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For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
Conqueror Mk.I
darreng
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 08:35 PM UTC
Which kit would you recommend? The Amusing Hobby kit of the above or the Dragon Black Label kit?
Littorio
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 08:54 PM UTC
Amusing Hobby as the Dragon Black Death kit has so many errors.
GTDeath13
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 09:08 PM UTC
Currently building the FV215B from Amusing Hobby and have both their Conqueror kits to follow. Had the Dragon kit and sold it.

The Amusing Hobby kit is not perfect but it is far superior to the Dragon one. The Amusing Hobby plastic is somewhat soft but not hard to work with. The detail is nice, crisp at places but leaves things to be desired in others.

A photoetch detail/upgrade set would benefit the kit greatly, but I have yet to see one.

The tracks could be a tedious task, but Amusing Hobby has released a set of aftermarket plastic ones that are better and easier to assemble than the kit provided ones.

If you go for the Amusing Hobby kit, make sure you check the parts carefuly for any flaws, because some of the first kits (of the FV215B as far as I know and not the Conqueror) that came out had some misformed parts. They will replace them for free via your local dealer.
iowabrit
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 10:21 PM UTC
Isn't the Dragon one a Mk2?
I built the Amusing Hobby Mk1...ok I guess but some of the sink holes where huge, specially on the suspension units.
BootsDMS
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 11:00 PM UTC
Darren,

The only Mk 1 kit out is the Amusing Hobby one - so if it is the Mk 1 you must have then that's the only game in town.

Dragon do the much reviled Mk 2 and I believe was pretty much demolished here on Armorama a couple of years ago; I have built the Dragon kit and whilst it does indeed have errors - some of which can be corrected or at least modified - it is still an imposing presence on the modelling table. I recall the main faults were regarding the engine deck and some distortion over the front plate angles.

Whilst I have the Amusing Hobby kit I haven't built it yet; I have built the Mk 2 and here are the modifications I made - bearing in mind at the time there were some things I just could not resolve.

Hull: I couldn't do anything about the number of louvres on the rear deck so left them; since then I believe Royal Model have released an etch set which has addressed this. I left the hatch handles as they were moulded as on the real beast they were countersunk into recesses anyway.

There was a filler cap missing but I can't remember on which side - anyway - a simple enough mod.

The stowage panniers on the hull tops really require replacement handles - say from wire or solder; I didn't bother and have regretted it ever since.

I replaced the tow cables with brass picture wire and also filched some fire extinguishers form a Tamiya Centurion, as an alternative to the kit ones.

I tried to modify the contours of the Driver's hatch but didn't really succeed.

Turret. I displayed all the hatches open and populated accordingly (the Conqueror I believe is the only British tank whereby the Gunner has his own hatch). I replaced the .30 browning MG on the Commander's cupola with one from an Italeri accessory set and added a decent ammo box with lid open and rounds displayed.

I filled the stowage basket with a cam net using Tamiya masking tape as the Hessian strips necessary (around a lump of Milliput encased in gauze bandage), a water jerrican and a call-sign board.

There is a 3rd antenna station missing just behind the mantlet cover on the right (looking towards the rear of the turret and that was easy enough to add).

I chose to cover the front third of the turret in camouflage net - not necessarily due to any contour errors - but merely because I required the finished model to look suitably warlike.

Everything else was as per the instructions and what was in the box; the build was easy enough although some attention must be paid to the suspension construction phase.

Finish was in Revell Enamel Bronze Green, No 65 but needs a gloss coat. I doubt you'll find a better Bronze Green.

I placed mine on a suitable base with a Bundeswehr vehicle and soldiers looking on - as well they might; with a bridge weight of 80 tons in say, 1958, this would have been an impressive beast rumbling by.

I admit to being a bit of a Conqueror fan and will tackle the AH kit in due course. The Dragon kit does have flaws; as I mentioned the Royal Model etch set may address some, and I have since learned that Aber do a replacement barrel which would really be necessary as I recall the kit gun is too short.

