The Rota-Trailer was designed to be towed by tanks and carry extra supplies in the desert environment. The un-armoured Rota-trailer had a capacity to carry 12 mans rations, 10 gallons of water, 1000 machine gun rounds, 100 rounds of 2pdr ammunition or 40 rounds of 6pdr ammunition and 120 gallons of fuel in the wheels. It was towed behind Crusader, Valentine, Matilda and Churchill tanks during Operation Battleaxe in North Africa in 1941 and battles in Tunisia in 1942. As many tankers found it difficult to manoeuvre when reversing with the Rota-Trailer attached, the Rota-Trailer was not deployed in a large number of tank units. AFV Club
has released a Rota Trailer before with their Valentine tank offering, but have now released a Rota Trailer in its own right with interior detail and stores.
This release from AFV Club
is supplied in an end opening carton. There are photographs on the front of the actual model and the instructions are on the rear. Inside the box you will find;
A green sprue
6 cream resin parts
A photo etched fret
24 turned brass rounds
The single sprue supplied in this model offering is very well done. There is no flash present and the mould seams are very light. There are some flow lines present, but these do not look or feel to have caused any deformations to the parts. There are a few ejector pin marks that will need remedial work, but these are very light and should be easy to correct. The small parts are very well cast and look the part, but the small size will possibly cause issues during the build.
The Rota Trailer looks very accurate externally with some very nice details observed and replicated well in this offering. The detail looks to be exceptionally good in some areas such as catches and the efforts that have gone into the hollow wheels when compared against images of a Rota Trailer on display at Bovington Tank Museum. The only things missing are the cans and their retaining straps that sit on the lid of the fuel pump storage area at the rear of the trailer
Internal detail is where things could be better, but there is still hope here; so do not despair just yet. the 2pdr ammunition storage bins are correctly placed and look accurate. These bins are made of photo etched parts and so have good scale thickness. The photo etched parts have been supplied by Voyager Model and so most will be familiar with their quality. There are 24 rounds of 2 pdr ammunition supplied in turned brass and these are a mix of 5 ammunition type, I can see this being a popular inclusion. The ration packs that sit between the two ammunition storage bins are not included in the box and also missing are the water containers that sit side on at the very front of the trailer. Moving to the rear compartment of the trailer; the fuel pump and piping looks good as does the tool storage rack on the inside of the lid.
The Rota Trailer was one of those great ideas that didnít work and there was no love for it amongst the troops it they were assigned to, but while the troops hated it AFV Club
looks to have shown it some love. Sure there are some parts missing that would have been better if included, but these omissions can be overcome to some extent with parts from Bronco Models World War Two British Field Accessories Set and there are plenty of companies providing period ration packs.