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Found 21 results

  1. I have started on a Lancia. This is the only one in 1/72 from CSM. It is a great kit and makes you hope that they will make more in this scale.
  2. It all started with me building three of the Roden Rolls Royce armoured cars: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235079254-rolls-royce-armoured-car-1914/ When the Rolls Royce chassis of the armoured cars finally was worn out, the armoured bodies were moved to Fordson truck chassis. As I already had built three different variants of the Rolls Royce I also wanted a Fordson. I ordered a Roden Rolls Royce for my project. Then I needed a Ford chassis. In my local hobby store there was a 917t Maultier and a look at the instructions showed that it had the parts to build the wheel version so I bought it. But as I later found out, it was the wrong chassis. I had to order a V3000s to get the right one. Luckily it also has all parts included for the 917t so I can still build that this if I find an engine of some sort. I started to put the chassis and the armoured body together. As the Roden kit didn't have a complete engine I had to open up the floor to get the Ford engine in. Time has come to start planning for the "cargo bed". The wheels was something that I thought would be a problem. But I think that I found a solution. Airfix messed up with their CCKW 353 truck and made the wheels with five holes instead of six. I had a bunch of those faulty front wheels that I would use now. I cut the tires off from them and sanded down the rims to make them thinner. Then I removed the rims of the Roden wheels and will fit the Airfix rims in those tires. It will probably not be 100 % right but it will be close enough for me.
  3. Ferret Scout Car Mk.2 (A1379) 1:35 Airfix Intended as a successor to the Daimler Dingo, the Ferret was again produced by Daimler after WWII, commencing deliveries in 1950 as the Mk.1, a 4 x 4 wheeled reconnaissance AFV that was powered by a Rolls Royce B60 6-cylinder 4.3 litre petrol that output up to 130hp at peak range. It was larger and more powerful than its predecessor, but used the same suspension layout that gave it a low profile that is always beneficial when being targeted by the enemy. The suspension also moderated torque that gave it excellent traction, and prevented the vehicle from bogging down under most circumstances, which coupled with the large, run-flat tyres made it a reliable ride unless it encountered larger calibre munitions. The initial design was open-topped, and carried only crew-served machine guns, leaving the vehicle open to the elements and incoming rounds, shrapnel and grenades, not to mention rain and other precipitation. The Mk.2 added a turret to mount the 7.62mm (.30cal Browning) machine gun, keeping out all the above-mentioned nasties, and protecting the gunner from injury from anything but larger rounds. Almost 4,500 Ferrets were made of all variants before it was replaced, the Mk.2 being the one with most sub-variants, to be followed by the improved Mk.3 that benefitted from a larger hull and thicker armour, and the Mk.4 that mounted the turret from a Saracen armoured car. The mark 5 was adapted with a shallow turret to mount Swingfire anti-tank missiles that were wire-guided. The specification of the ferret varied so much between individual vehicles that it is sometime difficult to tell which variant you are looking at, thanks to interchanging of parts, field modifications, and the availability of spares. A later upgrade was the use of the Austin Princess 4-Litre R engine, which gave a 40% increase in horse-power, and was possible to retro-fit to earlier vehicles, adding yet more confusion to identification. Even though it has left service of the British Army and other original users, of which there were many, there are still some Ferrets in service in many countries, mostly in Africa and the Middle East, where the open-topped variants would at least let out a little accumulated heat. The Kit This is another brand-new tooling from Airfix that has now reached the shops after a short preamble that has generated a lot of interest. Modellers of a certain age and nationality will possibly have some fond memories of the type, and as has often been the case with British armour, we haven’t been best served with injection-moulded kits over the years. The kit arrives in a narrow red-themed box with a top-opening lid, and inside are five sprues of varying sizes in an olive-green styrene that’s not too bright, so shouldn’t be hard to cover with paint. There is also a small sprue of clear parts, a decal sheet, and instructions printed in colour with profiles of the decal options on the rear pages. Detail is good, and includes a basic crew compartment with radio gear that will be visible through any open hatches and should be enough if you include a crew to hide any blank spots. Construction begins with the interior, starting with the floor, onto which a pair of parallel trunks are glued, with the stepped firewall behind, that accepts the radio gear on a double-layered mount to support the two separate boxes, or one wider box, depending on which decal option you are building. A flat seat fixes in front of the radio gear, and another larger one slots over a raised box in the centre of the crew area, adding a seat back that locates on a pair of holes in the rear. After a little painting of the interior parts, the two hull sides are joined to the floor, held at the right angle by the lower glacis plate that is moulded into the floor. Two hatches are built up with interior surfaces added that include twin hinges so that they can be fixed into the rear diagonal panel that looks out over the engine deck, which is fitted directly after and has a pair of large rectangular inspection hatches cut out, although there is no engine within. The rear bulkhead is added to the back, then the diagonal crew-compartment panels are made with two-layer hatches to be fitted to the front of the vehicle, leaving a central gap for the driver’s hatch and upper glacis plate, which also has a two-layer hatch, then the steering wheel is made with separate central boss, and inserts on a nub below the hatch before it is glued to the front of the vehicle. The hatches to the engine bays have bevelled edges and act as enlarged mushroom vents to extract hot air from the motor, dropping over the raised edges to the bay. The suspension is next, starting with pairs of swing-arm mounts in each arch, then adding a two-part drive-shaft to each one, which is linked to the coil springs by an upper control arm for each corner. A bracket is glued to the side of the arch to mount a tie-rod, then the lower control arm is joined to the underside, allowing fitment of the fenders that have separate stowage boxes located on raised guides on the underside. The fenders on the left side are built as separate items to accommodate the spare wheel, while the right fender is full length, and has a large segmented stowage box with a choice of two styles between the two arches, gluing onto the vehicle sides with the help of raised guides. A series of eight loops are added to the undersides along the sides, front and rear of the hull, after which the wheels can be made and slipped onto their axles. Each wheel is made from two halves, plus a central hub cap, while the spare tyre on the left side has either a thicker centre cap, or a large octagonal piece of plate attached centrally to protect the tyre and vehicle from incoming rounds. The glacis is then dotted with lights, pioneer tools, a fire extinguisher, and smoke grenade launchers on the arches at the front, with a choice of capped or uncapped barrels. The headlights and wing mirrors are located lower on the arches, and four lifting eyes are attached to the arches, one per wheel station, with two styles of jerry cans fitted over the rear left arch, taking up some otherwise free space. An optional appliqué armour panel is fitted against the rear bulkhead for one decal option, and the right rear arch has the exhaust made up with either a pair of straight exit pipes, or one larger diameter fish-tail pipe, with a protective cover and mesh panel holding it level on the sloping rear of the arch. A document box is mounted on one of the diagonal panels on the rear of the crew compartment, then there is a choice of aerials that fit on the front and rear of the compartment, differing on which decal option you have chosen. The official installation has been shown, but the instruction advises you to check your references, as it was sometimes a case of taking what’s available or