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Tamiya 1/35 Centurion Mk III tank, 4th RTR

December 9, 2013 in Armor

This model depicts a Centurion Mk III of the 4th Royal Tank Regiment of the British Army, circa 1950s (?). This has the 4th RTR “Chinese eye” marking (dating back to WWI) on the front and rear of the hull. The tank’s name is “Pine Hill”. The markings are from the Tamiya kit decals and instructions, which were pretty clear, but didn’t give the location the tank was stationed at. I at first assumed Korea, with the white star marking. But in looking up the 4th Royal Tank Regiment, it looks like they were never in Korea!

So, I guess I have a Centurion with no home. Berlin? The Middle East? The 4th RTR and the 7th RTR were “amalgamated” with each other, and the 7th did serve in Korea. Maybe some day I will figure it out. Or maybe one of the iModeler folks in the UK can shed some light?

The Centurion was a late WWII design, with strong influence from the German Panther. It was introduced in 1945 (but did not fight in WWII), and was the primary British main battle tank of the post-World War II period. It was a successful tank design, with upgrades, for many decades.

The engine of the Centurion was the Rolls Royce Meteor, a V-12 developed from the famous Merlin aero engine. Its armor protection was extremely strong for the time. The Centurion Mk III was armed with the 20 Pdr gun, a potent and accurate weapon.

Between 1946 and 1962 4,423 Centurions were produced, consisting of thirteen basic marks and numerous variants. In British Army use it was subsequently replaced by the Chieftain.

References used were:

– Osprey Vanguard book “The Centurion tank in Battle” by Simon Dunstan
– Osprey New Vanguard book “Centurion Universal Tank 1943-2003” by Simon Dunstan
– The Squadron book “Centurion in action” by Stephen Tunbridge
– The recent Crowood book “The Centurion Tank” by Bill Munro, who incidentally is a London taxi driver!

All these books have a lot of info in them. But, unfortunately I was still not able to identify where the tank I made the model of was stationed.

6 additional images. Click to enlarge

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23 responses to Tamiya 1/35 Centurion Mk III tank, 4th RTR

  1. Another great build there Robert.
    Nicely weathered as well.
    The exhaust pipes look good, how did you paint them?
    Well done.

    • Simon,
      Thanks for your comment. The exhaust pipes/mufflers were done with Gunze Sangyo acrylic (why can’t I find that beautiful paint anymore?). Colors were if I recall silver and rust. Mainly dry brushed, over a base coat of dark green.

  2. One of the better “realistic” finishes on a piece of armor I’ve seen in a while. Your photos really capture the details well. Nice job all around, Robert.

  3. Fantastic finish Rob, thanks for showing.

  4. Finely realised detailing and subtle weathering make this a standout AFV. Nice subject too.

    Have you seen Inside the Armour’s Centurian conversions? They also do a great looking series of Churchills. I personally like the NA75.

  5. Chances are it was with the BOAR (British Army of the Rhine) , but that’s just a guess. Really nice job, great weathering.

  6. Bob,
    Your artistry really shows on this. Outstanding build and painting. Was there one of these a Pony Tracks?

  7. Looks great, Robert. As Simon said, the finish on the exhausts really stood out for me as well. The overall finish has the subtle look of wear and weathering just in the right degree to add a look of realism, I think.

  8. Robert, Yet another great looking tank model-really like the weathering.

  9. Great finish and weathering on this one, Robert. Is this an old Tamiya kit, I can’t find it on their website?

  10. The muffler and exhaust draw the viewers eye to the excellent weathering on this model. But one question and keep in mind I’m not an armour guy: the white star on the tank’s hull looks “US Army”, did the British military use this type of marking also? Very nice build!

    • Mike,
      The white star was worn by the UN Commenwealth forces (Britain and Australia) fighting in the Korean war, for quick recognition. The kit instructions led me to believe this tank, with the 4th RTR, was in Korea.

  11. Thanks to all for your nice comments. I enjoy building tank models, and find them kind of a relief from aircraft kits, though the weathering can be very time consuming! The Centurion and Chieftain were built around the same time, just a few years ago.

  12. Nice tank! The metal exhausts and the weathering effects are awesome!

  13. Nice model Robert. Unfortunately, the decals depict a mixture of Regiments. The “Chinese Eye” you have front and rear is not in fact from 4RTR, but is the sign of the British Guards Armoured Division. A Div. which I am almost sure no RTR Regiment ever served in. The eyes on 4RTR tanks, ( which are still carried by 1RTR who amalgamated with 4RTR in 1993), were white on black and were normally on either side of the turret under the smoke grenade launchers. Also the white stars were carried by British tanks in Korea but 4RTR never served there, the only RTR Regiments to do so were 1 and 5RTR. I also have this kit, but it seems Tamiya need to research their subject a bit better. ( I served with 5RTR )

  14. One other thing I forgot. 1st to 8th RTR tank names begin with the letter of the alphabet corresponding to the number of the Regiment:- i.e. 1RTR – A. 2RTR – B. 3RTR – C, and so on. All 4RTR tank names began with D. This dates from WW1 when the Heavy Branch Machine Gun Corps was formed, with 8 Companies, A to H. The companies were then expanded to Battalions, the HBMGC became the Tank Corps, then the Royal Tank Corps, and finally in 1939 the Royal Tank Regiment, the letters changing to numbers in 1923. As you can see from this, the name “Pine Hill” would never have been a 4RTR name.

    • Tankie,
      Well, as Stan Laurel used to say, “Well blow me down with an anchovy!” Wow, I guess I better just toss that Centurion in the trash! Sounds like I have a real worthless hodge podge. Thanks for pointing out the errors, and I will try to research better in the future. You sure sound qualified to know about this subject, and I respect that, and appreciate your comments. Did you look at my Chieftain and find any mistakes there?

      • No, I haven’t seen your Chieftain, where can I find it? I’m not as well up on them as Centurion, as I was transferred to 15/19 KRH after we disbanded at the end of 1969, and only did a couple of months with that Regiment (who had Chieftain by then), before I was demobbed.

  15. If you are on this page with my Centurion, just look below the 6 thumbnails of additional images. Under those you will see a link “18 more from this author”. Click on that and you will be taken to all of my postings. The Chieftain is on the 2nd page, 3rd from the bottom. By the way, are you a member of iModeler? I tried looking you up in “Members”, but found no listing for “Tankie589”.

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