Here we take a look at a long awaited Gecko Models release in 1/35th scale of a CVR (T) Scimitar Mk 2, TES (H), Operation Herrick, Afghanistan


Gecko Models is becoming a rising star for the modeller who looks for modern 1/35th scale British vehicles. The latest release from them in this vane is the Scimitar in perhaps one of its most interesting configurations, that being one that was used in Afghanistan with rail armour and a few other bells and whistles. The Scimitar and the CVR family as a whole have served the British army since the 1960s and so have a broad spectrum of changes to their layout and have served faithfully in many zones of conflict. Seeing this release from Gecko Models, leads me to believe that the full CVR (T) family may be produced in 1/35th model form over the next few years.


This offering from Gecko Models arrives in a flip top cardboard tray with an additional card lid with all of the artwork on it. Inside are a number of sealed plastic bags and Ziploc bags containing two of three sprues in each bag. A look at the contents leaves me with only one concern, and that is removal of the Slat armour without causing distortion or damage. Looking at the list of persons involved with the reference for this model, in particular Michael Shackleton and Kurtis Tsang as people I know the best from the list at the end of the book tells me that I will be happy as regards the accuracy of the model and so I will be concentrating on the parts and how it is assembled.

The lower hull of the model has been moulded as a tub, that judging from the detail provided on the side and bottom of the hull I suspect that slide moulding may have been used in its production. The suspension swing arms are provided with locators that sit the model on a level surface and those who wish to articulate the suspension should not find it a difficult prospect, but you will need to seek out a new set of tracks as the tracks are link and length design. An examination of the link and length tracks leaves me a happy modeller, as the detail is well defined and there are no obvious ejector pin marks that need to be tackled that I can see. The wheels of the model have a good profile and have separate tyre detail to give the correct recess appearance behind the tyre to the hub. Connecting the wheels to the suspension arms, do not have particularly large locators and so take your time and do not rush to ensure a pleasing finish in this area. I will commend Gecko Models at this point, as the instruction booklet has been written in such a way as to help prevent the modeller getting caught out.

The upper hull can almost be considered as a skeleton to which various panels are attached in order to give the correct representation of the details of this Scimitar. It is due to the input of people like Michael Shackleton is the reason that the detail provided by Gecko Models is so refined. One thing that I would like to say at this point, is that there is a number of very fine photo etched parts which add a very nice level of detail but at the same time will make the model more of a challenge. Due to most of the panels being added to a skeleton is another reason why I hope and suspect further vehicles in this family are going to be released. Looking at the fine photo etch components included, none of them look to have been provided just for the hell of it and do add to the model by giving a more realistic look. 

Looking at details such as the lighting clusters and cabling to power boxes, you can’t help but realise that this is a high end model. The details such as the electronic counter measures to prevent the detonation of roadside bombs adds some really appealing detail, that catches the eye. The photo etch mud guards front and rear gives the modeller some options as to how they are finished. These defensive measures are further enhanced with the addition of the slat armour and as I said previously my only concerns are removing these from the sprue. A particularly nice inclusion I have found is some photo etch webbing straps, with which you could apply your own personal touches on what to hand from them. The rear access hatch has good detail and I was pleased to see the rear view camera included and well defined in the kit. 

The turret of the model is quite a complex shape, and is so tackled via a number of parts that I believe will give you an accurate representation. Clear parts are provided where required for areas such as the periscope viewing blocks, the only thing I am unsure of here is if they had a laser coating or not. The barrel is moulded as a single piece, with a slide moulded muzzle end and so no need to get the drill out. The sheath on the rear of the barrel is provided as separate parts. The mantlet itself, is another very nicely detailed part. The crew hatches for the turret, can be open or closed and I am pleased to see that the protective padding, which I think is leather from memory has been replicated and has a natural appearance to it. Twin wire cutters are included for the front of the turret, and details such as the fire extinguishers are provided with decals and it is made clear that they are red. Aerial mounts have been well tackled, with Gecko Models suggesting that stretched sprue is used for the aerial whip itself. The only thing I would perhaps have liked to have seen, is the spring component of the assembly provided to show a tied back aerial but the after market has taken care of that. Again around the turret, the slat armour is well represented. There is also a convoy formation light pole mounted on the turret, which I believe should be removed when showing the vehicle in combat. The result after bringing all of this together has the potential of being a very pleasing model, or a vehicle that holds an important role in the British army today and its ancestry going back into the 1960/70s.

Gecko Models has provided four finishing options for this model, which are as follows:

9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’). 7th Armoured Brigade, Operation Herrick XIV, Helmand Province, Afghanistan

9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’), 7th Armoured Brigade, Operation Herrick XIV, Helmand Province, Afghanistan

1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, 20th Armoured Brigade, Operation Herrick XV, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, November 2011 - April 2012

1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, 20th Armoured Brigade, Operation Herrick XV, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, November 2011 - April 2012

I like that Gecko has provided a good level of information on the finishing options, but you are getting in reality is two vehicles of the same unit at the same time that can be displayed in unison. 


Taking a look at the quality of the mouldings provided, I can only come to the conclusion that the quality of the finish is purely going to depend on the ability of the modeller to construct and finish the model. As far as I can see, everything required for the model is in the box with the exception of some figures - which again are something that I hope will follow in time. Areas of concern are that the high finesse of some elements could easily result in breakages or loss of parts, but that is more a case of the modellers ability, than faults of the model itself.



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