I do hope this helps - of course it may not - in which case I look forward to a build blog of the Amusing Hobby version!

Brian
BootsDMS
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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 11:18 PM UTC
Ooops!

Reference my last: it was Voyager Model not Royal Model re the etch.

brian
GTDeath13
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 03:44 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Isn't the Dragon one a Mk2?
I built the Amusing Hobby Mk1...ok I guess but some of the sink holes where huge, specially on the suspension units.



Yes the dragon kit is a Mk2.

By the way, Amusing Hobby have announced in their Facebook page that they will be releasing a Mk2 and a Gun Carrier in the future.
Das_Abteilung
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 06:04 AM UTC
Just avoid their "Super Conqueror with spaced armour". This kit is based on a single vehicle fitted with experimental spaced armour as a ballistic testbed. IIRC it was to test projectiles rather than armour, but I could be wrong about that. One wonders if something was lost in translation, but I suppose it fits in with the FV215 as a "what if".
mudcake
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 06:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The tracks could be a tedious task, but Amusing Hobby has released a set of aftermarket plastic ones that are better and easier to assemble than the kit provided ones.



They must have replaced the original track links on the sprue as my kit came with a bag of seperated track links
canismalus
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 01:18 PM UTC
Hi Darren,

Pawel Krupowicz (Vodnik), who is well known and respected here on Armorama (and elsewhere) for his trenchant analyses of kits, had a few devastating things to say about the Amusing Hobby Conqueror here:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/amusing-hobby-conqueror-accuracy-t136848.html

I haven‘t decided whether I‘m going to sell both my Black Label and AM Conqueror kits or, like Brian, correct the things that can be corrected and enjoy them for their imposing “beastiness“.

Jerry
canismalus
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 01:29 PM UTC
Oh yeah, by the way, here is a very thorough review of the Black Label kit that might be useful:

http://www.perthmilitarymodelling.com/reviews/vehicles/dragon/dr3555.html

Hope this helps.

Jerry
GTDeath13
#481
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 02:16 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Just avoid their "Super Conqueror with spaced armour". This kit is based on a single vehicle fitted with experimental spaced armour as a ballistic testbed. IIRC it was to test projectiles rather than armour, but I could be wrong about that. One wonders if something was lost in translation, but I suppose it fits in with the FV215 as a "what if".



The Super Conqueror kit is just the MkI kit with extra photoetch for the spaced armor. If someone cannot find the simple MkI kit, he can get the Super Conqueror kit and do a MkI, plus a mediocre figure as bonus


Quoted Text


They must have replaced the original track links on the sprue as my kit came with a bag of seperated track links



Then they must have changed the kit provided tracks. These tracks are very easy to assemble and stay workable but not fiddly. Nice
GTDeath13
#481
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 02:22 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Darren,

Pawel Krupowicz (Vodnik), who is well known and respected here on Armorama (and elsewhere) for his trenchant analyses of kits, had a few devastating things to say about the Amusing Hobby Conqueror here:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/amusing-hobby-conqueror-accuracy-t136848.html

I haven‘t decided whether I‘m going to sell both my Black Label and AM Conqueror kits or, like Brian, correct the things that can be corrected and enjoy them for their imposing “beastiness“.

Jerry



I surely wish Pawel Krupowicz (Vodnik) had elaborated more on his answer on the Amusing Hobby kit innaccuracies regarding shape and size issues. Especially on the shape and size of the turret.

And how can one screw up the size of the Conqueror side skirts?
canismalus
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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 10:42 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I surely wish Pawel Krupowicz (Vodnik) had elaborated more on his answer on the Amusing Hobby kit innaccuracies regarding shape and size issues. Especially on the shape and size of the turret.



Hi Nikos,

You‘re right, it‘s too bad he (or someone else) hasn‘t done an elaborate analysis of the kit like Chris Meddings did of the Black Label kit on PMMS, but I can understand that researching and writing a review like that really eats up a lot of time. Whenever I find enough time to get to that kit (not likely anytime soon ), I was going to consult the Tankograd volume on the Conq - it has some excellent pictures and illustrations but no scale drawings - and see what inaccuracies I can spot.


