In-Box Review
QF 2 pounder anti-tank gun
Ordnance QF 2 pounder British Anti-tank Gun
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by: Keith Forsyth [ DOCDIOS ]


The Ordnance QF 2-pounder was a 40mm British anti-tank and vehicle-mounted gun, employed in the Second World War. It was actively used in the Battle of France, and during the campaign in North Africa. As tanks became better armoured to stand up to its shots, it was gradually replaced by the 6-pounder, starting in 1942, though some remained in service until the end of the war. In its vehicle-mounted variant, the 2-pounder was also a common main gun on British tanks early in World War II, and was a typical main armament of armoured cars such as the Daimler throughout the war.

The gun was initially developed as a tank weapon, and made its debut as the main armament of the Vickers-designed Cruiser Tank Mk I. For reasons of economy and standardization, the Director of Artillery accepted it as a basis for an anti-tank gun in October 1934. Contracts to design a carriage were given to Vickers and the Woolwich Arsenal.

Vickers was the first to submit a design, which was accepted as the Ordnance QF 2-pounder Mark IX on Carriage Mark I. A limited number of pieces were built in 1936. The carriage had an innovative three-legged construction. In the travelling position, one of the legs was used as a towing trail, and the other two were folded. When the gun was positioned for combat, the legs were emplaced on the ground and the wheels were lifted up. Woolwich Arsenal's carriage was found to be cheaper and easier to produce than the Vickers design, and with the gun was adopted as Ordnance QF 2-pounder Mark IX on Carriage Mark II. It was conceptually similar, although when the gun was emplaced for combat the wheels had to be removed. This carriage was also manufactured by Vickers during the war. This unusual construction gave the gun good stability and a traverse of 360 degrees, allowing it to quickly engage moving vehicles from any approach. With the Vickers carriage, the gun could also be fired from its wheels, at the expense of limited traverse.

The gun first saw combat during the German invasion of the Low Countries, with the Belgian Army, and then with the British Army during the subsequent rear-guard actions at Dunkirk. Most of the British Army's 2-pdrs were left behind in France during the retreat, stripping most of the army's infantry anti-tank capability. Although the Woolwich Arsenal had already designed a successor to the 2-pdr, the 6 pounder gun, it was decided in the face of a likely German invasion to re-equip the army with the 2-pdr, avoiding the period of adaptation to production, and also of re-training and acclimatization with the new weapon. This had the effect of delaying production of the 6 pounder until November 1941, and it was only in spring 1942 when the new gun reached frontline units. As such, for most of the North African campaign, the army still had to rely on the 2-pdr, aided by the 25 pounder gun-howitzer functioning as an anti-tank gun - a role for which it was capable though at the expense of taking it away from its main artillery role. The evolution of German tank design meant anti-armour performance of the 2-pdr gradually became insufficient, however the gun owes large part of the bad reputation it gained during the campaign to the open terrain (which made the high-silhouette piece hard to conceal) and to less than perfect tactics.

Further, in North Africa it was found that towing the 2 pounder long distances across rough, stony deserts damaged the weapon. Starting in 1941, the British developed the "en portee" method of mounting the 2 pounder (and later its successor, the 6 pounder) on a truck. Though only intended as a carrying method, with the gun being unloaded for firing, crews tended to fire their weapons from their vehicles for more mobility, with consequent casualties. Hence the vehicles tended to reverse into action so that the gun shield of the 2-pdr would provide a measure of protection against enemy fire. From mid-1942, the 2-pdr was increasingly displaced to infantry anti-tank platoons, to the Home Guard units in Great Britain and to the Far East, where it was still effective against the considerably less capable Japanese tanks. It was finally removed from service entirely in December 1945. As a vehicle weapon it remained in use throughout the war. Although most tanks models equipped with it were withdrawn or upgraded to the 6-pdr, it remained in use with armoured cars.

The Kit

It will come, I think, as a major surprise to a lot of modellers that this is the very first kit of a new company, and I feel that they should be well supported for entering the market with such a unique kit rather than the more usual German affair. The kit represents a QF2 pounder Mark XI on a Mark II carriage. The model parts come provided on two light grey plastic sprues encased in a small card board box, with the art work on the front showing the gun in action in a desert scene. The sides of the box show examples of the gun in combat and travel modes in both North African and European colours. A standard fold out instruction sheet completes the contents of the kit.

