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Scammell R100 Pioneer Heavy Artillery Tractor. 1:35

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Scammell R100 Pioneer Heavy Artillery Tractor

Thunder Models 1:35



Recently modellers have noticed that different manufacturers are releasing kits of the same subjects, in fact it’s becoming more and more prevalent. For those of us that like British soft skin vehicles from WWII, the likes of IBG and Mirror models, for the most part, have given us the sort of kits we wanted. Now Thunder Models have got in on the act, with this release of the Scammell R100 Pioneer heavy artillery prime mover, at pretty much the same time that IBG released theirs, which we reviewed HERE. Whether Thunder and IBG began working on this together then went their separate ways, or it was just bad luck that they produced the same kits at the same time, we’ll never know. Still, it’s good to have a choice when it comes to buying a kit of a particular subject. It’s certainly been interesting the different approach each company have taken to produce the same vehicle


The model comes in a hinged lid style heavy duty cardboard box.  Inside there are twelve sprues of grey styrene, one of clear, two sheets of etched copper, a length of chain, a length of silver thread and three decal sheets. All the parts are beautifully moulded with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are quite a few moulding pips, adding to the cleanup operations.


The details Thunder have provided for the engine and suspension is superb, and with the separate side panels of the bonnet, you will be able to show this detail. The engine itself is a work of art, being made up from thirty two parts. The radiator is assembled from seven parts and the kit comes with a separate, almost addendum part for the radiator core which is much more detailed than the standard part. Whether this will be in all kits or just the first run it doesn’t say. The radiator assembly is then attached to the front of the engine, whilst to the rear the two piece bell housing is attached.










The front axle and suspension is then built up from nine parts and is glued to the front section of the chassis, which consists of separate rails and five cross members. The rail ends to the front are fitted with another leaf spring, like the main suspension units, but for the front mounted towing hook.  The transfer box and rear mounted pulley assembly are then built up before fitting to the chassis, as is the large frame containing the main pulley wheel. The main pulley frame is then fitted with a couple of take of gear systems.  The rear suspension springs are then attached, followed by the rather complex double wheel axle arrangement, including the rear differential.  There are a couple of diagrams taken from the servicing manual showing how all the cables are run for the brakes etc.


The cab is then assembled, made from a floor, front and rear bulkheads, driver and passenger seats, , driver pedals, instrument binnacle, with decal instruments, cab sides and under-floor attachment rails. The cab assembly is then glued to the chassis, and the steering column fitted from the steering rack through the bulkhead and the steering wheel attached. Before the top section of the bonnet is fitted, the air box and exhaust manifolds are attached to the engine.  The windows are then fitted, along with the PE hinges.












The kit comes complete with the large lifting beam option. To fit this, you will need to cut out sections of the roof frames before they are glued into position on the inside of the canvas roof. If you want the beam extended you will also have to remove a bracket on the rearmost frame and rear canvas part.  The truck bed is made up from the floor, three part sides and rear bulkhead, which includes the canvas cover, folded away. To the front of the bed there is another section for more crew, which is made up from a separate floor, rear bulkheads, and a pair of seats with separate cushions. On the underside of the bed, there is a pair of curved mudguard frames, cross beams and other fittings. The assembled crew station and bed are then glued to the chassis. With the roof/lifting beam assembly then glued into place.


 The door panels are then glued into position and can be posed open or closed, followed by the two front mudguards, six piece fuel tank, and wheel hubs. The wheels are of rather a strange construction, in that the fronts are made up of five parts, the inner and outer wheel and three mid sections that make up the tread area. The rears are slightly different, as they are of only three parts, inner and out wheel with a single mid section.  The outer sections have tread that matches up half way between the tread on the mid section, although if you wish to model a vehicle used in India, you can rotate the outer sections half a tread to give you the correct look for that theatre. With the wheels attached, the final bits of assembly are the fitting of the two rear mudguards and the PE stowage rack on the right hand side of the cab, under the floor.









The three decal sheets, one a medium size, the other two, small, contain markings for four vehicles. The decals are nicely printed, in register and nicely opaque. The options are:-


  • R100 Pioneer – H4191088 of the 1st British Army, 54th Heavy Artillery Regiment with 7.2” Howitzers, Operation Torch, 1942
  • R100 Pioneer – H5418757 of an unknown unit, France 1944
  • R100 Pioneer – WL256413
  • R100 Pioneer – Captured, in German Service, Summer 1943.





As with busses, you wait ages for a Scammell Pioneer to be released and two come along at the same time. Which is the better of the two, well, that’s up to you.  While both are very well detailed, I think that this kit has that little bit extra, such as the poseable cab doors and smaller items. It would have been nice to have a few more vehicle options, but I’m sure decal manufacturers will accommodate the modellers that wish to build a particular vehicle.


Review sample courtesy of


UK Distributors for



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Nice review. I have their earlier Tank Transporter release but I'm waiting for some driver and crew figures to hopefully get released. 


The radiator core is to replace the original one which apparently has an  accuracy issue with it. 



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I'm not really an AFV modeller, but I could go for one of these! I love the look of it.





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That little bird was in my ear again suggesting that Thunder Models are contemplating a braille (& 1/48) version of this kit.....Could BM find out the truth of this please?  :pray:

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