Monday, February 10, 2014

1st Corps: British Anti Aircraft Truck Reviewed!


Today we will take a look at the British Anti Aircraft Truck fom 1st Corps. This interesting vehicle is part of their large World War One vehicle range which is filled with other nicely designed wargame vehicles.

The model

The model arrived in pristine condition and was extremely well-packed with plastic bubble wrap ensuring that none of the components were damaged or broken during the shipping. Although the packaging was very good I can also say that the actual model is designed to be as sturdy as possible as it was designed as a wargame model rather than a display model. 

I have contacted the designer of this vehicle, Mark Fuller and he shared his ideas about creating these wargame models which will be used through out this review. First of all he told me that he fully sculpts his vehicles as he sculpts miniatures. This approach creates nice and characterful vehicles that fit with wargame miniatures and also allows that the vehicle blends in with the miniatures instead of looking like a toy car used for wargame purposes.


The second important fact is that these model are created for wargame use and will be moved around the tabletop so all the fragile parts are either removed or incorporated in the resin body to ensure they are sturdy enough to survive a life of tabletop battlefields. In the case they would break, the designer has created the model in that way, every breakage can be easily repaired with nothing more than some glue as none of the parts actually need pinning. He also avoid fragile models by using slightly thicker materials which aren't in scale but still look great for a wargame model and you don't notice the variation in thickness on the tabletop. 

These interesting design ideas create sturdy and wargame worthy vehicles which are capable of succesfully surviving hundreds of tabletop battles. Mark Fuller also opts for a small amount of loose parts as these can be used to customise your vehicles without too much effort when buying more of them. So as you can read there are a lot of interesting design ideas and concepts that made this model as great as it is.

As you can see in the picture above the largest part of the truck consist out of resin parts with some white metal pieces such as the wheels and in the picture below the actual gun and vehicle supports. I was quite amazed by the detail on the truck body as the body is one-piece casted! I asked Mark about how this remarkable casting was possible but he could only share with me that this was a trade secret from Simon and Mick from 1st Corps and Curteys Miniatures along with himself. Never the less I'm still wondering how this piece could be removed from the molds while maintaining such a high standard of detail and avoiding any bubbles or flash!


In the picture above you can see most of the white metal pieces that were supplied with the vehicle. At the top you can see the three-men crew in a variety of interesting poses sculpted by Mark Fuller ranging from operating and loading the gun to a rather characterful officer. The pieces below the miniatures are the vehicle support parts which need to be glued alongside the vehicle while the gun is designed to fit the support on the truck's flat bed. All of these pieces were well casted with a minimal amount of noticable flash except for a rather nast mouldine across the face of the gun operator.

The assembly

The assembly of the truck was straight-forwards as the designer did everything he could to ensure this. First of all we have a bare minimum of large loose parts which all fit well and are also all well casted. I started the actual construction by washing the resin parts is hot soapy water to remove possible moulding residue. Then I simply glued on the wheels and the wooden boards on the side of the truck bed. 

Following that I glued the gun in place and managed to finish the build in less than half an hour including cleaning some of the metal parts. I have added some pictures of the assembled truck, note that I haven't added the supports as I wanted to represent the vehicle while moving towards the frontline.


Here you can see the interesting details of the resin truck body which are simlpy superb!


In the picture above you can see the assembled truck which is quite large (the squares are 1x1cm)


In the picture above you can see the truck in comparison with the 28m scaled vehicle crew.


Another view of the truck with the 28mm officer to give you an idea of the size.


Close-up of the characterful three-men crew.

Painted example

Interested in how good this truck can look when fully painted? I have found this nicely painted example of a stationnary anti aircraft truck on the 1st Corps website. Who wouldn't want a pair of these to either shoot at the pesky Germans or some nasty creatures in a lost world!


The conclusion

As you may have noticed in the review, this truck is really well-designed and only needs a few moments to prepare and assemble. There for I would recommend this excellent piece of British hardware to everybody who wants add a punch to his wargame force being either World War One, Pulp or Back of Beyond. This very nice and sturdy wargame vehicle is now available in the 1st Corps webshop at the price of £27.50 which is great considering the size and quality of the vehicle and of course the added crew!


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