Quoted Text

And how can one screw up the size of the Conqueror side skirts?



Very good question......

Jerry
BootsDMS
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Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 01:09 AM UTC
The only scale drawings I know of are in the venerable Profile Publications "AFV Weapons No 38 Conqueror Heavy Gun Tank" and is limited to a top view, although the colour profile in the centre pages appears to be almost 1:35 scale but that's an estimate based on the size of the Commander's MG.

George Bradford's 2010 publication in the AFV Plans series "Cold War Armoured Fighting Vehicles" also contains a 4 view drawing in 1:72 scale; this would require enlarging on a photocopier by 207% to give you a 1:35 drawing, as the very helpful guide within advises.

Whilst I have both documents I have not gotten around to enlarging the 1:72 drawing.
canismalus
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Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 03:25 PM UTC
Hi Brian,

Thanks a lot for mentioning those references, I‘ll try to track those two books down.

Jerry
BootsDMS
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Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 04:33 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Brian,

Thanks a lot for mentioning those references, I‘ll try to track those two books down.

Jerry



Jerry,

'Glad to be of help; probably the definitive book on the Conqueror is that by Rob Griffin called, well, "Conqueror". Published in 1999, ISBN 1 86126 251 5. No scale drawings but an appendix of the Royal Armoured Corps technical diagrams and packed full of photographs.

A quick look on Amazon UK shows that this book is now relatively expensive, but I'm sure you could hunt one down, that is, if you feel the need!

I always feel there's a danger of amassing half a dozen books per kit build if one is not careful and I must stress that the Griffin book is not mandatory for any build - so probably one for the Conqueror enthusiast only.

This thread has prompted me to get my Amusing Hobby Mk 1 down from my stash in the attic to have a closer look.

Brian
darreng
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Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 09:37 PM UTC
Thank you everyone. The Amusing Hobby kit is then.
BootsDMS
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Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 11:55 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Thank you everyone. The Amusing Hobby kit is then.



Darren,

Glad you piped up again - I think we were in danger of forgetting the original question!

Having had a close look at my AH model and a bit of a tinker I think I would come down on the side of this kit; it is of course a Mk 1.

Things I've noticed however are:

The plastic is not exactly brittle or even soft, but a little fragile perhaps.

Certainly, as already discussed, the engine deck details are better. I don't know if there is a missing filler cap (as on Dragon's Mk 2) as I don't know enough about the Mk 1; I might drive down to Bovington next week and report back.

The suspension units seem to locate better (than Dragon's Mk 2) and should ensure that all road wheels are level.

Be aware that the gun barrel is without a fume extractor; I would recommend replacing it (unless you actually want one as such) with the excellent Aber metal version; I have one ready to install and it fits the kit easily enough. I note that Aber acknowledge 2 modellers in their assistance with the design: "We would like to thanks (sic) Mr Chris Meddings and Pawel Krupowicz for providing source material, through which we could create this set". Nice to know that modellers can make a difference and are appreciated!

Note that you are required to make your own mantlet cover; AH recommend using Tamiya masking tape although I would prefer Milliput I think.

Detail as mentioned earlier is indeed a little soft; handles on the bazooka plates aren't too bad as they have a recess which makes them look hollow but the handles on the side panniers aren't really very good. Thin wire/solder may help here.

I can't comment on the crew hatches having no plans but the drivers' hatch doesn't look quite right and I would think too small. I'm not too sure how that could be fixed and one would need good references and plans before attempting to do so, not that it would be impossible.

The cable reel on the turret side is a bit weedy as are the smoke dischargers at first glance; however, they may turn out OK once assembled. The cable reel may benefit from some actual cable wrapping around it but only to thicken it up; the real thing had the wire encased in a buckled canvas cover. Easy enough to do with a bit of thin plastic card and a spare etch buckle.

