Accurate Armour KT124 Ferret Mk 5
Peter BrownResin/metal kit KT124 from Accurate Armour of Scotland. UK price £39.95 For details see Accurate Armour's web site http://www.accurate-armour.com/ This one was a pleasant surprise when I saw it at Trucks'n'Tracks 2000 in Folkestone. AA have already done other marks of the British Ferret armoured car, KT118 is their Mk 1/1, KT119 the Mk 1/2, KT120 the Mk 2/3 and KT123 the Mk 4. The Mk I is described by Andrew Dextras on AA Feret Mk I review, but this new version is based, as was the original, on the later Big Wheel version.
For those not well up on Ferrets, the FV711 Mk 4 series introduced various improvements which included uprated suspension with new, larger aluminium wheels - hence it being known as the "Big Wheel" Ferret - as well as new side stowage bins and a floatation screen. These vehicles were converted from earlier vehicles. Unlike the early marks, they did not have the spare wheel fitted as this would have compromised the use of the floatation screen. The FV712 Mk 5 guided weapon vehicle was the most heavily armed mark of Ferret. Although the Mk 2/6 had carried the earlier Vigilant anti tank guided missile on the sides of the usual machine gun turret, the Mk 5 had four launchers for the Swingfire missile system in a new, specially designed aluminium armoured turret. Two missiles were carried on either side of the turret and were raised when ready to fire. For self-defence a 7.62mm machine gun was also fitted. Reload missiles were carried at the side of the upper hull, giving the car a very different profile from the earlier Ferrets and from some angles it looked very like the later Fox.
AA's model uses much of their Mk 4 kit, with most of the two being the same from the level of the engine deck top. A whole new upper fighting compartment and turret are provided, and as usual the interior of the crew area is well detailed although the engine area is solid. Driver's hatch can be fitted open, as can the small turret hatch and the missiles can be depicted down or up ready to fire.
While the basic hull is a single large casting, there are a large number of small parts to be assembled in the suspension, hull details and the interior. External fittings include all the lights, tools and camouflage nets, and the inside has, well, everything apart from the proverbial kitchen sink. Two infantry pattern helmets and two very fine Sterling 9mm sub-machine guns are among the items included, though there are no figures which is a mixed blessing. While they would look good in place, they would also mean must of the detail could not be seen.
Anyone who prefers all-resin kits will find only five white metal ones here to worry about, and the etched brass fret is small but contains all the fine items which only brass can provide. Instructions follow the usual AA format, with photos of the model under construction at various stages which are far better than many other resin company efforts. While the Mk 5 Ferret was not a very common vehicle, it still makes an interesting model subject and will be a good addition to a collection. It greatly gladdens my heart to see a new modern vehicle kit, all the more so as it is British and wheeled! Anyone wanting background detail will find Pat Ware's book on the Ferret an ideal source. Book and model are both prime examples of how to do things.
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