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IBG 1/72 scale Centaur Mk.IV plastic model kit review

Big detail in a small, easy-to-assemble package
Kit:72108 // Scale:1/72 // Price:$20
Good detail; tracks molded with inner road wheels, drive sprockets, and idlers
Some tools molded on the upper hull
Injection-molded plastic (gray), 57 parts (7 photo-etched metal), decals

The IBG 1/72 scale Centaur Mk.IV is based on its Cromwell tank and features excellent detail, although I was a bit disappointed to see that some of the tools were molded onto the upper hull. The tracks are molded as complete runs with the inner road wheels, idlers, and centers of the drive sprockets. This complicates painting a little, but the trade-off is ease of assembly and excellent final appearance.  


A small photo-etched metal (PE) fret provides the rear hull engine screen, headlight guards, and front fender braces. The kit also includes an optional resin driver’s plate for the hull. Decals are provided for six vehicles, four in S.C.C. 15 olive drab and two in S.C.C. 2 khaki brown. The instructions have large clear diagrams and color painting and markings drawings with call outs for Vallejo, Hataka, LifeColor, Mr. Hobby, and AK Interactive colors.


The instructions start with the running gear, but I wanted to have the hull together and everything painted before installing the tracks. Some grab handles need to be removed and panel lines filled on the back deck to account for changes from the Cromwell.


There are no locators to attach the fenders to the upper hull’s rear. Instead, I glued the fenders to the lower hull and added the upper plate before the glue set to allow minor adjustments if needed.


I used the resin driver’s plate and finished the hull with the glacis. Everything fit well and only the driver’s plate required a few small touches of filler. One of the headlights flicked out of my tweezers, but I found a replacement in my spares box. Adding the brush guards was tricky, but they probably would have been easier to install had I drilled small divots at the attachment points using a fine drill bit.


The turret went together quickly, and the kit provides optional parts to pose the hatches open. However, there is no detail on the inner faces, and they are way too thick for 1/72 scale. I used the closed hatches. 


To paint my Centaur khaki brown, I mixed 7 parts Tamiya Flat Earth (No. XF -52) and 3 parts Olive Drab (No. XF-62). The decals laid down nicely over a layer of clear gloss with help from Microscale Micro Set and Micro Sol. I was nervous about applying the turret markings over the large conical rivets, but they went on with minimal distortion and photos of real Centaurs show they weren’t perfectly aligned. I hand-painted the amphibious sealant residue around hatches with Tamiya J.N. Green (No. XF-11). 


I finished the Centaur in 11 hours, much of that spent painting, applying decals, and weathering. The finished model matches perfectly to the dimensions in British and American Tanks of World War II (Arco, ISBN 978-0-668-01867-8). Experience with small parts is helpful, but the finished model is worth the effort.
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