by: Darren Baker [ ]
The Bedford truck saw service throughout the whole of World War ll and after. This vehicle also went to every theatre of war and so would have been a common sight at the time. The World War 2 modeller has been well served with soft skinned vehicles of late, and this looks to be another nice offering. It should be noted that this vehicle continued to serve after the war and so could be shown in a post World War 2 setting.
This offering from Gecko Models arrives in a flip top lidded cardboard box with an outer card lid displaying the artwork. Inside there are number of sealed and zip lock bags containing the parts, and of course the instruction booklet. An examination of the parts reveals some excellent moulding and what I consider a bonus in the form of a figure.
The offering from Gecko Models, builds up pretty much as the real vehicle did, and so you have a multi part chassis that has allowed an excellent amount of detail to be included, but does mean that great care needs to be taken during construction to ensure the chassis is square when assembled. One thing that will cause some consternation is that there are some very small photo etch plates that need to be added to the chassis. A full engine is provided for this model and I do appreciate that Gecko Models has kept down the photo etch in this area. The only parts that seem to be missing from the area are wires and cables that the modeller will need to replicate themselves. The gearbox has also been assembled from more than one piece, and so also offers some very nice details, that most likely will never be seen when finished. The exhaust system has an attribute that I appreciate and that is that the instruction booklet clearly shows the route it should take through the chassis.
The axles have been well designed and I do believe that the front axle could be assembled with the wheels turned even though this is not covered in the booklet. The tyres of the model have an appropriate pattern for the vehicle with the tread area having been slide moulded and a front and rear face added to finish the piece. When added to the model, these should also be rotatable if desired. The cab area of the model is primarily a wooden area of the offering and features some nice touches. The canvas roof of the model has a very realistic finish to it. With my only possible complaint about it is that the frame work inside the canvas roof is missing.
All of the expected controls and instruments are correct including some small photo etch parts. I was pleased to find personal weapons storage parts, and a fire extinguisher. I will point out that having collected and seen several of these, during WW2 they were generally left as bare brass, with a simple paper label attached. I also appreciate that personal weapons have been included, so that two SMLEs can be secured. After adding the cab area to the model, you revisit the oily parts and will add the air filters and the like to the model. The lights of the model have been provided with clear lenses. The sides and front of the engine bay has been well replicated with photo etch in the side panels representing breathing areas. The bonnet or hood of the vehicle has been provided so that it can be displayed either open or closed, which is a nice feature as this is a butterfly hood.
The rear loading bay of the vehicle is an all wooden structure, with metal fittings and provides a reasonable storage area in the vehicle. One thing that I am unsure about is that the rear wheels arches protrude into the cargo bed, reducing the storage area and so ease of storage in the bed. I did some searches and was unable to verify if this was correct or not. Gecko models have provided photo etch chain locks for the tail gate of the loading bed for that final touch of realism.
I am pleased to see, that Gecko Models have supplied a driver for the vehicle, in the form of a British or Commonwealth figure. The uniform represented is more akin to that worn in the European theatre, but I am sure that with a little bit of modification you could make the figures look to be wearing the long shorts often seen in North Africa and Italy. Another nice touch with this figure is that decals have been supplied for placement on it, and while only a side cap is covered in the instructions a second head is provided which will allow the use of a steel helmet which is also supplied.
Gecko Models has provided four finishing options for the model, and these are as follows:
6th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, 157th Infantry Brigade, 52nd (low land) Infantry Division, 2nd British Expeditionary Force, France, June 1940
Admin Troop, C Sqdn, 2nd (armoured Recci) Battalion, Welsh Guards, Guards Armoured Division, VALKANSWAARD, Netherlands, September 1944, during Operation Market Garden
Battery Captains assistant, R Battery, 166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, Italy 1944
5th Battalion, Black Watch, 153rd Infantry Brigade, 51st (Highland) Infantry Division, 2nd battle of El Alamein, October 1942
This offering from Gekko Models in 1/35th scale, of the Bedford MWD general service truck will not be a five minute build. It will however, I believe build into a very nice example of the truck. The complexity of the model will require a reasonable skill set; mainly due to the small photo etch parts. I highly approve of the finishing options being specific rather than general and that Gecko Models always seems to add those extra touches often missed out.