The MG isn't really useable I feel; I will replace mine with a version from an Italeri weapons set as I have a few hanging around. The kit one is sort of pimply in finish on the barrel where of course, there were just cooling holes. The ammo box assembly might need a bit of tweaking as well. This is probably where an etch set would come into its own.

Antennae mounts are very poor being too small; Accurate Armour do some useful radio accessories and their No 19 antennae mount set might help, unless you can fabricate suitable ones yourself (shouldn't be impossible).

Pioneer tools look weedy but I will probably try and thicken them up a bit using Mr Dissolved Putty.

Bazooka plates look to be too narrow; in photographs the real things seem to be just above the road wheels; I will probably add a strip of plastic to replicate this but I must stress I haven't built the kit, just been fiddling!

I'm not too sure what the dimensional errors referred to earlier by Pavel on Missing Lynx are exactly but if say, the bazooka plates are also too short (as well as too shallow) then I think that's an easy enough fix.

You also have to provide your own tow cable but not the ends.

I haven't studied the individual track links too closely but I note a jig is provided to aid assembly. Of course, given the configuration of the vehicle you don't have to bother about a top run.

If you wish to install a camouflage net then on the Mk 1 it was suspended by straps on the turret rear. The type of net would have been the Hessian strip type.

I realise I've banged on a bit and the above is very random; this is because I haven't started the kit yet. These are of course, only my personal impressions and how I may attempt tackling the identified problems.

Again, like the Dragon kit, any glaring dimensions are probably too difficult to address, let alone overcome; kit surgeons, like Pavel, will I'm sure have the expertise and finesse to tackle these and succeed, but sadly, I am not of that ilk (!)

However, with a few tweaks I'm sure one can end up with an impressive looking model on the display shelves or tables. It is an iconic tank, redolent of the Cold war and the attempt to combat the threat from the Soviet heavy tank arsenal.

Good luck with your build.

Brian

GTDeath13
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Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 - 02:01 AM UTC
Some corrections on a post I made earlier, since I checked my Super Conqueror kit:

The parts for the simple Conqueror MkI are in the kit except the photoetch fret, which includes the front headlight guards and the mounting plates for the smoke launchers. It also includes the bolt strips for the mantlet cover. So one cannot get a full MkI from the Super Conqueror kit.

Some quotes on Brian's post:

Quoted Text

The plastic is not exactly brittle or even soft, but a little fragile perhaps.



The plastic of my MkI kit is way different than the Super Conqueror plastic. So I guess AH changed plastic type sometime ago. The newer type of plastic is better than the first one, closer to Trumpeter or Dragon plastic. Perhaps if one buys a MkI kit now it will be in the newer, better plastic.


Quoted Text

The suspension units seem to locate better (than Dragon's Mk 2) and should ensure that all road wheels are level.


The kit offers two choices, a nonworking suspension with a single piece comprising of the two suspension arms and a solid spring or separate swing arms and a metal spring to connect them. The single, nonworking suspension parts are easier to assemble and get level.


Quoted Text

Be aware that the gun barrel is without a fume extractor

I think all MkI vehicles had a barrel without fume extractor. Please someone correct me if I am mistaken.


Quoted Text

Note that you are required to make your own mantlet cover; AH recommend using Tamiya masking tape although I would prefer Milliput I think.

Take in mind that the supplied in th ekit photoetch ret includes the bolt strips for the mantlet cover, so you only need to make the canvas part.


Quoted Text

I haven't studied the individual track links too closely but I note a jig is provided to aid assembly. Of course, given the configuration of the vehicle you don't have to bother about a top run.

The jig is for the earlier two piece link tracks, that are workable if assembled carefully. The newer single piece link tracks are workable too and assemble very easily.

I sure hope an aftermarket company produces a photoetch fret for the AH kits, they will benefit greatly from it.
BootsDMS
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Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 - 03:19 AM UTC
Nikos,

Thanks for your comments; I'm pleased that the plastic appears to have improved - I bought mine around a year ago so I'm glad that Amusing Hobby are willing to improve, ditto the tracks.

