KIT: JB Models 1/76 Bedford MK Tactical Aircraft Refueller
KIT #: JB 1008
DECALS: several options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Bedford MK series, generally known as the '4 tonner', was introduced in the early 1970s to replace the Bedford RL series. While the MK was to provide a general purpose load carrier for the British Army, it was also the be the basis for a number of specialist vehicles for miltary use. Developed for fuelling and defuelling helicopters and VTOL aircraft under operational conditions, these vehicles came into use with the Army Air Corps and the RAF in the late 1970s.

The refueller was produced by Taymech Aviation Equipment and consisted of fitting an aluminum equipment compartment behind the cab and a 4500 liter (1,000 gallon) light alloy tank to the rear of the standard Bedford MK chassis. The forward equipment compartment contained a single stage self-priming centrifugal pump driven by the PTO on the vehicle gear box. This compartment also contained all the pumping and metering equipment, control valves and hose reels. Two 72 foot x 1.25 inch and a single 60 foot x 2.5 inch hose was carried on the reels. Other modifications included  repositioning the exhaust to the front of the vehicle and placing a fire screen behind the cab.



The kit comes packed in two ziplock bags. One for the clear cab and the other for the rest of the parts. The general feel of the kit is very much like a Matchbox offering with its square sprues and rather good detailing. You get a one piece frame wht the lower engine molded in lace. The front and rear suspension/axles are each a single piece as is the transfer case/driveshafts. Both of my driveshafts were rather bent, but a bit of heat should cure that. The forward accessory/hose section is two pieces and there is a cover for the hoses if you wish to use that. The fuel tank is split horizontally with ladders and rails to attach when it is done.

Instructions are well done on a single sheet. One side has the history and painting guide while the other has a well done set of construction blocks. Painting info is by generic and Humbrol references. On the back of the box is a color three view of the main scheme. There are decals for three vehicles, two in matte green with black and a third in overall desert yellow. They are basically differentiated by the license plates carried. The small sheet is fairly well done, but I noticed that the RAF roundels were off register as was the white (or at least what went over them). Trimming should take care of that problem with most of the markings as they are symmetrical .


And there you have it. A nice and inexpensive kit of a vehicle that will fit into a number of diorama possibilities or do fine on its own. It does not appear to be a fussy build so most should be able to handle it without any real problems. I do like that the entire cab is clear as this makes painting so much easier and one doesn't have to fuss with separate clear bits or acetate.

Thanks to me for providing this one for you

June 2007

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