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Mike

British Forces Vehicle Crew - 1:48 Airfix

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British Forces Vehicle Crew
1:48 Airfix


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Hot on the heels (I use that phrase far too much) of the Merlin, the Supacat Coyote/Jackal duo, and the Snatch Land Rovers/WMIK pair are another figure set to complement the Infantry Patrol set I reviewed October of last year here, comes the set that probably should have been released at the same time as the vehicles, to be fair.

The set consists of eight figures, which arrive on one sprue in Airfix's slim end-opening figure box, and are moulded in a mid-brown coloured styrene, with chunky, flat-edged sprues. As with the initial set, the figures are very well moulded, complete with wires to their comms gear, microphones, MOLLE loops on their combat gear, and a couple of the newer L85 rifles with the newer forward handgrip and RIS rails for additional equipment. An Fn Minimi is also included, but this looks a little soft with overly thick butt-stock tubes. It does however come with moulded in box mag, and a separate tripod, but you'll have to add a carry-handle from bent wire if you feel the need.

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The stances of the eight figures vary markedly, with two standing and gesturing, one kneeling and one prone figure providing overwatch, one kneeling to work on a vehicle (possibly changing a tyre), two seated crew figures and one stood at a weapons station with his hands on the grips of some invisible machine-gun. The only work that will need doing other than removing the moulding seam is to add some undercut to the prominent chest pouches that are moulded on most of the figures, to give the appearance that they aren't simply projections from their chests. This is most prominent on the standing figures, but unavoidable when creating figures using injection moulding processes. As well as the figures and weapons, a small selection of tools are included, in the shape of a jack, wheel chocks, tyre iron, tool roll and fire extinguisher.

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The instructions show the build-up of each figure, which have separate heads, arms, with some having separate packs where moulding dictates. The seated crew figures are shown installed in the Jackal/Coyote cab, for which they are designed, although separate notes advise that shoe-horning them into the Land Rover variants will require some re-working of the figures. Of minor concern is that the instructions would have you install the headless and armless figures into the cab before adding the front of the vehicle. Whilst this may well be the best way to proceed, most methodical modellers would probably rather build up the figures in their entirety, filling joints and painting the figures in one fell swoop, but with some careful planning, this shouldn't be a major obstacle.

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There are no decals in the set, but a comprehensive painting guide shows which colours to use and where, as well as giving examples of the three types of camouflage cloth available to the British army - Desert DPM, European DPM and European MTP, the new Crye Multicam based camouflage that is being used to great effect in Afghanistan.

Conclusion
Another good set of figures for the proud owners of the Supacat sets, although it should be perfectly feasible to mix-and-match between vehicles, although as mentioned earlier, the drivers will need some coaxing to fit the smaller Land Rover based designs. As with all of these figure sets, I dearly wish that a sheet of camouflage decal was available to assist those such as myself that go into a cold sweat at the thought of having to paint any unform that is camouflaged. I'd even pay extra for this option!

Highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of
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A nice set, but I do wish they had added some extra bits and bobs like bags, jerry cans etc

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These look quite good. With the etch for the vehicle - and remembering to add the figures whilst the vehicle is being built (a dry fit on a partially assembled vehicle confirms you CANNOT add them when all the bits are together!) this should look good. I think I'll be adding the legs torso and head, then the arms when the rest is assembled to make sure they 'grip' steering wheels etc. This will be a bit fiddly with the filler, but dry-fitting beforehand and preparation of the joints should make it reasonably easy.

Paining the uniform camo - after the base coat - will make many 'modern' modellers go very cold (hello Mike!) as they are forcibly separated from their airbrushes and have to remember how to use a hairy stick! No problem for us luddites....

Edited by Biggles

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Paining the uniform camo - after the base coat - will make many 'modern' modellers go very cold (hello Mike!) as they are forcibly separated from their airbrushes and have to remember how to use a hairy stick! No problem for us luddites....

For reference, here is the nice MTP shirt the QM gave me. Note some paterns are hard edged and some are soft.

B834072F-C9CE-4F4D-B75D-2C9F816DDA13-293

Edited by John_W

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I always liked Multicam when I was skirmishing, but a lot of people used to take the mickey, despite the fact that it was a damn effective pattern from long and short range... turns out it was a prescient choice. :)

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