Looking over the sprues it is fairly obvious that this is small kit, but with the box stating that there are over a 100 parts one that will not be built up in an evening. The parts show no signs of any flash, but do have a few mould seams and sink holes, most of which look like they may be hidden once built. The build starts with the barrel and breech, the barrel being a single plastic piece rather than the usual split affair so clean up should be easy, with the barrel end already drilled out.

Following this you move on to the actual chassis mounting and operating parts; these are small, and I mean real small, so a lot of care will be needed in both removing them from the sprue and assembling them. I do not have enough reference material to state how accurate this kit is, but from the few pictures I have it certainly does look like a good representation, some photo etch may well have helped in this area but what you do get will certainly suffice.

After adding the barrel and gun shield to the chassis, the instructions move on to the ground support legs and wheels, you need to decide before hand how you wish to display this model as the options change should you decide to build it in the combat or travelling modes. The wheels are a little strange as they come in multiple layers which lock together to create the wheel, seven parts for each wheel. This method was used, I believe, so that the fine tyre tread pattern could be represented, which may not have shown up as well in a single piece. How well this method actually works will only be shown once it is built.

Finally some additional shell casing and shells are provided should you wish to display them with the kit, and a crew is also due to be released at a later date. The instructions also have a colour chart for the various different paint manufacturers, again another nice touch.


This kit was provided by the good people of and as the UK importer have also decided to include a small bonus with each kit, in this case a 22ml bottle of LifeColor black acrylic paint and a LifeColor colour chart.

They are also distributing two new LifeColor sets directly for this kit, one for the European colours and one for the North African colours.

The European set consists of the following lifecolor paints:

# UA054 Green for Europe scheme
# UA221 Khaki
# LC17 Brown
# LC76 Gun-metal
# LC75 Gold for brass gun barrel
# UA306 Earth Red for leather

and the North African set consists of the following LifeColor paints:

# UA225 Light Stone (Sand) for Africa scheme
# UA221 Khaki
# LC17 Brown
# LC76 Gun-metal
# LC75 Gold for brass gun barrel
# UA306 Earth Red for leather

These sets can be bought separately from LifeColor dealers or as a bundle with the model itself.


This is a great little kit that will build into a decent model of the QF 2 pounder and any company that jumps straight into the modelling market with such a unique allied model deserves to be supported. There are a lot of parts in this kit so some time and care will be needed to get the most from it, but it will look excellent in a small diorama or being towed by one of the recent PlusModel truck releases.
Highs: Nice compact model of a unique subject, with some well detailed parts that will build into a fine representation of the real thing.
Lows: Small parts may put some modellers off, and the subject may not appeal to all.
Verdict: Excellent kit from a new company, that is unusual enough that it should appeal to the fans of allied models
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  PUBLISHED: Oct 18, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

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About Keith Forsyth (docdios)

Keith Forsyth (docdios) comes from the small town of Stafford in the United Kingdom. He began his interest in modeling at an early age with armor being the main focus. It was not until finding himself between jobs in 1995 that he really got hooked. It was during a shopping visit to another town when...

Copyright 2021 text by Keith Forsyth [ DOCDIOS ]. All rights reserved.


A nice kit of an important but long neglegted subject. I've just finished assembly of mine and would recommend an optivisor for this kit. I have never needed one before but the amount of small parts in this one makes it essential (especially for we older modellers. One point I found was to be extra careful when cleaning up parts as you may inadvertently shave off a mounting point as i did. I heartily recommend this kit and look forward to other kits by this manufacturer (like a nice 6 pdr or three - hint, hint ). CHeers Al
OCT 17, 2009 - 08:21 PM
Hi Keith, Thanks for the review, yes hats off to Vulcan for this one. Lets hope they follow it up with a new 6pdr!. Al B, Thanks also for the build tips, I have added this one to the stash. Al
OCT 17, 2009 - 09:52 PM
Thanks for the review Keith Or something to tow or carry it
OCT 19, 2009 - 05:52 AM
Hi Pat, Yes, there is that too. Al
OCT 19, 2009 - 07:05 PM

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