The Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank was the successor of the successful Chieftain MBT in British service. Initially developed for the Iranian army, but with the fall of the Shah of Iran the Iranians lost interest. When the UK MBT90 project failed the British Army got interested in the Challenger and the Challenger 1 entered British service in 1983.
The Challenger 1 was the first tank to feature Chobham armour instead of the usual Rolled Homogeneous Armor. This new armor was so effective that it was used on other Western MBTs like the Leopard and the Abrams.
Inside the normal side-opening Revell box we find 6 sprues, the instruction sheet and the safety sheet also known as the Decal Holder. It’s safe to say that this little box is filled to the brim. Revell even added some foam backing to the most fragile parts on the sprues. The kit could do with a bigger box.
But onto the kit. There are a 129 parts, and for a 1/72 scale kit that’s quite a lot. But these parts are beautifully molded. I was worried about the gun in this kit, as the 120 mm rifled cannon has some very intricate details. But my worries were unfounded: the barrel is molded as a single piece and with good detail. Other details like the Commanders GPMG is also included and (for 1/72) very nicely detailed. One little problem I noticed was that the bottom of the tank was bent out of shape. Not a real disaster, but this happens mostly with Revell kits in my experience. I wonder why…
Decals and color schemes
This kit features two schemes:
- 17/21 Lancers, BOAR Ex. Iron Hammer 1986
- Queen’s Royal Hussars IFOR, Bosnia-Herzegovina 1996
They don’t differ much, both are olive drab with black camo, with only a different pattern. The decals are nicely printed and in register and feature nice unit and tactical markings and two large IFOR markings.
This is probably not the best beginners kit due to the amount of parts and the delicacy of some of these parts. But I can’t spot any major problems with this kit and I’m sure any average modeller can make something nice out of this.
Vehicle: Challenger 1
Manufacturer: Revell Germany
Number of parts: 129
Number of sprues: 6
Length: 164 mm