It is four years since Bronco Models first announced they were releasing a British Army ATV Quad Bike and Trailer with Four Figures; well it is finally here and looks to me as if it will have a lot of appeal to the modern modeller. The All Terrain Vehicle Quad Bike is still in use with the British Army performing the role of a supply vehicle in difficult terrain and also as an evacuation vehicle for injured individuals. The Quad depicted is the Yamaha 450 Grizzly which came into service in 2009 as a replacement for the Honda 450 used previously.
This offering from Bronco Models is supplied in the usual manner of a cardboard tray with a separate card lid. Once opened you will find all of the sprues in individual plastic bags with the exception of the figures which are all in together. The photo etch and decals are packed together inside a single Ziploc bag and have arrived in the condition I would expect. An examination of the parts meets with my approval due to my examination not revealing anything of concern beyond one of the figures helmets having come free from the sprue.
The first thing the modeller is going to notice is just how diminutive this model is and will likely test the eyesight of those of us are getting on in years. On the plus side while Bronco Models has a name for using microscopic parts I am pleased that this attribute has been restrained and so resulting in a product that most will be able to tackle. I was pleased to see that Bronco Models did not tackle the engine in this offering as it is completely hidden and would have been work with no return.
Yamaha 450 Grizzly
The suspension, axles and prop shafts are well represented, but Bronco Models does instruct you to add some small bolt detail in various locations; I personally would not bother unless you are a real stickler for such things. The support frame for the body of the quad is represented where needed, but again the bolt detail is shown as needing to be added. The exhaust is included with the only thing that it would benefit from would be the creation of an opening at the end.
The body of the quad has been very well tackled from what I can see and being the portion that is most easily seen should meet with approval from all. There are some very small decals that are listed during construction and some small photo etched parts, but in all other respects this should prove pleasing. The tyres provided with the model are vinyl which I know will upset some and please others, but the wheels themselves are plastic and I also expect the resin market will quickly put something on the market for this. The tyre tread looks very good to me and has a great sense of being meaty and able to tackle anything. I like that Bronco Models has provided clear lenses for the model as painted ones just do not look right.
Finally as regards the quad Bronco Models has supplied a radio for the rear mounting bracket and ammunition for the front bracket. I would have liked to see some decals for the ammunition boxes but I am otherwise happy.
SMT 171B Trailer
The trailer provided is not an element I can't recall seeing beyond looking at online images where small trailers are attached, but searches would indicate that the offering provided is the SMT 171B. From the very limited views I have seen of this it looks to be a good match for what is in the box and is possibly the one area of the model where I would use the bolt detail; this is on the tow hitch and so is clearly seen. The tyres and wheels are the same as on the quad and I would assume this is to aid logistics. Two loads have been provided for the trailer in the form of a very nicely done stretcher that I find particularly pleasing. There are also gap crossing bridging system that is specifically for the quad and trailer and this can make a load of its own or be used mounted on side brackets. Bronco Models also shows the option of having it placed over an obstacle and the quad and trailer crossing it; I do like that idea.
The British Army Troops
The four figures provided in this offering bother me a little due to the amount of flash seen on some areas; I have most of the figure sets released by Bronco Models and this is the first time I have been concerned by any element of them. A nice touch with these figures is that Bronco Models has supplied alternate head, helmets and torso with each of the four figures. The stances are as presented on the box top and so you have the Quad rider, a soldier giving directions and two others in a crouched position providing cover against potential hostiles. Some of the figures are shown with clear lenses protecting their eyes but nothing obvious is included with the figures to replicate this detail.
The weapons supplied are the standard British Army SA80 in two cases, an SA80 with L17A2 grenade launcher and an L192A1. We have issues with the weapons as all of the sights on the SA80ís are wrong and they are obviously wrong due to the way they are mounted. The L17A2 grenade launcher on the other hand looks very good, but the L192A1 is let down by the detail on the magazine which is way too over emphasized.
For me this is a really nice model of the quad and trailer, but I cannot help feeling let down by the figures provided. The detail on the quad and trailer would all seem to be of a very good quality, but the figures are let down by excessive flash and inaccurate weapons and that is a really big shame as I am a really big fan of Bronco Figures usually. So this model comes down to what is making you want the model? If it is the quad and trailer that calls to you then this is a winner. If it is the figures that call to you then you will need to seek out alternate weapons for three of the figures and put is some serious work on the clean up. I know the figures are easily fixed but I am disappointed that they are not of the quality I have come to expect from Bronco and that they usually always meet.
A correction from Karl Flavell reference my knowledge gap.
The sights on the SA80's are actually correct Darren. The ACOG sights were used quite frequently in Afghanistan as an option to the SUSAT and the mounts on the kit ones are also correct. Elcan Spectre sights were another that was in use with the British Army in Afghan. I'm not altogether sure why they were in use but having said that the ACOG is a much better sight compared to the SUSAT having used both and the SUSAT does have several flaws. With the ACOG target acquisition is a lot quicker I found but everyone is different re preferences. The ACOG was used by ordinary infantry units as opposed to just SF (who have pretty much complete free reign on what they can use. If they can get it that is ) so the weapons in the set are okay. Look to have nice detail on them.
Darren Baker takes a look at the latest 1/35th scale offering from Bronco Models and it is one that has been long awaited the British Army ATV Quad Bike and Trailer with Four Figures.
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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...