SAS 1/4 Ton 4 x 4 Patrol Car
|Stock Number and Description||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6725; SAS 1/4 Ton 4 x 4 Truck ETO - Smart Kit|
|Media and Contents:||297 parts (259 in grey styrene, 31 etched brass, 7 clear styrene)|
|Price:||pre-order price US$34.99 via Dragon USA Online|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Coorrections made to previously released kit; comes with fittings for SAS in Europe|
|Disadvantages:||Some problems with ejection pin marks on body; very high price for small kit|
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended for all Commonwealth jeep fans|
Based on their success in the desert, the Willys Jeeps were used in many purposes by various organizations in Europe as well. The 1st Airborne Division (UK) used them as scout vehicles, including an attempt to land them at Arnhem in 1944. But they were used in many other scouting and raiding roles as well.
This kit is the “Euro” version of the vehicle and compliments the SAS “Desert Raider” versions with all of the modifications made for use in Europe. It comes with standardized fittings for extra fuel tanks and “flimsy” cans plus a variety of armament options. They have also included the 2nd SAS Regiment figure set (No. 6199) from 2008 to give some figures to complement the vehicle, but none are designed to fit inside it.
Note that once again because of the Chrysler Corporation demand for royalties for using the name “Jeep” this kit, like the Opel Blitz before it, does not state what it IS but just sort of what it DOES.
As it has corrected parts as well as some nice new ones it now comes on nine sprues but the body and frame are removed from their sprues and bagged separately in the box. The body is slide molded with all but the grille and rear plate. There are some serious injection pin marks on the bottom of the body and under the fenders, but other than the fender wells I don’t think most modelers will bother with removing them.
The frame is also one piece with all braces and the rear “bumperettes” molded in place. A so-so tow hook is also molded in place on the frame, but as the opening section of the military hitch is provided (part B45) as a separate part it will probably look better when assembled.
The drive line is typical of modern kits, axles with differentials and a separate differential cover, separate shock absorbers, steering links and a tie rod. The transfer case comes with the front drive shaft in place but the rear one is a separate part. The wheels are conventional front half with all tread/rear insert type (staggered tread pattern) and separate brake drums. Springs are the usual type, but the skid plate comes with the muffler attached (part B41) which is new to me for an assembly.
The model comes with a cut-out grille but then emphasizes a new correct molded full grille which comes with the new set of universal tires. The Mark IA eyeball tells me they are virtually identical other than the missing bars, so apparently DML has corrected the original grille with incorrect spacing and location of the blackout lights. As this is the “Euro” version it comes with a backing plate of armored louvers, but these are a single piece. With appropriate painting and finishing techniques it should look the part, however. A “blackout” disk is included from brass for the right side headlight to match British practice.
This kit comes with extended range fuel tanks on the tops of the rear fender wells as well as four “flimsy” fuel cans on the rear plate. Etched brass tie-down straps are included for all of these cans to attach them to the vehicle. Two bracket carriers mount one on each front fender as well.
This vehicle offers a wide choice of armament as it comes with no less than eight Vicker K machine guns and a pair of M2 air-cooled .50 calibers as well. Armored windscreens are included in either clear styrene or sold grey, so the modeler has a choice on what to do with them. A total of 10 disk magazines is included for the K guns and the box art and directions show no less than five of them mounted on the representative vehicle.
The engine consists of 15 parts and looks the part, and it comes with a separate radiator. This consists of three main parts, but it also has the headlights and blackout lights attached. These take clear lenses (for those who wish to use them) and must be installed before the radiator is mounted to the body. It also comes with an expansion tank (part B21) but no hoses are provided to connect them.
The seats have separate pads and backs, and the controls are very complete, to include pedals.
The figures are of four men in “para” suits and berets, so can be finished as either SAS or paratroopers at the modeler’s discretion. Each one comes in six parts per the normal breakdown with additional Commonwealth kit for completion. Ron Volstad’s artwork playfully shows two Paras and an SAS man in a jeep surprising a pair of Germans in an Opel Blitz!
There are two finishing options: both are for SAS vehicles in Northwest Europe 1945. One is standard green/olive drab and the other is green with black “Mickey Mouse” camouflage.
A sheet of Cartograf decals provides for instruments and a “number jungle” for the census number.
The figures are given blue/grey/white painting instructions and the box art provides better information on their finishing.
Overall this is a nice kit and probably can be used in a number of ways - I unfortunately do not have the specific changes made to the 1st Airborne scout jeeps used or lost at Arnhem.
6055 7 Bren Gun, Sten Gun, 2 x Enfield rifles
6199 51 2nd SAS Regiment ETO 1944 (four figures and kit)
A 1 Body
B 75 Undercarriage, seats, hood, engine
B 1 Underframe
C 17 Combat wheels and tires, grille, brake drums
C 8x2 3 x Vickers K machine guns and drums
C 12x2 1 x Vickers K machine gun, 1 x M2 air-cooled machine gun
C 5x2 Vickers K gun mounts and fittings
D 4 Clear styrene
D 3 Clear styrene (bulletproof windscreens
G 57 ETO fittings - armored screens, “flimsy” cans, mounts and fittings
MA 31 Etched brass
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.