by: Kevin Brant [ ]
The Dragon British Conqueror Mk.2 has been out for some time, and has been reported to fall short in details in some areas. One of the latest releases from Aber addresses one area, the barrel.
The release from Aber contains three turned aluminium main barrel parts and some brass parts to round out the detail. Also included in the package is a small instruction sheet for how to assemble and mount the barrel.
A look at the parts in the bags, show some very nice work on the barrel and brass parts. The barrel parts are smooth showing now sign from the lathe. At the business end of the barrel the rifling can be seen inside, very well done. The brass parts show nice detail, to include some bolt details.
I did a comparison of the barrel from Aber and the kit barrel, and the barrel from Aber looks much improved over the kit part. I did a quick search of the internet to try to find the actual measurement of the barrel, but was unable to locate any detail. But, having seen the thank you note in the package, appreciating the efforts of Chris Meddings and Pawel Krupowicz, I feel we are in good hands with accuracy.
The barrel comes in three main parts, and attach with a threaded join at the fume extractor. When assembling, there is a small brass collar that goes ahead of the fume extractor, this can easily be slid onto the front portion of the barrel prior to assembly. Then it is just twist and the main barrel is assembled. Another small collar for the business end, and this can be firmly attached with a quick drop of CA. A small drop of CA at the fume extractor could also ensure the barrel stays tight together.
To mount this barrel from Aber on the kit, the mantlet will need a little surgery. First a 7mm hole needs to be drilled into the socket for the original barrel mount. While I did not have a drill bit that large, I drill with my largest bit, then carved and sanded the remainder, until the Aber barrel fit.
Another modification to the mantlet is sanding of the raised ring around the barrel. Prior to attaching the barrel this can easily be sanded off, and the photo-etch part provided by Aber can be mounted. Then it is just a matter of some CA, I used medium viscosity, when attaching the barrel to the mantlet.
Overall I am very impressed with this British L1A2 120mm barrel from Aber. Being the business end of the Conqueror, it adds some great looking sharp detail. The turned aluminium barrel is a great improvement over the two piece barrel provided in the kit. I would highly recommend this barrel for anyone building the Conqueror.