easy to install. Before the turret can be started, the remaining parts of the hull need to be attached, starting with a three-faceted deflector panel that is also covered in lightening holes, and fits to the front of the vehicle on a pair of separate mounts for two of the decal options. A choice of two styles of front and rear light cluster are applied to the fenders, and that too depends on your decal choice. To provide a location for the turret, the crew compartment is covered by an angled panel with the turret-ring moulded-in, then the turret is formed from a ring that fits under the turret’s floor, and accepts a small trapezoid panel flat to the floor in one corner, which supports an ammo can with separate lid, then the walls are glued to the sides of the floor with padded centres on the inside, which should be painted in black to contrast the aluminium of the interior. The Browning machine gun is installed in the front wall, which closes the front, with a rear wall added to complete the turret’s sides. The roof is made from two halves, the forward half fixed to the turret, with vision block for the gunner’s use, a pair of lifting eyes on the front cheeks of the turret, and a pair of vertical rods with flat tops near the top of the wall, the reason for which becomes clear later. The rear wall is split and folds down when the hatch is open, so the fixed lower part is added first, with a lifting eye and two hatch supports glued to the outside, and the folding upper section added above it in either the open or closed position, as illustrated by additional diagrams. The top hatch folds forward, and has a pair of bumpers inserted into recesses in the surface, then can be posed open or closed as you wish, the bumpers resting on the flat-topped rods mounted on the front. A searchlight with clear lens and directing handle are the last parts that fit to the right side of the turret, which is then lowered onto the hull and twisted to lock the bayonet fitting in place. A further page of the booklet shows how the hatches should look if they are all posed open to cope with a hot day or a crew member with digestive distress. Markings There are three options on the small decal sheet, with a variation in colour and location that should suit most of us, and not just in Bronze Green. From the box you can build one of the following: West Germany, August 1961 British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS), Canadian Firces Base Suffield, Alberta, Canada, 1980s 5th Parachute Brigade, British Army Overseas, Cyprus, 1974 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The Ferret saw extensive use in the British Armed Forces, including the RAF Regiment for what is now called Force Protection duties. It’s a good-looking model of the type, and if they haven’t started already, there should be some extras in the shape of decals or less common modifications forthcoming, and hopefully some more variants from Airfix themselves. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Hello everyone, my entry for this group build will be a Miniart Austin Armoured Car. There are two Ukrainian versions, a Polish and a Georgian one. I always like the box art covers that Miniart produce and have always ended up doing that particular version. So that's the one I will be doing this time as well, which is the "Army of the Ukrainian People's Republic, Sich Riflemen, Autumn 1919". I have had this model for a while now, so was very pleased that we had this group build so that I could do this. This is a lovely looking kit with lots of lovely detail and It's an Interior build, which I'm looking forward to. But typically with Miniart, there are lots of very small parts and quite a few straight fragile pieces that have lots of gates on. So will probably have to substitute some with rod or wire, I'll see as I go along. MD has kindly given some info regarding his build, with difficulties that he had encountered, so will take note and see if I have the same issues. So all I have done now is to label the different sprues for easy identification and I'm looking forward to starting the build... all the best Ed
  5. SpPz 2 Luchs (03321) 1:35 Revell The Luchs, which means Lynx in English is an 8-wheel drive amphibious armoured car that was used by the German Bundeswehr from the 60s up until 2009 after a mid-life upgrade to the original. Over 400 were produced, and much like the WWII-era armoured reconnaissance Sd.Kfz.231 series, it also had a rear-facing seat for escaping from tricky dead-ends, and had a small turret on the top deck, which in this case mounted a 20mm Rheinmettall cannon, and although originally developed and constructed by Daimler-Benz, they were subsequently bought out by Rheinmettall, so it was eventually brought back into the same family. The Luchs was fast over metalled (tarmac) roads, and at speeds over 50kmh all axles were steerable, which must have been slightly disconcerting if you weren’t expecting it. The wheels wore low-pressure tyres for grip on unprepared terrain, and if they were shot-out in a firefight, they could run flat for a period to ensure they could get out of harm’s way at maximum speed. The gun is similar to that mounted on the Marder, and also shared its ammo with the Wiesel for economy of scale and ammo availability, a cannon that is accurate out to a maximum range of 2km, firing between 800-1000 rounds per minute in ideal and somewhat unrealistic situations. Even before retirement, it was being phased out by its replacement after the turn of the millennium, by the Leichter Gepanzerter Spähwagen (LGS) Fennec, named after a type of desert fox. The Kit This is a reboxing of a 1998 release, with newly refreshed decals and sprues in a different colour. The major difference however is the inclusion of a 3D “puzzle” diorama base of a Military Training Area that is included in the box. The kit arrives in a deep end-opening box, with two sprues of grey styrene, another in black, a small clear sprue, eight flexible black plastic tyres, a decal sheet, a length of wire taped to the front of the instruction booklet and the afore-mentioned diorama base, printed on foamboard. While this is a tooling that is now just over 20 years old, the detail is still pretty good, although there are some faint sink-marks here and there that are best dealt with before you begin putting it together. I’m not sure why the running-gear sprue was moulded in black, but that could be to appeal to the younger modeller that might not want to paint all the details under the hull. The inclusion of the 3D base also hints at that, but it’s quite nicely printed with fake wooden sides to enhance the effect. Construction begins with the two hull halves joined together along with the aft bulkhead, then the four suspension mounts with springs each end are fixed to the lower hull. The four axles are then built up with their steering mechanism and hubs, and they too are fitted onto the spring pairs, assisted by an arrow pointing toward the front of the hull, which is helpful due to the similar look to the underside at both ends. After installing the last of the linkages, there is a large diagram of the underside showing how everything should look once complete, and again the directional arrows make an appearance. The wheels are slipped over the rear parts of the hubs, then are trapped in place by the front side of the hub, with eight of them in total. At the rear are a pair of water-drive screws on a pivot, allowing them to be mounted facing forward for stowage on land, or backward if in use for amphibious operation. Under the front are a pair of headlamps with clear lenses and cages, plus two towing hooks and a central numberplate, with two large fenders over the front wheels, three aerial bases at the rear, and the bow-wash deflector panel at the front, which can be fitted stowed or extended, again for amphibious use. Side mirrors and flashing beacons are added on the glacis plate at the front, and at the rear a single reversing lamp with clear lens, plus two light clusters, tow hooks and rear number plate are glued in place. You have a choice of using some of the supplied wire or stretching some sprue by following the instructions, depending on whether you want to skewer the eyeballs of anyone looking closely at your work. Having used carbon-fibre for antennae before, that’s a real issue, and a wee bit dangerous. To finish the hull, a scattering of pioneer tools festoon the sides; a pair of driver hatches fit over the openings in either end; some grab rails and folded tarpaulins are added to the engine deck; a side hatch is put in position between the paired