by: Darren Baker [ ]
When Bronco starting releasing their line of Jeeps it was to great fanfare and a fairly high price tag for the various offerings, even today a search on Ebay reveals a price in the £40 range. So when Bronco announced the release of not one but a two jeep set I was expecting a heavy price tag to come with it, so letís take a look at what is provided in this offering from Bronco.
The model arrived in a reasonably robust and large cardboard tray with a separate cardboard lid, despite arriving very well packed the lid had still taken a good number of impacts during its time in the postage system. When I opened the box I was expecting some carnage to present itself, but despite quite a lot of space inside the box the contents are as intended I believe. The sprues are for the most part are packed inside their own plastic bags except where duplicated and so well protected. I do have some concern about the amount of movement that can take place inside the box but that does not seem to have caused issue here.
Anyone who has been in the hobby for a few years has a good idea of what to expect here, in so much as unlike the jeeps offered by MiniArt and Tamiya these kits will not be a five minute build despite the diminutive size of the finished models. You get a single piece rail chassis requiring minimal surgery to change it from a standard jeep to an airborne version that was shortened for easier air transport. The oily parts as in the engine and gearbox are well represented and only require the addition of a small amount of wire to raise it to a very high standard. The suspension is well replicated and best of all Bronco has provided the ability to show the wheels turned which as most of you know is something I highly approve of.
The body of the vehicles have been well tackled and only require attention to the ejector pin marks on the underside if they are to be exposed. Detail in the crew area is of exceptionally high standard for what are small vehicles and I believe will meet the expectations of all modellers regardless of skill level. The detail on the tyres is worthy of mention with good detail on all faces of the wheel. The requisite tools are supplied to give the Jeeps that functional and rugged look. The aggressive stance is finished off a treat via the addition of a Lewis gun mounted ready for use on the passengerís side, a mount for securing an SMLE personal weapon and finished off with a Bren gun mounted beside the driverís seat.
Moving onto the specifics of these offerings and we get very good radio communications sets for both vehicles with photo etched guards. A fold down stowage rack is provided for one of the Jeeps and a case of some kind is included for placement on the rack and secured with photo etched straps. On the front of the other jeeps are three cable drums. The drums have been well tackled very well with separate sides and the pillars to join them; the cable itself is supplied in the kit via black thread and from what I can see this is a good option that looks the part.
Included with the two Jeeps are five figures representing World War 2 British Paras. You get to a driver for each of the Jeeps and a navigator for one, there is one Para engaged in using the radio and the final figure sat ready for a quick deployment from the vehicle due to being sat on the side of it. I really like the figure offerings from Bronco as they offer an exceptional package with them, but I would have liked to see another figure provided for the second Jeep front seat but life is what it is. The uniform and webbing is very well detailed and perfect for what it represents as regards time and location. The facial detail is well done and while note resin quality they are close. The finger detail is some of best and finest I have seen in injection moulded plastic and that lifts the figures to a very high standard. I like that Bronco includes decals for their figure offerings and while it is not mentioned in the instructions I believe photo etched weapons slings are included.
This offering from Bronco Models is a great offering in every way that I can measure it, the detail is very good regardless of if applied to the figures or the vehicles. The casting is as good as I remember and ticks all of my boxes. If I have to fault this offering it is restricted to the ejection pin marks on the underside of the Jeep bodies. I mentioned the price I expected to get hit for this offering and perhaps this is one of the best parts as I have found the model for sale in the UK for £38.69.