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Model Kit Review

1/72 W^D Models Austin (3rd Series) Armored Car

By Rob Teubert - Edgerton, Wisconsin USA 

Basic Item Information

Stock Number WDAC-1

Manufacturer

W^D Models

Scale

1/72

Medium

Resin and White Metal

Kit Contents

49 parts

Retail Price

25 GBP (Approximately $37 USD)

Reviewer

Rob Teubert

Review Date

November 9, 2010

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Detailed Review

History of the Vehicle

Herbert Austin founded the Austin Motor Company at Longbridge, near Birmingham, UK in 1905. In 1915 the company was approached by the Imperial Russian Army to design a new armored car; this was the Austin First Series.  It was closely followed by the second series also in 1915 and the Third in 1917. Due to the Russian Revolution in late 1917, these Third series vehicles were not delivered and were instead transferred to the British 17th (Armoured car) Battalion.

The Austin Armored Cars also saw service in other parts of the British Empire and in Ireland. After the Great War, the Austin armored cars were used widely during the Russian Revolution (by both sides), as well as by Japan, Poland and Finland.

 

The Model Kit 

The kit is packaged in a small plastic box the size of a cigarette pack. Contained inside are the model parts, decals and the instructions. The model is a multi-media kit with 49 parts - 8 resin and 41 white metal pieces. You can build either a British or Indian version.

The resin parts were of outstanding quality. They were free of any air bubbles or casting defects. The overall casting quality was sharp and clean with outstanding detail, something thatís hard to find in 1/72 scale. The only part I found that needed some work was the rear drivers' side fender.  It was slightly warped, but I dipped it in a little warm water and I bent it right back into shape.

The white metal parts are of good quality as well. There is some flash present, particularly in the spokes of the tires on the British version, but it is nothing that I would call excessive. Also although most of the parts were fairly well detailed, I would have liked to see a little crisper detail on the Hotchkiss machine guns.

 

A very nice touch is that decals are provided with the kit. They consist of markings for two British and one Indian vehicle. Care must be taken to trim the decal as close as possible to the markings as the carrier film covers the entire decal sheet. However, once trimmed and applied they settled down really nicely with a little Micro-Set and Micro-Solve.

The instructions come in 4 pages, consisting of a brief history, parts list, and photos of the completed model.  Besides doubling as nice reference material, those photos are to be used for parts alignment and construction order.   Also included to help with the kit construction are hyperlinks to websites with additional information on the Austin Armoured Car.  They also proved to be very helpful. The only complaint that I have with the instructions is that since they used photos of the finished model for parts placement, itís sometimes a little tricky figuring out what goes where.  One example was with the  front axle assembly. But honestly on a scale of 1-10, Iíd give the instructions a rating of 7.5.

 

Kit Construction

The kit comes with parts to build either the British or Indian version of the 3rd series Austin. I chose the British version for my build review. Construction was pretty much straight forward and posed little problem.  I closely followed the instructions for the most part except I left off the wheels until the very last step.  I made this choice because painting the finished kit would be easier.  Plus, since the parts are white metal and were brittle at the point where the wheels are attached to the axle, I felt it was less likely I would damage them.

 

During the construction of the kit, I also had to decide whether to position the driverís door and the front and rear drivers flaps open or closed. I chose the closed position due to there being no interior details. Besides the slight problem with the front axle (as noted above) I did have an issue with part #4 (upper driver's flap) aligning properly. After some trimming of the part, I got it to settle down on the chassis.  However, I think it still sits slightly askew. Finally, after everything was assembled, primed, and painted, I then added the wheels.

Painting and Weathering 

After the kit was assembled (minus the wheels), I primed the model and then I painted the entire model a base coat of Tamiya Khaki. After it dried for 24 hours I painted the area above the bonnet, Tamiya Sky-blue.  Once dried, I highlighted the upper surfaces with lighter shades of Sky-blue to simulate paint fading.  I then attached the wheels, gave the model a gloss coat of Future, applied the decals, applied a flat-black wash and then sprayed it with a layer of Testorís Dull-Coat. Finally,  I let everything dry for another 24 hours and I gave the model a good coating of Warpigs weathering pigments. There were few paved roads in 1917 so I wanted to reflect this by ďdirtyingĒ up the model.

Conclusion

With only a little experience with resin or mixed media kits, I found the kit to be fairly easy to build and I enjoyed myself very much. The finished model looks great. I did not have any scale drawings of the Austin Armored Car but it seems to match all the reference photos that I've seen. I would highly recommend this kit.  

Thanks to W^D Models for the review sample.


Copyright: Rob Teubert - November 9, 2010