wheels, and a coiled towing cable is placed on the front deck. The gun is the first aspect of the turret to be built-up, and here you have a choice of barrels for your 20mm autocannon, with a cylindrical or flared flash-hider, either of which slot into the mantlet and its top cover. That assembly is trapped between the top and bottom halves of the turret, which give you the opportunity to leave the barrel able to elevate. Crew hatches; vision blocks and sighting gear plus an MG3 machine gun mount on the commander’s cupola; smoke grenade launchers; night vision system and another flasher on a pole on the rear of the turret are mounted to finish it off. The turret slots into place on a bayonet fitting, so won’t be dropping off if you check out the underpinnings later on. Markings There are four options on the decal sheet from various parts of the type’s service life, with lots of green and NATO camouflage in evidence. From the box you can build one of the following: SpPz 2 Luchs A1, 4. Kompanie Panzeraufklärungsbataillon 2, Hessisch Lichtenau, 1980/1985 SpPz 2 Luchs A2, Brigadespähzug 12, Übung Royal Sword, 1990 SpPz 2 Luchs A2, Panzeraufklärungskompanie 120, Mazedonien, 1999 SpPz 2 Luchs A2, Multinationale Brigade Süd, KFOR, Kosovo, 2000 Decals are printed for Revell by Italian company Zanetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Diorama Base Supplied on three folded A3 sheets of foam board with glossy colour printing on both sides, the parts just push out from the backing, and slot together with slots and tabs, staying there thanks to friction and the squishy foam. The base comprises two layers with a pair of supports running across the middle to prevent sag, and there are three piles of rubble that stand up, plus a large piece of a ruined building at the rear, as can be seen in the corner of the box top as well as below. Conclusion A welcome re-release of an older kit that still has plenty going for it, with the added bonus of a surprisingly nice diorama base. Recommended. Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations, but there are many shops stocking their products where you can pick up the kits either in the flesh or online. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  6. Panhard 178B ‘47mm Gun late Turret’ (SA35009) 1:35 Special Hobby The Panhard 178 was in 1935 an advanced reconnaissance armoured car used by the French armed forces, the 178 being Panhard's internal project number. The vehicle featured 4-wheel drive, a 25mm main gun that was supplemented by a 7.5mm machine gun. It was the first 4-wheel drive type of vehicle mass produced by a major power. A notable feature of the vehicle was a driving position in the front, and a separate seat at the rear for a second driver to get out of trouble in a hurry without performing a U-turn. The second driver also doubled as a radio operator in command vehicles. The main gun used was normally a shortened version of the 25mm Hotchkiss L/42.2, which was the standard French Anti-tank tank gun, but to allow for the shorter barrel, the gun used a heavier charge that could penetrate up to 50mm of armour when using a tungsten round. Secondary armament was usually a coaxial Reibel 7.mm machine gun for which 3,750 rounds were carried, approximately half of them being armour piercing. A further machine gun was carried on the internal wall that could be mounted on the turret for anti-aircraft use. The magazines for this gun were also carried on the internal walls of the fighting compartment. Approximately 370 vehicles were completed and available for use when war broke out, and they were employed by infantry units as well as the Cavalry. When in combat against German vehicles that were armed with 20mm cannon, the Panhards often came out much better than the enemy vehicles, but after the French defeat almost 200 (many brand-new) were used by Germany in reconnaissance units. An interesting modification made by the Germans was to develop the Schienepanzer as railway protection vehicles that were fitted with special wheels to allow them to run on railway tracks. After the war the type was updated with a 75mm gun, but it was later decided to install a 47mm SA35 gun, with over 400 made, making a grand total of over 1,000. The Kit This kit is a re-release of a base ICM kit from 2015, but with a substantial quantity of resin and Photo-Etch (PE) parts to create this particular version of the vehicle. It has a full interior, both in the fighting compartment, with the two driving positions and in the engine bay. The detail on the parts is very well done, from the rivets on the main hull to the tread-plate main floor, and the louvres on the engine covers. There are 4 sprues of grey styrene, four rubber tyres, a glossy colour printed instruction booklet, PE sheet and a small decal sheet. In a separate yellow box within the outer packaging are a large number of resin parts, some of which have been 3D printer mastered for extreme detail and accuracy. There is also a single clear resin part, and a turned aluminium barrel within the pack, all of which is protected in a Ziploc bag inside the box. This of course means that a large number of kit parts will remain on the sprues, destined for the spares box or recycling, as they have been replaced by the new resin parts. Construction begins with the tread-plated fighting compartment floor being glued to the lower hull, followed by the rear driver’s bulkhead and both drivers’ seats. The longitudinal bulkhead between the rear driver’s compartment and engine compartment is then fitted into position, followed by the well-detailed twelve-part engine. The drivers’ steering columns and steering wheels are next, along with the gear sticks and foot pedals. A resin shell storage box and 24 shells are added in front of the engine bay, and the rear driver’s transverse bulkhead is then installed, with a PE strip depicting the leather back-strap that could be un-latched to allow the driver to clamber into the rear quickly. Both sides of the hull have a door that can be posed either open or closed to display the interior if you wish, and on the inside of each side there are numerous resin ammunition drums for the machine gun to be glued into position, along with the driver’s instruments and a spare machine gun. The sides are then glued to the lower hull, followed by the front and rear bulkheads plus glacis plate. The rear engine deck is then attached, along with the fighting compartment roof after adding the resin radio gear rack and another PE back-strap for the forward driver, followed by engine louvres and rear mid-bulkhead hatch, which can all be posed open should the modeller wish. The engine compartment is fitted with a muffler and an optional figure-eight PE bracket before the final louvres are installed, following which the rear arches are fitted out with stowage boxes that have pioneer tools added to their exterior, as does the rest of the engine deck. Fortunately, the running gear and suspension on this kit is refreshingly simple, with just two axles and two-piece differentials plus drive shafts that are assembled, then the four suspension spring units are fitted to the underside of the hull, followed by the axles/drive shafts. The steering linkages are attached along with brake accumulators, drop links, horn and towing hooks. The wheels are each made up from two-part hubs and a flexible black “rubber” tyre, with the completed assemblies glued onto their respective axles. The new resin turret is then assembled, beginning with the co-axial machine gun and main gun breech, which is made from a number of resin parts, which once joined together are fitted with the trunnion mounts and elevation gear. This is fitted to the turret ring along with the turret traverse mechanism. The resin turret ring and turret are fitted with vision blocks on the inside along with the gun and other equipment, then the commanders and gunner’s seats are made up and glued into position as the ring is glued in place. The hatches are fitted with a handle and more vision blocks before being fixed into position, and can be posed open or closed. More flared periscope hoods are fitted on the turret roof, and lifting eyes around the sides. There is a choice of two barrels for this boxing, with a longer resin item that has a two-part muzzle brake, or the turned metal one with small coax barrel tip slotting into the resin mantlet that in turn fixes onto the keyed front of the breech. The completed turret is then dropped onto the hull, and the last parts added. These include the driver’s hatch, a resin search light with clear resin lens, plus optional aerial mounts, wiring looms and PE brackets. The spare tyre on the left side of the hull is completely resin, having a 3D printed master for the tyre, two-part hubs that attach it to the side, and a flat PE cover to prevent dirt ingress in the field. Markings The small decal sheet provides markings for five vehicles, all with a base of green, some of which having overpainted camouflage patterns. From the box you can build one of the following: Vehicle IC-92690 ‘Fontenoy’ 1er Peloton du I/5e RSM, French Army, Cambodia, 1952 Vehicle 11222 Syrian Arab Army Parade vehicle, 1960s Vehicle I1003200 unknown unit, France, c.1945 Vehicle IS-91858 ‘Carmen’, unknown unit, North Africa, 1947 Vehicle 11003577 fictitious unit of French Army with 75mm gun from a well-known PC game Decals are by Special Hobby, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is an unusual boxing of the 178B that should appeal to a lot of folks, especially those that perhaps play a game that may or may not be War Thunder. I don’t play myself, but it’s highly likely. Great detail, and tons of resin to add value to the ICM plastic. