An injection moulded 1/35 scale model of the beefy US-made T17E1 Staghhound armoured car has long been on the wish lists of many a Commonwealth armour modeller. For a few decades the Tamiya Daimler Dingo was the lone voice in the wilderness - and it has long shown its age - but in recent years we have been blessed with not one but two fine Staghound kits from Italeri and Bronco Models and a re-box of the Italeri offering from Tamiya.
Although Staghounds saw only limited service in World War II with the British, Polish and Canadian armies in Europe, many of the armoured cars soldiered on post war with a host of nations as late as the 1970s.
I'm not sure about the Tamiya offering, but Italeri and Bronco provide Australian markings for vehicles serving in Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) and for a post war Citizen's Military Forces (CMF) unit in Western Australia respectively. While the vehicles received few external modifications in Australian service, there were subtle differences to the aerial arrangements and a prominent sheet metal turret bin appears to be a standard item.
The Mouse House update kit provides an "A" set (long distance radio) aerial base and a "B" set (short range communication) aerial base along with the bin complete with six integral mounting rods. There's not much to the installation of the parts and hence the instructions are simple. Scale lengths for the respective aerials are provided.
The instructions state the bin was "the same type as fitted to the Australian Cruiser tank Mk1 `Sentinal'", which may indeed be the case, however, some cursory internet research reveals that identical bins are fitted to surviving Staghounds in France, England and the United States, which indicates it is a standard, (possibly post war) T17E1 item.
Research also reveals variation in the angles of the rear of Staghound turrets and differing locations for the "B" set aerial base. I am not sure if there is any dimensional differences between the Italeri and Bronco turrets, but the rear face of the bin should be perpindicular when installed, which may dictate that the mounting rods will need to be lengthened and/or shortened accordingly. As far as installation of the parts goes, this update kit is a "no brainer" and I got the job done in 15 minutes.
Since the Australian Staghounds in Japan always operated close to headquarters they weren't cluttered with the crew equipment of a vehicle on an extended campaign in Europe and the turret bin makes for a different looking vehicle. Although I am yet to see any evidence of the bin being fitted during World War II, it may be appropriate for vehicles serving post war for a host of nations, so check your references.
The 1/35 Staghounds have been a big hit and Mouse House Enterprises has produced a cheap and no nonsense resin update kit to depict the armoured car in Australian service. The Staghound has long been one of my favourite armoured cars and I plan to build the Tamiya, Italeri and Bronco kits. The accompanying photographs show the parts installed to the Bronco kit, the turret of which has been textured with Mr Surfacer.
Highs: Simple, accurate, inexpensive and an Australian subject.Lows: None.Verdict: A great way to make your Staghound stand out from the crowd!
About Mick Toal (Heatseeker64) FROM: NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
Journalist and photographer - aka :"scribbler and snapper" - based in Sydney Australia. Been modelling as long as I can remember and it's my great distraction away from work. Regards my career, well every time I think it's slowing down it goes and speeds up again! Check out my blog at: http://heatse...