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The Serious Modeller’s Guide to Canadian Centurion Gun Tanks, Canadian Armour Series Volume 1

by Barry Beldam

Distributed by Quartermaster’s Depot, ISBN 0-9734277-0-1, 180 pages, spiral bound.

This is clearly a labour of love. Barry Beldam gives a mass of information, all absolutely invaluable to Centurion modellers. He starts with a good listing of the various gun tank Marks, stating exactly what was changed for each version. Next come photographs, top view layout drawings showing their differences, and equally useful dimension plans and lubrication charts for Marks I, II and 3, a main component layout diagram for Marks 3, 5 and 6, and basic data for Marks I, II and 3, and then dimension plans and basic data for the Mark 11. That’s just the first 12 pages!

Next is a 12-page section on armament, with technical manual drawings and photographs showing gun crutches, breech block, co-ax MG mounts, etc, etc for the 17 pdr and 20 pdr guns. Drawings show all the main gun rounds from HE to practice, with details of their colours and markings.

The following chapters go into just as much detail on turrets and their parts, hull layouts and details, fighting compartment interiors, ammunitions bins, the engine, engine bay and transmission, and the suspension. These take up another 98 pages and are followed by internal and external stowage diagrams for Marks I, II and 3 - invaluable to let you see how all the fittings shown earlier go together. Then come 30 pages of photographs of Canadian Centurions, both detailed shots of preserved tanks and contemporary ones of tanks in service. Finally there’s a fold-out colour page with camouflage pattern drawings for both the first four-colour pattern and the 1969 NATO three-colour scheme, with FS numbers quoted for all the paints used.

This is an excellent reference for modelers of the Centurion Marks ! to5 in any service, not just Canadian. Highly recommended! Since this is Volume 1 we can hope for Volume 2 to cover the 105 mm Centurions not included here.

Readers in the UK can order from Barbarossa Books, where I bought my copy. Although at the time of writing their website seems to be offline the telephone number is 01621 810810.

John Prigent