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Sd.Kfz.247 Ausf.B with MG34 (35112) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd The Sd.Kfz.247 was a small four-wheeled 4x4 armoured car that was ordered in small quantities to keep battalion commanders and other officer types safe whilst ranging around the battlefield marshalling their subordinates. They weren’t intended for front-line use, but were sufficiently well-armoured to withstand a 7.62mm round from a distance, although the open rear compartment would have been a tempting target for a well-tossed grenade. They were manufactured by Mercedes Benz on a Horch 108 chassis, and could maintain a 50mph top-speed on a made-up road thanks to its 8-cylinder 3.5L Horch petrol engine. It had better off-road characteristics than its 6-wheeled Ausf.A predecessor, and saw extensive use in the early part of WWII, during the fast-paced Blitzkrieg advances through France and the lowlands. The Kit This is a reboxing of a new tool from ICM that adds a group of crew figures to the mix, but it does share a few clear parts with one of their earlier Mercedes kits, using the light lenses and little else, plus the tyres from the Horch. It is a fairly niche product with only 58 having been made and used at the beginning of WWII, but it’s an attractive armoured car, and as they intimated on their Facebook page, it bears a passing resemblance to the recently announced Tesla Cyber Truck prototype. It arrives in ICM’s usual top-opening box with captive tray lid, and there are seven sprues in grey styrene, a tree of black flexible tyres, a clear sprue, decal sheet, and a glossy-covered instruction booklet with painting guide on the rear cover. Detail is excellent, as we’ve come to expect from ICM, including an almost full interior with engine, radio gear, seating for the crew and pioneer tools all depicted in styrene. Construction begins with the ladder chassis, with two beams running front to back that have a box-section profile thanks to an insert, separate suspension mounts and cross-braces, plus the two axles with their differential bulges in the middle. The upper swing-arms are fitted onto the chassis and mate with the combined hub/brake drum parts, then the steering arms and other parts are installed, the two-part twin springs per wheel are glued in, and the lower swing-arms close up the assembly. The power pack is built around the two-part block with cylinder heads, ancillaries, exhaust manifolds and timing belts added before it is inserted into the chassis over the front axle. The front bumper iron is built up and fitted with hooks, then placed at the front of the chassis rails, after which the wheels can be made, comprising three parts to the hubs, which press on either side of the flexible tyres, being well-detailed and coming from an earlier Horch kit. These could be painted and weathered after a good scrub in warm soapy water to improve adhesion. This is replicated on each corner, with a keyed shaft ensuring correct location on the rear of the hubs. Attention now turns to the bodyshell, which begins with a tread-plated floor pan that has a number of parts added to the underside first, then is flipped over and receives the driver’s foot pedals. The lower sides are separate, and have doors with handles fitted, external arches and other clamshell doors, then they’re attached to the floor along with the radiator to create the angular lower hull, which is then joined to the chassis and has all the remaining underpinnings and mudflaps added along the way. With the two assembles mated, the radiator is joined up and the rest of the driver controls are installed with the instrument panel, plus decals for the dials in the dash. The gear shifter, hand brake and the crew seats are next, with a bench seat opposite the large double-stack radio rack that is built from a large number of parts into a well-detailed assembly that just needs a few cables. Another jump seat is positioned next to the radio stack, and it has tubular framing, just like the rest of the seats in this vehicle. The upper bodyshell is first shown having a hole drilled in the top surface to mount the gun, after which it is prepared with front drivers’ inner and outer hatches plus three more hatches on each side, with mechanisms applied from the inside, and each one is shown in a scrap diagram to assist with correct placement of the parts. A hatch on the bonnet/hood is installed, then the hull halves are mated, with an armoured panel and headlamps at the front, plus width “lollipops” on both fenders and the exhaust on the rear side of the right front fender. There are numerous raised shapes on the exterior of the vehicle, which are location points for the many scabbed-on stowage boxes of various shapes that clutter the sides of the vehicle, and are joined by rear lights, covered spare wheel, towing hitch, aerial mast and the familiar pioneer tools that adorned the outside of almost every WWII German truck, tank of armoured car. The MG34 machine gun is mounted to a triangular bracket that is fitted into the hole drilled earlier, and the gun itself has a separate breech cover and bipod retracted flat against the underside of the barrel. Convoy light, wing mirror and another aerial finish off the build. Markings There are two decal options on the small sheet, with one in panzer grey and the other in late war dark yellow, with an over-sprayed camouflage pattern to break up its outline. From the box you can build one of the following: Pz.Aufkl.Abt.(mot), Russia, 1942 (assumed number plates) 7th Pz.Division, 1941 Decals are printed by ICM’s usual partner on a bright blue backing paper, having good register, sharpness and colour density as well as nice crisp instrument decals to detail the interior. Conclusion It’s a fairly comprehensively ignored piece of WWII German hardware, and a well-detailed model in the bargain, with just about everything you might need to build an excellent replica of this coupé of the armoured car world, now including a very effective Machine Gun to defend itself. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  8. This has been sat on my desk for months 80% complete. It’s the Roden 1:72 kit of WWII British Armoured Car (Pattern 1920 Mk 1) finished as “Ajax” of the 1 Armoured Car Company RAF in Iraq in 1941 (or so the box says). Brush painted used Vallejo acrylics and weathered (rather more than intended) using a variety of acrylic washes, Army Painter quick shade washes and dry brushing with oils. Headlamp glass made from some Humbrol clearfix. Not my best work, some of the fit was so-so and as I said I’ve made it a bit grubbier than intended. But that RAF roundel on the turret came out ok, so not too unhappy. Thanks for looking.
  9. Good day, colleagues. Heat(in Moscow +35C) - it's time to finish one of England's desert armored vehicles - AEC Armored Car Mk.I A car based on the AEC Matador truck, with a Valentine turret. They were mainly used during battles in Africa and Egypt. It's hard to say anything about the model itself. Just Miniart. Brittle plastic, joining of some parts gives a separate "pleasure" The only thing that really pleased me was the wheels. So pleased that I gave up buying epoxy. The assembly itself is out of the box, a couple of nuances have been improved, the main of which is the Headlight on the tower, "forgotten" by the Miniart. Guys - Miniart, Masterbox Some stuff - Miniart and a little "scratch" Coloring - AKAN. Oil & Pigments - Jimenez & Co. Thank you all for your attention, enjoy your viewing.
