Italeri- Crusader Mk. II with 8th Army Infantry
The Crusader was an important stop-gap at the beginning of the Second World War- a British "Cruiser" tank with a production of over 5,000 units. While fast, it suffered from being under-armored and under-gunned. Enemy mines and anti-tank guns wreaked havoc and the Mk. II was released with thicker armor- from 40mm to 50mm. However, it still suffered from the same weak 2-pounder gun and would not be up-gunned with the 6-pounder, which the upcoming Mk. III possessed. While it was a match for the Panzer III, it was at a distinct disadvantage against the newer Panzer IV. By the time the Mk. III had arrived, prior to the battles at El Alamein, the Mk. II had been relegated to second-line duties.
What's Inside the Box
From what I have been able to gather, this is a rebox of subsequent versions of the original kit from 1976. The A, B, and C sprues are basically the same as the original- but are tan as opposed to green. The vinyl tracks also appear to be the same. The only major difference seems to be the included small sprue containing the sand skirts. Also included in the kit are the excellent Master Box 8th Army Infantry figures. Here is a look at all of the sprues...
Sprue A contains road wheels, return rollers, sprockets, and idlers, as well as suspensions and other hull parts
Sprue B contains the hull parts, rear toolbox, and turret bits
Close up of the turret
Sprue C with the stowage boxes, exhausts, gun and mantlet, and fuel tank
Nice detail on the stowage boxes
Tracks and new Sprue E- sand skirts
Master Box figures
There are three featured schemes for the decals-- two in Sand and one in Grey and Sand. They include:
Instruction manual is typical Italeri-- spread out over 11 steps.
This looks to be quite a straight-forward build with no tricky bits at first glance. Details are quite nice despite the age- and there is minimal to non-existent flash. I am just entering winter break from school, so should be able to have this one assembled and painted by the end of the week barring any snags. Stay tuned!
Highly Recommended for builders at any level- pending full build.
Thanks goes out to Model Rectifier Corporation for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves, AMPS Albany
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