Skytrex – Challenger I model

A little history about the Challenger

Introduced in 1944 under the designation ‘A30 Cruiser mk VIII’, after first being proposed in May 1943 by the General Staff and…

I’m just winding you up. This review is for the lovely new Skytrex Challenger I Main Battle Tank.

The Model

The model itself is very nice, very crisp and has hardly any flash. There was a little around the rear mudguards, but this was easily sliced off using a hobby knife. The detail is very well defined around the entire model, the resin appearing to be very high quality, and the very few white metal parts (gun, commanders hatch and crew) also very clean and detailed.

No messing around. Hull, tracks, turret, gun, done.

With the three I was supplied assembly was so quick you’d probably be waiting longer for a brew in the old boiling vessel that each of these beauties had.

Two minutes later, and it’s ready for [unpainted] action.
 All in all, there’s really not much I can talk about with this one. It’s a lovely model, as mentioned it’s crisply detailed, very clean quality and a decent price at £8.50 a piece. This might be a little more expensive should Battlefront or Plastic Soldier Company swing into the later ‘modern’ era with tanks such as the Challenger, Merkava or M1A1.

Sat next to ‘daddy’ Chieftain, the Challenger looks more like its American cousin, the Abrams

In Team Yankee

As it stands, there are no stats for the Challenger I in Team Yankee. The game is still very much based in and around the years 1985 – 1986 and at this point only two regiments were equipped with the Challenger.  However, we know that many of you would love a little unofficial card to go along with your Chally, and there might be some out there, but this is my own personal take on the UK’s first modern MBT.

Like the Chieftain, but so much better

The first thing to note is the addition of Chobham, which was of course designed by the British to go on our tanks (named after a town in Surrey), giving the tank better survivability against ATGWs from the side and rear (in the game at least). This is combined with the improved front armour stat that the armour also provides.

Secondly, the addition of the Thermal Imagining rule thanks to the inclusion of TOGS (Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sight),  mounted in the Royal Hussars Challengers to begin with.

The engine was markedly improved between Chieftain and Challenger – mainly by throwing the British Leyland multi-fuel engine away and going with a Rolls Royce Diesel, allowing for better operational range and speed.
Lastly, no change in armament, as the Challenger retained the effective 120mm gun from the Chieftain and only mounted two MGs, one of which was on an anti-air mount.

Overall, I’d highly recommend picking up a couple of these if you want to try something a little different in Team Yankee, or if you just fancy having something to represent a troop of ‘Stillbrew’ Chieftain that really stand out on the table.

3 thoughts on “Skytrex – Challenger I model

  1. Very cool!

    Can I ask – how do you make the snappy unofficial cards? Is there a template publicly available or is that done using Battlefront IP?

  2. By the end of 1986- actually four regiments were equipped with the Challenger I-
    1983- Royal Hussars
    1984- 14/20th King’s Hussars
    1985- 17th/21st Lancers
    1986- Queens Royal Irish Hussars

    This was all the tank regiments of the 4th and 7th Armoured Brigades, or about one third of the BAOR regiments at the time.

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