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REVIEW
DML Churchill Mk.III 1:72
c5flies
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Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 03:51 PM UTC
Peter Ganchev provides a built review of the Churchill Mk.III from Dragon in their 1:72 Armor Pro series.

Link to Item



If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
pgp000
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Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 07:45 AM UTC
Jim, thanks for uploading the review as quickly and the adjustments made!
spongya
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MODELGEEK
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Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 02:58 AM UTC
Nive review; I really feel like building this model. (Never seen striped Churchills before.)

One question that I really, really want to know... how on earth do you tone down the camo colors from the original contrasted?

Thank you...
ChrisDM
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Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 03:54 AM UTC
I hate to say it, but can't build (accurately that is) any of the three options in the kit without in the least some minor surgery and a fair bit of scratching. In the case of the Dieppe tanks; a lot of surgery; and thats just to get the correct tank spec before you add the deep wading

And I see it still has the engine deck issue amongst others.... Its a real shame they've done such a slap dash job on this one
ChrisDM
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Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 03:56 AM UTC
oh, and all the colours in the instructions are wrong as well

The Tunisia option for instance should be sand and green
pgp000
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Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 09:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Nive review; I really feel like building this model. (Never seen striped Churchills before.)

One question that I really, really want to know... how on earth do you tone down the camo colors from the original contrasted?

Thank you...


Thanks for your positive comment. Just a small note: the images of the model before the subdued camo are with the masking on - pieces of 18mm wide Tamiya tape cut to irregular shapes and placed around the tank.

I use the base color mixed with matt or satin coat and spray it over the vehicle to blend the colors together; lighter passes at the top of the vehicle, progressing to more coats as I go down closer to the tracks. I hope this makes sense - please let me know if I can assist further!


Quoted Text

oh, and all the colours in the instructions are wrong as well

The Tunisia option for instance should be sand and green


I think you are a bit too binding here. I have yet to see two sources that agree on the color of the 145th - some say SCC 15, others SCC 2, and there are opinions of OD, etc. And by the way - according to the research the stripes are rather supposed to be Light Mud than Sand. And that's despite my basic color being more green than brown, and the stripes closer to pinkish sand than mud, i.e. I myself agree with your comment, but it's still a guess rather than confirmed fact.

As far as you comments about surgery, etc. - I'd much rather see a properly molded kit (see my commets on the tracks, etc.) than a perfect copy that takes months of work to build. DML is known for their half-hearted research and after all the racket about how wrong the Mk. IV was few people ever noticed the sole marking option in the kit was actually for a NA 75 and NOT for a Mk. IV.

YES, the hull minus the engine deck is directly taken from the Mk. IV kit and therefore carries all the wrongs with it.

I'd still consider the DML Churchill line good kits, because even if one kid gets converted from the games to the models it's a WIN situation - this means the hobby lives beyond you and me.
ChrisDM
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Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 01:13 PM UTC
OK, lets call the colours a matter of debate

But if I'm reading you correctly; are you saying accuracy doesn't matter at all so long as the detail is a bit sharper? When I said surgery I was not just talking about 'minor corrections'

The list of corrections needed to make the Dieppe options is depressingly extensive:

1. the tracks are wrong (they should be the heavy cast type)

2. the track guards are wrong being of the later type. These would need to be removed and the correct earlier style rear sections scratched

3. the tools will need to be removed (they fouled the deep wading so were not fitted for Dieppe)

4. the vane sight provided is a later type

5. the Dieppe tanks did not have mud chutes fitted, those will need to be removed

6. that mess on the engine deck with the prop rods still needs fixing

7. The smoke dischargers will need to be removed

8. a single piece deflector will need to be scratched and fitted

9. leave off the mud scrapers

10. you will need to scratch exhaust extensions, and if you want to show the tanks fitted for the raid; deep wading extensions

