International Models Asia is a relatively new company based in Hong Kong. They are already fairly well known for their excellent churchill conversions and 30 ton bridge kits.
Initial sales were made through ebay although lionmarc now sell the kits.
I have been very excited about this kit since shots of the master were first available on the internet a few months ago. I managed to get a kit from ebay, which appears to be a pre-production model.
The vehicle itself will probably be unknown to many modellers however several thousand of them were produced and used during WW2.
The car was a conversion of the pre war civilian Humber Super Snipe saloon car. When the war broke out production was switched to armoured cars, and by adding armoured bodies onto the already excellent design a rather small, fast little vehicle was created. The improved Mk3 vehicle was used from 1943-45 in Italy and NW Europe, serving alongside the morris recce cars.
The kit comes packed in a very stout box made of thick sheet styrene, lined with polystyrene to protect the contents. I was slightly disappointed with the way the parts are bagged though, in the churchill kits each part is pre-cleaned up and individually bagged in labelled zip lock bags. This kit has all the parts in one non re-sealable bag. This could cause problems as the kit contains some pretty fragile parts, such as the turret bren mount.
The kit itself is well cast in grey resin, it has notably less release agent on it than one of their churchill coversions i have, however the parts are not cleaned up to the extent the churchill kits are as small mold plugs remain on some parts.
The main body of the car is sensibly broken down into flat panels to allow for interior detail. This is provided in the form of seats and a somewhat simplified dashboard. The lack of interior detail is a slight shame as given the large number of hatches it would produce an interesting model. Test fitting of the main components suggests a very good fit.
A rather simplified Boys AT rifle is included for the front hull panel, however as only the barrel would be seen on a closed down vehicle this may not pose a problem. No bren gun is included for the turret although its mount is. A gun from the spares box will be needed to complete this area. The wheels and transmission is well detailed and quite a lot will be visible on the completed model.
Assembly seems very straightforward, and the instructions are pretty clear for a resin kit.
In summary this is a nice kit, resembling something an Accurate Armour kit in terms of quality etc, I would recommend it as a first resin kit, due to the simplicity of its design. The downsides as mentioned above are the limited interior detail, lack of bren gun and lack of protective packaging for small parts - However as my kit is from very early in the production run these problems could easily be rectified on later kits.
In my eyes the subject matter and quality makes up for the small issues detailed above.-Recommdended
A very welcome new release from Hong Kong company Internation Models Asia of the little known but well used Humber light recce car.