A13 Mkl CRUISER TANK Mark III
by Norman D. Robinson
AS there are no kits at present on the market for WWII 1/35th scale British tanks and many for German tanks [at the time of writing] I decided to try a scratch built model – my first attempt at scratch building a tank, so I chose an easy one! The Cruiser Tank Mark 111.
The Cruiser Mark 111 was of almost all flat plate construction with flat disc wheels and simple tracks; no mouldings are necessary and although a lot of parts go into its construction, none of them are difficult to make. The only parts that caused any concern were the rivets and even these were easy when the following method was found.
An electric soldering iron with a small bit was fitted with a connector from an electrical connector strip and into this was fitted a pin (see sketch). Where a rivet is required, the pin is pushed into the plastic and then withdrawn; this causes a hole with a raised rim around it and a “string” of plastic to form.
If the iron is now placed close to the “string·· it will roll up and fill the hole, and there is the rivet. The length of time that the pin is in the plastic, the distance it is pushed in, and the temperature, will all effect the finished rivet, so practice on a bit of scrap plastic first. The temperature of the pin can be altered ty varying its length.
Only the parts that are not easily taken from the general arrangement drawing and are necessary to start the model, are drawn out separately. The best way I found to transfer the parts from the drawing to the plastic card is to trace the part, marking through at each corner onto the card with a pin; for a radius, use more pin holes along its periphery.
30 thou. plastic card was used for most of the structure as this is strong enough and easily cut with a modelling knife.
20 thou. card was used for mudguard sides and the covered part of the exhaust box.
Inspection covers are from 10 thou. card. the handles, aerial, lifting rings and tow rings were all from stretched sprue; axles and lights were also from sprue.
A good quality pair of dividers, the soldering iron as described before, plus usual modelling tools including a good sharp knife etc.
To Build the Hull.
Place the base (this is same width as hull rear) flat on the building board and glue the hull rear and supports on top. The hull sides are located along the edges then the deck is fitted on top.
The remaining hull plates are then fitted as shown on the hull side plate drawing.
The curved part on my model was from a lipstick tube but if this item is not available, a tube can be built up with layers of 10 thou. strip. Assemble one inner and one outer support and, together with the curved portion, cement to the model and fill in between with scrap plastic.
Fit turret rear (lower) to the base; fill in radius with scrap plastic (4 pieces of 30 thou.). Next, cement rear base on top (checking position) and fit rear (upper) and sides together-this supports them and squares them up. Flt turret front, allow to dry hard, then position the top (this is cut oversize then filed down).
Build up the road wheels as shown. Gear wheels: each of these is built up in 2 parts with the gear disc flat. Fit the cone disc in place and allow it to dry then turn over and fit inner disc. When dry, fit the halves together not forgetting to align the teeth. Idler wheel: this is as shown on drawing-note that there are spokes on both sides.
The top 30 thou. strips were heated then bent round a small tablet tube to produce the curved section; if difficulty is found with this they could be omitted as they were sometimes removed in bad conditions. The 20 thou. sides are fitted to the edge of the top strips. The raised ribs on the top decking can be made from either stretched sprue or 10 thou. square strip. The latter is the easiest as parallel uniform lengths of stretched sprue are not easy to make.
Reproduced by kind permission from Doolittle Media