11. leave off the auxilliary fuel tank

12. sort out the very incorrect shape of the gun

13. the AOS on the decals is wrong

14. the census number for BILL is wrong

15. Both tanks lack the large prominent turret tactical troop/sqn decals

16. The troop identity number for BETTY is wrong; it should be 7 not 6

17. both tanks lack the regimental insignia of the Calgary Tanks

18. the B set radio mast is wrong

19. Leave off the turret blanket box

20. Leave off the towing hook


Some of this is minor or easily fixed. The decals, tracks, engine deck and trackguards are not easy to fix


If such a high level of inaccuracy is acceptable in order to get slightly sharper (if incorrect) Detail for twice the price, then thats up to the modeller

However, I have built a few 1/72 churchills and never spent 'months' assembling one. The Hasegawa MkI/II requires a few corrections and can still be done in a week not months

Alternatively, for the same price as this churchill you can buy a Millicast resin one with sharper detail, far more accurate and assemble it in half an hour (all you need to do is remove the casting blocks) AND it includes the deep wading
pgp000
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Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 04:38 AM UTC
I do appreciate your taking the time to list all the changes required to build a Dieppe raider - I am taking notes and maybe one day will have one built

Quoted Text

But if I'm reading you correctly; are you saying accuracy doesn't matter at all so long as the detail is a bit sharper?


No, this isn't what I meant. What I am discussing in my review is that the tracks in the Mk. III kit have their sprue gates extend over the track detail and they are far too thick, causing the tracks to break off the sprue rather than the modeller to be able to cleanly cut them off. If my point in the review isn't clear enough (whether due to wording used or the word order) please let me know so I can submit corrections to the review.

Quoted Text

When I said surgery I was not just talking about 'minor corrections'


Well, creating the deep wading trunking alone would be (at least to some) quite the endeavor, and as you noted there's still a lot to be done to make a precise replica. However, what I have already noted multiple times in my reviews as well as outside Armorama, is that the modellers are not the main target of DML in 1/72 anymore. As you suggested some of us would rather buy a Millicast offering for the same money and live with the fact it's in 1/76.

Beyond the material challenge for beginners, however, there's the question of availability and again - who's the target group: youngsters, occasional modellers and wargamers. In general - people that wouldn't build the

Quoted Text

The Hasegawa MkI/II requires a few corrections and can still be done in a week not months


but are looking for a kit that builds up in a weekend's afternoon. As a quick build (and probably a conversion base) the kit (along with the majority of the recent releases by DML) serves its purpose perfectly.

Don't think anybody's forcing anyone into buying the kit. While far from a perfect scale replica it's way above older kits in mold quality and light years ahead of say DML's own LRDG Chevy. In a world where many of us have less and less time a quick build of a kit that you can get practically anywhere is a viable alternative. You could well smack Zvezda's snap-fit series for lacking detail as well, yet they prove immensely popular with the Braille crowd.

You've summed it up quite nicely in this segment:

Quoted Text

then thats up to the modeller

ChrisDM
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Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 02:36 PM UTC

Quoted Text

However, what I have already noted multiple times in my reviews as well as outside Armorama, is that the modellers are not the main target of DML in 1/72 anymore.

...

who's the target group: youngsters, occasional modellers and wargamers. In general - people that wouldn't build the
...


but are looking for a kit that builds up in a weekend's afternoon. As a quick build (and probably a conversion base) the kit (along with the majority of the recent releases by DML) serves its purpose perfectly.






I'm sorry, I missed in your review where you said that your review was for, and from the point of view of wargamers, youngsters and 'casual' modellers

As armorama is a modelling site, and the link for this review was posted in the Armor section I had presumed to review was aimed at modellers who would be interested in the kit being accurate; rather than a rough approximation of a MkIII Churchill with several details incorrectly presented (no simplified; just wrong); if nice and sharply molded

I guess to wargamers; a nice kit is more attractive than a kit that looks more like what it is supposed to be


However, modellers (that care about accuracy) reading your review will be none the wiser about the many shortcomings of the kit in regards to accuracy and the suitability of the decals included as you do not mention any of the other 19 faults I listed (other than the 20th; the exhausts and deep wading) in your review, or the faults on the other option for a tank in Tunisia. You also fail to mention, even in passing, the fault with the engine deck which you are obviously aware of as we had a discussion on it after the review you posted of their 1/72 MkIV Churchill


I understand that you have given your time, without remuneration; to write this review. However; when writing reviews for armorama you might like to consider that a good proportion of your audience on this site are modellers that do care about these things.

