I have to give Bronco Models
credit for getting the most from their moulds while at the same time keeping the model builders and plastic hoarders happy. Very close on the heels of the release of their British Airborne Troops Riding in ¼ Ton Truck and Trailer and OQF 6pdr Anti Tank Gun Mk IV on Carriage Mk III Airborne with Crew, Bronco Models
has matched the Airborne 6pdr Anti-Tank Gun with the ¼ Ton Truck and added 6 new British Airborne troops for good measure. I believe Bronco Models
may have released more British Airborne troop figures in the last couple of months than were available in all of the previous years in this format.
Below is the introduction provided by Bronco Models
on the instructions for this model;
The 6pdr Anti-tank gun was chosen to equip the anti-tank batteries of the British Airlanding Brigades of the 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions. However the variant used, OQF 6pdr Anti-tank gun Mk IV on carriage Mk III (Airborne), had a modified carriage with 2 piece trail legs, it also featured shorter axles and modified gun shields. It was towed into battle by Jeep ¼ ton trucks which were also used for ammunition and crew transport. The 6 pdr fired an APCBC round that could penetrate 86mm of armour angled at 30 degrees at a distance of 1,000 metres. While the new APDS round introduced in 1944 could pierce 156mm of armour at a similar range. The 6 pdr could destroy all but the heaviest German tanks at battle ranges, yet still it was relatively light and easily handled by its crew. In action the 6 pdr was transported by a Horsa glider, with the Jeeps carried in separate gliders. On landing the Jeeps would link up with the guns and tow them into the battle areas. The guns were used in all three major Airborne battles1944 – 1945, D-Day, Arnhem and the Rhine crossing.
Inside the now standard b>Bronco Models you will find;
- 15 green sprues
- 6 grey sprues
- Jeep bodywork
- 2 green tyres
- 1 clear sprue
- 3 photo etched frets
- 3 decal sheets
- A length of string/cord
- A scale paper map
- 1 box art print
- 1 A4 booklet of instructions
The ¼ ton Truck
Anyone who has built any of the previous ¼ ton trucks (Jeep) kits from Bronco Models
will feel at home with this one from the off. The areas that I feel are worthy of mention are the detailed engine, gearbox and drives, these areas have been well detailed and while they will not be seen in most cases they do create options and do away with the need of aftermarket detail sets. The single piece chassis is detailed while still insuring everything is square. The wheels are nicely detailed with a good representation of the rough terrain tyre tread pattern and written detail on the side walls. Another nice and note worthy item with the wheels is that Bronco Models
provides the option of accurately displaying the front wheels turning left or right or straight on.
One area where I would seriously consider an aftermarket product are the lights; please don’t get me wrong the clear lenses supplied by Bronco Models
are very good and perfectly adequate for the purpose but I feel the SKP lenses and taillights set will be an improvement and result in a more pleasing finish. The interior of the vehicle has also been well detailed with the moulded creases in the canvas seats being particularly note worthy. The seats look to be accurate to me with the drivers’ seat being placed over the vehicles fuel tank; am I the only one that shudders at the thought of entering a war zone in an un-armoured vehicle sat on a fuel tank? The only detail missing that I could find is the first aid box which is mounted under the dash board on the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
The tools, weapons, ammunition boxes and jerry cans supplied with the model look good with the only downside being the barrels needing to be drilled to further improve them in some cases. While on the subject of weapons; there are a number of them listed as not being used but looking through the sprues here is a list of what I found;
- 3 Bren guns with the option of a folded or deployed bipod
- 3 wooden stock Sten guns
- 6 SMLE rifles
- 2 Thompson machine guns in holders
- 3 Webley revolvers
- 3 holstered Webley revolvers
- 3 holstered 1911 colts
There is also a mix of equipment which can be used or not to make this model your own along with that mix of weapons. The tools do not have moulded on clamp detail which is supplied as photo etched parts which will please many of you reading this. The jerry cans have been seen many times and as is now usual for high quality scale jerry cans Bronco Models
has supplied photo etched seam detail for them along with separate lids, handles and a pouring spout. You get;
- 6 jerry cans
- 3 6pdr ammunition boxes
- 6 rounds of ammunition
6pdr Anti-Tank Gun (Airborne)
Barrel and cradle
The barrel is a three piece offering with the rear section being in two halves, the front section is a single piece moulding which makes life easier for us. The muzzle brake is also a single piece moulding which is a good example of slide moulding technology. The design of the breach and block allows for the model to be depicted with the breach open or closed and can also be shown with a round being inserted if you wish; I am not familiar with the loading instruction of the 6Pdr but looking at its design and how closely it mimics the 25Pdr I believe you use a fist to ram home the round and not lose any fingers. The cradle is also made up of three parts and its design allowing the barrel to move within the cradle. The sighting and firing mechanism is another area where Bronco Models
has done a fantastic job, everything appears to be faithfully replicated however this will make assembly difficult due to the small size of the parts used.
The gun shield is a nice thickness with a very high level of detail on both the front and rear face. The parts that need to be added to the gun shield will make assembly difficult again due to the provided detail and small size of parts which include some very small photo etched items.
