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Replica Churchill Tank


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Hello everyone, 

I originally posted this in the British Vehicles section not realising there was a Tracked Section on the website as I am a newbie to the forum...

I am involved in a number of projects relating to WW2 and my home County and as part of one of these projects I have been asked to look into a possible new build Churchill Tank and I was wondering if anyone here would know roughly how much a new build tank would cost? Or be able to provide any useful information or guidance. 

Thank you all in advance and I look forward to hearing from anyone who is able to help.

Kindest regards, 

Aaron

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Hi Aaron

I bit more about yourself and the group you are part of if that is the case would help a lot.

More detail on what you hope to achieve, such as theatrical look alike to a fully running exact replica in all detail and of course the possible available budget.

Also if you input your profile location.

 

Best wishes

Iain

 

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6 minutes ago, Mk3iain said:

Hi Aaron

I bit more about yourself and the group you are part of if that is the case would help a lot.

More detail on what you hope to achieve, such as theatrical look alike to a fully running exact replica in all detail and of course the possible available budget.

Also if you input your profile location.

 

Best wishes

Iain

 

Hi Iain, 

Yes of course, I am 28 years old and I am working with a relatively new museum that has been slowly setting themselves up since 2016 and is dedicated to the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Limited (GRC&W). 

GRC&W built a total of 764 Churchill Tanks Mk.I to III during the Second World War including a Mild Steel Prototype as well as many other items and products for the military during WW2 including “whale” sections for mulberry harbour.

We are still in the process of researching everything at the moment and do not have a set budget as it was.

We would love to have a working example but I have been told this could be expensive and well into 6 figures. I am open to options and other avenues. I have been thinking of wood and steel with the exterior and interior looking as it would of done by with no engine or armour platting.

This would be used in the museum (eventually) as well as during an annual event which we are currently looking into/planning to hold and we would like to be able to open it up as it was to allow visitors and others inside to have a look.

Hope this gives more of a background and happy to speak to anyone who would be able to help or advice in anyway (we are also looking for drawings, plans, etc.)

Thank you again.

Regards,

Aaron
 

 

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Thanks Aaron

Would be nice if you could locate a range wreck or at least a part of one that had been built by GRC&W. Maybe using a restorable hull as the basis as mentioned on the other thread.

Just a rough hull would be a displayable item, with clever holographic projection it could be turned into something special and help raise funds for a build.

Its a thought.

Iain 

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17 minutes ago, Mk3iain said:

Thanks Aaron

Would be nice if you could locate a range wreck or at least a part of one that had been built by GRC&W. Maybe using a restorable hull as the basis as mentioned on the other thread.

Just a rough hull would be a displayable item, with clever holographic projection it could be turned into something special and help raise funds for a build.

Its a thought.

Iain 

Thank you Iain, 

I have been looking for a GRC&W Churchill and from my research only one is known to exist a Mk.III in a Sweden museum. 

That sounds like an interesting idea, I was thinking of fundraising for the replica build but wasn’t sure how to go about doing it, I was thinking of a small model to help fund raise but that sounds like an even better idea, I know of a few Churchill tank hulls and even Turrets are still around in ranges but not too sure if they are GRC&W built.

I shall definitely keep a record of your suggestion and when I am next speaking to the Founders/Trustees of the museum I shall let them know. 

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You could start with a VR tour of a Churchill and build from there the same data would be usable for a hologram (maybe).

The equipment required would then be usable elsewhere in the museum.

VR is a good starting point but would not replace the experience of the real thing.

Worth talking to the Tank Museum they have done similar with German WW2 displays ( Tiger experience) and they are on here ! They may also have something at the back of a shed somewhere...

 

Iain

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30 minutes ago, Mk3iain said:

You could start with a VR tour of a Churchill and build from there the same data would be usable for a hologram (maybe).

The equipment required would then be usable elsewhere in the museum.

VR is a good starting point but would not replace the experience of the real thing.

Worth talking to the Tank Museum they have done similar with German WW2 displays ( Tiger experience) and they are on here ! They may also have something at the back of a shed somewhere...

 

Iain

Thank you kindly Iain, I shall definitely bare that in mind and get in touch with them. 

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1 hour ago, Kent Transport History said:

Hello,

there is a hulk of a churchill somewhere in kent still, not sure where though. 

Thank you kindly, I shall have to look into this and see if I can locate the hull you mention and it’s owners.

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Just before he died a few weeks ago, my late Uncle told me that they buried quite a few Churchill tank hulls on the Castlemartin ranges.  I think they were making hillocks and bumps for what ever purpose.  he was RE heavy earth moving in the 1950's

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I can't see any problem constructing a  1:1 scale  replica chassis out of mild steel plate and at relative low cost .  Basic boilermakes profile burner ,  rivet heating hearth & associated gear ,  or if welded - a good CO2 cake-icer .  It is not as if you are on coded pressure vessel work.

