Churchill Bridgelayer 1/76, Matchbox


Another blast from the past… This build is really old; if you look at the background on the first photo, you’ll see the instructions for one Renault UE I’ve built in 2006… So yeah. Matchbox is somewhat of a forgotten brand when it comes to models; so I thought I’d present here one of their kits I’ve built.

I bought this kit on a whim, and I was put off by the shiny green plastic at first. But once you cover it with paint… the model becomes great. I’m not sure about accuracy; it’s a Churchill, it has a big bridge on the top, and it has a big mortar in the turret. (Which was reloaded manually- from the outside.)



It appears that the bridge was hand-cranked as well.

Assembled tank

The first coat of paint really transformed the model for me. This is when I started to like the tank. I was not very much concerned with the shade of green, I must confess, so it might not be historically correct. I was young, OK?

The bridge is attached, finally. I did a burnt umber oil wash first, but it still looked very much plastic.

Some more weathering. A tip: once you attached the threads, cover them with glue so that they don’t get fuzzy later. (It was not very easy to do the rigging, I tell you that.)

This is the time when I discovered pigments… I put them on diluted in white spirit, and let them dry out. It worked nicely.

Even more pigments; they did help to bring he model to life, though.

So here it is… a really old model (by all standards), but it was quite a nice experience nevertheless. The moral of this story is I guess is that it’s sometimes really worth buying these old gems.

5 thoughts on “Churchill Bridgelayer 1/76, Matchbox”

  1. I love what you’ve done with this venerable kit. I’m currently building one now and know what you you mean about the plastic: Shiney and brittle. Nevertheless I think its a nice kit with good detail and intetesting subject etc. Plus I like how the many tiny little wheels have been treated😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 There’s a future plan of building a 1/35 Churchill III with full interior… once I catch up on the other similar projects.
      Maybe by that time MiniArt or others will come up with a plastic version, so I don’t have to buy the resin aftermarket… 🙂


      1. I almost bought a 1/35 Churchill, it was an AFV club kit, but decided the Tamiya Grant and Matilda would keep me occupied long enough. Though I’m not a glutton for punishment i.e. no interiors!

        I’m yet to figure out which flavour of green to spray my matchbox bridgelayer. I rather fancy a sun bleached faded green look…will have to experiment me thinks.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 🙂 It’s a matter of taste I guess. I love interiors (as you might have guessed already), and yes, I thought of the AVF kit, too. The Churchill has a lot of empty space inside waiting for a resin set to fill it out. (The Matilda by Tamiya/MiniArt is quite attractive, too…)

    Faded green is good, though 🙂 Go with that. (If you have photos, share them.)


  3. It certainly is indeed! I mulled over getting an Academy Tiger 2 with full interior, but settled for the Zvezda Tiger 1 with nominal turret interior, enough for me!

    I think a 1/35 version of the matchbox bridge layer would be an impressive display piece, I’d have nowhere for it to displayed mindyou😂.

    Will share a few piccies my bridgelayer when/if completed!


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