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Aurora [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ NEW STORIES ]

In-Box Review
148
Churchill VII
Churchill Tank
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Remembering Aurora

Aurora was one of the pioneers of plastic modeling. Their large series of standardized 1/48 scale models of aircraft and armor evolved from toy models into models as miniature prototypes that we expect today. However, Aurora’s star dimmed and some of their models were issued under the K&B logo. Eventually Aurora died. Some of their molds were acquired and reissued by other companies. Monogram’s 1/48 F-111, A-7, Fokker D.VII, Sopwith Camel and Se-5a are Aurora models. It was reported that Monogram bought the lion’s share of the Aurora tooling but that most molds were destroyed in a train wreck in the late 1970s.

Aurora has never been considered in the same league as Tamiya, but some of their 1/48 armor produced in the 1960s is as good, if not better, than what Tamiya released at that time. Their PzKpfw V Panther, PzKpfw VI Tiger II, IS-3 (or T-10 ?) Stalin, and M-46 Patton are considered toys in need of complete rebuilding. Aurora’s Churchill was a fair model and definitely one of the cooler tanks Aurora gave the modeling world! Your reviewer offers mainly photographs and defers to you, as to whether that still holds true.

Churchill history

The Churchill was a heavily armored infantry tank. It was designed with a hull-mounted 75mm cannon and a 2-pounder in the turret; the hull gun was quickly deleted. It was successful despite an obsolescent design, slow speed, and small turret that limited it to small guns. That small turret could hold a surprise -- the Churchill VII mounted a 95 mm howitzer. See the photos for Aurora’s history of the tank!

The kit

Aurora issued this model in several phases: the long thin box of this review, the sturdy square box with dramatic box art, and the 1970's small box featuring a photo of the built model.

The kit consists of 87 parts of hard olive styrene (including four figures), and a pair of vinyl rubber band tracks. The parts vary between sharp and soft molding. Many suffer from molding and ejector marks, some sinkholes, and minor flash. There is no texture on the armor plating. No attempt to simulate any weld seams.

Fine detail is molded on the turret and hull surfaces. The tools and other storage are also molded on. There is some hinge detail for access hatches but none for the turret hatches; they open and close via hideous snap-tight fittings.

The figures have soft detail and some mold marks. Their detail quality is pictured for you to judge. The late 1960 square-box releases of Aurora’s kits were so shaped to accommodate a vacuform terrain display base.

Decals and painting

Aurora included markings for one tank, T215625. A light and dark camouflage pattern is shown but not described. Aside from the flesh of the figures, not painting directions are provided. Aurora’s own paints are referenced.

Conclusion

These models show up for sale online and at shows from time to time. Depending on the issue and box, prices vary dramatically. For those with a critical eye, detail references, and patience, this model can be improved. Not a bad model though the Churchill is mainly worth having for nostalgia and fun.

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: A 1/48 Churchill! Fair detail.
Lows: Raised detail, molding flaws.
Verdict: Not a bad model though the Churchill is mainly worth having for nostalgia and fun.
Percentage Rating
70%
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 315
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 15, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.98%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 61.17%

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Hello All, I hope you enjoy this Aurora trip down memory lane. Eventually I will review their 1/48 8" howitzer and tractor, and the M-46 Patton. Let me clarify something. The text states there was only one decal marking option, though you'll see decals for multiple tanks in the photos. That decal sheet is from a later issue.
JUN 19, 2011 - 10:03 PM
Thanks for the review it brought back old memorys. BTW it a Churchill Mk III and not a Mk VII. Cheers Al
JUN 20, 2011 - 08:07 AM
Thanks for that, bought back some memories. In their day the Aurora kits weren't that bad and were the basis for quite a few conversions and improvements!
JUN 20, 2011 - 08:27 AM
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