You may be able to get your hands on your firm's blueprints ?    Otherwise you need somebody in Sweden with a imperial tape-measure, pencil & paper.     I speak as somebody who served 6 years in a British Railways workshop ,  1 year as junior draftsman - then went to sea  LoL

Then you just need all the bolt-ons as   ££££££££££   allows..

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Another possibility is to contact some owners and if you have set space available, offer free storage of their Churchill. Their are a few well off owners who may lend you something to display. There’s likely other concerns such as insurance and liability etc. but it could be another option to consider.

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there's a nice early churchill hull on lydd range that should be an easy recovery. also a turret in an rspb reserve in leamington spa and i have access to a full set of early track for free. you get the permissions and i will recover them for you

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3 minutes ago, eddy8men said:

there's a nice early churchill hull on lydd range that should be an easy recovery. also a turret in an rspb reserve in leamington spa and i have access to a full set of early track for free. you get the permissions and i will recover them for you

Thank you for this, I shall look into this further and see what I can find/dig up (no pun intended).

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9 hours ago, ruxy said:

I can't see any problem constructing a  1:1 scale  replica chassis out of mild steel plate and at relative low cost .  Basic boilermakes profile burner ,  rivet heating hearth & associated gear ,  or if welded - a good CO2 cake-icer .  It is not as if you are on coded pressure vessel work.

You may be able to get your hands on your firm's blueprints ?    Otherwise you need somebody in Sweden with a imperial tape-measure, pencil & paper.     I speak as somebody who served 6 years in a British Railways workshop ,  1 year as junior draftsman - then went to sea  LoL

Then you just need all the bolt-ons as   ££££££££££   allows..

The wasted cost of building a replica, you may as well find something genuine, and do a steady 'rolling' restoration on it. It's one of the interesting things I find in museums. finished stuff bores me a little lol. 

Have you considered a lottery grant, to assist in paying for an acquisition/ heavy recovery?  

A genuine local historical subject is always worthy of lottery funds

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9 minutes ago, Kent Transport History said:

The wasted cost of building a replica, you may as well find something genuine, and do a steady 'rolling' restoration on it. It's one of the interesting things I find in museums. finished stuff bores me a little lol. 

Have you considered a lottery grant, to assist in paying for an acquisition/ heavy recovery?  

A genuine local historical subject is always worthy of lottery funds

Thank you for this, I have been looking into all avenues including lottery funding. 

The one problem I have been having is finding a Churchill Mk. I, II or III with its original data plate intact/in place proving that it is a Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Limited built Churchill or even other information allowing this to be proven in other ways. 

For a local history subject such as this for lottery funding I have found it needs to be proven and have evidence that said vehicle being recovered is a locally built vehicle and that it is of some historical importance, etc.

If the funds were available I am sure a full scale replica using same methods, materials etc., could be done as a bit of an “experimental archeological” type project. 

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I am looking into and willing to hear everyone’s thoughts and ideas regarding this as nothing at the moment is set in stone.

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1 hour ago, Kent Transport History said:

Then some heavy research is needed first, to establish what was built locally, and how to tell. not easy, but possible. 

how many churchill lines were there? and what were the years/numbers produced?

Thanks I have already undertaken a lot of research and a total of 764 Churchill’s were made by the company  all being Mk.I to III research so far: 

T-32246 to T-32470 - Churchills I-IV

T-68641 to T-68816 - Churchills I-IV

T32396 - Churchill I Gloucester RC&W Mild steel pilot model

T32397 - T32470 - Churchill I, II Gloucester RC&W Production models 

T32396 - T32470 - Total 74 Tanks 

T67866 - T67990 Gloucester RC&W and Birmingham RC&W Production Models 

T67866 - T67990 - Total 124 Tanks 

T68716 - T68840 - Churchill III Gloucester RC&W Production models 

T68716 - T68840 - Total 124 Tanks

You can see that numbers T67868 to T67990 are claimed by both Gloucester RC&W and Birmingham RC&W. Could it be that these numbers were allotted to Gloucester originally and then moved to Birmingham? What numbers were carried by the remaining 442 Gloucester Churchill’s?

This is the information I have managed to source so far and a few further questions I am trying to answer while asking about replica’s, etc. 

Some of the above list are mentioned in The Tank Museum, Bovington paperwork as “assembly only”. 

The above information has been gathered from a number of websites, forums and The History of the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Limited (1960) and The Churchill Tank.

Edited by WW2Aaron91
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