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In-Box Review
135
6pdr and ¼ Ton Truck
British 6pdr Anti-Tank Gun (Airborne) with ¼ Ton Truck
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

I have to give Bronco Models credit for getting the most from their moulds while at the same time keeping the model builders and plastic hoarders happy. Very close on the heels of the release of their British Airborne Troops Riding in ¼ Ton Truck and Trailer and OQF 6pdr Anti Tank Gun Mk IV on Carriage Mk III Airborne with Crew, Bronco Models has matched the Airborne 6pdr Anti-Tank Gun with the ¼ Ton Truck and added 6 new British Airborne troops for good measure. I believe Bronco Models may have released more British Airborne troop figures in the last couple of months than were available in all of the previous years in this format.

Below is the introduction provided by Bronco Models on the instructions for this model;
The 6pdr Anti-tank gun was chosen to equip the anti-tank batteries of the British Airlanding Brigades of the 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions. However the variant used, OQF 6pdr Anti-tank gun Mk IV on carriage Mk III (Airborne), had a modified carriage with 2 piece trail legs, it also featured shorter axles and modified gun shields. It was towed into battle by Jeep ¼ ton trucks which were also used for ammunition and crew transport. The 6 pdr fired an APCBC round that could penetrate 86mm of armour angled at 30 degrees at a distance of 1,000 metres. While the new APDS round introduced in 1944 could pierce 156mm of armour at a similar range. The 6 pdr could destroy all but the heaviest German tanks at battle ranges, yet still it was relatively light and easily handled by its crew. In action the 6 pdr was transported by a Horsa glider, with the Jeeps carried in separate gliders. On landing the Jeeps would link up with the guns and tow them into the battle areas. The guns were used in all three major Airborne battles1944 – 1945, D-Day, Arnhem and the Rhine crossing.

Contents

Inside the now standard b>Bronco Models you will find;
  • 15 green sprues
  • 6 grey sprues
  • Jeep bodywork
  • 2 green tyres
  • 1 clear sprue
  • 3 photo etched frets
  • 3 decal sheets
  • A length of string/cord
  • A scale paper map
  • 1 box art print
  • 1 A4 booklet of instructions

The ¼ ton Truck

Anyone who has built any of the previous ¼ ton trucks (Jeep) kits from Bronco Models will feel at home with this one from the off. The areas that I feel are worthy of mention are the detailed engine, gearbox and drives, these areas have been well detailed and while they will not be seen in most cases they do create options and do away with the need of aftermarket detail sets. The single piece chassis is detailed while still insuring everything is square. The wheels are nicely detailed with a good representation of the rough terrain tyre tread pattern and written detail on the side walls. Another nice and note worthy item with the wheels is that Bronco Models provides the option of accurately displaying the front wheels turning left or right or straight on.

One area where I would seriously consider an aftermarket product are the lights; please don’t get me wrong the clear lenses supplied by Bronco Models are very good and perfectly adequate for the purpose but I feel the SKP lenses and taillights set will be an improvement and result in a more pleasing finish. The interior of the vehicle has also been well detailed with the moulded creases in the canvas seats being particularly note worthy. The seats look to be accurate to me with the drivers’ seat being placed over the vehicles fuel tank; am I the only one that shudders at the thought of entering a war zone in an un-armoured vehicle sat on a fuel tank? The only detail missing that I could find is the first aid box which is mounted under the dash board on the passenger’s side of the vehicle.

The tools, weapons, ammunition boxes and jerry cans supplied with the model look good with the only downside being the barrels needing to be drilled to further improve them in some cases. While on the subject of weapons; there are a number of them listed as not being used but looking through the sprues here is a list of what I found;
  • 3 Bren guns with the option of a folded or deployed bipod
  • 3 wooden stock Sten guns
  • 6 SMLE rifles
  • 2 Thompson machine guns in holders
  • 3 Webley revolvers
  • 3 holstered Webley revolvers
  • 3 holstered 1911 colts

There is also a mix of equipment which can be used or not to make this model your own along with that mix of weapons. The tools do not have moulded on clamp detail which is supplied as photo etched parts which will please many of you reading this. The jerry cans have been seen many times and as is now usual for high quality scale jerry cans Bronco Models has supplied photo etched seam detail for them along with separate lids, handles and a pouring spout. You get;
  • 6 jerry cans
  • 3 6pdr ammunition boxes
  • 6 rounds of ammunition

6pdr Anti-Tank Gun (Airborne)

Barrel and cradle
The barrel is a three piece offering with the rear section being in two halves, the front section is a single piece moulding which makes life easier for us. The muzzle brake is also a single piece moulding which is a good example of slide moulding technology. The design of the breach and block allows for the model to be depicted with the breach open or closed and can also be shown with a round being inserted if you wish; I am not familiar with the loading instruction of the 6Pdr but looking at its design and how closely it mimics the 25Pdr I believe you use a fist to ram home the round and not lose any fingers. The cradle is also made up of three parts and its design allowing the barrel to move within the cradle. The sighting and firing mechanism is another area where Bronco Models has done a fantastic job, everything appears to be faithfully replicated however this will make assembly difficult due to the small size of the parts used.

