has become the unofficial home of the British paratrooper when it comes to 1/35th scale offerings. Bronco Models
has released several products covering jeep riders and gun crews, and now they have released 2 dedicated figure sets covering the British Paratrooper during World War Two. World War Two is the war into which the Parachute Regiment was born and cut their teeth so to speak, and from their formation they were very much an elite force. Operation Market Garden is likely the most well known Airborne campaign known to most of us and it was a failure as regards its intentions, But the Paratroopers very much earned the respect of the enemy, and the failure of the operation cannot be laid at the feet of those that fought there.
This offering from Bronco Models
is supplied in an end opening carton. On the front of the carton is an artistís impressions of the contents, the rear covers assembly and painting of the three figures; I do not like the assembly artwork as it does not do the contents and excellent work on the part of Bronco Models
any justice. Inside the carton you will find;
10 grey sprues
2 photo etched frets
2 decal sheets
An instruction booklet
The moulding quality of the figures and for that matter the product as a whole is excellent, it is so good that you cannot see the mould seam in most cases. The only downside is that there are a number of moulding nipples that will need to be removed and cleaned up. There are no other areas that bother me about this product. There are three figures included in this offering from Bronco Models
; one is riding a welbike, but can also be depicted static on the bike via the use of an alternate leg, one figure is unpacking a welbike and the last is pushing the collapsible trolley. The uniform detail is accurate with some very nice details such as the jump flap; a flap of material that secures between the legs to the front of the jacket that stops the jacket from rising up when jumping. The crease detail looks good and natural and should be a great feature when well painted.
The boots on these figures do not have tread detail, but the instep is well represented. The one boot where the sole can be seen has a separate part to replicate the tread. The hem of the jackets is supplied as separate parts and this has provided a realistic look to the bottoms of the jackets rather than a solid lump of plastic. The two figures using the welbikes have been supplied with separate camouflaged steel helmets and these are also supplied with separate helmet straps. The figure pushing the trolley has been moulded wearing a beret, which if nothing else adds a bit of a change. The figures are provided with separate water canisters, small backpacks and ammunition pouches, all of these items have good detail and the only improvement that could be made is to scratch the straps where they connect to the figures.
The facial detail on these figures is very good, a combination of the separate helmet and straps with good painting skills should result in a very pleasing finish. The hands are also good, but could be improved with some careful scraping to exaggerate the gap between the fingers. To finish the figures off Bronco Models
has supplied Airborne badges and non-commissioned rank badges.
The 2 Welbikes that are provided with this product are very nicely detailed. They are supplied with three finishing options; the finishing options that can be assembled are, in use, folded prior to use and folded in its drop container. Details are very good with photo etched parts being provided for the wheels spokes and the chain drive, plus a few much smaller parts. The Welbike drop containers have very nice detail inside and out, giving this aspect of the product a good number of display possibilities, perhaps even a bike in the process of being assembled. The instructions also provided a diagram for the brake and throttle cables; I suggest some very fine wire rather than the stretched sprue suggested in the instruction booklet. The only down side I can see is that there is no former or jig for shaping the photo etched spokes.
I have seen one of these collapsible trolleys in the Airborne section of the Imperial War museum at Duxford and I have included some photographs of it for you, I suppose you can think of this as a collapsible canvas wheelbarrow. The canvas portion of the trolley has very nice detail imbedded in the surface and with careful painting should look convincing. The locking handles used to assemble the real item I presume, have some great detail present.
The PIAT included with this set is supplied with a photo etched loading chamber and separate projectile, which is a nice touch. Also included are three PIAT ammunition containers, so all the bases seem to be covered.
- 1 Bren guns
- 1 Sten MkIV's
- 1 SMLE rifles
- 1 Webley revolvers
- 1 holstered Webley revolvers
The weapons have not been slide moulded with the exception of the bren gun and so a little drilling of the muzzles will improve the look. A big plus is that Bronco Models
have supplied photo etched weapons slings; the latest two figure sets from Bronco Models
are I believe the only injection moulded plastic figures to have all the bells and whistles in the box.
- 3 Large Backpacks
- 2 Type E Airborne Containers
- 4 Spare Camouflaged Helmets
This and the other paratrooper figure set released by Bronco Models
recently are I feel the most complete offerings ever offered to modellers to dateí the inclusion of decals and photo etched weapon slings really lift this offering to a very high end product. The only complaint I can make is a personal opinion on the figure construction drawings on the rear of the box that do these figures no justice. I know there are modellers out there who bemoan the loss of Gen 2 figures and they should be impressed with these figures and perhaps not feel quite so hard done by.