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In-Box Review
135
Valentine Mk IX
Infantry Tank Mk III Valentine Mk IX
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

When MiniArt announced they were releasing the Valentine Tank in all of its many guises there was considerable interest from modellers. MiniArt then for reasons unknown suddenly stopped producing the all of the various models promised and Bronco Models stepped in where the later Valentine is concerned. Bronco Models I believe purchased the moulds or cad images from MiniArt and then added the Chinese touch when it comes to model production. Bronco Models has (I am informed) added 90% new parts to this kit and from what I can see it is easy to believe.

Contents

In the standard Bronco Models box you will find;
  • A lower hull
  • 17 light grey sprues
  • 1 clear sprue
  • 2 photo etched sprues
  • A colour poster of the box top artwork
  • A good quality semi gloss instruction booklet
  • An addendum instruction for an additional part rather than a correction
  • 18 sprues each containing 12 individual track links
  • 2 decal sheets

Review

Starting with the changes; the only parts I noted from an initial inspection that came directly from the MiniArt offerings are the hull and the parts that make up the radiator and fan assemblies, the driverís seat is also a possible direct transfer from one company to the other. One thing that surprised me when MiniArt was doing the Valintine and even more so now that Bronco Models is releasing them is that they go to all the effort of providing the radiator and grills along with the drive shaft but have not included an engine. If a modeller is going to go to the effort of making these parts in order to display the area an engine is really needed to show it in a context for display purposes, by this I mean showing the vehicle worked on or even having been a victim of enemy fire, as it stands it seems more of a gimmick than a display option but I suppose it does get you part of the way there.

The moulding quality as is typical of Bronco Models is first rate with no obvious issues that I could see, and other than the fact that Bronco Models tends to aim at the high end of parts breakdown, it should be relatively easy to build with the minimum of clean up being needed. The photo etched frets included in the kit should really be thought of as one due the fact that one of them only contains 2 very small parts and relates to the addendum mentioned earlier. The main photo etched fret is not excessive and will satisfy most I believe for those that like to festoon their builds with photo etched parts I am sure suitable sets are already in the pipeline.

The individual track links supplied with the model are not workable but they should look good when assembled, and being individual links it does provide the opportunity to depict your model on an uneven surface and for it to look right. The instructions state that 101 links are required for each run and Bronco Models supply 216 track links and so there are a few spares. There are 4 attachment points on each link but care taken during removal from the sprue will pay dividends when it comes to the cleanup, I should say that I have found the track links from Bronco Models a relative joy to assemble when cleaned up properly, and a royal pain in the rear if you only think you have cleaned them up so and extra few minutes spent during removal could save a lot of time later.

The instructions for the model are laid out in 33 stages using the line drawing method to guide your construction. The stages are nicely laid out with none being overly busy or complex, of course however this is a Bronco Models which does mean some very small and fiddly parts need to be added. The finishing options provided with this model cover 4 options that could not be more different having two Russian options and two desert options which are;
  • Red Army Eastern Front 1944 Unit Unknown
  • Buccaneer of B Squdron 50th Royal Tank Regiment North Africa February 1943
  • Red Army Eastern Front 1944 Unit Unknown
  • 2nd Armoured Brigade Nuseiat Camp near Gaza Palestine October 1943

The decals provided for this options look good with good colour registration as far as I can tell. I nice addition on the decal side is the inclusion of decals covering the text on fuel cans and the like which is often overlooked.

Conclusion

This latest offering from Bronco Models is a must have for the Valentine tank fan and a worthy addition to any modellers shelf. Bronco Models has taken what was already a good line of models and added extra details throughout which should result in a very pleasing model. There is one thing that i would have liked to see supplied with this model and that is a crew, perhaps a couple of Russians and a couple of British desert tankers which would have satisfied all of the finishing options the kit offers.
SUMMARY
Highs: For me it is good to see The little touches that Bronco Models has added such as the butterfly nuts, and while these are not an absolute must to add will keep those that love the finer details happy.
Lows: The lack of a crew is a bit of a letdown but there are a few options out there now to remedy this.
Verdict: I am quite looking forward to building this kit to see how it compares to the MiniArt offerings from where this model has its roots. I do feel this model will be a great addition to your Allied Armour shelf.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CB35144
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 06, 2013
  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 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

AFAIK all latest Miniart vehicle moulds are ordered from Bronco, hence is their opportunity to make changes and improvements.
AUG 07, 2013 - 02:59 AM
0I started the Bronco Bishop which used miniart parts and its still sitting in its box half finished but I really like the MkIX and if Bronco have improved the kit as much as they say they have then I will definitely get one
AUG 07, 2013 - 05:31 PM
Hi, i am concentrating on NWE 44-45 and ignored the Valentines ..shame on me. Now i saw a Pic of a Valentine acting as artillery obervation post in Kranenburg during the battles in the lower rhinearea. Can anyone help with indicating which Valentineversion was used for this and which conversions were made? Or where i can find this information? Many thanks in advance! Christian Modellbaufreunde Niederrhein Schwerer Modellbauzug
AUG 09, 2013 - 04:54 AM
Generally the OP and battery commander's chargers were Mk XIs. To make this from a Mk IX would require a change to the turret front to include the Besa coax MG seen on the Mk X & XI and also the addition of the Brit 75mm and mounting which was unique to the Mk XI. Getting a 75mm barrel isn't too hard nor is putting together the 75mm mount, it's the funky shape of the coax mountng on the turret that would be the most difficult. I'd look into kitbashing a Mk IX hull from Bronco with the old Mk XI turret from VM/Alan. The Alan turret isn't great, but it's probably a lot closer to the end result than the Mk IX turret is as a place to start. Paul
AUG 10, 2013 - 11:38 PM
i do like seeing more british armour kits being released. thanks for reviewing this one!
AUG 12, 2013 - 09:23 AM
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