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Built Review
135
Bofors Gun Crew
British/Commonwealth Bofors Anti-Aircraft Gun Crew Set
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

As well as their AFV kits Bronco Models have also started to produced a fine range of artillery and anti-aircraft guns. What has been a most welcome development is that they have also started to provide crews to man these guns and this is a look at a recent release; a 6 figure set for the Bofors Anti-Aircraft gun .

The set

The set comes in a fine presentation box. On the front is a picture of the crew manning a gun along with the manufacturers details. On the reverse of the box, as is common with all their figurer releases so far, are the tree parts, build and painting instructions. A small chart of colour suggestions is also included covering common paint brands.

The set itself comes in a sealed plastic bag consisting of two trees containing the parts for 3 individual plastic figures on each and a small tree containing the helmets for the set. The makeup of the figures is pretty standard; separate legs, upper torso, arms, head and additional equipment in the form of helmets and Mk 1 respirators. On 4 of the figures the hands are also supplied as separate items with the other two having the hands attached to the arms.

All the figures are dressed in Battle Dress Serge 39/40 and the uniforms have the correct pocket detail and the blouses the pleated pockets. The uniforms have nice creases and folds and look quite acceptable. Five of the figures are designed to wear the Mk I respirator so the chest detail is a little suppressed to accommodate this and around the back of the blouse is the small string that was used to keep the respirator haversacks in place whilst the neck straps for same also present in reasonable detail.

The heads are full heads with the chin strap of the helmet moulded on and the helmets look like Mk 1ís to me and being hollow could therefore be tilted to a desired angle.

There will be the normal clean up one would expect on plastic moulded figures. Standing approximately 42/43mm heel to shoulder they are a perfectly acceptable height. The body proportions in general look quite good. Figure C has cuff detail on the arms more akin to the ends of leather gloves, so an alteration there would be necessary. Overall the level of detail is quite good, some areas like the ears and hands will need a little work as detail is quite soft .

The respirator haversacks and helmets again look fine and appropriate for the early war period. Although the art work shows the figures wearing what appears to be 37 pattern web belts these are absent and in place are the blouse belt and buckle, again perfectly acceptable.

No uniform decals come with the set.

The build

The figures are straightforward to build, the only tricky part is placing the hands and arms correctly, so probably build the gun first and then positioning these will be much easier, rather than a certain amount of guess work. You will need a clip of ammo from the gun to get the placement of the limbs correct.

The parts will need a bit of a clean up to remove any seams and some filler around the joints. The parts all match the build instructions so there doesnít seem to be any problem there. It may well be that Iíll need to adjust the arms slightly when I get to the gun and I had considered leaving these off until then but have added them for the purposes of the review and can adjust later if necessary.

Iíve also used the kit heads, something I donít normally do but I wanted to see how they painted up and try a straight OOB build. The faces are reasonably good for plastic but a few of the ears needed some work, and also the hands as previously mentioned.

Once the filler is dry I gave the figures a good wash and a coat of primer to locate any missed seems. Odd that one always manages to miss something in the clean up! Then it is onto the fun part, the painting.

Conclusion

It is good to see the appearance of a gun crew for the Bofors. The set has some minor issues, but over all should build into a fairly acceptable gun crew, suitable for the early war period.

Some of the detail is not as sharp as one might like and they do take a bit of cleaning up. The plastic is quite soft to work with. It would have been useful if a couple of clips of ammo had been with the set, but then if youíre building the set the assumption would be you have the gun kit.

Iím not sure why figure C comes without a respirator haversack and the cuff detail on the arms isnít right, so I turned this error into a set of gloves.

No decals are provided for the uniform markings which is a pity.

The arrival of this set gives a wider finish option for the Bronco Bofors gun and for modellers that can only be a good thing. Both the heads and hands could be replaced should you feel that necessary.
SUMMARY
Highs: Reasonable quality, fairly easy to build.
Lows: Some weak detail on the ears and hands.
Verdict: Recommended.
Percentage Rating
84%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CB35084
  Suggested Retail: $18.95 US
  Related Link: DragonUSA item page
  PUBLISHED: Apr 21, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.97%

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About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2017 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. 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

Hi Alan, Thanks for the review. Have you built and test fitted the seated figures onto the the gun yet ? Is there problems withe the hands going onto the traversing handles and the seating of the figures onto the seats ? Sorry to be too specific as I almost got this set the other week and that info would help me determine the outcome of buying the figures. Thanks Michael
APR 21, 2012 - 10:27 PM
Hi Michael, No, I haven't build the gun yet as I mentioned in the review. My advice would be build it first and test fit to your build. As figure D has arms and hands complete there souldn't be any problem there. Figures A, B, E and F all have separate /hands hands so both amrs and hands can be adjusted to fit. Figure C has the odd cuffs as mentioned, but he too has ssparate arms/hands so again there sholdn't really be a problem. I'd probably fit arms/hands to the kit part first then add to the figure, at least that was my thinking when I was building them. Cheers Al
APR 22, 2012 - 02:42 AM
Thanks Alan I don't think there will be too many problems with the figures. They look very well detailed. I will be getting a couple of sets and change out with the Hornet range . Thanks again for the quick answer Michael
APR 22, 2012 - 03:05 AM
The other good thing this set is useful for is as BEF tank crew, paint them Black for BEF or Khaki for Cav/Non RTR. Leave off the respirator case, add berets or sidecaps and Tankers holsters and you have a set of tankers for you Vickers or Matilda. Additionally they may be good conversion fodder for Engineers or other Arty crews where minimal webbing is required. I really like the Bronco (and Miniart) figures as they actually build into the complex figures depicted (at least wit hthe sets I've done (17 pdr, Briti AFV and RE). Thanks for the review Al
APR 26, 2012 - 07:57 AM
Hi Al, Yes, the minimal webbing is a plus, I've started to convert a few into WW1 Tommies and a couple into stretcher bearers. Have fun. Cheers Al
APR 26, 2012 - 08:12 AM
Hi folks, Some afternative uses. A couple of WW2 (BEF) stretcher bearers and three WW1 Tommies I'm working on. . Nice generic set. Al
APR 27, 2012 - 10:53 AM
Al, The figures are coming along nicely . I agree the Bronco and Miniart sets being a little complex but they are well worth the money for the detail and quality for plastic figures. Cheers, Michael
APR 28, 2012 - 01:35 AM
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