Academy/Italeri 1/35 Staghound Mk.I 'late'

KIT #: 13283
PRICE: ~$30.00 or so
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Reboxed Italeri kit

What became known as the Staghound was originally designed for the US Army. However, the Army felt that there were too many armored cars being produced so cancelled the original contract. The British, however, felt it would meet their needs so ordered it in quantity for themselves and commonwealth/allied forces. It turned out that the vehicle was a bit too large for European roads and villages, though it was still used. In Italy, its large size was found to be a detriment in the mountainous areas but a real asset in large, open spaces. Had it been produced earlier, it would have been perfect for North Africa. In total, over 3,800 were constructed.

The T17E1 was armed with a 37 mm M6 gun, a coaxial .30 cal Browning 1919A4 machine gun and a 2-inch smoke mortar in a rotating turret. In the hull was mounted a .30 cal Browning 1919A4 machine gun. Some T17E1 had an additional .30 Browning 1919A4 cal machine gun for anti-aircraft defense. The turret had power traverse and featured a turret basket (which limited the amount of internal crew storage). The 37 mm gun was gyroscopically stabilized. This variant had a crew of 5, commander, loader, gunner, driver, and hull machine gunner. It saw combat with the British, Free Polish, Canadian, New Zealand, Indian, and Belgian armies in Italy, Greece and Northwest Europe. After WWII, it saw further action in Cuba, Nicaragua, Lebanon and Rhodesia. In total over two dozen nations operated the type at one time or another.

This is the Italeri kit, to which Academy has added a photo etch fret for some details like straps and such. In some cases it replaces plastic parts, but those are still included so if you don't like p.e., you don't have to use it. The main hull is a bottom and two sides to which you attach the upper, and forward section. An acetate sheet is provided for the driver's viewports, a template giving you the proper dimensions. A p.e. piece is included for this that gives you the frame and a windscreen wiper.

One then flips over the hull and attaches some suspension attachment points. Then the drive-train and suspension are built up and glued in place. Fuel cans, engine covers/hatches and fenders are next. Note that the various hatches can be posed open, but there is no interior nor are any crew figures included.

Then the wheels are assembled and attached. This is followed by building up the various guns. The turret is next with the commander and gunner's seat included on the inside along with a radio. The hatches for the turret can also be displayed open or closed. Installing the guns is next and this includes the external machine gun.

The rest of the build consists of the various external bits like lights, exhaust, storage bins, tow cable, pioneer tools and the like. This area uses up quite a few of the p.e. bits should you wish to use them.

Instructions are a 3D style Academy likes to use and fortunately they are well printed so you can actually see what goes where. Markings are provided for five vehicles, all shown as being in FS 34102 green. I guess that is as close to British army green as Academy can get, but there are dedicated paint sets for the proper shade. Vehicles with the British, Belgian, Italian, Australian, and Polish armies are provided, some of them being post war vehicles. The Polish vehicle has a sand disruptive pattern on it for operations in Italy during 1944. Decals look to be nicely done.


It looks like it will make into a very nice model. I'm not sure if the Italeri kit comes with the p.e., but that added into the Academy boxing is a plus as the price of the two seems to be the same. Those of us who like wheeled military vehicles should check this one out.



March 2020

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