Bronco Models 1/48 T17E2 Staghound AA Armored Car Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2012||Manufacturer||Bronco Models|
|Subject||T17E2 Staghound AA Armored Car||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||48002||Primary Media||Styrene/PE|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons||No interior other than the turret basket|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$38.50|
The Staghound was a family of armored cars operated by the armed forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II. The design for the Staghound was American and produced in the United States to support the allied war effort.
The Staghound started off as the Chevrolet T17E1, which was undergoing evaluation against the Ford T17 in mid-1941 to address a requirement for an armored scout vehicle. Both designs ultimately lost out to the M8 Greyhound, but the Chevrolet design was adopted by the British Army and designated Staghound.
The Mk.I was armed with a 37mm main gun in a small turret. Mk.II was a field modification fitting 3-inch howitzer close support weapon in place of the 37mm gun. Mk.III mounted a modified Crusader tank turret armed with a 75mm main gun.
The drivetrain of the Staghound was advanced. It was powered by a pair of six-cylinder engines, each with its own automatic transmission with four gears forward, one in reverse. The two transmissions were linked together to allow both engines to power the vehicle in two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. If steady driving was planned, one of the two engines could be shut down and taken out of the drive train. The steering system was equipped with power steering that could be shut off when not needed. Over 2,600 Staghounds were build for the Commonwealth armies, about 100 of which were Mk.III.
In the last few years, Bronco Models has been producing a nice array of Staghound armored car variants in 1/48 scale. Clearly they had invested in some serious research and computer-aided design. So what do you do with that investment once you've issued the kits in 1/48 scale? Rescale it and release them into 1/48th scale, and that is what Bronco is doing. Here is Bronco Models' second 1/48 scale armor kit and here we have the T17E2 variant which is the standard Staghound chassis with an open-topped anti-aircraft gun turret fitted.
The kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on five parts trees plus a single fret of photo-etched parts. The kit has some really impressive detailing on the hull, in particular with the drive train. The four-wheel drive system is nicely replicated and that detailing is extended out to the axles and suspension. You don't see many kits where there is enough detailing on the axles including brakes where the model would look good up on blocks with the wheels off.
Bronco didn't stop there, they've captured loads of subtle details all around this vehicle from periscopes to pioneering tools, from fuel tanks to stowage bins. For a small model, Bronco didn't shortcut the details. The only complaint is with the interior. Where the various hatches are positionable, there is no interior in this kit so if you did position the doors/hatches open, you'd be looking at an empty shell. The only interior detailing provided is within the turret basket that slides in from the top with the anti-aircraft turret.
The turret is nicely detailed with the twin .50 caliber machine guns on special mounts and these mounts are as well detailed as the belt-fed guns mounted upon them. The interior of the turret basket also has stowage for various crew supplies and seating for a single gunner.
Markings are provided for two examples:
- Royal Canadian Dragoons, Italy, 1944
- 11th Hussars, Normandy, June 1944
Bronco Models has really stepped up their detailing with this kit. A beautifully detailed model can be rendered straight out of the box, while there is still some room for tweaking by the AMS modeler that might want to add an interior and crew.
This kit is highly recommended!
My sincere thanks to Dragon Models USA for this review sample!