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MK 3 Turret -- 17 pounder main gun

The old MK1 / MK2 turret


Note the object on the left bottom of photo. This was a 2" bomb thrower. The gas ports had three setting allowing the bomb to be thrown three different distances. It could also be rotated completely around. Also note the operators hatch was set on angle.

This hatch was called an escape hatch, I would not have liked to climb out through it! But the main use was to remove the 17 Pounder barrel. It was undone inside the turret and withdrawn out the back through this port, using rope block and tackles and pullies, quite a big job requiring removal of the Cupola.

This by the way is the only MK1 /MK2 turret I have seen, but I have also seen two turrets that still have the bomb thrower installed.

Note the photos show the REPLACING OF THE BARREL not the removal which would be much the same in reverse.







Oh! What a lot of fun!

The 20 pounder barrel of course unscrews and is just slid out the front

Because the 20 pounder and the 105MM accept the projectile and shell case into the barrel, I believe only the barrel needs to be changed to convert across to a 105mm as the same breech block will work on both guns. This to me sound a bit to simple but I was told its correct?


169057n has been purchased by Greg Kernaghan from Queensland. From description and a look at it a couple of months ago its a great Cent. Believed to have only travelled about 30 miles since complete base overhaul. From the interior photos I have seen this sounds correct as the interior of the turret in the photos looks immaculate.  Greg has no experience with Centurions and is flying into Melbourne on Thursday, where I will meet up with him. We will then drive down to Cape Schanck to meet up with Howard Bull to have a look at the Cent there and give Greg a bit of instruction, in start up procedure and driving. Never having driven a double the clutch or stick change Greg thought it was something he needed some help with before he had his Centurion delivered. A very smart thought indeed.

We met at Thornbury at my daughter home and proceed to get to know each other on the drive to Cape Schanck. We hit it off straight away and had an enjoyable drive  (well I did I was in the passengers seat) arriving at Howard Bulls property at 5 PM, to be greeted by the Saracen having its batteries charged.


We later had a ride in this and very exciting it was, It gave an amazing stable ride at very high speed

Greg having some instructions

Greg had a good climb over the tank and was shown all the basic items. Then a crash course in driving and away he went for a couple of laps

And dusty it was, Greg was able to understand what we looked like after a week in the bush

More dust


What happens with a heavy hand on the left stick


The tracks are very loose and I am surprised that they have not thrown a track

 A lot of road wheels have been badly damaged. This surprised me as they have always run in black sand. Then i noticed that to try and stop the tank cutting deep track marks and bellying on the hull They have carted in some fill which as a lot of rock in it. This is what is being caught between the road wheels and track and cutting the road wheels to pieces

Howard needs some new tracks he is down to 102 links which is two less than the recommended minimum. Add to this the final drive sprockets are badly worn.

The above explains why the tracks are brushing against the housing. There are shiny rub marks but they do not show up that well in the photo.


A couple of damaged road wheels

In goes the petrol using a safety cone --makes a nice fast funnel.-- note the fuel filter behind the drivers boot.

Howard cut holes into the engine covers and transmission covers so as the water and oil could be checked without raising the heavy covers.

This one gave access to the Radiator Header Tank

Then Howard removed the cover completely and fitted light steel plates. Above and below are the discarded covers

The old discarded covers

Howard had to refit some cooling vanes, as the motor over heated, but it looks like not all were fitted

We arrived home at Thornbury about 10 pm after spending some interesting hours together. Hopefully when Greg takes delivery of his Centurion I will spend a few days with him teaching him how to drive and maintain the Cent.

My son Scott was driving through Greenvale and saw what he described as a tank like unit with a stubby gun on it

I called down the next day and found an Alligator being used as a gate guard. The Alligator was designed as a troop carrier, to cross the coral reefs during troop landings on islands in the second world war. The property had large gates across the entrance so I did not attempt to enter but snapped a couple of shots through the Wrought Iron gates. I left a note in the letter box for the owner and hopefully he will get in contact with me.

Some more on the Model Display

The timber base has been  sanded back. The Canister round has been polished and given a coat of lacquer to match the other shell. Still have to repaint the canister projectile to the correct colour. The .30 and .50 rounds are polished and lacquered and mounted on their stand

The tank is now finished

The turntable has been purchased and has arrived. I am very pleased with it. It will revolve either left or right, about 20 seconds a circuit and has a mirrored base and sides, it will run for 3 months on a battery but I have connected it to a power supply and it can run 24  hours, every day of the year. Now only have to stain and lacquer the wood work and have the glass case made to drop over the whole item. Then its a matter or taking it down to Phillip Island and setting it up permanent. I hope it will appeal to others as much as it does to me