by: Alan McNeilly [ ]
Last year Resicast released kit no 35.119 of the Small Box Girder Bridge (SGB) Assault Bridge. This is a full resin kit/conversion set designed for the AFV Club Churchill, adding one more finishing option for the vehicle.
The SBG was one of Hobart’s Funnies, adaptations of the Churchill Gun Tank, designed for use with tanks and vehicles needing to cross sea walls, ditches and small rivers, bomb craters etc. The design started in 1943 and necessary changes were made to the SBG Bridge in order to allow it to be fitted to Churchill AVREs, normally the Mk IV variant. The bridge could be used to cross a 30ft gap or scale a 14ft high wall. When a wall was being surmounted, once the bridge was in place a further Churchill with a fascine would climb the bridge and drop the fascine(s) on the other side in order to allow tanks to cross.
The bridge was capable of supporting a 40 ton load.
These bridges were used by 79th Armoured Division successfully on D Day and throughout the remainder of the war. Due to the strain that could be placed on the bridges supports when the bridge needed to be transported by road over long distances, a towed version and folding version were also developed.
The kit comes packed in the standard sturdy Resicast box, the parts being contained in separate zip plastic bags and all securely wrapped up in bubble wrap.
The box art depicts a colour picture of the completed bridge with additional pictures of the structure on two sides of the box. The manufacturer and product details are, as usual, displayed on the top of the box.
The parts are cast in a light grey resin and are beautifully done. A small etched fret, plastic rod and string(wire) complete the parts. A 24 page A5 instruction booklet is provided in the normal photo drive assembly process.
A complete listing of parts is contain on page 2 of the instructions. The photographs are in black and white but are of good quality and the parts are marked to match the photographic diagrams.
The kit contains all the parts you should need to model a bridge, attached to an AVRE (tank not included). The quality of the parts looks excellent, (see photographs for details). As far as I can tell this looks to be a very accurate representation of the bridge.
A very useful kit to make your AVRE an SBG Assault Bridge Carrier. The build might be tricky so this is probably not one for the beginner. Obviously you’d need a completed AVRE to attach it to, but you could model it deployed across an obstacle if that takes your fancy.
If you are looking for a challenging build then this one probably fits the bill well. That said, if you take your time, and follow the instructions and any references you have there is no reason why you should not have a cracking model at the end.
As a stand-alone kit this would be impressive, incorporate it in to a diorama and you should have something very special indeed. Adding in the option of the towed version fittings would have given greater scope of use.
'The Funnies' by GW Futter