Monday, October 17, 2016

Challenger Accepted! A30 Challengers!

This is a Warlord Games Cromwell Tank in the front with  two 3-D Printed Challenger Tanks in the back.

     As I posted earlier in the month about hard to find items, I mentioned that I commissioned someone to make  3-D printed A30 Challenger Tanks for my wife's Welsh Guards. This has been a ongoing search through the internet over the years. Surprisingly, we still do not have any of them for my wife's Flames of War armies or the Cromwells. However, in 1/56 scale, my wife has plenty of Cromwell tanks and Sherman Fireflies. Her forces and mine are based around Market Garden for Late War Bolt Action Games or other rule systems. Sherman Fireflies work for the Guards Armored Division with Cromwell tanks in Normandy, but not so much with Market Garden. Besides, the Fireflies are not alone, since we have been collecting Sherman V's for the Irish Guards. The Challenger made on the scene in the Market Garden Campaign and a few others, but not common based off of numbers. Only 200 were ever built, so I can see why miniature companies would avoid such a tank. But what does disturb me about this logic is the fact that other tanks and vehicles are made. Example: the Joseph Stalin 3 a.k.a IS-3 is made by Warlord Games even though there is no clear evidence that the IS-3 ever saw combat. The same can be said about the Pershing Tank in the American army. It did see combat. One of the most famous films of that tank shows the Pershing doing it's job against a Panther tank in Cologne, Germany in 1945. But it was still rare.
    I truly cannot be too harsh on various companies not making a Challenger tank. I never even heard of one until I started really reading about Operation Market Garden. And the Comet came into play in 1945. To be honesty, it is a sexier looking tank in comparison to the Challenger. But I want to have the historical accurate stuff. That is the fun of historical wargaming: the modelling!
    Thank God for 3-D Printing! This new technology has shown some awesome results. To be honesty, I had my doubts about how good this technology was at this early of a stage. Most of the the time, new tech has various recalls and issues. I have not heard much about this. Through out the year, I had been watch one the few wargaming pioneers with a 3-D printer named Joe Leto. He was making a lot of waves with is 3-D printing of 15mm on the Flames of War Facebook pages. It was pretty top notch stuff. But it is with Tim Spakowski from Kings Hobbies and Games, did I commit to a commission job. Tim had posted on one of the many Facebook groups I post on, a 3 foot German U-boat. I inquired about the cost, but mentioned that I would pass for the time being. If I had bought it, it would have created a whole new expensive, but awesome scenario board! I have to keep my eye on the ball with my current projects. But it was then that I thought of the Challenger Tank issue. So after much discussion, I ordered two of them. It would have been more, but I need to see the work done in 3-D printing in person. However, I think it would have been bad taste to order only one.
   So how did they turn out? They came out pretty awesome! You can see the lines from the printing process across the flat surfaces, but this is very minor. The detail is pretty awesome. The only part that needs improvement are the tracks. They are a little smaller and have no detail for the front and rear part that touches the ground. I am sure this is an issue that is hard to accomplish with relatively new technology. I have a ton of spare tracks for storage if it really bothers me. The barrel is a little thick, but very stable. I am sure it is brittle when it is thinner. Is it a deal breaker? Not at all! Considering the fact that no one is making them at this scale at all and that he was able to make them is awesome! My wife is very happy. We just have to buy some decals, since I am out of any squadron symbols in white as well as the Recce decals I need. I will probably buy more from him later. Either way, here are some more pictures, so far.

One of Joe Leto's 15 mm Jagdpanzer IV L-70 (V)'s painted. *

This is what I got before painting.

This is the comparison of the Warlord Cromwell tank to the Challenger that is 3-D Printed. The red makes it look a little smaller, but the only size issue is that the Warlord Cromwell is a millimeter taller on the hull. Who is normally measuring this during a table top game?

This shows the depth the turret goes. It fits with no flashing that resin has and is as light as plastic, but solid!

Quick base painting.

Despite the lack of detail of tracks, can you really notice before stated?

Just a good view of it almost finished.
  * Since I do not own these pictures and you are the owner, please contact me for removal if it is a problem.

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