A10 Cruiser I
IBG Models, 1/72 scale
Reviewed by Peter Brown
Another from IBG in this series which consists of a booklet with background details of an AFV with “Free Collectable Model Kit Inside”. This one is the third variation of the A10 Cruiser, a Mk I with 2pdr gun.
Cruiser or medium tanks were intended to be used by Armoured Divisions. Similar to the earlier and similar A9 the angular shape of the A10 gave it a distinctive and old-fashioned appearance. Produced in late 1939 to early 1940, the Mk I were only used in France with only a small number built before production changed to the Mk II with a different turret design. This kit gives us the first pattern with undercut bottom.
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. It also includes colour schemes and markings details and a data table giving 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 four sprues, I make a total of 53 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!
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 two vehicles from HQ 1st Armoured Division in France. One is for the tank depicted on the booklet cover, SNOW WHITE with the divisional signs on the turret sides and the other is PAT from 5RTR. Both are in KG3/KG4 mid- and dark greens. 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 although this is out of print and not easy to find.
IBG have the similar-but-different A10 Mk Ia plus IaCS as kits W-013 and W-014.
* I wrote it!
Thanks to IBG for the sample www.ibgmodels.com
Someone looking for an unusual subject will find this one interesting. This should be an easy build..
Thanks to IBG Models for the sample
Images by Peter Brown