Thursday, September 17

Build Guide & Review: 1/72nd scale Chieftain Mk.11 and Chieftain Mk.10 (1+1 boxing) from Takom

Although it is only a tiny tank in 72nd scale, Takom's new boxing of a pair of Chieftains Mark 10 & Mark 11's need just as much love and attention as the 35th scale cousins. Who better to lavish that attention than Clayton who has already made the 35th scale version back in 2015? See how the kits go together in the first article before he paints & weathers the kits in the second part next week.

Build Guide & Review: Chieftain Mk11 and Chieftain Mk10 (1+1 boxing) 
From: Takom 
1/72nd scale
Kit # 5006
Price: $41.50 AUD/ $30.32 USD/ £23.52 GBP/ €25.69 EUR from Hobbylink Japan
Product Link on the Takom Website

The next Takom offering to find its way onto my bench is the tasty little dual boxing of the recognisable British MBT of the Cold War era, the Chieftain. The release is one of the latest in the line of 1/72 armour from Takom and comes with two complete model kits – the Mk 10 and the Mk 11. 
I have had the pleasure of building the 1/35 Takom offering of the Mk10 some years ago, and even produced and sold a Berlin Brigade mask set for it through my website, ( When I saw Takom were planning the 1/72 scale version I immediately decided I had to rescale my mask set and put it to the test on this mini version of the Chieftain.

The 1/35th scale kit of the dame tank from Takom I made back in 2015
As mentioned, the kit comes with one of each of the Mk10 and the Mk11. They are essentially identical apart from a few minor differences. The Mk.10 (1985) was an upgraded Mk.6 and Mk.7 fitted with IFCS (Improved Fire Control System) & Stillbrew armour. The Stillbrew crew protection package was applied to the turret front and ring and became the new standard.

The Mk.11 (1988-1990) were Mk.8s fitted with IFCS, Stillbrew, No 11 NBC system, and TOGS. The TOGS (Thermal Observation and Gunnery System) was manufactured by Barr and Stroud and was completed by the addition of a laser rangefinder. The stowage baskets on the turret are a little different to the Mk10 also.

Rather than dishing up a blow by blow impression of the pieces and sprues, I figure the best way to review a kit is to build it up and report how I went with the journey. Given the similarities with the Mk10 and Mk11 I will be only building the Mk10, but it is safe to assume the build and fit will be all but identical.

The box is opened and I’m ready to go. The box is rather compact but it is brimming with loads of styrene. At first glance it looks really impressive.

The first stage of the build is the underside of the tank. The side walls are supplied as separate pieces and come together with the rear plate and belly of the model.
Next up the wheels are assembled and then attached to the bogies. On a larger scale build I would usually pre-paint the wheels but given the scale and the fact they will be hiding behind a side skirt I didn’t bother.
The idler and drive wheels are now assembled. It’s hard to get an appreciation for how small these are from the image.
The wheel assemblies are now glued to the base of the tank. You may also note some on the detail pieces on the rear plate have now been attached.
The tracks are supplied in the link and length style, and the kit comes with a jig in order to be able to assemble them ‘easily’. I am always sceptical with this system as I haven’t had a great deal of luck using them in the past…but these seemed to work surprisingly well. Attaching the individual links around the drive wheel was a little challenging, but with a little patience, it all seemed to find its place. I found taping the larger, single piece run of the track to the jig was helpful in keeping everything in place whilst assembling. The spacing wasn’t perfect, but it is acceptable.
Once the tracks have dried sufficiently, they are carefully removed and fitted to the model. You may notice the guide horns along the top of the track have been removed so the track didn’t need too much manipulation to get over those return wheels. 

All of this section will be hidden on the final model so removing these teeth will be of little consequence. The track and the wheels will need a little superglue in order to have them all meet flush, but for the moment the track section has only been dry fitted so it can be removed to paint. 
Some minor surgery is required to the moulded piece in order to be able to fit the Stillbrew armour sections in place. This section that is required to be removed is a hangover from the Mk5 version (Also available in the 72nd range from Takom).
Assembly of the upper section of the model continues with toolboxes and armour sections attached.
The kit comes with photo-etch grills for the engine deck and some fine detail around the front mud guards. The pieces are attached using a touch of superglue.
The turret assembly now begins. I am again mindful to only assemble the bare minimum until the foundations of the paint scheme are set in place.
Work continues on the turret. The small pieces for the vision ports around the commander’s cupola are a test it fit… and really tested my patience. Once I got on a roll it wasn’t so bad. Just be prepared to make fine adjustments to the placement as you work your way around the ring.
Due to the complex nature of the camouflage scheme I was going to paint (the Berlin Brigade Urban Camouflage scheme), all of the fine details such as the lights and guards, smoke discharges and tool baskets were left off the model until the basic shapes of the scheme were set in place. Anything protruding would interrupt the straight lines of the mask and cause potential issues with the paintwork. A small selection of sub-assemblies sit ready for paint.

The pieces are very small and fine, so care is needed once again. 
Finally - On to the painting! but that will come next week in part II of this story where we paint & weather this tank and give it a little base to operate from...

Clayton Ockerby

Thanks to Takom for this kit to build and review
See more of Clayton's amazing works on his modelling website "Workbench Hobbies" or his FB page