Back in 2009, (yes, it was THAT long ago), at that year’s Nuremberg Trade fair, I first met up with the people behind the Polish manufacturer: IBG Models
. At that time, they were in the process of expanding and developing their braille-scale range of (predominantly) British softskins. Inevitably, the subject turned to the possibility of the range being produced in 1/35th scale. However, it wasn’t until last year, that the first of the Bedfords, the QLD, was confirmed as a definite future release. Now, somewhat later than scheduled, the first of IBG Models
’ Bedfords, is actually on sale.
The Subject Matter
The Bedford QL Series was produced between 1940-45 and production ran to some 50,000 examples. There were three principal variants (all using the same wheelbase):
- QL ‘B’ – Bofors Gun Tractor (with additional winches)
- QL ‘R’ – Signals
- QL ‘D’ – Troop/General Service Vehicle
In addition there were a number of other uses for the QL Series such as recovery vehicles, ‘office’ vans and a little-seen version mounting the Quadruple M55 Machine Gun Trailer, All of these offer real potential for the scratch/conversion enthusiast.
Belying the actual size of the model, the box is pretty empty although that may well be IBG’s way of standardizing the packaging for other, larger subjects.
The Bedford comes on 4 dark-grey sprues and a small clear one for the window glazing. In addition, there is a moulding of a one-piece tilt which includes the tie-downs moulded on the side. A small, but well-printed, decal sheet covers 4 vehicles:
- 9th Forward Tank replacement Squadron, Polish 2nd Armored Brigade, Italy 1945.
- Unidentified unit, Soviet Army, Eastern Front 1942.
- Workshop Cº REME, 6th Guards Tank Brigade, Normandy August 1944
- 274th Field Company R.E. 51st (Highland) Division Normandy, June 1944
The instructions come in the usual booklet-type format and present the construction in 31 clear steps. Understandably, only two ‘build-options are presented: with the rear body open or closed. Open, the ‘hoops’ are present, closed, the moulded tilt includes some internal detail.
Mould-quality is good. Very good. One of the aspects I particularly like, is that on any ‘wooden’ parts, there’s been no attempt to ‘roughen’ the surface – something that, in 1/35th frequently requires some degree of smoothing down as, to be honest, wood grain WOULDN’T be seen. I was particularly impressed with the tires. IBG has pretty faithfully reproduced both the tread and the manufacturer’s markings on the tire sides.
The model, is, in my opinion, sophisticated rather than overly-complex. The level of engineering is appropriate, and should cause few problems to someone with a moderate amount of experience. Now, how often can one TRULY say that?
Now, briefly, I’ve gone over what I there in the model. There are though a few items which are missing. To this, I’m indebted to Simon King, who, in a thread, over on ML, pointed out some areas which need to be added. These are, in Simon’s own words:
A small etched brass set comprising front grille (there's a radiator already in the kit) gas detection paint tray, windscreen wipers and semaphore indicator and mounts. Also, the starting handle with its associated brackets and a rolled canvas radiator blind to the bottom of the cab's front panel. Also, for lovers of fine detail. The windscreen sliders on the cab inside, as well as an accelerator pedal and the operating mechanism for the semaphore - essentially a rod running from a lever on the centre console.
Another, frequently-seen item is the canvas cover for the AA roof hatch which should be added.
Although this may seem like an extensive list, in reality, the upgrades are quite simple but would add a great deal to the finished model. The basic model is, on first inspection, that good, a little TLC would add wonders to it!
It’s tempting at this point, to bemoan the fact that we have waited decades for this subject. Bearing in mind, that we’ve seen countless ‘Über-Models’ of the most esoteric (and extinct) subjects which seemed to be the consequences of an extensive lunch at the Rheinmetall-Borsig works canteen, it’s a little silly that a subject such as the Bedord QL (only 50K examples built folks!) should have been delayed so long. Well, it’s here now. It’s no longer the subject of speculation or finger-crossing it’s actually available.
I get the impression that it’s a much better model, than some of IBG’s previous releases. The model gives the feeling of a far more ‘delicate’ approach and seems more finely-detailed than their first truck, the Einheits Diesel Kfz.61.
IBG, has also, sensibly, chosen a subject which will give them the maximum shelf-life for the basic model. They have previously announced that they will, in the future, be doing the Bedford QLT, QLR and QLB. This of course depends on the success of this
model, so, my advice, is to rush out and stock up on this one, guaranteeing that we’ll have more of these attractive subjects for the future!