by: Dave O'Meara [ ]
The KitThe kit comes packed in a sturdy cardboard box, with 3 color photos of the finished model pasted to the top. Inside are a bag of Photo-Etched parts, and a small decal sheet, containing markings for a US Navy vehicle.
Four more bags come next, one containing the wheels/tires. These are nicely molded, with no noticeable flash or pinholes. (Somehow these always show up for me after a light primer coat, but I think that’s just my eyes going bad) The next bag contains the axles, springs, and various other chassis parts. Light resin flash is apparent, but nothing major, and a quick swipe with a #11 blade, etc, should take care of this, I did not notice any warping of these parts, and the detail looks good. The third bag contains all the other small parts. Flash appears on many, but it is wafer thin, and should present no problem. The final bag contains the upper wooden parts for the rear body, windshield, mud flaps etc. Again all are well cast, fine flash is present. The wooden parts DO show considerable warping and this will need to be addressed during assembly.
Loose in the box are the chassis, rear bed/body, and the forward cab section, the body and cab sections are fairly well cast, the body and cab section show a little flash, no noticeable warping, or pinholes, but upon closer examination, the rear of the cargo body has a major mold shift flaw across the entire with, that will require either extremely careful clean up to eliminate this flaw, or the removal of the small details, and replacement with scratch-built replacement details. The chassis has a web of flash inside the rails. Upon removal, I discovered another major mold shifting on the inside of one rail, and the outside of the opposite rail. Once again, careful clean up of this step to preserve the detail, is going to be needed, and most likely, some lost details will need to be replaced with some scratch-built items. My kit also suffered from an incomplete molded front spring. Repairing this problem is not a major undertaking.
The InstructionsThe instructions are a single sheet of some thumbnail drawings, and a larger Xerox sheet containing some rather dark photos of the model during construction. It you are looking for a glue Part A to Part B, type of instructions you are not going to find it here. They are going to require the modeler to decipher the photos, and find the parts, and figure it out along the way. Even though the Xerox in my kit is a little too dark for my liking, you can still make out the details to figure out most of the assembly if you have a little experience with resin kits, and a little knowledge of vehicle construction. Knowledge of chassis construction, and maybe a glance or two at the instructions for the Skybow ¾ ton weapons carrier may prove helpful during chassis construction. I know it's not the same chassis, but it probably will assist with the placement of smaller items. (I have built many truck models over the years, and will be using the Skybow instructions as a helper)
ConclusionAll in all, a fairly decent kit looking at the parts right out of the box, although it does have it’s share of molding flaws, nothing that can’t be “conquered” by a modeler with some experience. I have always liked the “cuteness” of this vehicle, and I am happy to see a somewhat decent, but challenging kit of it produced.
Certainly this is not a kit I would recommend to beginning modelers, or even to new comers to resin kits, but for the more experienced modelers, with a few resin conversions, and simpler resin kits under their belts, and those that who are willing to do a little extra work, with some careful clean up of parts, and add/replace details, with a little scratch-building thrown in for good measure, a very presentable, and nice addition to your soft-skin collection can be made.
I give this kit out of the box, and glancing over the parts, a 7. Although it’s not the most perfect set of casting I have ever seen, they certainly are not by far the worse. The mold shift on the major parts, and some of the smaller parts is a pain, but are not really insurmountable problems for experienced modelers. (I believe only experienced modelers would/should purchase this kit) The proof is in the pudding or the building, I started construction of this kit over the week end. Progress will be posted in the main forum, and most likely a build article to follow.
On my personal list of wanted vehicles, it is surely a 10.
I’d like to thank Ian Sadler -- call sign “Sandy” for the reference photos…. Which he was kind enough to send me last year, before I even knew of this kit, and these will certainly come in extremely useful during construction.
I did a web search of “Ford GTB” and came up with plenty of additional reference photos.
I purchased this kit from Mission Models, during their recent moving sale.