (A22)
    Type
    Place of origin
    United Kingdom
    Service history
    In service
    1941–52 (British Empire)
    Used by                                                                                                                       
    • United Kingdom, Soviet Union Canada, Ireland, Poland
    Production history
    Designer
    Manufacturer
    Produced
    1941 to 1945
    No. built
    5,640 approx.
    Variants
    Specifications
    Weight
    • 38.5 long tons (Mark I)
    • 40.1 long tons (Mark VII)
    Length
    7.44 m
    Width
    3.25 m
    Height
    2.49 m
    Crew
    5 or 6 (commander, gunner, loader/radio operator, driver, co-driver/hull gunner + AVRE engineer)

    • For Churchill I-VI: 102 mm hull front, 89 mm hull side, 51 mm hull rear, 89 mm turret front, 76 mm turret side and rear
    • Mark VII-VIII - 152 mm hull and turret front, 95 mm hull sides and turret sides and rear, 51 mm hull rear
    Main
    armament
    Secondary
    armament
    Engine
    Bedford 12-cylinder, 4 stroke, water-cooled, horizontally opposed, L-head petrol engine
    350 hp (261 kW) at 2,200 rpm
    Power/weight
    9.1 hp (6.7 kW) / tonne
    Transmission
    Merritt-Brown 4-speed constant-mesh epicyclic gearbox
    Suspension
    Coiled spring
    Operational range
    90 km
    Speed
    24 km/h
    Steering system
    Triple differential steering in gearbox

     The kits:
          To do this project, I'll use 03 Churchills Mk III, from AFV and 03 resin conversion kits from IMA (Churchill Infantry Mk I conversion kit).
    Churchill Mk III AFV - a fantastic kit ...
    Conversion kit from IMA - old, but honest...
          The history of these huge machines are here, in my post about the Churchill Mk I. About the history of Mk I CS, see here, in this incredible page.(go to page three, for this particular vehicle...). 

    The kits:
          Starting the job, by the book:
    Mass production ... Starting by the suspensions ... 
    Springs...
    3 pairs of shoes ...


    Wheels !!!

    The sponsons are ready...
    Stop the presses!!!
          While the building of the kit progresses, I continue with the research ...And I found this rare thing: See the pic below (from page 29 this David Doyle's incredible book): Penelope shows characteristics of early and reworked versions, mixed: a true hybrid:
    Notice in Mk II "Penelope":(discussion only)
    early air intakes and tracks and enveloping fenders
          Very cool ... I redrew the profile, to facilitate the building: I'll build the PENELOPE.
    Churchill Mk II - hybrid "PENELOPE"
          The girls are growing...




         I replaced the resin barrel of the howitzer (slight buckling) by Plastruct tube. Much better.
    Two howitzers barrels for BUSHMILLS...
    The 3 girls... 
          The girls:
    PENELOPE in close: notice the early air intakes and reworked fenders.
    Turret with RBModels metal barrel (2pdr.) and Besa MG (RBModels) in the hull.
    BACKER in close: notice the turret without stowage boxes. Exposed tracks.
    Turret with RBModels metal barrel (2pdr.) and Besa MG (RBModels) in the hull.
    BUSHMILLS in close: notice the turret with stowage boxes.
    Turret with Plastruct 3 inc. howitzer. Front armour in resin
     Well, Lads...new advances: I replaced the vinyl tracks (characteristics of the later models) for the early type, compatible with the Churchills Mk II:
    AFV workable tracks: very good in details and building...
    03 sets !!
           The Girls with shoes...

    Penelope with complete fenders
    Backer with exposed tracks...
    Bushmills. Notice the comander cupola from
    an old Zvezda Pz III kit (from my spare parts box)
       
           Adding details in the turret and hull
           I had an old conversion kit from Resicast in my closet: Wadding gear for the Backer

    exhausts from Resicast
           As my conversion kit was incomplete (too old...), I had to make the risers in scratch ...
    acupuncture needles and Plastruct for the risers...
          The three Girls almost ready for painting...









          Primer Vallejo:
    The girls primed...
     ...and painted with Vallejo SCC 15

    Lights and shadows with acrylics...



           A coat of Future, for prevent silvering in the decals...
    Girls shining...



          I'm waiting the decals for BUSHMILLS (Inside the Armour). Not arrived yet ... I already have the markings of BACKER (Echelon) and the markings for PENELOPE, I'll do myself with my Laserjet Color.
    Decals
    Background in white - front view
    Background in white - rear view
    AoS in position...
    Rear view...
    Colors...
    Penelope growing...


    Two girls ready for weathering...
    After the decals for BUSHMILLS (Inside the Armour) arrived , I finally finished the threefold project: More 03 Churchills to my collection.

    PENELOPE: Churchill Mk II "hybrid" (air intakes early and enveloping fenders)
    Churchill  Mk II PENELOPE early reworked ( partially )
    148th Regiment Armoured Corps -33rd Armoured Brigade - 3rd (mixed)  Division





    Churchill  Mk II PENELOPE - right side


    Churchill  Mk II PENELOPE - left side

    Churchill  Mk II PENELOPE with Kojak
    Churchill  Mk II PENELOPE  148th Regiment Armoured Corps
    33rd Armoured Brigade - 3rd (mixed)  Division
    BACKER: a reworked Mk II, with colors (Echelon Decals) and equipments of Operation Jubilee:
    Churchill Mk II (reworked) BACKER  with wading gear
    14th Canadian Tank Regiment -  B Squadron
    Dieppe, France - Operation Jubilee, 1942

    Churchill Mk II (reworked) - left side


    Churchill Mk II (reworked) - right side

    Churchill Mk II (with Kojak

    Churchill Mk II (reworked)  BACKER
    14th Canadian Tank Regiment -  B Squadron
    Dieppe, France - Operation Jubilee, 1942

    ...and finally:
    BUSHMILLS: a Mk II Close Support  reworked with field modifications: she shows two 3 inch. howitzers and a commander cupola from a Panzer III. The decals are Inside the Armour:
    Churchil Mk II CS  BUSHMILLS (reworked and modified)
    21th Army Tank Brigade - North Irish Horse regiment - B Squadron

    Churchil Mk II CS  BUSHMILLS - left side



    Churchil Mk II CS  BUSHMILLS - right side

    Churchil Mk II CS  BUSHMILLS with Kojak, for size proportion
    Churchil Mk II CS  BUSHMILLS (reworked and modified)
    21th Army Tank Brigade - North Irish Horse regiment - B Squadron
          The 03 girls, togheter:
    Churchills Mk II side by side...
    Irish, British and Canadian...


         Well, there this !!! Thanks for the patience to follow!!!
    See you in my next postage...