  10. Humber Mk.II Scout Car 1/76 Revell (03289) The Humber Armoured Car was one of the most widely produced British armoured cars of WWII. Actually designed by Guy Motors pre WWII. This was the first British Armoured vehicle to feature and all welded chassis, it featured a slopped glacis plate with twin machine guns in a rotating turret. Guy were not able to produce sufficient numbers of Armoured car along with the main production of their artillery tractors, so the design and construction techniques were passed to Rootes and used as a basis for the Humber Armoured Car. The first Humbers being nearly identical to the Guy vehicles. The original Humber featured both a 15mm and 7.92mm guns with a 3 man crew. The Mark II improved on the Mk I with changes to the turret, better armour for the driver and radiator. 440 Mark IIs were built. The Kit As evidenced by the sprues this is the old Matchbox kit from 1973. Its been re-released on an off about every 10 years or so, the moulds are starting to show their age a bit with some flash on the pasts, but nothing that cant be cleaned up. Construction starts with the main chassis, the sides attach to the base with front & rear plates going on. The four main fenders then go on for the main wheels. A ladders goes on under the main right hand side hatch. The top of the hull then goes on with extra parts at the rear and on the engine deck. The base of the turret is fitted to the top with a lower part if you want this to turn. The two axles can then be fitted with their drive shafts. A commander figure looking through binoculars is supplied if you want to fit him to the turret. The front of the turret is built up with the two guns, this is then added to the main turret and added to the base part. At the rear of the turret an aerial mount is added. The top turret hatch can be open if you want to use the figure, or closed if you dont. The four main wheels and a spare are then added, headlights go on the front along with a pair of aerial mounts, and a tool/stowage box on the rear right fender. The turret can then be added. Rear view mirrors and the driver hatch can be added. Various stowage can be added as the modeller sees fit. As with most of the Armour kits of this vintage a base is provided for the vehicle. As well as the main base there are two small sections of wall and an old tyre which can be added here. Decals Two decal options are provided on the small sheet. F28901 from an unknown unit in North Africa circa 1942-43, Also another unknown unit on the Cassino Battleground in Feb 1944. Conclusion While its an old tool now it will make up into a good looking model with some care, their is still a great following for these ex Matchbox kits with their bases in the box. Recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  11. Austin 3rd Series Armoured Car (39007) Czechoslovak, Russian, Soviet Service 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd After the start of WWI the Russian Army started to form armoured car units. Due to Russia's limited industrial capacity at the time they looked overseas for vehicles. One delegation was sent to the UK for this. Initially they failed to find a source for the car they wanted with twin machine guns, however Austin designed a new vehicle based on a civilian chassis. Two guns would be mounted in separate turrets towards the rear of the vehicle with a driver and commander up front. The Russians ordered 48 of these first series vehicles. A second order would follow of 60 series 2 vehicles using a light truck chassis. A later order of 60 series 3 cars was to follow. These vehicles were similar in to the 2nd series, but had a modified rear hull with driving post, and gun shields. The large windows were deleted and bullet proof glass fitted to the remaining ones. At the end of the Great War some were returned to the UK and repurposed, but many that were formerly in Russian possession found their way into the inventory of other Eastern European countries, and even the Soviet armed forces after the civil war. The Kit This is a re-boxing of last year’s newly tooled kit, with new parts to accurately portray this mark, and the users. The kit arrives on 17 grey sprues. a sprue of clear parts, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) in a card envelope, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet that has colour profiles inside the front and rear covers. It’s an Interior kit, so some of the sprues are small, but you get a lot of detail moulded-in, thanks to MiniArt’s diligent designers that make full use of techniques such as slide-moulding, which helps improve detail without creating too many additional parts in achieving this goal. Construction begins with the ladder chassis, which is built up from two longitudinal rails held apart by various cross-members, some of which have mounting points and pass-throughs for other parts such as drive-shafts for the rear wheels. The engine has its own bearer rails, and it is built up on the sump with a good number of parts, plus a note of where the high-tension leads should go, which you’ll need to make yourself. You are officially an “experienced modeller” if you go to those lengths. The transmission fits to the rear of the rails behind the engine, then they are dropped into the chassis as a unit, and joined by a number of ancillary parts, controls and a chunky radiator. Exhaust and leaf-spring suspension along with bumper irons are glued to the inverted chassis, and the rest of the driver controls are attached to the topside, even before the cab is started. The rods that turn control movements into actions are threaded through the chassis rails, or can be replaced by 0.3mm wires of your own stock, with PE tensioning mechanisms supplied if you choose this option. The big rear axle with drum brakes and the front axle with steering arms are fabricated and attached to their relevant suspension mounts, with more control linkages for the handbrake and steering joining things together. Finally, a some bodywork is attached, initially with the armour at the sides of the engine compartments in preparation for the gluing of the front arches, then each axle gets a wheel at both ends, made up from single-part hubs at the front, and mated double hubs at the rear onto which the tyres are fitted, different tyres are provided for the different cars, so take care here. Now standing on her own wheels, the floor of the fighting compartment and the crew cab plus the firewall and various small fittings are placed on the top of the chassis, with another insert providing the bases for the two turrets that have pivot-points in the centre for the machine gun mounts. Various stowage boxes are made up and sat next to the rear steering wheel assembly, which also has a simple seat for getting out of hot water and dead-ends just that little bit easier. Two more substantial crew seats are attached to the front along with steps at the sides, then the somewhat complex upper hull is built sensibly in a step-by-step fashion that stops the modeller from being over-faced. Additional rivets are shown being added in various other locations, which you can slice from the flat section of the two Ck sprues. The crew flap can be posed open to give a wider view of the battlefield for the drivers by using two styles of rods, and when in battle it can be closed down, restricting the driver to a letterbox view of the world. Plenty of scrap diagrams show the correct orientations of all the parts, so there’s little room for error unless you rush at it and don’t plan ahead. The hull has a number of doors that can be posed open and closed too, with vision flaps for additional situational awareness, and again there is a lot of hand-holding to get things in the right place. A number of small lights are dotted here & there, all with clear lenses for realism. Even the radiator has a remotely operated armoured cover, as engines overheating could become troublesome if the flap stays closed too long. The side-cowlings for the engine compartment can also be posed open or closed, and have small PE straps holding them closed. With the addition of the rear fenders, the hull/body is lowered over the chassis. Next up we have the twin turrets. You build up a pair of mounts for the machine guns, including a tractor-style perforated seat for the operator and a large ammo can to feed the gun, which is fitted onto a mount under the gun. A few more of those slice-off rivets are glued to the top of the turret walls, mainly for detail purposes, as adding moulded-in rivets to a curved part is pretty challenging for moulding. Armoured side plates are fitted to the gun opening The roof is detailed with latches, searchlights on PE brackets and other small fittings, each one fitted open or closed as you see fit. There are two identical turrets included, and these drop into the circular cut-outs in the roof of the fighting compartment, held in place by gravity unless you fix them into position with a little glue. Markings There are a generous seven decal options on the smallish decal sheet (these vehicles did not carry a great deal of markings) , with their five-view profiles printed in full colour on the glossy pages of the booklet, and while they all share the same basic colour, there is enough variety created by the unit markings to offer plenty of choice. From the box you can build one of the following: 2nd Armoured Car Div, Imperial Russian Army, Eastern Front 1917 Czechoslovak Legion in Russia, Irkutsk, Dec 1919 4th Armoured Car Div, Volunteer Army, Spring 1919 Armoured Car Div, Don Army, Armed Forces of South Russia, Summer 1919 26th Armoured Sqn, Red Army, Summer 1919 Red Army, Early 1920s (winter camo) Red Army, Early 1920s (summer camo) Decals are by MiniArt’s usual partner Decograph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This peculiar early armoured car isn’t as familiar as others due to the area of its use, but is still an interesting model in the history of armoured cars. Detail is exceptional as we’ve come to expect from MiniArt. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Hello everyone! My Wolseley armoured car.... ....is finally finished! I got tired of waiting for the headlights to dry, and ripped out the microscale Krystal clear (after about 7 coats it was like pork-pie jelly) to replace it with Gorilla clear glue - much better! ...a bit too clear if anything. The saga will continue at the WIP with horses, figures and a diorama base (inlcuding AA box), but for now the car is complete. thanks for watching!
