Amusing Hobby Conqueror Mk 1

I’ve been preoccupied with quite a bit of personal admin recently, so I’ve been reduced to commenting, not building. My latest task has involved the onerous Application of Probate prompted by my Dad’s demise late last year, which at long last, now appears to be coming to fruition. To restart the modelling juices I’ve shelved a couple of schemes and resurrected this one, the mighty Conqueror, itself sadly half-started some time ago.

Base Kit 1

I plan to depict it as on the ranges, partly inspired by this reference picture:

I hope to be able to show a shell case being ejected to add a bit of interest.

A bit of the background scenario:

The year is 1957; post the Suez debacle the previous year, the Army is trying to get back to a state of steady jogging; Conqueror was introduced in 1955 – to deal with the Soviet 122mm gun threat (viz JS-3, T-10, ISU 122, et al) in NATO’s Central Region - and the Royal Armoured Corps are still working hard to train crews on the new tank. The Mk 2 version is being issued to the armoured regiments in BAOR. Meanwhile, back at the RAC Centre, Mk 1s labour on in the training regiment. This doesn’t imply that the training regime was slacking; in the previous year the Soviet Union had given a sharp reminder to European nations and the US that it would impose its will wherever it deemed it necessary, in this case Hungary, all a reminder to those forces contributing to NATO.

A dry run of the plan; the figures are not the ones that will be used in the final portrayal; the secondary vehicle is the Austin Champ (courtesy of Accurate Armour) and will be modelled as if the Officer Commanding the Gunnery Wing has come to see how the shooting is going on. Note; I am not even sure if the Gunnery Wing had an OC back then, or even if it was known as the “Gunnery Wing” but bear with me(!):

And some construction shots; I had to paint some areas as I went:

I used Friuls as the kit ones were not the click-together type Amusing Hobby later provided.

A few mods: a metal gun barrel from Aber. A tape and card sleeve around the cable reel, and an etched buckle - not really visible. A replacement MG from Academy, and a scratched range flag (plastic rod and masking tape) inserted into the hatch support/stop, modelled as lashed to the support (fuse-wire); I’ve since found out that this support housed a release catch mechanism so the flag would probably have just been inserted, however, given the unforgiving nature of super-glue I’m afraid it’s staying where it is and as shown. I also added lead wire to replace the rather weedy conduits for the smoke dischargers.

Mantlet cover from Milliput, though not one of my better efforts.

Another view of the turret, showing the ejection port and the Fire Control Turret

More to follow in due course.



Some nice work there Brian… Looking the part :+1:

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Thanks John, I suspect you’ll be my most ardent critic!


Looks really nice. And with the Friuls on it must weigh a lot.


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Haha … Not at all… The extra bits you have done on the mantlet cover, the hatch stay rod etc are really great bits of attention to detail… :+1:

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No, what I meant John was that I’m straying into RAC territory! Always fraught!


It does, when I was airbrushing the colour yesterday (pics to follow) it felt like I was holding up the 65 tons of the original(!)

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Yeah … I got it … I was never that bothered with static ranges at Home to be honest, apart from the Sqn bar…I preferred the real live fire ex’s in BATUS… You had a real feel of what to expect then…

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Looking good, British armor is my favorite. Man I never realized how massively long the conqueror barrel was

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Nice going, I threw those original tracks as well

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I’m trying to imagine what it was like way back when for National Servicemen and Regulars alike; brand new kit, live firing, even the most disenchanted NS could probably not have failed to have been impressed by the mighty Conq in action. God knows the Soviet threat was all for real back then - let alone in my/your time - but I suspect the brutal crushing of the Hungarian revolution concentrated the minds.

As indicated, I plan on this being at say, Lulworth, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get it right.

As this unfolds, if I get any of this glaringly wrong please advise me accordingly.


Thanks Frank!

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You’re right there; at one stage I thought, once I’d installed the barrel (using epoxy!) that I might have to install a counterweight in the turret rear. However, the turret locatuing lugs to the hull are pretty resilient.

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Looking good Brian- you know when seeing one of your builds that it will be well researched with a colourful bit of history thrown in too! I’ve always liked the look of the Conqueror and it’s quite a rare piece to see in plastic too.


Right Chaps - thanks for the comments and encouragement - much appreciated; a bit more:

The Commander’s MG was able to be fired from under cover ie if the turret was buttoned up, the Commander had a dedicated sight for the MG. A cable/solenoid arrangement enabled all this and I’ve tried to replicate this with a piece of lead wire and some plastic rod and scrap.

The original:

My efforts - not that clear I’m afraid:

I’ve also included the feeder tab from the ammo belt and positioned the ammo box lid to show an ammo belt loaded; I strongly suspect that any exercise on the ranges would also include an MG shoot.

Note also the wing mirrors - accentuated with adhesive chrome tape; these will be fitted last as they’re just too obtrusive and fragile:


Your Conqueror looks excellent! The build looks fantastic and you’re really giving it the royal treatment with the tracks and barrel. The upgrades are certainly worth it. That barrel is massive! That would be one impossible seam line to get rid of. And Amusing’s snap together tracks - I tried to make them work on their Chieftain, without success, even with glue, an abysmal 3 day effort. You made a wise choice getting the Friuls. Your paint work looks outstanding so far, this is really shaping up into a wonderful model.
I joined up in '82 and I remember climbing into my first M901 ITV. It still smelled new inside, you could smell the paint. The cold war was very real back then and we trained hard for it to turn hot at any moment.

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Well, thanks Matthew; still a fair bit of work to do though. It’s now in its coat of paint - photos soon, I hope. I’ve also been working on the Austin Champ which I’ve found a little bit more taxing. As always with resin – and cyanoacrylate glue – construction can be a bit fraught.

Coincidentally enough – re the Cold War that is – I’ve been reading this (which I also displayed on “What the Postman brought” thread):

A timely reminder of how fatal the early/mid 80s nearly were.


Hi Matthew , amusing hobby haven’t made a chieftain yet, think you maybe meaning centurion,
The one picture below has the barrel and tracks, Brian is using, been together since 2018.

Brian, the post that you have the range flag on do you know what it is and use please, missing my one,
Here is a bit of encouragement.


Frank, you are right, my bad, Amusing Centurion Mk.V.

Hi Frank,

The idea was that the Commander’s hatch could be positioned to provide overhead cover while he still had his head out - if that makes sense. I believe it was referred to as the umbrella position (and I think one of the Cent marks had similar and the prototype/early Chieftains). So the hatch could be raised on this particlar strut and locked into position; there was another strut the other side of the hatch to support the same.

Therefore, the strut (which I’ve fitted a flag into), has a release/securing mechanism of some sort; I’ve been unable to find clear pics of it. I imagine that to fly the range flag the staff would simply be jammed into the mechanism, as opposed my depiction of lashing it with cord (not that I think I’m necessarily wrong to do so although a speedy swap of the flags wouldn’t be effected).

In the AH kit there is an option of an etched version, but I chose the plastic one. There are no details within - ie the mechanism - it’s really just a piece of shaped brass requiring 2 folds.

I’ve taken a couple of pics from one of my references; I should be able to post them up this pm.

'Nice Mk 2 - Dragon or AH?