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FV217 Badger Heavy Tank Destroyer (35A034) - 1:35 Amusing Hobby


Julien
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FV217 Badger Heavy Tank Destroyer (35A034)

1:35 Amusing Hobby

 

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Still clinging onto the "bigger is better" ethos that Hitler forced upon the Allies during the last years of WWII, post war British doctrine continued to specify and design huge and lumbering tanks for a while, such as the Tortoise, and to a great extent the Conqueror, carrying a 120mm gun that was intended to take out opposition armour at longer range than the smaller Centurion, whilst working in cooperation together.  Design began while the war was still raging, and continued with subsequent changes to specification due to rapidly evolving needs for a further 10 years before it morphed into the Conqueror. This chassis was to be used as the basis for the Badger or FV217 which was to be armed with the same 120mm gun as the Conqueror. The project never made it off the drawing board though, so it is essentially a what if. The specs that can be found look impressive, however with the development of what would become the Main Battle Tank the days of the Tank Destroyer were numbered. 

 

 

 

The Kit

This is a reboxing of the original Conqueror II kit with the addition of an extra sprue of parts, and a new casting for the main hull.  This seems to be one of the vehicle designs revisited by World Of Tanks which amusing hobby seem to be using for inspiration. 

 

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Construction begins with the hull, and the suspension bogies that contain the Horstmann suspension units, which is where the real springs come in.  These are contained between two end-caps, which affix to a back-plate, and if you're careful with the glue when you attach the perforated front part, you should end up with working suspension.  Two pairs of road wheels and a single pair of return rollers are fixed to the axles, and held in place by hub caps that fit using friction alone, so the wheels should turn too if you don't overdo the paint.  This is repeated over the eight bogies, a multi-part drive sprocket with final drive housing is installed at the rear and the adjustable idler wheels are added to the lower glacis, with an element of adjustment possible before you apply glue, which should allow you to take up any additional slack in the tracks before you finish construction.  

 

The upper hull is essentially one complete part to which are added the front hatches and the main gun. There are a multitude of small fittings to add along side lockers and storage bins. There is a hatch to makeup nd add to the rear bulkhead of the top casemate. At the rear tools and the exhaust system are added with smoke dischargers being added to the side. The gun itself is made up from 5 parts with the gun broken down into sections which are single part moulds so there will be no massive seam to remove. For the top o the casemate a machine gun/command copula is also constructed at this time. 

 

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The tracks are very nicely moulded, and are of the click-fit workable variety, which works very well indeed in this instance.  The parts are moulded in pairs with a small injection manifold between them, and they are attached by only two sprue gates, with no ejector pins to deal with.  Clean-up is super-simple due to the location of the gates, and the click action is quite robust, leaving you with a run of tracks in fairly short order, which is just as well as you need 98 links per side.  Having seen a few rather poorly engineered track joining methods from other major manufacturers lately, it's refreshing to see a genuinely good track-making method from Amusing Hobby.  With the tracks installed, the hull halves can be joined, the top copula installed; and the side skirts added. 

 

 

Markings

It's an AFV kit, so the decal sheet is the size of an over-ambitious stamp. As the real thing never existed there are standard British Armour markigs with two suggested schemes of the standard Green & Black, and the Berlin camo scheme.

 

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Conclusion

There's something about the bulk of this tank destroyer which is quite impressive, even if it was never built.  Amusing Hobby have captured that aspect of it very well. We just wonder what they are dreaming up kitting next!

 

Very highly recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of

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Available soon from good model shops.

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