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Friday, November 22, 2013

PSC Churchill Review

by Dirty Jon

The British Churchill Tank kit from The Plastic Soldier Company has been very highly anticipated by the Flames of War community for quite some time.  I could not wait to get my hands on some and jumped at the chance to do a review.  I have always been a fan of the British Infantry Tanks - they are just so huge and ugly - exactly what a tank should be!  Let's dig in!

The box comes with five tank sprues.

Lots of options!
The Churchill tank was produced in many variants, which can make for quite a headache and wallet hit for the 15mm WWII enthusiast.  This kit covers five different variations of Churchill!  What's more, the kit is just one hatch away from being able to construct two full turrets for different models.  If you have some spare hatches or fancy a little modeling, you can have two variants for just a small additional investment in time and materials.

I would have liked to see this kit with the newer locking turret like the PSC Stuart.  I think that the new mechanism is much, much better than the post and hole method, which I sometimes replace with magnets.

As usual, the instructions are very good.  I only had a few things I had to look up on the back of the model. This box does come with the separate sheet, rather than having the instructions printed on the inside of the box, as some PSC units have been lately.  Overall, assembly was pretty easy and straight-forward.  I really like that the turret is just two main pieces.  The Cromwell set seemed pretty scary with a ton of pieces to assemble the turret.

D'oh - forgot to show the track shrouds in this picture.

Track detail good, dimple bad.

The pieces were pretty free and clear of flashing and I did not notice many 'dimples' in the pieces in any visible places.  I did have one problem with the tank on the back. It was pretty significantly dimpled in a place that was easily seen.  I could have filled this with green stuff, but I decided to just model it as a dent, since I was only doing a couple of these.  So, you should take this fix into consideration when purchasing this box.

Buy this!

Now, one thing I have been resisting for years is buying plastic glue.  I have just been assembling my model with superglue and have had no real problems.  Sure, it took a while, but they held together fine.  I broke down and got some specific glue for my plastic efforts and I am very happy I did.  Don't resist, buy this stuff - it makes assembly faster and easier.

Painting in-progress.

I added some rust to the dimples.  Meh.

All done!

Detail on the tracks is very, very good.  I did wind up with a slight gap in the turret pieces due to trimming flash.  I tried to be really careful, but still left a slight indention.

Battlefront on the left, PSC on the right for size comparison - pretty close.
Conclusion:  5 of 6 Bog Checks Made
Overall, I like this kit.  At $27.99 USD retail, it is a good value - especially for the options.  If you can dig up a hatch, you can even have two turrets each - score!  The model has very crisp detail and is pretty easy to put together and paint.  I did find some casting dimples which would need to be fixed if using those optional parts.

The sizing is pretty close to the Battlefront model.  There are some slight size differences, so you will have to judge for yourself if you want to mix platoons with non-PSC manufacturers.  I think it depends on which option you build and how much extra stuff you put on the back.  It'd probably look ok.

Models provided by The Plastic Soldier Company.

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