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  1. Tetrarch Mk.VII 1:72 Hauler The Light Tank Mk.VII (A17), commonly known as the Tetrarch, was a light tank designed by Vickers-Armstrong and manufactured by Metro Cammel. The Tetrach was designed before the outbreak of the Second World War. Thanks to a move away from the use of light tanks in British armoured divisions, the Tetrarch saw relatively little action during the early stages of the war, although 20 were supplied to the Soviet Union. Thanks to its diminutive size and relatively light weight, the Tetrach effectively found a secondary purpose supporting the airborne landings in Normandy. Unfortunately the original fears about the tanks inability to cope with superior German armour were well-founded and the tanks were quickly withdrawn from frontline combat. The Tetrarch was powered by a Meadows 12-cylinder petrol engine and was armed with both a QF 2 pounder gun and a 7.92mm Besa machine gun. Hauler are a manufacturer of kits and accessories from Brno, the Czech Republic's second city. They share an address with Brengun and are effectively the side of the business that focusses on AFVs and vehicles. They produce kits and accessories in the usual scales of 1:72, 1:48 and 1:35, as well as the railway scales HO (1:87) and TT (1:120), the latter intended primarily for wargaming. As befits a dimunitive tank, their Tetrarch arrives packed into a small, sturdy box inside which are just twenty one pieces of grey resin, a small fret of photo etched details and a sheet of decals. Construction is as simple as the low part count would suggest. There are just four wheels to fit to just either side of the hull, with no return rollers or idlers to worry about. The aft wheel doubles as a drive sprocket and must be aligned so the teeth are out of the way of the tracks. There are no parts provided to represent the Tetrarch's oil damped air suspension, which is a pity as photographs of the real thing reveal these components were quite visible from the outside. The wheels are nicely detailed however and the tracks are provided as a single, continuous resin band which will hopefully prove to be a good fit (if not, I'm sure they can be softened in warm water). Once the running gear has been added to the hull, some of the smaller details can be fixed in place. The photo etched glacis plate fits over the area where the resin pour stub would otherwise go, which will help reduce clean up time. The headlights are resin with a photo etched frame, while photo etched details are also used for the tow eyes, shovel and searchlight mount. The turret is a solid part onto which the mantle, the 2 pounder gun and smoke launchers all fit directly. The exhaust pipe in cast in place, while the engine air intakes are separate parts. Decals are provided for two examples: Tetrarch T-9274, Training Unit, England, 1944; and Tetrach T-9353, 6th Airborne Division, Normandy, June 1944. The decals are nicely printed. Conclusion Hauler's Tetrarch is small but perfectly formed. The low part count means it should be very easy to build, so long as you are adept at dealing with the smaller photo etched details. There are some compromises in terms of detail, such as the missing suspension components and the exhaust that has been cast as part of the hull, but overall this is a pleasing little model that will good great alongside some kits of larger types. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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