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In-Box Review
135
British Para troops Set A
World War Two British Paratroopers in Combat set A
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

It was not that long ago that World War 2 British Paratroopers in injection moulded plastic were few and far between, and then bring on Bronco Models who have really got their teeth into this very specific area of the hobby. Bronco Models has released a huge number of jeeps with Airborne crews, artillery guns with Airborne crews and not forgetting the two Horsa aircraft that Bronco Models has released. We now get two new dedicated paratroopers figure sets in action to join the previous two figure sets that were released. This review looks at set A

Contents

This offering from Bronco Models is packaged in an end opening card box. I have to be honest and say that I am not a fan of the artwork on this offering and I know that Bronco Models can do better, that aside here is a breakdown of the contents;
5 grey sprues
3 green sprues
A decal sheet
Instruction sheet

Review

Looking at the contents of this offering from Bronco Models I can say that these are not figure sets from someone else in a Bronco Models box, something that was suggested when the kits were announced. An examination of the sprues reveals clean mouldings for each of the figures and a surprising number of parts for each figure. The weapons sprues provided are from earlier kit offerings, but the mouldings are holding up to use and still look clean. I will say I would have liked to see some new weapons offered as options.

Each of the figures is on its very own sprue and so may be released is different sets in the future. The figures are as displayed in the artwork, but thankfully far better detailed than the artwork indicates. The figures all breakdown in a similar fashion;
Head with beret
Head with separate camouflaged helmet
Upper torso
Lower jacket halves
Legs supplied individually
Helmet chin straps
Drinking bottle
Ammunition pouches
2 arms with separate hands in some cases
Backpacks
Entrenching tool in sheath
The equipment appears to be the British 1937 pattern web gear and it does look good to my eye, but neither the bayonet nor dagger is present on the uniform or equipment. Some information I came about on the British 1st Airborne Division living history website provides some great information on how troops should be equipped, the information is below and a link to the website can be found at the end of this review.

Rifleman
1 No. 4 Enfield rifle
1 Respirator
2 Basic Pouches with 2 Bren magazines each
1 Bayonet and frog
2 Grenades in Denison Smock pockets
1 Toggle Rope
1 FS Dagger
1 Haversack, 1 water bottle
1 Entrenching Tool with carrier
1 General Service shovel or pick

Bren LMG No. 1
1 Bren LMG
1 Kit bag for LMG
1 Respirator
2 Basic Pouches with 2 Bren magazines each
1 FS Dagger
1 Revolver or pistol with ammo pouch
2 Grenades
1 Toggle Rope
1 Haversack, 1 water bottle
1 Entrenching Tool with carrier

Corporal, Section Leader
1 Sten Mk. V
1 Respirator
1 Magazine Pouch with 7 Sten magazines
2 Grenades
1 FS Dagger
1 Toggle Rope
1 Haversack, 1 water bottle
1 Entrenching Tool with carrier
1 General Service shovel or pick

Contents of Haversack
1 Pair grey wool socks
1 White hand towel
1 Water bottle (spare)
1 Mess tin
1 Ground sheet
2 Packs of 24-hour rations
1 Emergency ration tin
1 Collapsible stove
1 Tin of fuel blocks
1 Tin of water purification tablets

The uniform detail is of a good standard; the crease detail replicated on the uniforms looks natural and will give the figure painters among us lots of scope. The Dennison smocks have the nice baggy look about them and with the hems of the smocks being separate you get nice undercut detail and quite thin detail; a close look also reveals that the para flap is present. The trousers with the exception of the creases are featureless, other that is apart from being baggy. The boots and gaiters look to be accurate to me.

Each of the figures is supplied with two heads, one with the famous maroon beret and the other is a flat top head that sits inside a recess on a camouflaged steel helmet. Now which head you use is up to you, but if I was in combat I would want the steel helmet; another plus is that Bronco Models has taken the time to provide slightly different camouflage rather than duplicating each helmet with each figure. Bronco Models has also supplied the helmet straps as separate parts rather than moulding them as part of the head, yes I do consider that a plus. One other big plus in my book is the very varied stances that the figures are supplied in and what I believe will be the ability to mix torsos and legs to get further figures.

The weapons could offer a wider choice, but they are what they are and you could of course easily find alternatives if desired. The weapons offered break down as below:
3 Bren guns
3 Sten guns Mk V
3 SMLE rifles
3 Webley revolvers
3 holstered Webley revolvers

Conclusion

These Paratroopers from Bronco Models are good in my opinion and provide the modeller with a great selection of figures to use with the previous paratrooper offerings. I would have liked to see Bronco Models invest in a wider selection of weapons, things such as a sniper rifle, but as I said before there are a lot of weapons sets available. The figures should look great once painted and add some nice action to the scene of your choice, but I do hope the price is lower this time around as I heard a lot of complaints over the cost of the last two sets offered.

http://www.1stairborne.com/
SUMMARY
Highs: A very nice set of five British Paratroopers that I believe could be mixed and matched to some extent.
Lows: A wider choice of weapons would have been nice to see. The artwork falls far short of the quality I expect and does not do a good job of selling the product.
Verdict: A great figure set to accompany all of the other British paratrooper offerings that Bronco Models offers.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CB35130
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 27, 2016
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.97%

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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 70ís 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 70ís, 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

poses like my old 1/72 matchbox figures...
JUL 28, 2016 - 06:50 PM
I could have done with these last year when I built an Arnhem diorama. As it was I had to convert the majority of the figures as there weren't really any airborne figures in combat.. I was a bit worried about these when they were first announced as they looked a lot like the old Esci set which was appalling. Each man must have weighed about 25 stone and had a tiny head. There wasn't even anything salvageable in that set. I've got the Bronco airborne 6lber and crew which are cracking little figures so I know Broncos figures are good. I may pick these up to do another Arnhem dio with the 6lber. The only figure I don't like is the bloke with the grenade as he just looks wrong. He looks like he's throwing the discuss rather than a Mills bomb. I'd be curious to see how much these come out at as I know the paras ambling about sets were quite expensive for what they are. These however are quite unique as they are actually in combat poses. How do they scale out to other manufacturers? I know the Resicast Paras are all a bit small but do these balance scalewise with say DML and other injection figures?
JUL 29, 2016 - 01:09 AM
Karl: would you like to review Set B of these figures?
JUL 29, 2016 - 01:33 AM
Yeah, I'd love to if you need one doing. British Airborne forces are one of my main interests so it would be quite novel to review something from the box.
JUL 29, 2016 - 11:34 PM
The decals are a nice touch. I wish other manufacturers would do the same.
JUL 29, 2016 - 11:43 PM
I've got both sets on the bench built, and they go together well. No major problems at all. Just the usual seams to remove and some fine flash here and there; only thing I'm not a fan of is the PE for the PIAT. The box art really sells them short, they're both very useful, worthwhile sets. Now if we can just get them to give the US airborne divisions the same love...
JUL 30, 2016 - 12:43 AM
erichvon- grab the Bronco British airborne 75mm pack- nice figures.
AUG 02, 2016 - 08:59 AM
Built figures would be greatly appreciated and not just the sprue reviews...
AUG 05, 2016 - 12:26 AM
Karl: I am waiting for you to Email me your details.
AUG 05, 2016 - 07:13 AM
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