Bronco 1/35 US GPW 1/4 ton 4x4 Utility Vehicle w 37mm gun
|KIT #:||CB 35107|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
At the end of WWII, Dwight Eisenhower named five things that he considered to be part of the reason that the Allies were victorious. Surprisingly, most of them were not offensive weapons at all and one of them was the Jeep. WWII was a perfect example of the importance of supply and reconnaissance. If you have them, then you will be able to carry on the fight. Often times an army outran its supply line and what was a sterling rout of the enemy, turned into a defensive battle while awaiting more supplies.
Anyway, the Jeep is as synonymous with Americans in WWII and Korea as anything else. Though the actual vehicles used for what was the jeep's original mission have changed, the concept is basically the same. A relatively small four wheel drive vehicle for transporting men and priority supplies as well as being used for light recce. Its ability to travel and relatively high speeds on prepared surfaces and yet go off road with little problem made the Jeep the icon of the war that it became. Even modern Jeeps are instantly recognizable as such for the basic look has been unchanged, though refined, since the early 1940s.
The 37mm anti-tank gun is pretty much a copy of the German gun of the same calibre and size, only built with non-metric bolts and such. While this gun was quite effective for the Germans during the Spanish Civil War and early in WWII, by the time the US entered the conflict in the west, it was totally obsolete against German tanks. However, it was somewhat effective against Italian armor so used in the Mediterranean. Same can be said for its use against Japanese armor and it continued to be used until the end of the war in the Pacific.
It was not that many years ago when the number of companies producing Jeep kits in 1/35 was small. Now it seems that any company that does a line of armor will include a Jeep. Of course, due to the undoubtedly exorbitant licensing fees now charged by companies for subjects produced for the government and paid for by taxpayers, this is simply referred to as a 1/4 ton 4x4 truck.
This is the second boxing of the Jeep by Bronco and like all their kits, the detailing is superb and the kit contains a rather large number of parts for such a small model. The previous boxing had the 10 cwt trailer that was often carried behind Jeeps for hauling cargo and other items, such as ammunition for light field guns. This one includes the gun, but not the trailer.
The kit is not a curbside and comes with a nicely detailed flathead four banger. The one-piece chassis is where one will attach all the various suspension and driveline bits and pieces. This includes a full exhaust system. The steering can be built in three variations; straight ahead, left turn and right turn, each option having its own construction section.
The interior provides the usual seating for four and one can have the aft storage bins open or closed. One can also put shrouds over the headlights if one wishes. On the passenger side of the dash one can install a machine gun holder. The option for one on a post behind the front seats is also provided. The windscreen can be built with the glass open or closed; the entire assembly can be posed down on the hood as well. Same for the hood, which has parts for open and closed. In the front one can install the standard bumper, one with a tow bar on it and another with wire cutter. Unlike the earlier boxing, this one has a complete top that can be modeled up if so desired.
The gun is a small kit in and of itself and has to be a ton easier to build than the resin version I built many years ago. The gun is able to be elevated and trained in a limited azimuth. You can build the gun to be towed or ready for action. A number of ammo boxes and shells are provided along with some other equipment like jerry cans for the jeep. There is a driver figure included as shown on the box art.
Markings are provided for five different vehicles. All of them are from the Tunisia or Sicily campaign, which is about the last place this gun was used in combat in the west. Decals are quite well printed and include markings for the driver, the ammo cases and the ammunition.
Another nicely done Jeep and one that comes with a lot of options and a pretty good level of detailing as well. It is a great bonus that the 37mm is included in this one and should add to its appeal.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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