In-Box Review
17 pdr OQF Gun Barrel for British Tank Destroyer Achilles

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]


Recently I have had the pleasure of examining the latest new releases from Armorscale, and this review is a first in a series of three describing such. This new kit promises to be a very interesting addition to this company’s rapidly growing line of aftermarket accessory kits currently being produced in 1/35 and 1/72 scale.
For those modellers not yet familiar with Armorscale, this is a new manufacturing company based in Poland, who is currently concentrating upon producing high quality after market accessory kits for various model subjects. The kits include cast resin parts, photo-etched accessories, finely machined brass parts, and nicely turned aluminium or machined brass barrels.

inside the bag

This new kit comes to you, the modeller, inside a heavy weight zip-loc style bag, with card style packaging. Inside this bag you will find the seven main kit parts that will be the basis for this set, and one photo-etched card of four tiny brass spacer rings, all protected by heavyweight cardboard, coloured in OD. The smaller brass parts are packed inside an additional sealed plastic bag to help prevent losses.

The two cast resin parts will be examined first; the larger of the two, which is the mantlet itself, and is a very well cast piece of resin in opaque grey colour. Fine detailing overall on this piece, which includes lifting rings and a gun sight hole, cast very clean and free from any air bubbles. The casting lug that was attached to the mantlet separated easily and cleanly, thus a minimum of early cleanup required. What really stands out to the modeller on the mantlet part is the weld seams around the barrel mounts, which are very well detailed and look extremely realistic (take it from a certified welder… they really do!).

The second resin part consists of a one-piece muzzle collar, which is to depict a counterweight. This piece is cast to look like two separate halves, which would wrap around the barrel and be bolted together with the four bolts shown. Upon close examination of the counterweight you can see that attention was paid to minute detail as you can clearly define the four hex nuts that are attaching the weight to the barrel…really cool.

The muzzle brake consists of three finely machined brass parts, all which fit together perfectly, and are designed to thread onto the end of the turned aluminium barrel. Detail is excellent on these brass parts, and again very clean. Also in brass is a small photo-etched card containing four very tiny brass rings, which are optional additions for the modeller, and these are to represent the balance rings that some gun crews used to maintain a better balance of the gun itself.

The turned aluminium barrel is very smooth with little or no machining marks visible, complete with a hollow muzzle opening, fine threaded to the tip to accept the muzzle brake assembly. These parts did thread quite easily upon the barrel, looked and fit wonderfully! Also the fit between the barrel and the mantlet itself is tight and smooth, and looks just as good.

A one page, two sided colour instruction sheet is provided with the kit, which clearly shows the assembly of the parts and the proper steps for mounting the finished assembly to the model subject. This kit is based upon Academy Models version of the Achilles (see box art photo), and a detail drawing with text is shown for the removal of additional plastic from the original kit for proper fit and alignment.
Armorscale recommends joining the metal to metal with solder, and the metal to resin with cyanoacrylate adhesive (super glue).

in conclusion

Overall, this kit looks to be another fine A.M. accessory kit from Armorscale, and once assembled, aligned, and fitted to the model subject it will greatly increase the accuracy as well as the overall look of the model itself, for sure! Quality machining and manufacturing throughout, good fit, and great looks bring a high recommendation from this modellers point of view…With kits such as this being produced by Armorscale I personally feel that they will soon become a highly respected entity in the aftermarket accessory kit industry.

Many thanks to Armorscale for providing this review sample

Overall, this kit looks to be another fine A.M. accessory kit from Armorscale.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: #B35-012
  Suggested Retail: 12.46 U.S.
  Related Link: Armorscale Ofiicial website
  PUBLISHED: Jul 24, 2005
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. All rights reserved.


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