It’s that time again — a review of yet another Forces of Valor miniature tank that also stars in COH. Today we have for you the lumbering Churchill infantry tank, long on armor but short on firepower. A quick gander at Wikipedia will tell you that the Churchill was nearly scrapped in favor of the Cromwell tank, which began production shortly after the first Mk. I Churchill emerged. In COH as in real life, the slow-moving Churchill packs a ton of armor but its 75mm “6-pounder” main gun is largely ineffective against late-era German tanks like the Panther and Tiger. The Churchill was instead used to draw fire and accompany infantry advancing into hostile territory; its general purpose main gun was used to great effect against static fortifications, enemy infantry, and all manner of light vehicles and halftracks. The 6-pounder, at least in COH, can penetrate Panzer IV armor frequently enough to stay in the fight until Sherman Fireflies or PIAT infantry can join in.
This model from FoV packs the company’s characteristic heft; it’s an extremely sturdy miniature that jives well with the historic Churchill’s reputation for ruggedness. The miniature sports an olive-brownish paint job with the name “Chorley” painted in white capitals across the rear side panels. Chorley is of course, as another quick Wikipedia visit will reveal, is the name of a town in Lancashire, England, notable for its role in the country’s cotten industry. The miniature is highly detailed, with the British commander (shirtsleeves rolled up) scanning the horizon for enemy targets through his binoculars. The Churchill model also has the basic features of virtually all FoV models — rotating turrent, elevating main gun, and moving vinyl tracks that realistically simulate the types of rubber and steel used in the real tank’s treads.
You can see nuts, bolts and tow cables; the accompanying machine guns are faithfully recreated and two wire loops are attached to the turret, simulating radio antennae. The Churchill miniature really is quite a fine model, and even more so than the Sherman or even the Tiger from FoV, the Churchill has a distinct and reassuring heft that oozes a sense of solid construction.
Truly, the Churchill is one model that lives up to its namesake. All the more reason for everyone to stay tuned for the Rifles Ready! miniature store page, which will sell FoV models for a specially negotiated price (shipping will be free!).