Huw Morgan tackles Border Model’s recently tooled 1/35 Crusader Mk.III, finishing the model on a boxart-inspired base.
Arguably the definitive wartime cruiser tank, the Crusader was developed when armoured fighting vehicle design was still in its infancy during the 1930s, and inevitably took wrong turns.
With the memory of World War One still strong in many senior military minds but facing the challenge of emerging doctrines of more mobile, dynamic warfare, British tank design split into two distinct strands. The slow, heavily armoured ‘Infantry’ tank was intended to slog alongside foot soldiers, and the dashing, lightly armoured but fast ‘Cruiser’ tank intended to exploit breakthroughs. The former went through several iterations; by 1937, the concept was influenced strongly by Soviet designs using the revolutionary long-travel suspension designed by American J Walter Christie, which allowed high cross-country speeds and reasonable ride.