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Built Review
135
WWII British Weapon set A/B
WWII British Commonwealth Weapon Set A and Set B
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

A new player in the world of scale modeling is from Hong Kong. They have entered the fray in the last year or so and are making inroads into all facets of military modeling; figures, vehicles, aircraft, and ships. Two of their latest releases are weapon sets of British and Commonwealth infantry and heavy weapons.

Review

Rather than be more than a little repetitive with two separate reviews I have just combined the two into this one. Both kits come well packaged in sturdy end opening boxes that are in almost universal use by companies that produce 1/35th scale figure sets. No instructions to speak of are in the box, but the back of the box has a construction and painting guide that is pretty easy looking to follow. The painting guide gives call puts for Tamiya, Humbrol, Model Master, and Mr. Hobby paints.

Inside the box both kits provide two sprues of light gray plastic. Both sets appear a bit small in context to the box, could easily have doubled the number of sprues like the old Tamiya weapon sets and still had room left over in the box.

Set A provides a nice punch for your Tommies; 4 different Sten guns, one Thompson SMG, 3 Webley revolvers, a Lewis gun, a Boys AT gun, a PIAT projector, and both a 2 inch and 3 inch mortar. Besides the weaponry you also get four very nice British helmets complete with liners and a nice mortar ammo case with one round for each mortar.

Set B gives you 2 Bren machine guns, one with the heavy duty mount and a Vickers water cooled MG on the heavy tripod. The Vickers includes the water cooling tank. This set also includes one ammo case for the Bren and one for the Vickers, in addition the Vickers includes a nice belt of ammo. Besides that you receive 11 SMLE .303 rifles, three that have attached sniper scopes, one with the standard number 3 bayonet attached, and another with the no. 9 socket bayonet attached. The other 6 SMLE rifles are provided as 3 Mk I patterns and 3 that are of the Mk. IV pattern.

My examples are completely flash free with no exposed knock out marks at all. There is just the slightest hint of a mold seam that will need to be knocked down for a nice crisp look. Some of the pieces for the heavy weapons do get a bit small so some care will need to be taken to ensure you don't lose anything. Also, the machine gun mount for the Bren gun in particular looks like it would be a rickety construction that may prove a bit tricky to keep everything aligned.

Everything looks to be in scale without any issues that pop out at me. The rifles and Sten guns do not have hollowed out muzzles but not sure how clear that would really be if everything is kept to perfect scale.

The prices may seem a bit high but these are some really nice additions that you just don't see all together anywhere else. I for one am glad that saw fit to fill in this gap in what is easily available to the scale modeler today.
SUMMARY
Highs: Great looking weapons, some truly unique offerings; when was the last time you saw a nice Lewis gun?
Lows: May be a bit pricey for some. Some smallish parts that may prove daunting.
Verdict: I can gladly recommend both sets for anyone who models British or Commonwealth infantry, or anyone who is just looking for something a little bit different.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 30010 and 30011
  Suggested Retail: $19.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 30, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.37%

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About Rick Cooper (clovis899)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright 2017 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. 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

Picked a set of each up just before Christmas, more useful stuff. Al
DEC 31, 2013 - 06:22 AM
The 'heavy' weapons in each set look really well done. (What! No complaints yet about accuracy and dimensions?) Riich really could have included two sprues in each set for an additional 5 bucks. More than half of their marketing costs are in the packaging alone.
DEC 31, 2013 - 11:46 AM
I agree with the observation that these are pretty expensive. However, I was so impressed with the detail on their Universal Carrier Mk.I that I ordered these from my LHS. (The Bren guns and the folded Bren gun tripod in the UC kit are just fantastic.) The detail is very nice and just what I expected. I thought the detail is excellent and the variety of heavy weapons fills a huge void. Aside form the costs (expensive), the only negative that I would observe is that they didn't include the early M1928 Thompson SMG with the cooling fins, Cutt's compensator, drum magazine, and vertical fore-stock. This is a weapon that's really missing from sets of Commonwealth weapons that some manufacturer should produce (Master Box's poor example excepted). I can easily see Riich using these weapons to come put with a Vicker's Heavy MG carrier and a mortar carrier based on their UC Mk.I or Mk.II kits. If not, then the modeler could use these weapons to modify the UC kits to those variants. Happy modeling!
DEC 31, 2013 - 12:08 PM
Nice sets of a long over due subject. I will be needing the heavy weapons set for my Diggers vignette for sure. J
DEC 31, 2013 - 12:53 PM
Hi Mike, Bronco do the Thompson in their Set, which is why Riich probably didn't include it. But I agree it would have been good to have had a couple in this set too. Al
DEC 31, 2013 - 12:57 PM
Thanks for the heads up, Al. Do you have a stock number for that set? All I can find is their US small arms set which doesn't contain the M1928 SMG only the M1 SMG. Cheers!
DEC 31, 2013 - 03:39 PM
One of the smgs is actually a Lanchester.
DEC 31, 2013 - 06:21 PM
Hi Mike, The set was AB3509 WW2 British/Commonwealth AFV Equipment Set. It came out some time ago, had the No 19 radios and a small selection of weapons one of which was the Thompson from the Humber Sc. Al
DEC 31, 2013 - 06:34 PM
Thanks again, Al! That's why I couldn't find it - I was looking for a dedicated weapons set and not a more general accessory set. I'll have to try to track down a couple of those. I really liked Bronco's No.19 radio that came with their Staghound and have been looking for a couple of those radios to go with different projects. Cheers and have a Happy Model Building New Year!
JAN 01, 2014 - 10:08 AM
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