from Poland has recently released their fourth different version of the famed Bedford WWII truck in 1/35th scale. This most recent version in the QL series is the B version, tasked as a gun tractor for the Bofors gun and crew and known simply as a QLB.
The kit comes packed in the same sturdy cardboard slip cover style box that IBG Models
has used for all of their previous releases. Inside you will find four large (11” x 8”) gray sprues, one smaller clear sprue with all of the windscreen and window glass, and a perfectly registered decal sheet with markings for one of two vehicles; a QLB from 1st Battery 54th Light AA Artillery Regiment 11th Armored Division, France 1944 or a Bedford with the 1st Light AA Artillery Regiment, Polish 1st Armored Division in Western Europe in the winter of 1944/45. Of course you also will find a 20 page, black and white, set of instructions in 41 steps for building the kit.
The Instructions are provided in a CAD drawing style with arrows running here and there for where parts go. Some of the parts placement is easy to see, some are a bit more intuitive, and others are a bit more difficult. If it is something that is not clear sometimes latter steps in the process will give you a better idea of correct placement. My biggest beef with the IBG Models
instructions however is how dark they are, hopefully yours eyes are a bit stronger than mine and it won’t prove much of an issue with your build. I do appreciate the full page parts map that IBG Models
includes for each of the sprues, it does make locating that small bit somewhat easier.
As this is the fourth version of the Bedford, IBG Models
has made good use of previously released sprues; everything from the spare tire forward as well as the entire chassis is the same as the previous releases. The long and short of it is that the sprues A and B are the same as in all previous releases. These provide the build-up of the rather sparsely outfitted cab, the nicely detailed engine, the robust chassis, and the well rendered tires and wheels. Alan McNeilly has pointed out that the included tires are actually a post war type, but ToRo models has just released two sets for the kit that can be found here
Live links it just depends if you prefer to run on Dunlop or Firestone tires! The only addition here from the earlier kits is the inclusion of the power take off and drum for the gun’s winch. For another look at the earlier release of the kit take a look at Jim Rae’s Armorama review from last year here
Live links, my build feature here
Live links or Jim Starkweather’s First Look video review here
The new rear of the vehicle clearly shows the advances that IBG Models
has made from the first Bedford to this one. Detail is much finer now; hinges, rivets, hasps, catches and latches are all greatly improved from the previous releases. The crew compartment is still utilitarian and cramped but so is the real thing. The kit does suffer from molded on tool holder disease with the axe and the crew’s SMLEs will need replacing but other than that the crew compartment looks good.
The rear compartment is well and truly stuffed with lockers and ammunition boxes for the Bofors; this looks like it could be a real dream come true for a super-detailer who wanted to open up some of the lockers with the gun crew’s equipment or to toss in a case of 40mm ammo in the outside boxes. I would not be the least surprised to find a PE set with some replacement boxes in the near future if they are not here already. Inside you will also find some nice renderings of 3 separately molded pick mattock heads and handles, as well as the spare wheel for the gun. I don’t have the Bronco kit of the British Bofors gun so I can’t actually check to see if the wheel is a match but I did check here for Darren Baker’s review of the Bronco reference of the Bofors gun which shows that it only misses some of the interior tread of the wheel and that can be seen here
I plan to grab the Bronco kit the next time I see a good deal as it includes the spare barrel and the case that should be in the back of the Bedford as well as ammo cases just for fun.
The back end of the vehicle also includes the new winch system for the gun as well. The fairleads placement is a bit tricky as the instructions can be a bit sketchy, a swirl of arrows here and there but the final illustration of the completed assembly makes it easier. One small missing detail that would be an easy inclusion is the cable for the winch. The canvas tilt for the rear compartment finishes off the build of the kit as a three part structure that looks good but it is missing strap tie-downs which also appear to be an easy fix.
Another nice kit from IBG Models
of a vehicle that was previously un-kitted in styrene. Yes; the sprues and some parts are overly thick, some of the detail is missing or a bit soft, but it is in our hands to make of it what we will. Most modelers will be thrilled that this is now available, with all the great kits of so many varied subjects now kitted out I say, laissez le bon temps rouler!