When writing your reviews you might like to look at whether you are providing those readers with the information they need to decide whether or not they can live with the issues and research the subject in a little more depth, rather than presuming they are modellers who do not care about accuracy but are just looking for a quick and easy build with 'some nice moulding'

Sorry Peter, I'm not trying to get personal; but you have made an awful lot of assumptions about your audience; what they care about and what they look for in a review, and decided based on that to leave an awful lot out
c5flies
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Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 03:11 PM UTC
Chris, its apparent from your posts here that the Churchill has a special place in your heart and you are quite versed on what is, and what is not, accurate on these machines. I do appreciate that you listed all that needs to be done (or not done) to build an accurate Mk. III. One of the reasons that we do have a "Discuss this" feature in our reviews.

For someone such as myself, with a very limited knowledge of this tank, I found Peters review well done. Nothing except mold quality and fit was glossed over, and the summary along with the percentage rating tells me that the kit is build-able, not completely accurate, and the images show exactly what I can expect.

I do consider myself a modeler, so when I receive a kit that I do know something about, and the kit doesn't live up to those expectations, I'll find a way to correct what I find faulty, be it aftermarket or scratch building. If the kit has poor quality molding, poor fit and will just ruin what I really model for (relaxation) then I don't care how accurate it is since I won't waste my time and end up frustrated.

Lumping modelers into any certain category is unfair. I'll build a Churchill someday. Will it be accurate to those that know this vehicle? Most likely not, but it'll look like a Churchill to me
ChrisDM
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Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 03:25 PM UTC
James, I wouldn't expect everyone to know everything about churchills. A lot of my list was small items; but some of it wasn't and is obvious to anyone that looks at one picture from Dieppe; ie the track type and track guards

I personally think reviews should be a bit more thorough

When I read reviews I look for that sort of thoroughness so I can decide for myself whether a kit is worth buying; what I can live with and what I can't ESPECIALLY when its a subject I don't know too well. I rely on the reviewer to help me out on that

Undoubtedly some readers won't care about as many faults as you like. Some will care about all of them and some will be in between.

When a review doesn't give an accurate picture of the scale of the faults; then surely only those that don't care about faults at all are served by the review?


Also, I reread the review twice looking for Peter's caveat that its not supposed to be an accurate kit; and its not there. Even if it was; who DML are aiming at is not the point; the point is what different types of modellers can get from the kit. After all; is the review an extension of marketing policy for DML, following their line on what they think modellers want, or is it an objective appraisal of whats in the box from the point of view of modellers (of all kinds)?
c5flies
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Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 04:17 PM UTC
I agree with you Chris that a review should have an accuracy area, at least a few key points on what is there and what is not, at least what can be seen in the box. Something that possibly we will have to work on. Its a fine line though, serving ALL the modelers. Since I haven't had a truly perfect kit yet, and if I based the whole review on the bad points, there may be many that would miss out on a kit that really isn't that awful.

My point of view of this specific review is that being someone not well versed in the Churchill the review gave me enough information to think twice about this kit unless I really just had to have a tiny Mk III, and if I did know something about it the images should show that there is something drastically incorrect about it (lets say the tracks and track guards).

Anyway, as I said earlier, the discussion feature is an extension of the review and you provided a thorough punch list of corrections for which I thank you for. Exactly what the "modeling community" is all about.

ChrisDM
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Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 09:26 PM UTC
With respect James, its not a matter of saying if a kit is perfect or not.

