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IBG Crusader Mk.I

Review of the 1/72 scale armor kit with low parts count but confusing instructions
RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR
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One of the British army’s primary tanks in early World War II, the Crusader was an important part of the Allied campaign in North Africa.

Keyed for buildability, IBG’s Crusader has one-piece injection-molded tracks with the inner set of road wheels molded on, optional photo-etched metal (PE) sand shields, and markings for three vehicles.

Starting with the running gear, I added the outer road wheels and drive sprockets to the track assemblies. I painted the tracks with Tamiya dark iron (XF-84), then airbrushed the road wheel with Tamiya buff (XF-57) using a circle template as a mask. Once finished, I can’t tell that they were molded on.

The lower hull comprises three parts — belly with sides, rear plate, and glacis plate — which I painted before adding the running gear, hull top, and fenders.

I ran into trouble aligning the two-piece drivers hatch with the hull; it left a gap on the left side that I filled with Vallejo putty. However, the bow gunner’s turret went together without issue. The external fuel tank and tool bins were added, then I painted the top of the hull. I used Tamiya red brown for the exhausts.

Moving to the turret, the instructions omitted mentioning the internal mantlet (Part L2) that fits inside the turret front and supports the guns. I glued it in place; if you want it to be movable, you’ll need to add restraining straps inside to support the part. I drilled out the cannon barrel. Also note that the antenna (Part I3) is one piece, not two as shown in the instructions.

After painting the turret, I applied decals for the British 1st Armoured Division; they laid down without the need for decal solutions.

I spent just five hours finishing IBG’s Crusader. For anyone interested in the North African campaign and 1/72 scale armor, this is a must have.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the December 2019 issue.

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