by: Russ Amott [ ]
Battlefield communication is essential, especially for the increasingly mobile armies of WWII and after. A variety of radio sets were developed to increase the ability of commanders, scouts, and other elements to provide real time information about events on and around the battlefield. This resin set from PlusModel represents a common use radio such as would be carried in a jeep, or on a backpack by an individual infantryman.
The set is listed as the WWII US radio set. According to the link information I found online, the radio set appears to be the AN/GRC-9 radio with a DY-88 dynamotor power supply. This was a follow-up to the SCR-694/BC-1306 portable two-way radio (the original walkie-talkie). Both radios are very similar in appearance, with the placement of dials on the face being the only significant difference. The AN/GRC-9 was actually a post WWII design, and was used extensively in Korea, as well as by NATO forces. It was produced in the US, and also Germany and France, and had a range of 15 miles in two-way radio mode, had a waterproof case with neoprene seals that could float in water if dropped, weighed 119 lbs (other sites state 196 lbs, but it appears that was for all of the equipment combined) and could be charged with a portable generator or attached to a vehicle mounted power supply. The radio was reportedly well-liked because of its simplicity, reliability and durability.
The set is made up of a resin radio, one resin power box, and one small brass photo etch fret with two parts that make the wire guards for the radio face. All this is packaged in a clear plastic pouch with a cardboard insert to keep the pouch rigid. Instructions are basic, with a picture of the completed radio set and a note to paint the set olive drab with black dials. The pour plug on the radio and power box are substantial but easily removed.
The details of the radio are excellent. Individual holes in the power supply outlet are clear, screw holes are visible, and on the sides, the latch clamps are cleanly and neatly-rendered. There are attachment points for the straps that would hold the radio to the support base, but the straps are not depicted. Also, the attachment points for the carry handle are present on the top of the radio box, but not the handle itself. No antenna base is included. There are some small ejector pin marks on the side of the support base that need to be carefully removed. Detail on the power supply box is also neat and clear.
The etch parts are simple and fit into the radio face with a little patience. Searching on-line for the AN/GRC-9 or the SCR-694 will bring up many links with various color photos of radio sets. There are good photos of the radio mounted in the back of an M-38 (AFV Club makes a model of this), and it could be put in any other appropriate period vehicle.
While I don't think it would be correct for WWII, it is perfect for Korea, which is not well-covered by kits and accessories. This is a simple, well-molded set and makes a very nice addition to any period vehicle or diorama. I really like it a lot.