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Tank Craft 21: Challenger 1 (ePub)

British Main Battle Tank of the Gulf War

Colour eBooks Military > Modelling Military > Post-WWII Warfare Military > Tanks Photographic eBooks

By Robert Griffin
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Tank Craft
File Size: 115.3 MB (.epub)
Pages: 64
Illustrations: 100
ISBN: 9781526756541
Published: 7th October 2019


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During the 1980s and early 1990s the Challenger 1 main battle tank played a central role in Britain’s armoured forces and it achieved remarkable success in combat, destroying around 300 Iraqi tanks in the Gulf War. With its advanced Chobham armour and hydropneumatic suspension system, it was one of the most sophisticated and effective armoured vehicles of the time and, in a modified form, it is still in service with the Jordanian army. It is also a popular subject with tank modellers and enthusiasts, which is why this volume in the TankCraft series is of such value.

Archive photos of the Challenger 1 in service and extensively researched colour profile illustrations depict the tank throughout its operational life. A large part of the book showcases available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined and provide everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of the Challenger 1.

The Challenger tank is one that I can relate to having seen footage of them on the news having grown up in part of the cold war era. It was the tank that myself and my friends ‘knew’ and now, after reading this edition of the Tank Craft series, I fill I finally ‘know’ the Challenger. The detail in this book is brilliant, and as a modeller, is inspiring.

A great additions to your reference library.

Read the full review here

Vintage Airfix

Reviewed alongside Tank Craft 23

Verdict: ... the books provide an excellent portrait of the Challenger 1 and Challenger 2 tanks, which are becoming increasingly popular with modellers.

Classic Military Vehicle, February 2021

This book is a great addition to the Tank Craft series. It will prove invaluable for model makers building the Challenger 1 with the close up photographs and model show case being of particular interest. It is good to see four view drawings and the inclusion of a small scale model so well done is a real plus. Highly recommended to model makers interested in this iconic Main Battle Tank.

Tom Cole, Miniature Armoured Fighting Vehicles Association, September 2020

Quality documentation that will delight vehicle modelers, historians and military researchers.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

... a great addition to the series and an important contribution to the literature on a popular modelling subject.

Militray Modelcraft International – reviewed by David Grummitt

The latest volume in Pen and Sword’s “Tank Craft” range looks at the Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank. Like other books in the series it follows the format of combining an illustrated history of the real tank with four model builds and eight pages of colour illustrations of this modern AFV.
The book starts by examining the tortuous process concerning the birth of the “Chally”. Rob Griffin explains that it was only through the revolution in Iran and the consequent cancellation of the Shir 2 that the Challenger ended up as the Main Battle Tank in the British Army. The section on the tank in close up will be of particular interest to model makers as will the sections on the Main Battle Tank and specialist variants. The final chapter looks at the Challenger in service in the Gulf War and in the Balkans.
Half of the book is about the real vehicle and the other half is about the tank in model form. As usual there are illustrations of camouflage schemes carried by a variety of Challenger 1s. These artworks are four view drawings which is a real bonus for model makers and more useful than the usual side views. There are then four model builds; three in 1/35 scale and one in 1/72 scale. These are all neatly done – particularly the small scale model. This is followed by a brief outline of the Challenger model kits that are available in a variety of scales.
This book is a great addition to the Tank Craft series. It will prove invaluable for model makers building the Challenger 1 with the close up photographs and model show case being of particular interest. It is good to see four view drawings and the inclusion of a small scale model so well done is a real plus. Highly recommended to model makers interested in this iconic Main Battle Tank.


Featured 'On the bookshelf' with Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, February 2020

of great interest to modelers who intend build a Challenger mode.

AMPS Indianapolis

Today the Challenger 1 has been replaced by a tank that looks like it from the outside but is much more modern: the Challenger 2. Where the Challenger 1 was an old generation tank to which advanced technological solutions had been applied to keep it up to date , the Challenger 2 is entirely a new generation tank . However Challenger 1, when it was called to action, did its duty and remains in the hearts of those who led it and fought on it . This TankCraft number 21 is another monograph of the series that cannot be missing from your library.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

As featured on FineScale Modeler

FineScale Modeler

The latest volume in Pen and Sword's TankCraft series looks at the British Army's main battle tank as used during the Gulf wars. Again, it's essential reading for modelling enthusiasts and wargamers, but it's also an important addition to the library of military vehicle profiles.

Books Monthly

Griffin tells an interesting story in an engaging, if sometimes loose, manner. As ever, though, with the Tank Craft series it is the middle section of colour plates and stunning models that makes these books stand out. If modern British tanks perk your ears up, then this is a can’t miss.

Read the full review here

Amazon Customer, Robert Neil Smith

This book demonstrates why the Tank Craft series has become so very popular. There is a concise analysis of the tank’s design, development and variants with in-action photographs and specially commissioned full colour drawings and exhibition grade models of a selection of available kits. – Very Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here


As featured on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

Excellently written from a man who has been there and done it! Rob Griffin pulls no punches and tells it how it was. For regiments to turn things around shows that in the right scenario, Challenger 1 could be a world beater. Let's face it, Tanks aren't built for competitions, they're designed to win wars!

This book will definitely appeal to the modeller and contains some excellent references to the Tank.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

This book is another excellent addition to the range tank craft titles available. The text is well written and a pleasure to read due to it staying on point and not wandering around the houses. The photographs are mostly very well chosen, with me questioning some of the choices in the ‘Challenger 1 in Detail’ section of the title. I also like the effort put into the captions that accompany the images.

Read the full review here


The models we are shown should inspire many others, the photos of the real things are useful references, and the history of the type makes for interesting reading. I am a fan of this series and this is an excellent new addition.

Read the full review here

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

About Robert Griffin

Robert Griffin joined the British army in 1967 as a 17-year-old junior leader and served for many years as a crewman in armoured fighting vehicles in the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards in BAOR, BATUS, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, the UK and Bosnia. A recognized expert on post-war armour, he has written a number of books and articles on the tanks of the Cold War period, including works on the FV-214 Conqueror, Chieftain, Challenger 1 and FV432.

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