|Scott Van Aken
Aircraft, both military and civilian, can't be kept operational by themselves. They need technicians to do maintenance, a pilot/crew to operate them, and support vehicles of various types. The larger the aircraft, the more that is needed. During WWII this support in terms of vehicles came in various sizes from fuel trucks, to bomb transport vehicles, to power vehicles and a number of other types.
This kit from Airfix provides three common vehicles as shown in the box art. The largest of them is an Autocar U7144T tanker and a fair number of the sprues are for this vehicle. Next is a Chevrolet M6 bomb service truck along with a single M5 bomb trailer. To round things out is a small Cushman model 39 package car. This latter items is really a three wheel scooter.
There are few options with this set. On the tanker, the rear doors can be posed open to show the hoses on their reels. Both of the trucks, which have canvas tops, are designed to be modeled with those tops up. The bomb trailer can have the bombs either mounted in line with the trailer or transversely. In the transverse mode, the tail fins are mounted on the trailer separately. There are two large and four small bombs included.
Instructions are well done and typical of modern Airfix kits with the previous steps colored red, a nice touch. All the vehicles are in overall olive drab with no optional markings. In addition to the vehicle markings, there are stencils for the bombs. The small decal sheet is nicely printed.
I realize that things like this are not everyone's cup of tea, but if you like dioramas or just want to build something a bit different from the norm, then you should consider this set. Though this one does not include the B-17, there is a set that does. It would be applicable to other types as well as B-17s as these vehicles were pretty ubiquitous on USAAF bases during and just after the war.
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