  13. Model T RNAS Armoured Car (35669) 1:35 ICM via Hannants WWI was the first war to feature mechanisation with truck and tanks new to the battlefield. It would not be long before the Model T was pressed into use, and one into an armoured car. In 1915, Commander Oliver Stillingfleet Locker Lampson took an expeditionary force to fight on the Eastern Front through Russia and Persia. Joining him were at least 10 specially modified 'Model X Ford' Armoured Cars. The RNAS developed armoured cars for recon and to rescue downed pilots. The Model T version would follow the more famous Rolls Royce, and Lanchester cars, it was developed by Cheif Petty Officer L Gutteridge. The Kit The kit arrives in the usual ICM top-opening box with the captive flap on the lower tray and artwork depicting the contents on the lid. Whoever puts those lids together certainly makes them tight and difficult to get off even after cutting the tape between the two parts. There is one common sprue from their other Model T kits but a complete new body for the armoured car, and a sprue for the Vickers machine gun. Construction starts with the front axle, this has the radiator attached and then it can be glued on to the main floor pan. The engine is then made up and added in behind the radiator. The exhaust is then added along with the rear axle and its prop shaft. Side plates which protect the engine are then put onto the chassis. The spoke wheels and tyres can then b put on and the armoured discs placed over the top, In the cab the controls are added along with the floor, steering wheel and steering column. Next up the armoured bady of the car can be constructed. There is a fully armoured cabin for the driver and the rear is half armoured to enable the gun to move about, A spare tyre is added to the cabin roof, and lights to the sides. Markings The small decal sheet gives the roundels and numbers for one RNAS Car, Vickers Machine Gun (35712) This set which ICM do individually is supplied for the armament for the ca. There are tow guns with either the ribbed or smooth water jacket and two different height stands. Conclusion This is a unusual model from ICM and a good use of its already tooled Model T sprues o bring us this model. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  14. The RAF Armoured Car Companies were part of Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) based in Iraq, Palestine and Transjordan. They were formed to operate with aircraft squadrons to suppress insurrection and maintain peace in the area in the aftermath of World War I. A large and expensive army was required to maintain peace in Mesopotamia after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire by the British in the Mesopotamian campaign of World War I. At the Cairo Conference (1921) it was agreed by Chief of the Air Staff Lord Trenchard and Secretary of State for the Colonies Winston Churchill that the Royal Air Force would take over control from the British Army. It was considered the security of the newly created country of Iraq could be achieved by aircraft squadrons supported by RAF armoured cars and a small number of ground forces. In the winter of 1921/1922 airmen and officers of the RAF were assembled at RAF Heliopolis on the outskirts of Cairo in Egypt to train and form the nucleus of the RAF Armoured Car Companies. On 19 December 1921, No.1 Armoured Car Company RAF (1 ACC) was formally established at Heliopolis and then, having become operational, moved to Palestine in May 1922. They were disbanded there on 1 December 1923 with elements being absorbed into No.2 Armoured Car Company RAF (2 ACC).[1] On 7 April 1922 the remaining airmen under training at RAF Heliopolis were formed into 2 ACC and a month later proceeded to Palestine & Transjordan.[2] In May 1922 airmen and officers assembled at RAF Manston in Kent, England, to train as armoured car crew for service in Mesopotamia (Iraq).[3] On 14 September 1922 they set sail on the first Royal Air Force troopship from Southampton with other RAF personnel bound for Iraq.[4] In Iraq, No.3 Armoured Car Company RAF (3 ACC) was based at Basrah operating in Southern Iraq, No.5 Armoured Car Company RAF (5 ACC) at Mosul with No.4 Armoured Car Company RAF (4 ACC), No.6 Armoured Car Company RAF (6 ACC) and a headquarters in Baghdad. Armoured car lines were created at RAF Hinaidi Cantonment. In 1924 Numbers 3 and 4 Companies were combined. In April 1927 Numbers 4, 5 & 6 Companies were disbanded with the formation of the armoured car wing at RAF Hinaidi Cantonment composed of 8 sections of armoured cars. Four sections were based at Hinaidi, one at Basrah, two at Kirkuk and one at Mosul. In April 1930 the Armoured Car Wing was disbanded and reconstituted as Number 1 Armoured Car Company RAF with headquarters, workshops and two sections based at RAF Hinaidi Cantonment, one section based at RAF Basrahand one at RAF Mosul.[1][5] In 1937 1 ACC moved from the RAF Hinaidi Cantonment to a new base at RAF Dhibban (renamed RAF Habbaniya on 1 May 1938), where it remained based until disbandment and incorporation into the RAF Regiment, on 3 October 1946. In Palestine and Transjordan, 2 ACC remained active until disbandment and incorporation into the RAF Regiment, on 3 October 1946. Above taken from Wikipedia. My my own personal link to this build is slightly tenuous, but stick with me. Every year I had my annual visit to the Rockapes for CCS training, basically first aid, shooting, NBC and the gas chamber sorry respirator test facility. And I spent a delightful time in Iraq at Basra airfield. Oh and on each Rock Squadron there will be at least one MTD to provide driver fams/ training on the vehicles. That should cover it This is the kit I will build
  15. A quick build of the Tamiya 1:48 British 7 ton Armoured Car Mk IV (which I gather is actually a Humber). Brush painted with home brewed Tamiya Acrylic mix for SCC15. Finished with the markings out of the box for a vehicle from the Polish 1st Armoured Division in NW Europe, 1944-45. My first attempt to weather with oils. Very enjoyable, stress free build (except for the wing mirror I kept knocking off). Build thread here. Thanks for looking. Some photos out in the sunshine.
  16. Good afternoon. This is my first ever WIP post! And it will be about this thing!: The Renault AM 1914 armoured car of which its history can be found here. The kit is a resin kit from danmodels and comes in a sturdy cardboard box containing some 106 (or there abouts) well-cast resin parts, 16 PE parts and some brass rods of 2 different diameters. There are a few issues with the casting but as this is (I believe to be) the first kit from danmodels, I can safely say that the kit looks great. The parts: The photo was taken before I declared war on the excess resin, a long and hard fought war in which I emerged victorious! Wish me luck!
  17. British Armoured Car (Pattern 1920 Modified w/sand tyres) 1:72 Roden The 1920 Pattern Armoured Car was a mild revision of the original 1914 Armoured Car, which had been used in the First World War, most notably by T.E. Lawrence during the Revolt in the Desert. Based on the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost chassis, it was powered by a water-cooled straight six engine developing 80hp. The 1920 pattern revisions saw the introduction of new wheels and thicker armour for the radiator, while subsequent revisions included the addition of a commander's cupola. The original Vickers Gun was retained as the main armament, although some vehicles were fitted with a Maxim Gun instead, and some were adapted to carry the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle or the Bren Gun instead. During the Second World War, the 1920 Pattern Armoured Car was used in the Western Desert campaign and the Middle East, until being withdrawn due to the availability of more modern types. Three original examples exist today, one at Bovington, one Maintained by the Irish Defence Forces and one in private hands. A number of replicas have also been produced. Following hot on the heels of their FWD truck (and their slightly older 1:35 scale Rolls Royce Armoured Cars) comes this all-new kit from Roden. As is their custom, the kit is packed into a compact end-opening box adorned with the kind of high quality artwork that we've come to expect from the Ukrainian manufacturer. Inside the box are four sprues of grey plastic and a small decal sheet. The mouldings look to be up to the usual Eduard standard, with plenty of fine detail. Construction starts with the running gear, and Roden have done a good job, with each component picked out individually. The double rear wheels fit into the rear axles and drive shaft, while the front wheels have to be joined to the steering mechanism. The fuel tank and exhaust system are moulded separately, while the leaf spring suspension is moulded in place with the sides of the chassis. Some nice details, such as the starting handle, have been provided too. Construction moves on to the upper portion of the vehicle, but before the bodywork can be assembled, Roden suggest stowage boxes and spare fuel container. The tool box actually folds up from a single piece of plastic, which is an unusual approach but should work well with what would otherwise be a fiddly part to assemble. The rest of the armoured bodywork is made up of various flat-ish parts, while the turret is made up of ten parts. The wooden area at the rear of the vehicle is nicely detailed and could be used to hold all sorts of bits and bobs to add visual interest. There is no interior detail, but extra details such as the headlights and spare wheels are all present and correct. Two examples are provided for on the decal sheet: "Vulture" No.1 ACC No.1, 2 or 3 Section RAF, Iraq 1936 (overall Green)With recognition roundel on top. "Tigris" No.1 ACC No.4 Section RAF, Iraq 1941 (3 tone camo) Conclusion This looks to be a really neat little kit that will no doubt be even more impressive when built. The overall level of detail, including the running gear and the way the bodywork has been depicted with dozens of tiny rivets, is excellent and it will make a fine addition to a collection or diorama. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  18. Dear Britmodellers I have a favour to ask, my son Dylan aged 8 was building the above kit at the weekend and one of the parts was swallowed by the carpet monster. The old problem of cutting the part off the sprue and it flying off never to be seen again, it's one of the suspension leaf springs part numbers 22, 23, 24 or 25. Can anyone help, he's giving himself a really hard time despite my assurances we have all done it ! Kindest regards Pat
