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Inside the Armour Modelling Churchills #1 Book Review

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Most of you that know me understand my unhealthy fascination with large green British Infantry tanks named after famous British Prime Ministers. We have our own support group and everything. “Hi, my name is Glen and I build Churchills.” A lot of them, so sue me. Like junkies feeding my habit the guys at ITA Publications produced another of their stellar products, this one covering Churchills, even better, this is Book 1. One can easily imply this means a Book 2, or 3 or 4. I’m getting giddy like a little school girl just thinking about it. The authors are some heavy hitters in the modeling world, Messer’s Meddings, Guld, McConnell, Pulinckz and Volchenkov. Come to think of it, that sounds like it would make a pretty impressive name for a law firm.

The book has a robust card cover and very high quality photos, artwork and a decal sheet. Yes, boys and girls, a decal sheet. The decals cover each of the Churchills covered in the book. They had me at “Churchill”, so the decals are just icing on the cake. As an interesting side note, this was published in 2015 in the UK and was nearly impossible to get in the US. After trying a number of avenues I was stymied until I found out that Last Cavalry was going to carry ITA Publications. The book was definitely worth the wait. The book is broken down into chapters covering five builds, covering “Sabre”, “B19 Special Irish Mark VI, “Snowbound Crocodile, “Long Forgotten Carrier”, and “Soviet Rarity, a Russian Mark II”. There are also appendices covering Churchill Minutiae, Details common to all Marks as well as specific details for each of the various Marks. There is also an Engine reference, part templates, Engine plans in1/35 and 1/16 and, wait for it, building the suspension the easy way! You guys are my heroes, as the AFV Club suspension can be a bit persnickety. Heck, even the old 1/76 Airfix Churchill suspension required 3.4 hands to assemble. I nearly failed Grade 7 as my fingers were glued together for nearly a whole semester. I had to build Airfix Panthers until summer break and I could get back to Churchills, it was horrible.

Some of you may pick this book up and do a quick skim and see builds that you may have seen in various modelling publications and put it back down as you may have those magazines in the reference stack at home. This would be a mistake as these builds are in far more detail, of better production quality and have little bits of goodness liberally sprinkled throughout the articles in the form of reference photos of the real thing. What’s not to love? There are unique preambles to the articles, entitled “Analyzing the photo” and “Assessing the kit”. A bit more about the photo analysis, it’s a handy bit of kit to have as you build the model portrayed in the article. The authors point out details in the photo and items of interest that may be missed by the casual observer. There is also a listing of the kit and accessories used in the build, and whether the accessories are required or optional. Sweet. The chapters are further broken into sections covering the build and painting and finishing. Each is followed by a color profile of the vehicle showing colors and markings and serves as the decal placement guide for the accompanying decal sheet. As I mentioned earlier, there are photographs liberally sprinkled throughout the text of the real things.

I highly recommend this for all Churchillophiles as it will be a valuable addition to your library. I would even recommend it to Churchillophobes, as it will probably help you get over your irrational fears of building Churchills. Come; join us on the Dark (Green) Side.

My thanks to Mr. Dave Youngquist at Last Cavalry for carrying ITA Publications and Dr. Bill Kalmar, who provides the voice in the back of my head that keeps saying “paragraphs” over and over.

I purchased my copy from Last Cavalry at www.lastcavalry.com.