Back in March 2010 I reviewed the first of the new products from what was then a new aftermarket manufacturer, Inside the Armour
(ITA). This was the Interior Conversion set for the AFV Club Churchill Mk III (kit no ITA 35001). This was a brave and bold move for a new manufacturer and during a very short period of time the company has continued to refine and expand its product range, bring out a growing range of conversion sets for the famous Churchill Tank, refining and upgrading the original set and also providing a useful range of accessories for other vehicles and figures.
Two recent announcements have further expanded their range, the acquisition of some masters from Cromwell Models and the collaboration on the subject of this review with Resicast and their original Churchill engine.
ITA have taken the original excellent Resicast engine, produced under license, and filled in the blanks so to speak with the addition of the side fuel tanks, air coolers and transmission offering the modeller a further opportunity and option of a pretty comprehensive and detailed interior build.
A listing of ITA reviews can be found here on site:
and a full range of their products here:
Inside the Armour
I checked the ‘News’ on site and a total of 22 articles appear for the company which, in such a short period of time, is quite an achievement and all credit to Chris for the hard work he has done to make a going success of the company in a very competitive market; but I digress so back to the review.
The Conversion Set
The set comes packed in a sturdy cardboard box with the manufacturer and product detail on the top. Inside are 5 zip plastic bags, 3 of which contain the engine parts and two further bags containing the fuel tanks, air coolers and transmission. Also included in the box is a small rectangular CD with the build instructions and a small photo file of the actual engine pictures. The instructions are in a complete pdf document so I’d recommend downloading these onto your computer at the beginning. If you do require a hard copy of the instructions then contact ITA and for a small fee to cover printing and postage they will happily provide these, but by putting the instructions on disc this actually helps to keep the cost of the kit down.
The instructions are in colour, and show a logical sequence of 15 build steps. The part numbers and identity are included on both a listing of the parts and a photographic identity page. Most, but not all, have the part number on the casting block but you shouldn’t have any difficulty in identifying what is what and where it should go. The inclusion of the parts listing is something I’m very pleased to see as it makes the build more informative and interesting.
The parts are excellently cast in both a light and dark resin and all appear free from damage.
I reviewed the Resicast engine back in March 2009 and I have nothing further to add to that review other than the quality of the parts provided by ITA remain with the same quality of detail, the only difference is ITA have refined the firewall on the engine in order that any fit issues with the interior conversion set should cease to exist.
Original Engine Review
The Fuel Tanks:
There were 3 fuel tanks either side in the rear sponsors by the engine. These have been nicely reproduced by ITA and appear to have the correct shape and size with nice detail on the ends. Little, if any, clean up should be required here and also provided are the air coolers which have excellent detail on both sides.
The transmission block is also produced under licence from Resicast as the Comet and the Churchill shared the same Merritt Brown gearbox. Linking the engine to the transmission is by means of a Sirocco fan and linkage joint and the fan appears to be of good quality with the correct detail. The transmission block itself is of excellent quality, the detail being 360 degrees and looks terrific.
Viewing the Conversion:
The AFV Club kit already provides the option to model the engine hatches in the open position and ITA have recast the covers over the transmission compartment with separate hatches so you can pose them open also to see the transmission as well as the engine.
Overall this looks to be an excellent conversion set giving the modeler everything they need to ‘power up their Churchill.’ The instructions are of good quality, the parts have excellent casting and this should prove an interesting conversion set, either on its’ own or linked to the full fighting interior kit previously mentioned.
For the modeller it provides yet more finish options for the AFV Club kit which is in itself an excellent and detailed kit. The engine and transmission would be suitable for any of the AFV Club Churchill’s so far released, so if you want that something extra, or just like to have as complete a vehicle as possible then this may well interest you.
Normal precautions apply when working with resin.
A build blog is currently running on the Interior Conversion set 35022 for the Mk III/IV Gun Tank and it is my intention to incorporate this new set into that blog: