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1/35 Accurate Armour

Staghound AA Armored Car

Conversion Review

By Patrick Keenan - Editor

Basic Item Information

Item

Staghound .50 cal Twin Anti-Aircraft Armored Car Conversion

Stock Number

C089

Manufacturer

Accurate Armour

Scale

1/35th

Medium

Resin and Photo-Etched Brass Pieces

Kit Contents

(45) resin pieces and (5) PE parts

Retail Price

22.99 GBP (Approximately $45 USD)

Reviewer

Patrick Keenan

Review Date

March 27, 2008

Review Summary*

Review Type

Full Build

Basic Positive Features

Accurate, very nicely detailed and cast model kit.  The set also includes a Staghound Stowage Set (A117).

Basic Negative Features

No decals, painting or marking information provided.

Overall Rating

4.13 of 5.0

Kit Accuracy Rating

4.5

Parts Fit Rating

3.5

Parts Casting Quality/ Detail Level Rating

4.5

Decals, Marking/ Painting Information Rating

None Provided

Instructions/Packaging Rating

4.0

Recommendation

Highly Recommended.

* For information regarding the review terms, grading scale, etc. please go to the WarWheels Review FAQ/Key

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Detailed Review

Background

To be completely up front with you all, Accurate Armour was a sponsor of WarWheels.net at the time of the review.

Accurate Armour (Accurate) is based in Scotland and is one of the premier multi-media model kit manufacturers in the world.  Accurate was one of the first BIG resin kit manufactures and part of what I like to call the renaissance of modeling in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  They produce model kits of all types of armored and “soft-skin” vehicles (tracked and wheeled) in a number of different scales.  However, their ‘bread and butter’ is really their 1/35 British/Commonwealth vehicles.  Although I have a HUGE number of Accurate Armour models in my stash, this is the first review I am doing of any of their products. 

I now present my review of Accurate Armour’s 1/35 Staghound Anti-Aircraft Armored Car Conversion.  This conversion is made to fit the Bronco Models Staghound I (late production) Armored Car Model Kit (CB35011).  The set comes with 33 resin and 5 photo-etched brass parts to convert the Staghound I into a Staghound (T17E2) Anti-Aircraft (AA) Armored Car.  A VERY nice touch is the inclusion of the additional 12 parts from Accurate’s “Staghound Stowage” Set (A117). The stowage set even has the late exhaust shields for the Staghound.

 

Kit Accuracy

The accuracy level of the Staghound AA Accurate Armour conversion is up to their normal excellent standards.  To verify the accuracy I used the information from my Staghound AA vehicle index and George Bradford’s excellent 1/35 line drawings in his book “WW II AFV Plans: American Fighting Vehicles” (Stackpole Books).  There is also some interesting info contained in Roger Lucy’s “The Staghound in Canadian Service” (Service Publications) as well.

 
Fit of Parts

When building this conversion, I only constructed the turret portion of the set.  I did not use the stowage items or late production exhaust covers.  However, they didn’t look to be any trouble to build as they were fairly straight forward.

The overall construction went smoothly and the fit of the parts was very good, particularly when comparing it with resin sets from other manufacturers.  However, I did have one fit issue and that was with the mounting of the gun sight.  The sight is connected to the AA guns and the turret and needs some careful work to align them correctly. 

Some of the problem I had with this part of the construction was due to the fact that the instructions were a bit “vague” on what goes where (e.g. where the sight’s mounting arms were connected to the turret) and the photos provided did not clearly show the placement.  Other aspects of the trouble I had were mine alone.  I did eventually get the gun sight settled down in what I consider an acceptable position, but I had to do some minor surgery.  I do wish the instructions/photos would have been more helpful for this part of the construction though.