In fact; NO kit is perfect (or at least no kit Ive ever seen) they all have something about that that could be improved; be it fit, accuracy, engineering or a multitude of other things. Realistically very few people even expect a kit to be perfect. By the same token; very few kits could be called 'bad' or 'trash' and a few errors does not make a kit worthless. I don't think this is kit is worthless by any means



BUT; Its up to the reader to decide whether a kit is 'good', 'bad' or OK (ie not great but can be worked on) and they can only do that if the review arms them with the facts.

I would argue that you can't have too many facts to make that decision, but you can have too few....


Whilst you cannot please all readers with the level of detail in a review, I think more information could be provided. This would help those who care about accuracy and suitability of kits and those that don't have that kind of an interest in accuracy; the 'quacks and walks' guys who aren't bothered whether its an early or late X so long as its an X can just skim those bits of the review


In fact; its a radical suggestion I know, but I'd rather see better researched more in depth reviews without a 'score' at the end. People can decide for themselves after reading if its an 80%, 90%, recommended, highly recommended, kit, but only if they are armed with all the facts
tread_geek
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Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - 03:32 AM UTC
This thread has raised some very interesting points and as James has pointed out, is exactly why there is the "Discuss This Review" button on all reviews. The reader of a review also has the option of submitting their own review of the item, providing they actually possess or have built it. This is a great option as it can provide the potential purchaser with more information on which to base their decision.

I've seen a few reviews of basically similar kits by the same manufacturer by different reviewers providing quite different observations and conclusions (the Dragon Neubau-Fahrzeugs, Panzer III variants come to mind). Does the reader believe one over the other or make their own decision based on multiple reviews? Ideally a reviewer should strive to be objective but reality is that personal feelings, tastes, opinions or knowledge may cloud the effort.

It's nice to see such a lively and informative discussion pertaining to a review item.

Cheers,
Jan
spongya
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MODELGEEK
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Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - 03:45 AM UTC
Sorry for butting in, but James has a point there. There are lot of different levels of expected accuracy among modelers -not just the "wargamers vs model builders".

I think the people who demand absolute accuracy from their builts, scratch-build and modify what is incorrect, are, in fact, the minority (I don't like labels, because by labeling something you somewhat demean it, but they're the "rivet counters"). Most people do this hobby as a -well- hobby. To relax, focus on something they enjoy doing, and do not take it absolutely seriously. While I understand the points brought up about accuracy, it's also important to remember that most people just want to have something that looks like the piece; and it is still modeling. If the green is a bit off, if it has a different track (which you can't see unless you REALLY know the subject), so be it. Especially in small scale -it's nice to know if there are inaccuracies, but the most important thing is the buildability and the quality.

(This is why I stopped showing my Tiger builts around online. People really started picking them away )
tread_geek
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Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - 04:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text

...(This is why I stopped showing my Tiger builts around online. People really started picking them away )



@spongya - Andras,

You make some valid points and it is unfortunate that you aren't sharing your work in the Braille forum due to comments by a few. Where possible and most importantly desirable I may try to correct certain glaring inaccuracies or omissions in a kit but try not to lose sight of the fact that I mostly build for relaxation. Sometimes a straight OOTB can bring as much satisfaction as the most involved conversion.

Cheers,
Jan
pgp000
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Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - 05:21 AM UTC
This has really turned into an interesting discussion, but I must admit it is going down a track that's (to me at least) sort of alien to modelling as a hobby. I've seen quite a similar argument under a different review a few days ago and I didn't like it.

I feel that an opinion MUST be valued and accepted, whether you are "a rivet counter", or "casual modeller", because we're all doing this for our very own reasons, view the hobby as a personal matter, etc.

The common thing between the two extremes is that we're all BUILDING the model starting with the base kit, okay? So in my review I value the base kit's fit and "buildability" - whether it is going to be finished OOB or you are going to add 2000 more pieces the basic components will remain the same. The fit's good, the general outline appears to match the prototype's, yes, there are simplifications and problems with parts - hence the 75 per cent. If it didn't look like an Mk. III when finished I'd give it even less, yet I feel it does resemble the particular Mark well enough to be a starting point.