Gun shield
The gun shield is a nice thickness with a very high level of detail on both the front and rear face. The parts that need to be added to the gun shield will make assembly difficult again due to the provided detail and small size of parts which include some very small photo etched items.

Gun Carriage
The gun carriage with its split legs is again very well designed and which with care could be positioned in any position once the model is complete, be that towed, stowed or deployed. The effort Bronco Models has put into the two trail legs will I am sure be appreciated. The wheels are I believe slide moulded offerings but I am unfamiliar with the tread pattern on the tyres; that does not mean they are wrong it is just a pattern I am unfamiliar with, but I suspect that due to the size of the treads it is a rough terrain tyre. The tyres are designed so that they can be rotated after being added to the model which will make painting easier if you decide to complete the model before getting the paint out. The instructions covering construction of the trails basically show you how to articulate the trail legs for your chosen display and regardless of the option you opt for this should be a stunning if smallish model depending on your ability. Obviously the gun supplied is intended to be shown being towed but the options are there for you to decide.

I have one observation about the gun being depicted towed and that is that the Royal Artillery usually covered the barrel/muzzle brake and breach during towing. I am sure there will be pictures of 6pdrs minus covers being towed but as a rule every other gun would be covered and without reference to the contrary I do suggest this is considered in this case. These shaped and stitched tarps were usually green in colour and marked specifically for each gun.

The Airborne Troops

The stars of the show; those guys that are willing to jump out of a perfectly good aircraft come next. In this offering from Bronco Models you get six new British Airborne Troops, which when added to the previous gun and Airborne truck release brings the number available to 18; I think that is enough for a very busy diorama, bring on the Horsa glider anyone?. 5 of these figures are depicted in a sitting position and Bronco Models has supplied the lower portion of the jacket as a separate part, this has allowed for I believe a very nice undercut detail when the legs are attached. The final figure is depicted standing upright and travelling on the gun holding onto the gun shield.

Bronco Models is becoming a very fine purveyor of injection moulded plastic figures with the offerings in this set living up to and beyond my expectations in some areas. The face detail is very good and easily equal to the best I have seen in this medium. The hands or should that really be finger detail is a mixed bag of acceptable to very good, in some cases where the fingers are depicted articulated performing a function it has sometimes impacted detail. The helmets are another high with this figure set with Bronco Models getting a very well done, because so far as I can see each helmet has an individual camouflage layout rather than duplicating the same helmet pattern as far as I can see.

One of this figures whose boot soles can be seen has been provided with separate sole detail which is again a nice touch. I have already mentioned the undercut detail provided where appropriate, however this is enhanced further by some very nice crease detail in the uniforms. One area where these figures could prove problematic is the ‘buttocks’, these have been shaped in some case for specific locations on the Jeep which has resulted in some interesting and painful looking indents, this will not be an issue if used as instructed. Some figure modellers are going to want to use these in other settings I suspect and these indents will need to be filled and re-sculpted, due to the location of the indents it should be within most modellers ability to obtain an acceptable finish.

Instructions
The instruction booklet is A4 in size and uses the usual high quality glossy paper typical of Bronco Models. The instructions begin with an introduction to the included model in English, German and Chinese. You are also provided with icon guide and sprue map, the sprue map does have a few parts greyed out but you may wish to use some of them to make your model unique to you. The colour chart provided lists paint by;
  • Colour
  • Mr Hobby
  • Hobby Color
  • Humbrol
  • Tamiya

The instructions guide you through the building of the model using for the most part black and white line drawings. There however some CAD images to help clarify parts placement, and there are also some parts coloured red to draw your attention and yellow in the case of photo etched pieces. Painting instructions are called out during construction for some areas where needed.