I should certainly have mentioned the working suspension option - I decided that I would use the non-working parts so sort of dismissed it.

The fume extractor issue is quite interesting; according to the Griffin book there were 20 Mk 1s produced. I feel that most (half?) of these would have been bound for the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR)as that was where the immediate threat (Soviet heavy armour)was. Some obviously would have remained in the UK for crew training and possibly, a UK - based regiment, but perhaps no more than 8-10 ie possibly half of those produced? The remainder would have been issued to as many regiments as possible - paving the way for the Mk 2. Those that did, I am sure (although supposition I freely admit) would have been retro-fitted with the 120mm gun with fume extractor as soon as possible; I should think that this was merely the actual fitting of the extractor itself not a new gun.

So this is my reasoning (excuse?) to advise the use of Aber's impressive metal gun barrel. I am no tank crewman but imagine that having 120mm gun fumes whisked away from your fighting compartment when in action/training would be very welcome.

I fully support the need for a specific etch set for this kit - and ideally perhaps, a turned metal gun barrel without the extractor (!)

Brian
GTDeath13
#481
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Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 - 04:21 AM UTC
Brian your assumption is possibly correct. There is a MkI hull with what seems a MkII turret at the Jacques Littlefield Collection. It is either this case, or the MkIs got the fume extractor and the bustle rack added later.

http://svsm.org/gallery/conqueror-family



EDIT: Just found this video on Youtube in the Littlefield Collection that was sold in 2015.

"The Conqueror offered here, VRN 07 BA 075, was built in 1952 as a FV221 Caernarvon. At the time it was built, it mounted the turret of a Centurion MkIII. It was used as a trials vehicle by the 14/20th Hussars in Tripoli, Libya. It was rebuilt to Conqueror Mk II standards in 1958/59. The exterior and interior paint is in very good to excellent condition. All exterior lights are present. The wheels and tracks are in very good condition. The engine does not currently run due to a fuel pump issue and has a water leak. The gunner's controls appear to be complete. A radio is mounted in the turret, but it is not known if it operational. The driver's controls and instruments appear to be complete. All of the driver's periscopes are present with good glass.
The Conqueror entered service in 1955. It was feared that the otherwise excellent Centurion tank with its 20-pr (83.4-mm) gun would be unable to reliably engage the SovietIS-3 Stalin heavy tank and its derivatives such as T-10. As such Conqueror was developed to deal specifically with the Soviet heavies while letting the Centurions do the bulk of the fighting. The main gun is an American design, the M58 as found in the American M103 tank. It was accurate and powerful, though the large, heavy, two-piece ammunition was unwieldy. Unlike the U.S. tank, however, the British made do with just one loader.
Something of a technological tour-de-force, Conquer was equipped with what we would today know as a ‘hunter-killer’ system. The commander, in his cupola at the rear of the huge turret could acquire and range a target independently to the gunner. Once the gunner finished servicing the target he was currently engaging, the gun would then be slewed to wherever the commander’s target was. With the new target now in the gunner’s sight and already ranged, the commander was free to repeat the process for the next target.
The tank was not, of course, without its flaws. Though the gun and armor were superb, the Meteor engine, developed from the Merlin from the WWII fighter planes, was overstretched and the generally Centurion-based transmission components simply couldn’t cope. The massive fuel consumption figures also limited operational mobility, though for its weight the tank was surprisingly nimble. Complexity and cost also added to the tank’s woes, and only 185 were built before production stopped in 1958.
The fitting of the excellent L7 105-mm gun to Centurion began to give it capability almost approaching Conqueror, and the arrival of the Chieftain with its 120-mm L11 sealed the heavy tanks fate. Conqueror was withdrawn in 1966.
Enjoy!! Shot 5/15/15"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaCIAvBZ2ug
darreng
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Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 - 05:48 AM UTC
Thank you Nikos amd Brian. And Brian I'd be interested in any photos you get of the Conqueror at Bovington please?
BootsDMS
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Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 - 07:30 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Brian your assumption is possibly correct. There is a MkI hull with what seems a MkII turret at the Jacques Littlefield Collection. It is either this case, or the MkIs got the fume extractor and the bustle rack added later.

http://svsm.org/gallery/conqueror-family



EDIT: Just found this video on Youtube in the Littlefield Collection that was sold in 2015.

