Bronco Models 1/35 Staghound Mk.III Armoured Car Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2008||Manufacturer||Bronco Models|
|Subject||Staghound Mk.III Armoured Car||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35021||Primary Media||Styrene/PE|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$69.98|
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.
Bronco Models has released a new-tool Staghound armored car. This kit, like previous Bronco kits, is nicely detailed and yet a straightforward build. Molded in dark green styrene, this kit is presented on seven parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts and a single fret of photo-etched details.
One major difference between this kit and many of the previous releases is the lack of interior in this release. Given that, you an now see just how detailed this kit will be with all of these parts going on the outside of this vehicle! According to the specs, this kit has 248 parts.
The hatches and side access doors are all separately molded and positionable, so if you are going to do an interior, grab your references and get started, as construction of the stock kit begins with the assembly of the box body hull. The suspension and drive train are mounted directly to the hull rather than a separate chassis.
The twin exhaust system mounts to the rear of the vehicle. Several optional parts are provided for the engine deck to allow for subvariants in the Mk.III.
The kit pays serious attention to the various brackets and stowage details on the hull as well as the pioneering tools and other kit that mount to those brackets. Two large stowage boxes are mounted to either side of the hull, complete with fire extinguisher bottles. The upper stowage access doors are molded separately and can be positioned open, though you'll need to add interior shelving to the box stowage units.
Assembly of the Crusader turret starts with the 75mm main gun which does have a full breech inside the turret. Aside from the breech and recoil shield, there is no other detail inside the turret.
Markings are provided for the following four examples:
- RAC Gunnery School, 1943
- 12th Manitoba Dragoons, 2nd Canadian Corps, Germany 1945
- Danish Army, 1946
- 2nd New Zealand Div, Italy, 1945
Bronco Models continues to turn out some impressive models and this one is no exception. These kits are definitely an AMS modeler's delight.
This kit is highly recommended!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!