The gun carriage with its split legs is again very well designed and which with care could be positioned in any position once the model is complete, be that towed, stowed or deployed. The effort Bronco Models
has put into the two trail legs will I am sure be appreciated. The wheels are I believe slide moulded offerings but I am unfamiliar with the tread pattern on the tyres; that does not mean they are wrong it is just a pattern I am unfamiliar with, but I suspect that due to the size of the treads it is a rough terrain tyre. The tyres are designed so that they can be rotated after being added to the model which will make painting easier if you decide to complete the model before getting the paint out. The instructions covering construction of the trails basically show you how to articulate the trail legs for your chosen display and regardless of the option you opt for this should be a stunning if smallish model depending on your ability. Obviously the gun supplied is intended to be shown being towed but the options are there for you to decide.
I have one observation about the gun being depicted towed and that is that the Royal Artillery usually covered the barrel/muzzle brake and breach during towing. I am sure there will be pictures of 6pdrs minus covers being towed but as a rule every other gun would be covered and without reference to the contrary I do suggest this is considered in this case. These shaped and stitched tarps were usually green in colour and marked specifically for each gun.
The Airborne Troops
The stars of the show; those guys that are willing to jump out of a perfectly good aircraft come next. In this offering from Bronco Models
you get six new British Airborne Troops, which when added to the previous gun and Airborne truck release brings the number available to 18; I think that is enough for a very busy diorama, bring on the Horsa glider anyone?. 5 of these figures are depicted in a sitting position and Bronco Models
has supplied the lower portion of the jacket as a separate part, this has allowed for I believe a very nice undercut detail when the legs are attached. The final figure is depicted standing upright and travelling on the gun holding onto the gun shield.
is becoming a very fine purveyor of injection moulded plastic figures with the offerings in this set living up to and beyond my expectations in some areas. The face detail is very good and easily equal to the best I have seen in this medium. The hands or should that really be finger detail is a mixed bag of acceptable to very good, in some cases where the fingers are depicted articulated performing a function it has sometimes impacted detail. The helmets are another high with this figure set with Bronco Models
getting a very well done, because so far as I can see each helmet has an individual camouflage layout rather than duplicating the same helmet pattern as far as I can see.
One of this figures whose boot soles can be seen has been provided with separate sole detail which is again a nice touch. I have already mentioned the undercut detail provided where appropriate, however this is enhanced further by some very nice crease detail in the uniforms. One area where these figures could prove problematic is the ‘buttocks’, these have been shaped in some case for specific locations on the Jeep which has resulted in some interesting and painful looking indents, this will not be an issue if used as instructed. Some figure modellers are going to want to use these in other settings I suspect and these indents will need to be filled and re-sculpted, due to the location of the indents it should be within most modellers ability to obtain an acceptable finish.
The instruction booklet is A4 in size and uses the usual high quality glossy paper typical of Bronco Models
. The instructions begin with an introduction to the included model in English, German and Chinese. You are also provided with icon guide and sprue map, the sprue map does have a few parts greyed out but you may wish to use some of them to make your model unique to you. The colour chart provided lists paint by;
- Mr Hobby
- Hobby Color
The instructions guide you through the building of the model using for the most part black and white line drawings. There however some CAD images to help clarify parts placement, and there are also some parts coloured red to draw your attention and yellow in the case of photo etched pieces. Painting instructions are called out during construction for some areas where needed.
The gun and jeep are instructed to be painted using the standard Allied all over green finish. The decals provided cover the;
- 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions
- unit codes for the 1st and 2nd Air landing Anti-Tank battery of the 1st Airborne
- unit codes for the 3rd Air landing Anti-Tank battery of the 6th Airborne
- unit codes for the 4th Air landing Anti-Tank battery of the 6th Airborne
- unit codes for the 2nd Air landing Anti-Tank battery of the 6th Airborne
- Divisional Headquarters
There is also the Royal Artillery Tactical Marking, this is a red square in one corner of blue square. In the centre of this would be a letter and in the belief these units were set up the same as others;
- A to D would be the 1st
- E to H would be the 2nd
- I to L would be the 3rd
- M to P would be the 4th
I will need to do some further investigation to confirm this, but that is my belief at this time.
While on the subject of decals, Bronco Models
has supplied rank decals and wings decals for the figures in the set, which I know will be appreciated.
has I believe done it again with this release; by mating two of their products and adding some new figures this will be another sought after combo, and reinforces their position as one of the front runners in model production today. The detail is great overall and will tempt a lot of modellers. I am aware the high parts count and very small pieces are a bug bare in some cases, but I feel I would rather have these options than not.
brought us the Locust, and a new 6pdr with crew, accurate Airborne Jeeps which are accompanied with a great mix of figures, this really does make me wonder how far away is a Horsa glider? With that in the mix you could have one very large and pleasing diorama that would really catch the eye.
M22 Locust Airborne Tank
British Airborne Troops Riding in ¼ Ton Truck and Trailer
OQF 6pdr Anti Tank Gun Mk IV on Carriage Mk III Airborne with Crew