JB Models 1/76 Saladin Mk 2 armored car

KIT #: JB 1004
PRICE: $7.98
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1994 boxing


Development of the Saladin armored car began in 1947, but due to specification changes, including the main armament, the first two prototypes were not delivered until 1953. Further delays occurred with priority was given to the production of the F.V. 603 Saracen APC, required for use in the Malayan Emergency.

Production finally began at the Alvis Company in Coventry in 1958 and a total of 1,177 had been built by 1972 when production ceased. The Saladin was sold to some 20 countries and some are still in service today.

The Saladin had a crew of three; driver, gunner, and commander, who also doubles as the loader. The 76mm gun fires HESH, HE, smoke, and canister rounds with a normal complement of 42 rounds.


I have been told that the same people who designed many Matchbox kits also designed this one. As such, there is good detail, but not a lot of parts. This makes for a relatively speedy build for most modelers. The parts themselves are a bit on the thick side when compared to more modern military vehicle kits, and there is, of course, no interior. All of the suspension bits are separate and fit into slots on the main hull. The most fiddly construct are the smoke grenade launchers which have the twin barrels attacked separately to the backing block. The main gun looks to be fairly well done and along with the mantlet is a single piece. A somewhat clunky looking machine gun and rather thick screening is also part of the kit. General molding, while a bit soft, is well done with few molding glitches.

Instructions are a folded sheet with five well illustrated construction steps. Humbrol paint references are provided as well as a standard painting guide. There are markings for four vehicles shown with most an overall Desert Yellow and one in Bronze Green. The small decal sheet is fairly well printed, but it is difficult to tell if there are registration problems due to its small size. 


I pretty well went with the flow of what was provided in the instructions. I built up the turret and the smoke discharger assemblies. These latter have some really small pieces. Then I built the lower hull sections. I installed the suspension bits without the wheels and in hindsight, I should have left them on as I ended up having to sand down a few to get the vehicle to sit flat.

The gun barrel was drilled out and I went to attach the discharger assemblies. Unfortunately, one of them went flying out of my tweezers and I've not been able to find it. The headlights and muffler were then attached. On the turret, the hatches were glued in place along with the radio masts.


Then it was time for some paint. Fortunately, I have several Vallejo colors that are for British armor. These are in several shades so I first sprayed everything in the darker green. Then I went with a mid-green in spots. With that done, the lighter green was used to drybrush the overall vehicle. This also was true for the wheels. These items had the tires painted in Tamiya XF-85 rubber black.

They were then attached to the axle stubs and the wobble was taken out by sanding on the bottom of some of the tires. This took a bit and the sanded areas were repainted. Then the machine gun was painted and attached. This was followed by painting the headlights and tail lights. Decals for several vehicles were supplied, but these proved to be fairly brittle. This is undoubtedly due to the age of the kit, but I got enough on to be believable.


For those who like to build military vehicles and don't want to spend weeks doing it, these kits are the perfect thing. JB models is no more, but I understand the company has been purchased so they should be reappearing once again. If you like inexpensive and don't want to spend a lot of money, these are just the ticket.


Kit Instructions

11 February 2022

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