  19. AEC Mk111 Armoured Car 1:35 MiniArt MiniArt have just released the final version of the AEC armoured car and as with the Mk1 and Mk11 it contains mostly the same sprues, so MiniArt are really getting their monies worth out of the moulds, and who could blames them. As with the Mk1 review HERE this review will concentrate on the differences. The differences between this kit and the other versions are very small and concern only the turret, which is the same type as used in the Mk11 but this time fitted with the 75mm gun as used in a number of British tanks. Of course the ammunition racks in the turret basket are altered to fit the larger rounds, but that’s about the only difference inside. Externally the addition of the twin Vickers machine gun mount to the top of the turret is the only difference. As per the other versions the kit comes in a top opening box with an artists impression of the vehicle on the lid. Even though the box is quite deep it is full of styrene, each sprue within individual bags and all contained in one large poly bag. The sprues are still in the medium grey styrene. All the parts are well moulded and with out a hint of flash, but quite a few moulding pips. The Model The hull and turret are of the same design as the Mk11, and the interior details appear to be very much the same with the exception of some storage bins and equipment around the fighting compartment. The main difference in this version is the gun. The build begins with the construction of the gun breech with its large recuperator which is fitted through the mantlet and the elevating assembly. To the breech the two piece breech block is attached, followed by the gun sights and two piece cartridge catcher. To the right hand side the BESA machine gun breech is fitted and once the numerous PE bolt heads, gun firing controls and turret training motor assembly have been fitted to the turret halves the turret can be fitted around the gun/mantlet assembly. The turret roof is next for attention, with the two optical sights and their covers, PE aerial mounting base, mount and styrene fitting, a PE cooling vent cover for the rear of the turret roof, several other smaller fittings and finally the two piece turret hatch. The radio is the same as the previous kit and is fitted to the rear of the turret ring. With the drivers compartment hatch fitted to the upper hull deck the turret is fitted into position and locked in place by the lower turret ring. On the outside of the turret three storage containers are fitted to the rear, whilst at the front the machine and main gun barrels are attached. The turret basket is then assembled. This begins with the fitting of the commanders seat and upper segment of the inner cartridge rack to the basket floor. The circular upper segment for the main cartridge rack that runs around the entire turret basket is fitted with two L shaped supports and the racks filled with 2pdr shells in their containers. The spent cartridge container and the four BESA ammunition boxes are the glued to the basket floor, and yes it does look a bit cramped in their now. The completed basket assembly is then fitted to the lower turret ring and the whole turret/hull decking assembly fitted to the lower hull. The two Vickers machine guns are single piece guns which have the circular ammunition drums attached to the top and a spent cartridge case chute to one side. The mounting consists of a central tubular piece to which the guns are attached, with a support beam added between the breeches. The pintle mounting is then fitted with a ratchet mechanism and then fixed to the lower mounting tube. The completed assembly is then attached to the top of the turret roof between the hatches. Also differing from the other two releases is the welcome inclusion of a driver figure with separate arms, legs, head and beret Decals The small decal sheet gives options for three vehicles, all in overall olive drab colour scheme. The decals include the vehicle identification numbers unit badges and large stars of two different styles for the vehicles used overseas:- • Royal Armoured Gunnery School, Lulworth Camp, Dorset, 1944 • Heavy Troop, D Squadron, 2nd Household Regiment, VIII Corps, Normandy, June 1944 • 1st Kings Dragoon Guards, XII Corps, 2nd British Army, North-Western Europe, Spring 1945 Conclusion As with the other versions of the AEC armoured car from MiniArt this is a superb kit with everything a superdetailer would wish for all included. From a couple of completed examples I’ve seen they are quite complex to build but make for a fantastic looking model. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. AEC Mk.II ARMOURED CAR MiniArt 1:35 History The AEC (Associated Equipment Company), based in Southall, Middlesex was best known for its production of trucks, such as the Matador. Their series of heavy armoured cars built during the Second World War. The prototype was in fact a private enterprise and was demonstrated at Horse Guards Parade in early 1941. Winston Churchill was so impressed with the vehicle that an initial order was placed in June of that year. AEC tried to build an armoured car with firepower and protection comparable to those of contemporary tanks. The first version carried a Valentine Mk II turret with 2 pounder gun. Subsequent versions received more powerful armament - a 6 pounder or a 75 mm gun. The vehicle also carried two machine guns, smoke grenades discharger and No. 19 radio set. The MkII was powered by a 158hp diesel engine giving the vehicle a top speed of 40mph and a range of 210 miles. Due to the large gun fitted in the MkII it was found that a fourth crewmember was required. The MkII weighed in at 11 tons whilst the Mark III with the 75mm gun fitted came in at 12.7 tons. AEC Mk II and Mk III armoured cars were used in North Africa and throughout continental Europe. Production of all marks of AEC armoured car ceased after 629 had been produced. The Mk II / Mk III took part in the fighting in Europe with British and British Indian Army units. In 1944, a batch of AEC armoured cars were sent to Yugoslavia for use by partisans, where they were used for more than 10 years. Following WWII, the AEC remained in British service until replaced by the Saladin, while the Lebanese army continued to use them until 1976. The Model The kit comes in quite a deep, rather plain box, with an artists representation of the armoured car in Yugoslav colours. On opening, it is a little startling to see so many parts on the sprues, which are all contained in one large bag. There are six sprues of grey styrene, an number of which are sub divided, so that if counted separately there are nineteen sprues. Also included are four slide moulded outer tyres which are really nicely done, giving a good representation of the tread without leaving any seam on the outside of the tyre. In addition to the grey styrene there is a single clear styrene sprue, a small sheet of etched brass and a small decal sheet. The A4 portrait instruction booklet is more like a softback book than a set of instructions. The diagrams and exploded views are well drawn and clear, although with the number of parts it’s a good idea to read carefully to understand where each part is positioned. The reason there are so many parts, (531 styrene and 44 photo etched), in this kit is that it comes with a full interior, for the drivers position, engine bay, turret and the revolving turret cage. All the parts are really well moulded, with no sign of flash, but quite a few moulding pips. The sprue gates aren’t too bad overall, but on some of the smaller parts they look like they will need to be cut carefully from the sprue to prevent damage. Since the kit includes the full interior it is natural that it is here that construction starts. The ammunition storage bins for the centre floor are first of all filled with cartridges. For this each cartridge needs to be cut down so that only the base is fitted to each hole in the bins. The filled bins are then attached to the floor along with a storage box. Next, the fuel, water and oil tanks are assembled and attached to the port side of the vehicle, which has a number of plates and brackets fitted externally. To the starboard side, a couple of electrical boxes are fitted to the inside, whilst the hatch and similar plates as those fitted to the port side are also attached. The rear fighting compartment bulkhead is fitted with what looks like a header tank on the engine bay side and several brackets, clamps, storage boxes are fitted to the fighting compartment side. The two air filters, with their associated pipe joining them together are then attached to the upper