New Vanguard 80: Chieftain Main
Battle Tank 1965-2003
by Simon Dunstan, illustrated
by Peter Sarson
Osprey Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 1-84176-719-0; 48 pages
Here is just the reference that we’ve been waiting for. It gives
the development history of the Chieftain from its very beginning, in good
detail. Then comes a technical description which throws interesting light
on the final design and also gives a terrific bonus – six pages
providing comprehensive notes on the differences between the various Marks
of the tank. This gives exactly what any modeller needs, a rundown showing
what to change in the existing kits to model the precise version you want.
Good captions point out those differences as seen in the very clear photographs
as well, and there are some views of the interior so you can scratchbuild
most of what’s easily seen through the hatches if you leave them
open. The New Vanguard trademark cutaway plate helps here, too. There’s
also a good breakdown (pun intended!) of the engine modifications that
eventually resulted in a reliable powerplant. Recovery, bridgelaying and
armoured engineer Chieftains are not forgotten, with their own comprehensive
section. The colour plates have good captions and show 8 different tanks
with full markings for identified units, including the recovery and engineer
Chieftains used in Desert Storm as well as the Kuwaiti Mark 5/2K gun tank.