Quoted Text

In fact; its a radical suggestion I know, but I'd rather see better researched more in depth reviews without a 'score' at the end. People can decide for themselves after reading if its an 80%, 90%, recommended, highly recommended, kit, but only if they are armed with all the facts


Considering we are looking at a scale model kit in plastic with molded on OVM kit and tow cables that is about 373 000 (72 times cubed due to the three dimensions) times smaller than the real deal I wouldn't expect anyone to read through all the kit's faults due to simplifications, technological limitations and/or lack of research.

If 50% of the kit deficiencies were addressed I'd imagine the price would equal the price of a 1/35th kit.

My apologies to anyone who feels offended. I've seen too many reviews that spend too much time talking about accuracy and don't utter a word on the fit. Many of us feel it is essential in the build experience. The review is my personal experience of the kit as a build - no more and no less. I feel anyone could submit his point of view on the kit via the facility offered at the lower end of the review page (namely the "YOU REVIEW THIS ITEM" button just above the discussion excerpts), and I'd be rather happy to go through it, and quite possibly - take notes.

As noted above the camo colors of option 1 in the kit are still debatable (and is far from the only thing debatable about the Churchills). Drawings from various researchers very rarely agree on overall dimensions, kit location and other features. I've also seen a lot of research based on restored machines, older drawings, or a particular B/W photo. In conclusion: to me personally accuracy is a rather hypothetical category, so I prefer to leave it to readers and viewers to judge for themselves.
ChrisDM
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Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - 04:06 PM UTC

Quoted Text



I think the people who demand absolute accuracy from their builts, scratch-build and modify what is incorrect, are, in fact, the minority (I don't like labels, because by labeling something you somewhat demean it, but they're the "rivet counters"). Most people do this hobby as a -well- hobby. To relax, focus on something they enjoy doing,



Us 'rivet counters' that like kits to be more accurate and like to superdetail our builds ALSO do it as a hobby. we also do it to relax and also enjoy it. We just enjoy our hobby in a different way; but it IS still the same hobby


Quoted Text


While I understand the points brought up about accuracy, it's also important to remember that most people just want to have something that looks like the piece; and it is still modeling. If the green is a bit off, if it has a different track (which you can't see unless you REALLY know the subject), so be it. Especially in small scale -it's nice to know if there are inaccuracies, but the most important thing is the buildability and the quality.



I never said buildability should not be part of the review.

I DO remember there are lots of modellers that want something that 'looks like a duck'. In fact, I've said so a few times

What I would like is for the modellers that want something to looks like a duck to remember there are also modellers that want it to look like the tank it is supposed to be. Its those modellers that are being forgotten in these reviews not the ones that are not too bothered about issues


Quoted Text



(This is why I stopped showing my Tiger builts around online. People really started picking them away )



Well thats a completely different issue though isn't it! There is a world of difference between accurately assessing a kit, its strengths and shortcomings, and critiquing someones personal model. Sorry but the issues are so different I don't see how they relate?
pgp000
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Posted: Thursday, August 02, 2012 - 05:13 AM UTC

Quoted Text

What I would like is for the modellers that want something to looks like a duck to remember there are also modellers that want it to look like the tank it is supposed to be. Its those modellers that are being forgotten in these reviews not the ones that are not too bothered about issues


While I do agree with the first part of your statement I can't help but observe that even without a dedicated section modelers familiar enough with the subjects have discovered the accuracy issues by themselves, using the discussion facility to bring a comprehensive "to do list".

Understandably this is NO excuse for skipping such a section, and I will do my best to include such a section in the future reviews, as it will also help the "Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck - so it's a duck".

Hope this will conclude the matter at hand and we will not be further departing from the subject of this discussion and turn it into personal matter, or "this group vs. that group" affair.