part of the bulkhead. Just below the pipe an electrical box is also fitted. In the drivers compartment the rather complex seat is assembled out of the squab frame, base and four crossed frames, (allowing the real seat to be raised or lowered). The completed seat frame is then fixed to the compartment floor, along with two levers just to the right of the seat. The seat squab, backrest and supporting arms are then fitted to the seat frame whilst the steering wheel is assembled to the steering column and the steering gearbox housing, before being fitted to the floor. The drivers compartment, fighting compartment floors and rear bulkhead are then all fitted to the port side. The drivers front bulkhead panel is then attached, and to this the clutch, brake and accelerator pedals are attached. To the left of the drivers seat the clutch pedal rod is attached to the gearstick and steering gearbox housing. Another connecting rod is attached to the outside of the gearstick housing and passes through the step between the drivers and fighting compartments. The starboard side can then be attached. The chassis rails are then fitted with their respective leaf springs to the front and connected to each other with three crossmembers. An additional crossmember is connected the front member by an L shaped bracket. Also to connecting rods are slid through the front crossmember and into the drivers compartment. The transfer box is then constructed and attached to the bracket between the two front crossmembers. The build moves on to the engine, in this particular model the engine was an AEC 197 6 cylinder 9.65ltr diesel. The engine block is built up of three parts onto which the sump is then attached. Each of the two cylinder heads is fitted with three glowplug connections before being fitted to the engine block. The bell housing and a couple of sundry parts are fitted to the right hand side, whilst to the left, the fuel manifold assembly, fuel pump assembly and exhaust manifold are attached. The auxiliary drive plate is fitted to the front of the engine along with the water pump and thermostat housing. With two universal couplings attached to the gearbox the engine is ready for installing. Before the engine is installed, two electrical motors/generators are attached to a mounting plate, and their connecting boxes fitted to the top of each motor. This assembly is fitted to the starboard side of the engine bay and attached to the engine by an auxiliary drive belt. Ensure that the engine couplings fit cleanly to the transfer box couplings. On the underside, the three piece exhaust is fitted as are the steering rods at the front and the leaf springs, attachments and anti-roll bars of the rear suspension. The front and rear axles with their transverse boxes are assembled, these are then attached to the leaf springs and joined to the transfer box with drive shafts. The front wheel mounts are then assembled with their brake pistons and brake pads. The ball joints are then slipped in to the slot on the mounts and the whole assembly attached to the axle and connected by the steering rod. Other sundry parts are fitted to the undersides of the leaf spring clamps and the rear brake discs are fitted to the axle and attached to the brake actuator rods. The PE parts that cover the spring clamps will need some very careful folding and bending as their shape is quite complex with detail sketches giving their precise measurements. To the rear the two part radiator housing is fitted to the rear armoured panel, which is then fitted to the armoured car body once the cooling fan has been fitted to the engine. The cooling system is completed by the fitting of two pipes, one from the header tank to the engine and the other from the engine to the radiator. The wheels are assembled next, each with the outer tyre/treaded section into which the inner tyres/hubs are fitted. Onto the inner hubs the brake units are attached and on the outer hubs the centre bosses are fitted. When complete the wheels can be attached to their respective axles. With the suspension and wheels now complete it’s on with the upper hull construction. Since there is so much that should be on show with this kit, MiniArt have given the modeller the option of having all the hatches open. Read the instructions carefully as a number of parts are only used with the open option. The large drivers hatch is fitted out with two very well detailed and intricate periscopes complete with grab handles and crash pads. These are fitted to the hatch and, if open, held up with the supporting arms and large springs. The instrument binnacle is fitted to the underside of the upper hull plating. The windscreen that normally lies flat just in front of the hatch is attached to the outside of the hull plating with two hinge brackets and can be posed up or down. The completed upper hull plating is then attached to the rest of the hull. To the rear, the air intake vent is assembled from four styrene and two PE parts and the whole assembly fitted to the rear of the engine bay deck, along with the two engine bay hatches, which again can be posed open if required. Either side of the hull, two large storage box assemblies are fitted, whilst at the front, the large armoured nose panels, which include the wheel arches are fitted out with a selection of brackets, handles, lights and their protective bars. The rear mudguard assemblies are attached to their respective mountings, with the right hand mudguard having a fire extinguisher fitted. The last major assembly is that of the turret. Starting with the turret basket floor, onto which the perforated foot step, storage boxes are attached. These are followed by the mounting supports, seats for the commander and gunner, ammunition bins, with the cartridges fitted in the same way as those on the hull floor, and a large bin, which looks like that used for used cartridge cases. The interior and exterior of the turret sides have details added, such as the searchlight, brackets, lifting eyes, viewing ports, which can be posed open or closed, storage boxes, pistol case, brackets for the BREN gun, the BREN gun itself and ammunition for the BESA machine gun. On the turret ring, more ammunition containers for the machine guns, what look like flare pistol cartridges and other storage containers are fitted. The turret training motor is made up of four parts and fitted to the front left quadrant of the turret ring. The mantlet is then constructed out of six parts including the trunnion mounts. To this the BESA machine gun and main gun sight are fitted before the main gun is assembled. This is also quite a complex piece of modelling and consists of the rear of the main gun and recoil tubes, elevation tube and hand wheels, breech, breech block, and firing mechanism. Four periscopes of the same construction as those of the drivers compartment are assembled and fitted to the turret roof, along with more brackets, vents, aerial base externally, whilst internally the flare pistol tube, main radio sets and vent opening actuator are fitted internally. The main assemblies are brought together to build the turret and completed with the addition of the turret basket, main gun barrel, and the hatches for the commander and gunner. Finally the turret assembly is slid into the aperture to sit on the hull turret ring. The last parts to be added being the shackles fore and aft making the model complete. Etch The small etched brass sheet contains items such as drivers and turret hatch latches, radio set guards, air intake plates, and leaf spring mounting bolt protectors. There are also periscope hand holds, various brackets, head lamp guards, and aerial mounting ring. The brass is quite pliable so may not need annealing before trying to bend the parts to shape. Certainly some sort of tooling will be advantageous to have to hand when working on some of the parts. Decals The decal sheet provides markings for four vehicles and are printed by Begermot. The vehicles are from the following:- • 10th Indian Infantry Division, Italy 1943 • Royal Armoured Corps, unbrigaded unit, Middle East, 1943-1944 • Tank Proving Grounds, Kubinka, USSR, 1944-1945 • 1st Armoured Brigade of Yugoslav Peoples Army, Balkans, 1944-1945. Some of the markings are quite matt whilst other s are very glossy so a good gloss coats is a must as will setting and softening solutions. It’s not as if the decals look bad, but perhaps not as good as other manufacturers. They appear in register and are suitably opaque with very little carrier film. Conclusion I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this kit announced by MiniArt as I liked its quirky appearance and had built a number of their products I thought it would be great to have in the collection. When I found out that it had a full interior, well, I thought, this could be good. I wasn’t wrong; this is a great kit of a relatively unknown vehicle which did pretty well throughout its career. The details are superb and yet it doesn’t look like it is too over engineered and difficult to put together. The only real problem areas are some of the PE folding requirements are more than a little awkward, but nothing a little care and patience won’t sort out. Painting and weathering the interior will be challenging only in that there is so much detail painting required, but that’s all part of the fun with these types of kit. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. The Miniart 1:35 AEC Mk.II Armoured Car is now in stock and all pre-orders will be dispatched tomorrow. http://www.creativemodels.co.uk/miniart_135_aec_mk2_armoured_car-p-31404.html
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