The World at War - British Forces and Equipment 1939-45 13/2021
A10 Cruiser II
IBG Models, 1/72 scale
Reviewed by Peter Brown
The Cruiser class medium tanks were intended to be used by Armoured Divisions. Like the earlier and similar A9 the angular shape of the A10 gave it a distinctive and old-fashioned appearance. Produced from late 1939 to early 1941, they were used in France, North Africa and Greece. Around 135 Mk II were built with about 30 having the 3.7” Mortar.
As to the booklet, modesty prevents me* from saying other than it gives brief information on production, a detailed description of the tank and a short service history. Coverage also includes colour schemes and markings details and a data table of size, weight etc. All this is in both English and German. Kit build instructions and a four-view colour plan show one of the subject tanks of which more below.
The kit comes in a neat cardboard box with a painting of the tank from the booklet cover on the front plus another four-view plan with recommended paint colours on the back. Parts are cleanly moulded on six sprues, I make a total of 60 in all. Slide moulding allows good rivet detail on the sides of the turret, the gun barrel has a good indentation at the muzzle and more detail is provided by separate parts.
Assembly is straightforward, suspension units are fitted to the hull sides before the one-piece wheel and track parts are added. Upper hull is completed by adding the track guards, two styles are included with one having the desert sand shields and various small details. Upper and lower parts are then put together, more details are added. Finally the turret is assembled including the small searchlight on the side and prominent aerial at the back. Commander’s hatch is in two parts so it can be fitted open or closed. And before you say, the round hole covered by a square hatch is correct! A rack for two-gallon cans for desert or Greek models and the extra fuel tank complete the build.
Moulding the wheels and tracks together in one piece does give some limitations. Detail on the outer face of the track - the real thing had distinctive indentations - is depicted while the twin track teeth are a solid bar on the inner face. But that allows for quick and easy assembly. Each to their own.
The small decal sheet covers three vehicles. One is for the tank depicted on the booklet cover which I think are not entirely accurate and may be best put into the spares box. The second is for the tank commanded by Lt Robert Crisp of 3rd Battalion Royal Tank Regiment in Greece in 1941 as on the box rear. Bob Crisp wrote of those period in his book “The Gods Were Neutral” which is worth seeking out although it is long out of print. Additional decals and turret views in the booklet cover another tank from the same campaign.
For alternatives finishes, a useful reference would be Armor PhotoHistory #5 “British Cruiser Tanks A9 & A10”* which has 1/35th scale plans, plenty of photos and colour plates. Dan Taylor Modelworks www.dantaylormodelworks.com has an etched brass set which provides new facing plates for the track pads suitable for the both A9 and A10 which will greatly improve the details in that area. He may also release others for this kit in the future.
IBG have the similar-but-different A10 Mk I plus an Mk IICS planned for future releases.
* I wrote it!
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