Masterbox British Armored car, Austin Mk IV
KIT #: MB 72008
DECALS: Eight options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Austin Armoured Car was a British armoured car produced during the First World War. The vehicle is best known for its employment by the Russian Army in the First World War and by different forces in the Russian Civil War.

In addition to the British-built Austins, a few dozens of vehicles were manufactured in Russia in 1918-20. These are usually referred to as Austin-Putilov or - if fitted with a Kégresse halftrack chassis - Austin-Kégresse.

This is a pretty neat kit for the smaller scale modeler. There are two sprues and the detailing is quite good. I did find flash on the turrets and there are some huge ejector pin marks on the inside of the turret halves, but those will be invisible when the kit is done.

The chassis has lower engine and transmission detail with a separate exhaust/muffler. One adds the suspension bits to this chassis as well as the body floor. The upper body is mostly one piece to which one adds the 'windscreen' armor and frontal armor.

One has two options when it comes to the turrets. Both of them are armed with Vickers machine guns, but one has quite long shields to add to either side of the guns. The other has the shorter shields molded in place and these pieces are the ones with a lot of flash. Two of the markings options have the longer shields. Another options is in regard to wheels. You can have either wooden spoke wheels or steel wheels.

Instructions are nicely done without any painting reference information. All of that is provided on the back of the box where there are eight markings options. Here there are either Vallejo or Lifecolor paint references, but no actual color names, just the paint numbers. There are four British, one Australian, one Japanese and two Russian vehicles. All are in a base color of some sort of drab, but there are variations. FOr the most part, only one side of the vehicle is shown with some having front views. I find the limited color information to be unsatisfactory, requiring those who don't want to use these paints (or cannot get them locally) to do extra research. The markings diagram show all spoked wheel vehicles so one wonders why the instructions even provide a wheel option.

Despite my few whines, this looks like a very nice kit. It should build rather quickly and its lack of small, fiddly bits makes it one that even a relative beginner should be able to build without any fuss.


August 2015 

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