Cruiser Tank Mk.VI
A.16 Crusader III

Hasegawa 1:72 Scale Vehicle Review

Crusader III Cruiser Tank

This Hasegawa model of the Crusader III has been painted Middle Bronze Green, using Humbrol No. 30, to represent a vehicle deployed in the Tunisian Campaign. Following the Allied victory in North Africa in 1943, all remaining Crusaders were withdrawn, to be replaced by Sherman tanks. The Hasegawa kit was easy to build and fun to paint. Short antennas, made from a discarded cat's whisker, were added to the turret roof.

Contents

  • A.16 Crusader III
  • Decal Sheet
    • 16th/5th Lancers (B Squadron), Tunisia 1943
    • 17th/21st Lancers (C Squadron), Tunisia 1943
  • Tank Commander

Evaluation

Scale model with superb detail. Rivets, hatches, and other raised detail make this an attractive model.

Good choice of subject, the Crusader III played an important part at the Battle of El Alamein and in the Tunisian campaign, where it fought well against Pz.Kpfw. III and IV.

Only 58 parts, very easy to assemble.

High quality kit. Parts fit very well, and there is practically no flash. Two holes immediately behind the turret hatch need to be filled before painting.

Compatible with Revell and ESCI.

The tracks are of the old pin-and-hole variety which never seemed to hold together for very long. The manufacturer recommends welding them with a hot screwdriver. The technique actually worked in this case, because there is no tension on the joint. The tracks seem a little longer than they need to be, some of the slack should be taken up. We cut the track and hid the joint behind one of the side skirts. The large road wheels provide enough surface area to allow the track to be glued in place.

The painting instructions show a Crusader III with full side skirts, but there are no parts in the kit which would allow the model to be built in this way. Some conversion work will be required to arrive at this interesting variant.

It would have been a nice touch if the kit had included alternate parts which would have enabled the modeller to build the earlier, and more numerous Crusader I and II versions with the 2 pdr. gun. The unique gun mantlet of the Crusader II will be very difficult to scratchbuilt.

Crusader III tanks put up a good fight against Panzer III and IV at El Alamein, and in the Tunisian campaign. The Crusaders of 6th Armoured Division were more heavily armoured than earlier Crusader I and II models, and they mounted the more powerful 6 pdr. gun which offered 106 mm of armour penetration at 100 meters range and 0 degree inclination of armour. In contrast to slow-moving infantry tanks like the A.12 Matilda, the Crusader cruiser tanks were designed to take the initiative in fast-moving tank battles.

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