Modelling the Churchill Oke

Churchill Oke Modelling the Churchill Oke


The Oke was a Churchill I or II with a flamethrower replacing its hull mounted 3” inch close support gun. It got its name from its designer, Major J.M. Oke.

The design was basically a Churchill tank fitted with Ronson flamethrowing equipment. A tank containing the flame fuel was fitted at the rear, with a pipe from it leading along and through the left-hand track guard to the inside front of it.

They had a machine gun in the hull. The flame-thrower was operated by a crew member from the hull MG gunner’s seat.

The Churchill Oke was the first Churchill to be fitted with flame equipment. The range of the Oke flame-thrower was 40 to 50 yards.

Three Churchill Is that were equipped with the Oke flame-thrower system at Dieppe. 

Churchill Oke front view

All three were crewed by 8 Troop, "B" Squadron, 14th Army Tank Regiment (The Calgary Regiment (Tank)), C.A.C. and were carried on TLC-3 (Tank Landing Craft) No 159. The three Churchills were:

Landing craft Name WD Number Turret Number Commander Driver Co-driver/MG Gunner
No 159
BULL T-31862 8 in a blue square Capt D. G. Purdy Cpl
W. D. Ibister
Tpr W.
Tpr L. Hudson Tpr P. W. Aide
No 159
BOAR T-32049 8 in a blue square Sgt J. Sullivan LCpl
A. A. Poirier
Tpr A. R. Birston Tpr E. Paquette Tpr. A. L. Chick
No 159
BEETLE T-68875 8 in a blue square Lt G. L. Drysdale Tpr R. F. Milne Tpr R. F. Anderson Tpr S. G. Hodgson Tpr B. M. Skinner
An early prototype before armouring the flame fuel tank. BULL was the Troop Commanders tank and was launched prematurely and ’drowned’ in ten feet of water approx. 100 yds off shore. (the junction of Red and White Beaches).
BOAR made heavy landing from TLC-3 and knocked off the flame-thrower fuel tank on the rear, but still managed to cross the beach and onto the promenade in the area of the Cassino. It remained mobile throughout the morning before being ordered back to the beach to cover the withdrawal. Once back on the beach BOAR took a hit and immobilised, but continued to act as a pillbox.  BOAR left on the beach after the raid
BEETLE left on the beach. BEETLE, also landed heavy and broke a pin on her right track and remained immobilized on the shore line, at the eastern end of Red Beach and also acted as a pillbox.

The Churchill Oke in Flames Of War

As part of a Canadian Dieppe force you can field one Tank Platoon (of the two available) as 3 Churchill Oke for 375pts.

Churchill I OKE
Co-ax MG, hull MG, Slow Tanks, Wide Tracks.
 2 pdr tank gun
No HE.
 Oke Flame-gun
Flame-thrower, Hard to Aim.

See fielding a Canadian Dieppe force…

Modelling the Churchill Oke

First you start with a BR070 Churchill I/II model.

Below: A view of the armoured flame fuel tank of the Churchill Oke.

Flame fuel tank of the Churchill Oke

Churchill I
Materials You will need some plastic card, 1-1.2mm brass wire, 2mm brass tubing, a pin-vice with a suitably sized drill bit, some superglue and a hobby knife. All the materials should be available from a good hobby/model store.
Step 1

Step 1

Clean up the model and trim the hooks from the hull rear so the tank can sit flat when glued on. 

Before gluing the tracks to the hull drill a hole about 3mm deep in to the inside front guard of the left hand track. The hole should positioned 3mm from the guard top and 3mm from the upper hull front. Once done assemble the Churchill as normal.

Step 1
Step 2

While the tank’s glue it drying you can assemble the flame fuel tank. This is made from plastic card (or you could equally carve the shape from a piece of balsa or a hard lump of putty such as milliput). I’ve made a template for the sides and middle.

Cut two copies of the sides out from your plastic card. The easiest way is to print the template, cut out the paper version then clear tape it to the plastic card and trace around it with a shape knife, leaving a scored outline on the card.

Step 2
Step 2

If your plastic card is thin enough (you might like to use some blister plastic) you can cut the middle section out as one sheet and score the lines where the folds will be. If you using thicker card, cut the panels out individually. For added rigidity I added length of square plastic tubing to the centre.

When you glue the tank to the hull upper rear glue one last panel 4.5mm x 15mm to the back of the tank and fit the flame fuel tank on to it.

If your end panels don’t fit exactly still glue them in place, then once the glue it dry trim the excess off with a sharp knife.

Below: You can see the bits of reinforcing I left inside the flame fuel tank through the clear blister plastic I used for the end panels.

Step 2
Step 3

Drill a hole in the left hand side of the flame fuel tank. This will be where the flame pipe will fit. This is roughly in the centre of the side panel.

Takes a length of 1-1.2mm wire about 35mm long and bend it 90 degrees at each end, ensuring the gap between each bend is 18mm. The bend for the tank end should be at least 10mm to reach the tank, while the track end has to only be 3mm.
Step 3
Step 4 Step 4

Now drill a hole in the left hand track just behind the air intakes. This is where the flame pipe disappears into the track guards, runs along the inside and reappears at the front. If you’ve flame pipe doesn’t fit between the two holes just pull the two ends apart out of their 90 degree angles until they fit the holes.

Step 5

Cut a short 2-3mm length of the brass piping off with a small hack saw or clippers (if using clippers you will have to file the ends flat so cut it a bit longer). Then bore it out with your drill so it will fit over the end of the wire.

Then bend a short length of wire with a 90 degree angle. The short end should be 5mm and the longer muzzle end 10mm.

Then superglue the short length of pipe to the long end of the wire.

Then glue the short end into the hole drilled earlier into the track inside guard.

Now it is finished and ready for painting.

Step 5
Completed Painting

I painted mine in Khaki Drab (Firefly Green (FWP348)) and highlighted it by adding a little Dry Dust (FWP364).

The markings are as they appear on the original. The green over yellow box with the 175 is found on all the Churchills at Dieppe (though I have since been informed it may in fact be blue over maroon).

Markings of the Churchill Oke at Dieppe Completed Churchill Oke
Painted Churchill Oke Painted Churchill Oke

Painted Churchill Oke

Related Articles

A Brief History of the Dieppe Raid... 

Mid War Commando Models...

No. 3 Commando at Berneval, Dieppe Raid...

No. 4 Commando at Varengeville, Dieppe Raid... 

Dieppe Forces in Flames Of War...