KIT: Airfix 1/72 RAF Refueling Set
KIT #: 03302
PRICE: $8.98
DECALS: one option
REVIEWER: Greg Ewald
NOTES: Second model in the set.


With the need for heavier bombers, there came the need for a heavier refueling truck, and the Matador AEC filled the bill.  Capable of carrying over 2,000 gallons of fuel and driven by six wheels, the Matador served at a variety of airfields during, and after, world war two.  It’s drive train was so strong that it could even be used to tug Sunderland flying boats ashore !  Field modifications were common, and the chassis was used as the base for many different versions, including mobile cranes and hauling platforms.


The second half of the Airfix kit is a little less impressive than the first, with a lower number of parts that build into a larger vehicle.  Once again, the interior cab detail is so sparse as to be almost non-existant, but with plenty of room for superdetailers and scratchbuilders to have a field day!

   The instructions are compromised of four steps, with exploded diagrams, just below the first vehicle we discussed in the earlier review


 The first thing to tackle is the assembly of the cab, 13 pieces being glued together without any locating pins…a little bit tricky, but the fit of the parts is quite fine, and I found that by putting on the back panel (66) initially, and then the side panels and front, it went together fairly well, and required no putty at all.  There is a driver figure included in this step, (one of those amputated jobs) if you would like to have someone behind the wheel.

    The drive train assembly is rather odd, and does require some finagling to get each part to snug with the fit, especially the rear leaf springs and differential casts. Using four alligator clamps, I was finally able to get the rear mounts to sit correctly, adhering it all together with CA glue…this would be a nightmare with anything else.

   I had to remove the front leaf spring assembly from the lower chassis to get the cab to sit straight in step 7, as the radiator bumped into it.  A little bit of filing, and I reattached it with gap filling glue, no harm done!  At the same time, I added on a basswood bumper, to replicate the wooden push bars often used on these vehicles.

   Building the tank was simple, and required just a little bit of putty along the horizontal seams to make it look right, much unlike the previous molding (Bedford). Unfortunately, the interior detail is sparse, you may want to glue the doors in a shut or semi-open position.


   I used black and field drab (model master, testor’s acrylic) for the base colours of the chassis and cab, and insignia yellow muted with a little orange for the tank.

    Weathering was done with several thin washes of oily black and olive drab, then the metal highlights were punched up using a silver sharpie marker.

    Krystal Klear provided the windows, but you could also use sheet plastic. (save those blister packages!) 


 Details were picked out with some chrome paint and a toothpick, and a semigloss black went on the tires for a bit of a rubbery look.


 No where near as neat of a kit as the Bedford, but still suitable for conversion to different platforms, and would work out well in small scale dioramas.

December 2005


 Review kit courtesy  of:  Me

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has over 300,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page