One other thing you should know is that if you would like to model this vehicle with a “guns up” attitude as if it were shooting at aircraft above, you would need to do a bit of surgery on the turret.  That surgery would entail the hollowing out of the areas of the turret right below the guns.  As it stands, those portions are solid resin.  However, if you want to model your AA Staghound with “guns forward” attitude or even slightly elevated, then you are fine as is.  Just a head’s up (no pun intended)

Finally, the set also includes a half -figure vehicle crew member for the turret who is positioned in a relaxed pose.  If you choose to not use the crew member, you’ll have to do a bit of work on the turret interior as the lack of detail and depth to the turret would be noticeable.  You would need to hollow out the sitting area and add some details, most importantly a crew seat.  If you use the half-crew member, you won’t have to worry about this issue.

 

Quality of Casting/ Detail Level of Parts

The quality of the casting of the kit resin pieces is typical of Accurate Armour products; It’s top notch and very well done.  There is no mold shift, and no flash present on the parts. There was very little clean up of the parts needed and there were only a few places I needed to fill air-bubble holes caused by the resin manufacturing process.

The detail level of each individual part is excellent as well.  The larger pieces such as the turret and stowage pieces are outstanding and the smaller parts are exquisite.  Accurate’s resin parts usually rival just about any pieces molded in plastic by ANY model company.  These are no different.  Also, the overall detail level of the conversion is outstanding as well.

 
Decals, Marking Information and Painting Information

Like many resin manufacturers, Accurate Armour did NOT provide Decals for the Staghound AA Conversion.  Accurate does provide decals for some of their kits/conversions, but not this one.  Although this is the norm, it really disappoints me to see this practice.  In fact, at times it discourages me from buying resin kits or conversions.  To me, no decals in a kit mean much more work for me to do or more money to spend..  To properly finish some of these kits, I’ll have to do a bunch of my own research and create my own markings or purchase an additional set.  Honestly, I am lazy and if I am buying a kit, I’d like to get markings with it.  This is only my opinion, but I am sure I am not alone.

The good news is that Bison Decals offers 2 marking options for the Staghound AA vehicle on their “Staghound Armoured Car” decal sheet (35063). Their markings are for one Polish and one Belgian vehicle.

Also, no painting or markings information is provided by Accurate Armour as well.  Please see my comments above about the lack of decals as those are also applicable to the lack of painting and markings info too.  The good news here is that the Staghound AA was usually painted in the same colors as the “regular” Staghound I’s.  (US Olive Drab).  The coloring info shown in the Bronco Models kit instructions should also help.

 
Instructions/Packaging

The instruction book Accurate Armour provides is in full color and comes in 4 pages with 7 different photos for use during the build process.  As usual, Accurate provides a “Parts List” so you can make sure all the parts are present and accounted for.  These instructions are better than those produced by most other resin kit manufacturers and are more than sufficient for most modelers who have even a rudimentary knowledge of resin kits and/or the Staghound AA vehicle.

One step of the construction process really could have used some additional photos or clarification though: that part being the gun sight assembly.  Fortunately, I have a wonderful photo of the Staghound AA turret available on WarWheels that assisted me with that portion of the construction process.  Here is a hyperlink directly to that photo

Like many of Accurate Armour conversions they package this one in a very thick plastic bag with header board.  The Staghound AA conversion did NOT come in a cardboard box.  Although my conversion arrived undamaged and in fine shape, I would have preferred it come in a small cardboard box.  To me, this conversion’s parts are especially vulnerable to damage when packaged in this manner (especially the turret).

 
Conclusion

Accurate Armour has done it again by releasing a top notch product.  It is well detailed, well cast and accurate.  What else is there to ask for? It also looks to be a relatively easy project when compared to other resin kits or conversions and might be a great first resin project for someone. 

The only negative issues with this model kit were the lack of decals, markings and painting instructions and the instructions being a bit vague on the fitting and placement of the gun sight. 

Accurate Armour is not alone in the practice of not including decals or markings info as most multi-media model kit manufacturers do not provide them either.

Thanks to Accurate Armour for the review sample.

Highly Recommended

 
Copyright: Patrick Keenan - March 27, 2008