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Italeri1/35 Crusader Mk II

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Mike Cartmale18/10/2017 10:44:04
486 forum posts
356 photos

Hi David,
These two photos came from 'British Eighth Army North Africa 1940-43'. Sorry about the quality but they were not clear in the book. Hope this helps. Cheers, Mike.socks.jpg

David Hewkin26/10/2017 09:22:01
213 forum posts
347 photos

I'm progressing slowly on this at the moment. My time is being taken up getting ready for the move back into our house, completing the final bits of decoration not covered by the insurance company. However, small steps are being made.

Peter, thanks for your comments, most helpful. I have not decided what to do about the socks yet, but as I really want to use this as a practice piece I'm trying to not be too picky. frown I read somewhere that some of the main reasons for the Crusaders poor mechanical performance were as follows:

1. tanks were shipped out without adequate spare parts or fully trained engineers

2. spare parts went 'missing' at the docks on arrival

3. a severe lack of transporters meant they had to travel beyond the recommended mileage on tracks. By the time they reached the front they were basically worn out!

4. due to the shortage of spares used and worn parts were recycled just to keep tanks operational, but consequently they broke down quicker.

Mike, thanks for the pictures. Its the puttee type affairs they have around the ankles I am curious about. Looking at re-enactment sites shows these items but I have not yet found a detailed description of them. They appear to be a long piece of cloth with a strap and buckle at either end.

First up, the build so far:

main hull 1.jpg

Not a huge advance I admit, but I have been researching, the turret in particular, which is time consuming, and has led me to the conclusion that whilst this is a pretty good kit in its own right, there are a few issues I would like to address. More of these later.

The PE set for the Mk iii arrived and I have started making this up.

The radio and guard bars were quite easy to do, although the bars are very delicate and could easily distort if you are a little heavy handed:

pe radio and guard.jpg

pe radio and guard complete.jpg

The face of the radio is a bit flat (the main issue I have with PE) and I will be adding a few bits to it to improve the look.

The stowage locker that goes on the rear of the turret is supposed to be hinged across the middle, but the kit just has a blank raised surface.

turret bustle halves.jpg

Time for some PE:

turret bustle pe hinge.jpg

The PE is again very flat, but the addition of the hinge is a great improvement.

I think this is supposed to be the flash guard and spent shell collector bag, but I'm not sure this is appropriate for a 2 pdr gun (this is the PE kit for the Mk iii 6 pdr). It will however fill up some of the space in the turret, and as it folded nicely I'm probably going to use it regardless!

pe flashguard and spent shell collector bag.jpg

This brings me to the first issue I have identified with the kit, the gun mantlet (shown in profile from the front below) and the gun barrel, but I'm going to run out of space and will have to post this separately.


David Hewkin26/10/2017 09:24:43
213 forum posts
347 photos

So, regarding the mantlet and barrel:

gun mantlet.jpg

mantlet profile 2.jpg

Compare these to the real thing from two actual Mk ii vehicles:mk ii mantlet.jpg

mk ii mantlet a.jpg


These are reproduced for discussion purposes only and come from the following links respectively:

It is quite clear from these photos that the actual mantlets were of much coarser construction than the kit piece. The shape is also not as clearly defined, particularly at the sides and along the top. It is also much thicker than the kit item which will be very noticeable once attached to the turret.

As for the gun barrel, both these photos show a thicker ring at the mantlet end. This is not present on the kit and needs to be added.

If anyone has any information or evidence supporting the kit mantlet I would be keen to see it.

That's all for now. I'll be working on the PE and turret over the next few days and hope to have another update early next week.

Thanks for following.


Steve Jones 1228/10/2017 20:56:36
4098 forum posts
9187 photos


Lovin your blog and build. I am certainly learning a great deal. Terrific work siryes


Durk29/10/2017 07:56:05
1483 forum posts
692 photos

Hi David, lovely PE work, great buildthumbs up. Don't know if you're looking for AM stuff to correct the mantlet issues or if you're going to correct it yourself, but Panzerart makes a replcement matlet, PanzerArt RE35-178.


jimbo29/10/2017 08:18:56
14242 forum posts
2711 photos

Hi David

Very interesting stuff. You are making a great job of the PE. I am sure the mantle can be easily improved.


Frank Dobson29/10/2017 15:57:40
280 forum posts
121 photos

David, reference your figures Socks and Puttees (a Hindustani name for Bandages), the socks were woolen Khaki and ribbed more like a pair of football socks, your figures are slightly over size usually found in early kit figures, in 1/35 scale the ribbing would be virtually unnoticeable. Puttees were made of Khaki woolen material that had almost a felt feel to them, square at one end and pointed at the other to which a length of tape material was stitched to the point. The square end was placed on the inside of the ankle and the Puttee was then wound around the boot top and ankle in a clockwise direction ending so the pointed part was positioned around the centre of the outside of the ankle, the tape was then wound around the centre of the Puttee and neatly tucked in again where the Puttee ended to secure it, with the pointed end facing rearwards. Puttees had no buckles attached.

Puttees came in two sizes long and short, the short ones would have been used when wearing the Khaki Drill shorts. Anklets or Gaiters were also worn instead of Puttees and took a lot less time and effort to put on these were made from Khaki Webbing material (or Leather) with a leather strap top and bottom on one end and matching buckles on the other end so the Anklet was simply folded around the boot top and ankle then secured with the straps, the straps facing to the outside of the ankle and the pointed end of the straps pointing rearwards. These were most likely to be worn by Infantry and Puttees by Tank Crews, RTC crews had Black Puttees or Blackened Anklets. However in the Desert they may well have used equipment issued to other units as described above depending on availability. Anklets and Puttees were still being worn when I started my service career at the beginning of the 70's when Anklets, either cleaned using Blanco ( a sort of Khaki water based polish) then later we blackened them with boot polish until around the mid 70's when Puttees were again worn up until the intro of the high ankle boot which done away with having to wear Puttees or Anklets. Hope you found this useful Frank.

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