Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 (03308)

The Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 is a re-boxing of an old Matchbox offering of the Challenger.

Apart from adding the aerials to the tank plus some static grass to the base, the kit was built straight out of the box.

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 box art

Box art of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 model kit.

The build

The contents of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

Supplied on 3 runners and with rubber band style tracks. There are decals for 2 vehicles:

  • British Army, ,BAOR, Royal Hussars
  • Tank Museum, Bovington

The second option is not very descriptive as to which tank it actually represents.

Building stage of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

Construction starts with the wheels and preparing the lower hull and the rear f the hull.

No real issues at this stage of the build, all parts fit well.

Top hull and turret of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 model kit.

While waiting for the wheels and lower hull sections to set, I made a start on the upper hull and turret.

Used a small pin vice to drill out the end of the gun barrel. I also glued the gun barrel in place. It’s not like I’m going to be moving that part inn the future.

Again, no issues with the assembly at this stage. Except I managed to lose the pickaxe head, so this did not get added to the tank.

Priming the model

Parts of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 after being primed.

Next step was to prime the wheels and lower hull with Vallejo grey surface primer (74.601).

As a side note, I own 2 airbrushes, a cheap Abest 0.2mm airbrush, and a Harder & Steenbeck Ultra. The H&S Ultra came with 0.2mm and 0.4mm needles and nozzles.

I tend to use the cheap Abest airbrush for doing priming and varnish coats and the Ultra for more detailed work.

You’ll see in the photo, that the plan was to use Tamiya XF81 Dark Green 2 (RAF) as the main colour for the colour scheme.

Painting and construction

Green added to the lower hull of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1.

Lower hull painted with the Tamiya XF81 Dark Green 2 (RAF).

To my eyes, this green just did not look right. It does not really show in this photo, but for me it was a little too light in colour.

The lower hull and wheels of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 after re-spraying with a darker green.

So after a bit of umming and ahhing, I decided to re-paint the lower hull and wheels with Tamiya XF 61 Dark Green.

To me this just seemed a better green for a BAOR vehicle. Possibly a little too dark, but after doing a bit quick of Google searching, it would appear that the green could vary quite a bit with BAOR equipment!

Work starts on gluing the wheels to the lower hull.
Wheels attached to the lower hull.

Wheel rims painted black and gluing them to the lower hull starts.

Tracks being added to the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

Adding the tracks. I did manage to snap off the front roller on one of the sides while adding the track.

Simple fix, was to drill out a hole in the wheel hub and the connection on the hull for the wheel. Then using a small section of paper-clip as a pin between the two items.

This gave a very strong join, much better than the original plastic pin.

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 painted green,

Upper hull, turret and side skirts primed, then painted Tamiya XF61 Dark Green.

A bit of filler required on the front of the model,

Time to attach the upper hull to the lower hull.

Was a good fit except for a slight gap at the front. Nothing a small amount of Vallejo Plastic Putty couldn’t fix.

The side skirts were quite fiddly to attach, not sure I really got them as flush as I would have liked.

Black part of the camouflage scheme added.

Next step as to paint the black part of the distinctive but simple BAOR camouflage scheme.

Using my H&S Ultra, I free handed the very simple black sections. I used Tamiya XF69 NATO black. Very happy with the result.

Adding varnish and decals

Model given a coat of varnish.

The kit was then given a coat of Vallejo Satin Acrylic Varnish 26.519 ready for decals.

Decals added and another coat of varnish.

Once the decals had been applied, another coat of satin varnish was applied to protect them.

The Revell 1:76 Challenger almost completed.

At this point I then used a selection of Vallejo model washes (76.518 Black, 76.513 Brown and 76.516 Grey) to add some subtle weathering, to the model.

Also used a dry-brush technique and Tamiya XF52 Flat Earth to add some mud splatter on the side skirts.

Aerials added to the Challenger turret.

Aerials were made from 5amp fuse wire. Then the kit was given a couple of coats of Vallejo Polyurethane Matt Varnish 26.651.

The base

Supplied base with some static grass added.

Of course we can’t forget the base.

Sprayed various greens, browns, blacks and greys to get an earth look. Then added some static grass. I don’t own a static grass applicator, so I just generally use an old paint brush to try and make the grass stand up. Not always a great success!

The finished kit – Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

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Cold War armour in miniature

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

I decided it was time to add some Cold War armour subjects to my Cold War in miniature collection.

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 box art - Cold War armour in miniature.
Revell’s 1:76 Challenger 1 box art. Building the Cold War in miniature.

I liked the look of the Revell Challenger 1. It is from the old Matchbox range, so comes with a little display base, which is an added benefit.

So I plan to complete this one in the BAOR the scheme (Royal Hussars) which I believe is dated 1983/84. The Royal Hussars were the first unit to be equipped with the Challenger 1 in 1983.

However the kit does not come with any figures, so I will be using the armed figures from the old Airfix “NATO Ground Crew“.

Talking of Airfix, it will be interesting to see if they re-release any of their old armour kits as part of the “Vintage Classics” range.

The kits would be the Centurion tank, Chieftain tank and the Scorpion tank. These are a good representation British Cold War armour.

If Airfix also release the old JB models that they owned, that would be a welcome plus.

Other Revell Cold War armour in miniature include:

Did you know that a British Army Challenger 1 achieved the longest ranged confirmed kill of the 1991 Gulf war. Destroying an Iraqi tank at 4,700 metres with an APFSDS round.

The Royal Jordanian Army is also an operator of the Challenger 1, however with heavy modifications.

Challenger crews can have a brew with their “water boiling and ration heater”.