Tamiya 1/35 LRDG Command Car & Breda 20mm AA Gun
KIT #: 89785
PRICE: $34.00 delivered
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: The Breda Gun is from Italeri


The LRDG vehicles were mainly two wheel drive, chosen because they were lighter and used less fuel than four wheel drive. They were stripped of all non-essentials, including doors, windscreens and roofs. They were fitted with a bigger radiator, a condenser system, built up leaf springs for the harsh terrain, wide, low pressure desert tyres, sand mats and channels, plus map containers and a sun compass devised by Bagnold. Wireless trucks had special compartments built into the bodywork to house wireless equipment. Initially the LRDG patrols were equipped with one Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) Ford 15 cwt F15 truck for the commander, while the rest of the patrol used up to 10 Chevrolet 30 cwt 158.5" wheelbase (WB) trucks {the 'WA' model mentioned in some texts appears to be an 133" wheelbase version of the same vehicle}. From March 1941 the 30 cwt Chevrolets were replaced by the CMP Ford 30 cwt F30, although in some ways this was a retrograde step as the four wheel drive and extra weight compared to the Chevrolets meant they used twice as much fuel, which reduced the range of a patrol. From March 1942 the Fords were progressively replaced by 200 Canadian Chevrolet 1533 X2 30 cwts, which had been specially ordered for the LRDG. From July 1942 Willys Jeeps began to be issued for the patrol commander and patrol sergeant.

When new vehicles were issued in March 1942, several were converted to carry captured dual-purpose 20 mm Breda Model 35s, which replaced the Bofors 37 mm, and each half-patrol was equipped with one Breda "Gun truck".


In the recent year or so, Tamiya has been doing what, for a better phrase, have been limited edition kits. The P-38H and the Swiss Bf-109E are examples of this. Those were basically decal sheet changes and they came in a plain, white box with stickers on the front and end showing the kit. So it is with this particular kit. Tamiya has taken their fairly old LRDG Chevrolet Command Truck and has added an Italeri Breda 20mm AA Gun. This is prototypical as the group frequently used captured guns in their operations. 

The truck is an old favorite with many and the instructions are certainly vintage Tamiya. The build starts with building up the chassis and this includes the four piece wheel along with the vinyl tires. Once the chassis is done, the cab and hood assembly is built up. This is a curbside so does not include a full engine, though there is some engine detail on the chassis. The kit includes figures as do most Tamiya military kits, and there is a driver figure that can be added as shown on the box art.

The bed is the next build up and includes a radio with a panel that can be opened. In the bed, there is a machine gun with a gunner figure if one want to use it.. Also part of the bed assembly are the large sand channels that are used to help release stuck trucks. The kit also comes with a lot of duffel bags and other equipment to help load up the rear of the truck.

New to this boxings is an Italeri Breda 20mm AA gun. This was very useful not only for air defense (which was rarely a need for the LRDG, but for attacking Italian forts deep in the desert. The gun comes on a grey sprue and is quite nicely done. The gun mount can be built either fully extended for use on the ground or stowed for towing. A tow bar is included to attach to the back of the truck.

You get two sets of instructions. One is for the truck and the other for the gun. The gun instructions have no color guide so one will need to use the box art for that. The truck has two markings options. One is overall sand while the other has wide, brown stripes painted on it. All color info for the truck is in generic terms as Tamiya did not have a paint line when this kit was initially released. The small decal sheet is nicely done and should work without issue.


This kit is an old favorite and the inclusion of the Breda 20mm just makes it that much better of a deal. Despite its age, it builds into an excellent replica and its lack of fiddly bits means it will be a fairly hassle-free build.



February 2021

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