The following introduction is as provided by Gecko Models and is written by Simon King:
Design of the Daimler armoured car began with a design study by the Birmingham small arms Company (BSA) for a wheeled tank, using the design principles they had developed for their own scout car, utilising four wheel drive and a rear mounted engine. The wheeled tank was essentially a larger version of their scout car, with the turret mounting a small canon. Daimler had been part of the BSA group since 1910 and had specialised in the manufacture of passenger cars and commercial vehicles. The BSA designs for the scout car and subsequently, the wheeled tank was passed over to the Daimler Company for development into prototypes suitable for mass production and then series manufacture.
The BSA scout car ultimately appeared as the iconic Daimler Dingo scout car of which over 6,600 were built in three different marks. The wheeled tank became the Daimler armoured car of which 2,700 were made in two marks. The turret shared design principles with that fitted to the Tetrarch light tank. The DAC had a crew of three and carried a 2pounder QF canon with stowage for 52 rounds. There was a co axle 7.92mm Besa MG in the turret and a .303 Bren gun with 2,700 rounds could be carried for anti-aircraft protection although later models could also be seen with twin Vickers K MGs on a PLM mounting. To reflect its cross country reconnaissance role, the DAC had front and rear driving positions, four wheel drive and fully independent coil spring suspension. Design of the DAC started in 1939 and it entered service during late 1941/early 1942.
DACs of both marks remained in service with the British army into the 1960s, out living its intended replacement, the Coventry armoured car. Ex-British army examples of the DAC were refurbished and widely exported after the war, with a few examples remaining in service with the Qatari army to the current day. The Mk 1 was initially fitted with run flat tyres which avoided the need to carry a spare. The gun mantlet had square ends which is an identifying feature of the Mk 1, along with the absence of a hatch above the driver’s head. In the post war period, both Mk 1 and Mk 2 DACs remained in service. Generally they were unchanged from war time appearance although the run flat tyres seemed to by replaced by cross country pneumatic tyres. In addition the smoke dischargers on the side of the turret were replaced by the standard 6 barrel units seen on many post-war armoured vehicles.
This offering from Gecko Models arrives in a sturdy flip top cardboard box, with an additional card lid with the artwork on it. The parts are packaged inside a mix of ZiploC and sealed plastic bags which while containing more than one sprue should do a far job of keeping the parts in good condition. An examination of the parts, reveals no obvious concerns or issues with the plastic elements. There is a slight bend in the photo etch sheet, but this should not cause any issues. Access to parts also appears to be good, with my concern limited to the removal of some of the parts with a high level of finesse.
This release due to having no turret has a partial interior. The driver’s seat even has the scissor action supports for raising and lowering it provided in photo etch. All of the controls required have been well replicated, including use of photo etch parts which will add to the detail but will challenge those who struggle with using this material. The rotating floor of the turret is still present as are the drives for what are the front wheels. Gecko have even remembered to provide the battery which is open topped, despite the obvious danger of this exposed battery terminals was common for vehicles of this period. Attachments for the inner walls have been well catered to, including a large number of photo etch tie down straps and there are a good number of other parts utilising photo etched pieces of various ease and difficulty of use due to size. One thing I have observed is that a very nice radio set up is included, with the protective cage over the front, and Gecko have remembered to provide a headset and hand-held mic only requiring the addition of some fine wire. The storage location for these two items has also been catered to.
The suspension units for this vehicle have been beautifully rendered in plastic, and again there are some very fine photo etched elements. However, the suspension units look so good to me that it almost seems a shame to hide them behind the wheels. Gecko Models has also included sleeved metal wire for replicating the brake pipe assemblies both front and rear. If I have understood the instructions correctly, and looking at the relevant parts provided I believe that all four wheels ate steerable and I believe that many modellers will be blown away by the detail present. When it comes to the wheels and tyres, these have been moulded as different parts with two alternate set of tyres with tread provided - one set being Firestone, and the other Dunlop with excellent detail replicated on all faces. I really am very impressed with the effort put into these areas of the model, which provides from the box the kind of super detailing usually only capable by the very high end scratch builder modellers amongst us.
The external elements of the armour all have the relevant required detail, and again photo etch is utilised in abundance where needed. Storage boxes have been well replicated, although the lids are not designed to be open. Spare fuel storage has been catered to, with moulded flimsies well mounted with photo etch handles and complete photo etched storage brackets which could very easily be shown undone and a crew member taking fuel to put into the vehicle. One of the areas that makes heavy use of photo etch are the four mud guards, which require the addition of up to five elements on each mud guard, or if you prefer to show the vehicle having had one removed or ripped off - photo etch has been provided for the mounting brackets. You will not be surprised to learn that the tools have been provided clean, again with photo etch mounting brackets. The only thing not included in the model is the stretched sprue for the ariels but they do have well done mounts.
Gecko have provided three finishing options for this release and these are as follows:
Inns of Court Regiment - Lille-St. Hubert, Belgium 20th September 1944
Inns of Court Regiment, Helmond, the Netherlands. 25th September 1944
Inns of Court Regiment. Belgium/Holland Autumn 1944
Gecko Models is truly becoming the manufacturer of choice when it comes to high end models with all the bells and whistles. The detail that has been included which is truly stunning in my opinion, although the large quantity of photo etch used may deter those modellers uncomfortable with its use. Looking at the cost of this model on line, you are getting a truly stunning model for around the £40 mark, and that I do not feel any capable modeller can complain about. The only critique I can make is that I would have loved to have seen this released with some of the figures that Gecko also does so well to crew it, and this critique is on a want rather than what is included.