"The Conqueror offered here, VRN 07 BA 075, was built in 1952 as a FV221 Caernarvon. At the time it was built, it mounted the turret of a Centurion MkIII. It was used as a trials vehicle by the 14/20th Hussars in Tripoli, Libya. It was rebuilt to Conqueror Mk II standards in 1958/59. The exterior and interior paint is in very good to excellent condition. All exterior lights are present. The wheels and tracks are in very good condition. The engine does not currently run due to a fuel pump issue and has a water leak. The gunner's controls appear to be complete. A radio is mounted in the turret, but it is not known if it operational. The driver's controls and instruments appear to be complete. All of the driver's periscopes are present with good glass.
The Conqueror entered service in 1955. It was feared that the otherwise excellent Centurion tank with its 20-pr (83.4-mm) gun would be unable to reliably engage the SovietIS-3 Stalin heavy tank and its derivatives such as T-10. As such Conqueror was developed to deal specifically with the Soviet heavies while letting the Centurions do the bulk of the fighting. The main gun is an American design, the M58 as found in the American M103 tank. It was accurate and powerful, though the large, heavy, two-piece ammunition was unwieldy. Unlike the U.S. tank, however, the British made do with just one loader.
Something of a technological tour-de-force, Conquer was equipped with what we would today know as a ‘hunter-killer’ system. The commander, in his cupola at the rear of the huge turret could acquire and range a target independently to the gunner. Once the gunner finished servicing the target he was currently engaging, the gun would then be slewed to wherever the commander’s target was. With the new target now in the gunner’s sight and already ranged, the commander was free to repeat the process for the next target.
The tank was not, of course, without its flaws. Though the gun and armor were superb, the Meteor engine, developed from the Merlin from the WWII fighter planes, was overstretched and the generally Centurion-based transmission components simply couldn’t cope. The massive fuel consumption figures also limited operational mobility, though for its weight the tank was surprisingly nimble. Complexity and cost also added to the tank’s woes, and only 185 were built before production stopped in 1958.
The fitting of the excellent L7 105-mm gun to Centurion began to give it capability almost approaching Conqueror, and the arrival of the Chieftain with its 120-mm L11 sealed the heavy tanks fate. Conqueror was withdrawn in 1966.
Enjoy!! Shot 5/15/15"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaCIAvBZ2ug



Nikos,

Thanks for the links and the summary; I'd forgotten just how good the Littlefield collection was.

The Bovington Conqueror also has the stowage rack and the complete 120mm gun; whilst I know that museums are often in the habit of cobbling together pretty much anything in order to produce an exhibit, I suspect that once Mk 1 tanks got to their units they were upgraded as necessary. The turret rack being an example of sheer pragmatism; when the net was stowed just using straps it must have been a real pain to manoeuvre; Conqueror was a large tank and a correspondingly sized net would have been a burden especially when wet. Far easier to have a rack to dump it in than to have to wrestle with a huge, soaking wet mass of netting and Hessian and to try and secure it.

Darren,

I'll probably get to Bovington next Friday; any pictures I do take are unlikely to be as useful as the Littlefield ones (not least as that tank is properly equipped and stowed - more or less) but I'll try and remember to identify the fuel caps, bazooka plates, Driver's hatch etc.

I have to say that this thread has been really informative (and even fun) - so thanks to all.

Brian
darreng
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Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 - 08:13 PM UTC
Many thanks to all who commented. I've learned a good deal about the Conqueror.