Crusader I


I thought, since I was doing Crusaderish things anyway, I really ought to do a model of the first of them all, the Crusader I.

In many respects it's very similar visually to the II and III versions, but it does differ in many details. The two pounder uses an internal mantlet, the same as that seen on some A13s and early models of the Valentine. The long-run sand shields are absent, with the Mark I having deep shields only at the rear. Early production vehicles had the wheels covered with flat steel discs, which were usually removed (or not supplied) on later ones. There are differences in the configuration of the exhaust mufflers. And so on.

The Mark I was terribly unreliable, especially in desert conditions. When it was working, it was very speedy and had a hard-hitting gun (for its time), but there would be a pretty good chance on any given day that it wouldn't be working.

The STLs for this model are available at

Test Print

I've done a test print and primed it in Vallejo Parched Grass surface primer so that I can actually see what's going on — the raw resin is white and slightly translucent, so it's very difficult to make out any detail on it. Overall I'll call the test print a success, though it's not absolutely perfect by any means.

The commander is a plastic BF figure that I bought a few years ago.

I'm tossing up whether or not to paint it in Caunter — not many of them were, but I have (finally) found some photographic evidence that some were painted in that scheme for Operation Battleaxe. I do like the Caunter scheme aesthetically, but it is a huge pain in the balls to paint, especially in teensy 1:100 scale.

Next Step

Next step(s): panel-shading over the Parched Grass surface primer with Portland Stone, which is pretty pale and bright. By leaving less paint in the hollows, and by painting in each panel separately rather than giving it an even all-over coat, it starts to give the model a bit of volume.

I've also painted in the tyres and tracks in mid-grey and mid-brown respectively. The brown is just the base colour for the tracks; they'll change considerably with weathering layers, and become a lot paler.

I could leave the whole tank overall Portland Stone, or from here I could go on to add the Silver Grey and Slate Grey areas for Caunter. I still haven't finally decided.

And now, finished

I elected in the end not to go for a Caunter scheme, mainly because I just liked the look of the model in the pale Portland Stone. For a change, instead of painting the unit markings, I used some BF decals, and as always when I do that, I kind of regret it. It made life easy, but honestly, BF decals are pretty crap when it comes to colour registration.

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