by: Joe Passaseo [ ]
The Humber Armored Car Mk IV was one of the most widely used British armored car of WW2 and remained in service until the end of the war. It was also used by other nations post WW2. Made by the Rootes Group, the Humber was essentially a combination of the Karrier KT4 artillery tractor chassis and the armored body of the Guy armored car. The vehicle was used in the North African campaign from late 1941 by the 11th Hussars and other units. It was also widely used by British and Canadian reconnaissance regiments of British and Canadian infantry divisions and other countries making up the Allied Forces. The Mk IV was the last variant of this armored car and was equipped to carry the US M5-M6 37mm high velocity gun in place of the 7.92mm Besa. The larger gun required the removal of fourth crewman (radio operator) in the turret reducing the crew down to 3 crewmen. Turret hatches were rearranged. About 2000 were built.
Tamiya brings us yet another kit in their 1/48th scale armor range. This kit is most welcome for the fans of British/Commonwealth armor. The box is the usual Tamiya type box with an illustration of the vehicle in action.
Upon opening the box, one should not be surprised as to the size of the vehicle….it is tiny. The box contains one larger sprue of the vehicles main body and turret components and their details and two smaller sprues with wheels and additional details. Suspension components are molded on the hull bottom but the drive train and shocks come as separate pieces. Tools come as separate add ons and the turret hatches can be modeled in the open or closed positions. Unfortunately that is not the case with the hull side doors, they are molded shut. The kit is also devoid of any interior detail and this includes no part of a gun breech, thus modeling the kit with hatches open ,one will not see anything on the inside.
The instructions are well laid out and easy to follow, this being typical of Tamiya and a sheet with a brief history and painting suggestion is provided. The kit comes with a tiny sheet of well printed decals, unfortunately, Tamiya only provides markings for one vehicle and that is for one belonging to the Polish 1st Armored Division. I am looking forward to after market decals so that other vehicles of the British and Commonwealth may be depicted. Tamiya provides a half figures of a commander, to fit into an open hatch, should one decide to model so.
Construction begins by putting together the hull. Tamiya has separated the hull into 6 parts, upper and lower hull and right and left sides and front and back plates. I must emphasize that so far the fit is perfect!
Next step is the drive train and some bottom hull protection plates and exhaust tube. Here I drilled out the exhaust tube for that little extra detail.
The front suspension shocks and fenders are the next step in the build. These parts are well detailed, but my only disappointment is that I would have preferred Tamiya gave the leaf springs as separate parts; these being molded on the bottom plate and a little lacking in detail.
In the next steps , basically all the stowage boxes, fuel cans, lights, mirrors and tools should be added. I chose to do all the steps except for adding the tools as I prefer to paint separately and then add them to the model. This also goes for the wheels. I glued the inner half hubs but left off the tires and outer hubs so that I may paint them separately.
Well that is pretty much it for the hull, everything went together like a breeze, no issues to note.
Assembly of the turret was quite simple , the parts fit perfectly. Turret hatches may be positioned open or closed and if you choose the open position, one figure is provided. The figure provided represents the commander holding binoculars and the features are quite sharp and nice. I have to drill out the turret MG barrel end as this is molded solid.
The only minus I found with the turret is the search light, it is molded in two parts and both parts are green styrene. Here Tamiya could have given us the lens in clear plastic. I have built this kit with turret hatches in the open position as I plan to include figures, one kit supplied and one from spares.
Since I don’t plan to model a Polish vehicle, painting will occur when I source some replacement decals and determine what vehicle I will represent.
Having looked over the kit and its components, I must say that this is a very well detailed kit despite its diminutive size and will build into a excellent representation of the Humber Armored Car Mk IV. Fans of British and Commonwealth armor will be very pleased as the kit fills a void in that subject. And if aftermarket decals will be made available, one will be able to model a multitude of vehicles On the different fronts of WW2.
This kit builds into a superb representation of the Humber Arnored Car Mk IV. Although simplified, as per most Tamiya 1:48 offerings, the detail is excellent and crisp. My recommendation, to give the kit that extra edge, without going into AM parts:
Drill out the MG barrel
Drill out the exhaust pipe end
Replace the search light lens with a clear part. You can find these lenses in a model railroad shop.