by: Darren Baker
Copper State Models may be better known to you as CSM, they are best known I believe for their line of 1/48th scale biplanes. Copper State Models has now dipped their toes into the pond of armour models with a 1/35th scale offering of a Lanchester armoured car. I will add at this juncture that Copper State Models have also released a separate photo etched set for the model and three figures. So let’s take a look at what is on offer here.
This offering from Copper State Models is packaged to a very high standard of separate card lid and a sturdy flip top cardboard container, as such this should hold up to most postal services. Inside is a very well presented instruction booklet, six grey sprues in for bags; there are two sprues duplicated and these are packed together. Also included is a nice decal sheet in its own Ziploc bag.
An examination of the sprues leaves this modeller happy for the most part due to the lack of issues. There are shallow ejector pin marks that are hidden for the most part, but some will need to be dealt with. I did found two parts with slight distortion to the finish and I am unsure how easily this will be to correct. Lastly there are some flow lines present, but these do not look or feel to have caused any deformation to the moulded parts. So other than the distortion everything looks positive so far. Another high point as far as I am concerned is the number and size of the gates between the sprue and the part; these are also well placed for easy access.
I have to cover the instruction booklet at this point as it is the best presentation I have ever encountered. The instructions are printed on very high quality heavy paper, the kind of paper that well presented CV’s or certificates are printed on. The print quality is excellent being a mix of colour and black & white. Copper State Models has taken the time to explain in words what the step covers and shows what parts you are adding by colouring them blue. As you open the cover you are presented with a sepia image of the box art work and under this is a very nice short history of the vehicle.
The chassis of the vehicle is provided as part of the floor to which the various elements are attached. The engine and gearbox is what I think of as a waterline kit, you just get the part you see from the side rather than the full thing. I am a little unsure of how I feel about this, but then again unless you lift the model up and turn it upside down you will not see it. The front tie rod ends could be easier to locate as one end is left floating for a few stages, but Copper State Models has done a good job of providing the information on the angle of the dangle with a side on image of how the parts should sit. The axles of the model are fairly simple in design, but then again while axles of today do the same thing they have come a long way in the last 104 years. The only complaint I have at this time is that the front wheels cannot be shown turned and only assembled as straight ahead.
I have found what I believe is an error in the model in the rear deck area. The platforms, or what I think of as bench seats are missing the metal sheet between them and the floor. I am a little confused by this as the area is shown filled in on the painting directions, I also failed to find an image online of this area being open. The front lights are nicely moulded hollow but no clear parts are provided for the lenses.
The body of this model from Copper State Models is very pleasing to look at due to the panel lines and rivet detail being so well replicated on the various panels. There are a number of ejector pin marks that will be hidden on the inside and so not something to worry about. I have to say that I wish Copper State Models had included the photo etched set they have released for this model in the box and offered an interior as a potential improvement. I should also say that Copper State Models has also released three figures that would be ideal companions for the model. The doors and view ports for the vehicle have been provided separately and so a partial or full interior would be or have been a nice addition.
The turret of the Lanchester has been tackled well for the most part by Copper State Models. There are not that many parts to come together and the rear door has been supplied separately, but the roof hatch has not and this is something I expected to see from a model like this. I know a model with no interior does not need a great interior but some hatches where a figure could be placed would be a nice inclusion and the roof one is the most likely and easiest to utilise. The Vickers machine gun has been well replicated, but despite Copper State Models proving they can provide slide moulded parts the muzzle of the machine gun has not been tackled that way.
The wheels of this offering are a beautiful example of how good Copper State Models are where moulding is concerned. The spokes of the wheels are injection moulded, one side is moulded with the tyre and the other side on their own. A separate tyre valve is added to the wheel during the build and this will also correctly line up the spokes; a stunning example of the art of injection moulding. The tyres themselves have nice detail on them and only a light seam that will need to be removed.
British Lanchester Armoured Car ‘Good Hope’ of the RNAS Car No2 of A Section, 6 Squadron RNACD, 1916
British Lanchester Armoured Car ‘Cannet’ of the RNAS Car No4 of B Section, 6 Squadron RNACD, 1916
British Lanchester Armoured Car of the RNAS operating in Persia, 1916
British Lanchester Armoured Car of the RNAS Armoured Car Expeditionary Force (Russian Armoured Car Division) Galicia, Austria, Summer 1917
Belgian Lanchester Armoured Car from the Group of Armoured Cars of the 1st Cavelry Division, 1916
I am very impressed with the moulding ability of Copper State Models and the thought they look to have put into the layout of parts. The instruction booklet is the best I can recall seeing offered with a model and it reminded me when first seen, of a technical manual as issued by the British Army. I am disappointed that the photo etched parts are not supplied with the kit but are available as a separate purchase, and there is no clear parts supplied for the lights. The wheels in this model are stunning and the most impressive element on offer here.