Finishing options
The gun and jeep are instructed to be painted using the standard Allied all over green finish. The decals provided cover the;
  • 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions
  • unit codes for the 1st and 2nd Air landing Anti-Tank battery of the 1st Airborne
  • unit codes for the 3rd Air landing Anti-Tank battery of the 6th Airborne
  • unit codes for the 4th Air landing Anti-Tank battery of the 6th Airborne
  • unit codes for the 2nd Air landing Anti-Tank battery of the 6th Airborne
  • Divisional Headquarters

There is also the Royal Artillery Tactical Marking, this is a red square in one corner of blue square. In the centre of this would be a letter and in the belief these units were set up the same as others;
  • A to D would be the 1st
  • E to H would be the 2nd
  • I to L would be the 3rd
  • M to P would be the 4th
I will need to do some further investigation to confirm this, but that is my belief at this time.

While on the subject of decals, Bronco Models has supplied rank decals and wings decals for the figures in the set, which I know will be appreciated.

Conclusion

Bronco Models has I believe done it again with this release; by mating two of their products and adding some new figures this will be another sought after combo, and reinforces their position as one of the front runners in model production today. The detail is great overall and will tempt a lot of modellers. I am aware the high parts count and very small pieces are a bug bare in some cases, but I feel I would rather have these options than not.

Bronco Models brought us the Locust, and a new 6pdr with crew, accurate Airborne Jeeps which are accompanied with a great mix of figures, this really does make me wonder how far away is a Horsa glider? With that in the mix you could have one very large and pleasing diorama that would really catch the eye.

Related reviews

M22 Locust Airborne Tank Live links
British Airborne Troops Riding in ¼ Ton Truck and Trailer Live links
OQF 6pdr Anti Tank Gun Mk IV on Carriage Mk III Airborne with Crew Live links

SUMMARY
Highs: A good combination of Jeep and 6pdr with great figures in the box to help bring life to the model.
Lows: The high parts count and small parts may deter some modellers.
Verdict: After years of complaining about a lack of choice we get spoilt; buy one you will not regret this purchase I believe. Recommended
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CB35170
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 12, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.97%

Our Thanks to Bronco Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Darren, excellent review, thanks! I like the approach of Bronco of including very nice figures, all necessary for diorama. I want this one!
MAR 13, 2014 - 12:48 AM
First of all Darren, thanks for the Review, excellent. What actually amazes me about this reléase, is just what you get for the money. The Jeep, a 6-pounder and half-a-dozen figures (plus weapons and equipment) for around 28 €uros - via one or other of the HK retailers. Now, in Europe, a single Bronco figure set can set you back as much as 12 €uros..... Yes, it's extraordinary value....
MAR 13, 2014 - 03:01 AM
Now just Pray for an ambulance jeep....
MAR 13, 2014 - 06:05 AM
That's bound to come as I have the conversion set to build this year sometime lol. Cheers Al
MAR 13, 2014 - 06:08 AM
Thanks for the review. I have the jeep with trailer and am impressed and a little intimidated by it. Does anyone know if Bronco plan on releasing any of the figures from their new airborne sets separately? They would be perfect to help populate a few dios I'm working on.
MAR 13, 2014 - 12:38 PM
I really hope Bronco does make some similar figure sets available as they have shown great ability with the recent figures included with their models. My only wish is that they would use images of the assembled and painted figures in the instruction booklets rather than the current artwork which does the figures no favours what so ever. I do believe that Bronco could very quickly take the crown where figures are concerned if they decided to go for it.
MAR 13, 2014 - 02:22 PM
I've also been impressed with their figures and the provision of crews with the guns and kits is a major plus. Al
MAR 13, 2014 - 05:56 PM
Well...good to see some more wooden stens in this lot, shame they didn't throw some more in the last two releases...instead of one !
MAR 13, 2014 - 08:39 PM
The blue square/red quadrant tactical marking would have a letter/number superimposed. So for instance A1 represents Number 1 gun in A troop. In each A/L battery there were 3 troops using 6 pounders with 4 guns in each troop, so for example guns A1 to A4 would be identified. In 1st A/L battery A,B,C & Z troops used 6 pounders (Z troop assigned to defend divisional troops so you might also see the black square/40 marking on Z troop vehicles) In 2nd A/L battery E,G & H troops used 6 pounders A similar methodology is likely to have been used for the other A/L batteries in the 6th Airborne Division Don't forget that the Air Landing Batallions such as the South Staffs had anti-tank platoons using the 6 pounder as well. Spare decals from the jeep & trailer kit could be used for this - particularly as the Royal Artillery tactical marking would not have been used. Additional wooden stocked sten guns are available in both the Riich and Master Box weapons sets. HTH sk
MAR 14, 2014 - 04:06 AM
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