Dragon 1/72 Long Range Desert Group Patrol Car.
KIT #: 7439
PRICE: $23.50 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


Originally called the Long Range Patrol (LRP), the unit was founded in Egypt in June 1940 by Major Ralph A. Bagnold, acting under the direction of General Archibald Wavell. Bagnold was assisted by Captain Patrick Clayton and Captain William Shaw. At first the majority of the men were from New Zealand, but they were soon joined by Rhodesian and British volunteers, whereupon new sub-units were formed and the name was changed to the better-known Long Range Desert Group (LRDG). The LRDG never numbered more than 350 men, all of whom were volunteers.

As these men had to be self-sufficient and were in the field for many weeks and sometimes months, it was important for them to be able to carry much of what they needed for the duration. Perhaps the vehicle most readily associated with the LRDG aside from the ubiquitous Jeep,  is the two-wheel-drive patrol car. It entered service in March 1942 and it became an LRDG mainstay. The sturdy Canadian-manufactured Chevrolet 1533x30 cwt trucks carried sand channels, jerry cans, a sun compass, sometimes a wireless, improved radiator cooling system and low-pressure desert tires. They were fitted with weapons such as Lewis guns, Boys anti-tank guns, Vickers medium machine guns and the Vickers K.


As some of you know, I really like wheeled military vehicles and am quite pleased to see this one kitted. THis is the first 1/72 scale injected kit of this vehicle. The previous Matchbox kit was to 1/76 scale. This is not an Armor Pro kit so none of the 55 parts are made from photo etch, not that p.e. is needed. The kit comes with a full chassis and lower engine half. A very scale exhaust is provided that one should take care of removing from the sprue. The open driver's compartment is also well detailed as is the rear bed. While there are a number of items to be placed on fenders, the side of the bed and in the bed, the truck is pretty empty compared to photos I have seen of these in the field. This provides the option to hit the aftermarket folks to fill up this space.

Here is a full list of features from the  Dragon PR folks:

- Newly tooled LRDG patrol car
- Sand channel molded on side of vehicle
- Detailed dashboard & driver's compartment
- Accurately shaped front fenders w/details
- Slide-molded chassis
- Well-defined wheels w/authentic tire tread pattern
- Wheels are produced in separate parts
- Spare wheel included in rear compartment
- Realistic Lewis gun produced
- Intricate engine grille
- POW cans included
- Delicate spade reproduced
- Lee-Enfield rifles mounted beside driver's cab
- Rolled tarpaulins w/detachable brackets fitted on front fenders

Markings are provided for two vehicles. One is the box art version from T Patrol named 'Te Aroha' in 1943. From the same time period is R Patrol's 'Rotowhero', this time in sand pink and brown. The decal sheet is well printed and offers the opportunity to make your own registration numbers if you so wish.


A very nice little kit of an interesting vehicle. I would be surprised if this does not end up in a set with a jeep sometime in the future.



July 2012

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can get yours today at your local dealer.

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