At the very start of this review I should say that I have helped Bronco Models
with this model by providing reference material and with measurements that were requested. The data provided was obtained through my membership of ‘The Garrison’ who are a World War Two and now also World War One re-enactment group based in the UK.
The No 27 trailer is synonymous with the QF 25 pdr artillery gun. The trailer not only carried the ammunition for the QF 25 pdr gun it also helped to stop the gun when in transit via an automatic braking system when the gun when being towed. It also helped with the turning circle of the towed gun. Bronco Models
has released a No 27 trailer in its own right and while some may be thinking there is one with the 25 pdr model this does open up some options. There are two No 27 trailers towed by a support vehicle with Royal Artillery units, and this release allows a user to replicate this at a reasonable cost.
Surprisingly, Bronco Models
has supplied this kit in an end opening card box, on the front of which is a nice piece of artwork showing two No 27 trailers. I say surprisingly as I much prefer a top opening box due to then having two trays to work from. Inside the box you will find;
- An 8 page instruction booklet
- 8 tan sprues
- 2 tan wheel treads
- Photo etched fret
- Decal sheet
This very recent release from Bronco Models
is of a very high standard as regards the parts; during a close look at the contents I managed to find some injector pin marks on the underside of the mudguards and the underside of the tray pan floor. Both of these areas could be left as one would have to turn the model upside down to see the bottom of the tray, and I have my doubts that anyone would see the ones under each mudguard even if they knew it was there, it is of course good practice to remove such blemishes. The mouldings are very clean considering that some of these sprues are from previous Bronco Models
of the Bishop and the 25 pdr gun. There are a few minor seams that will need cleaning but otherwise there are no other issues such as flash or flow marks.
The decals supplied with the kit are for the ammunition which is good, however I would have liked to see some decals for the canvas cover supplied in the kit and for the mudguards to show units. It should be said that the unit patches were not always on the mudguards but it would have been a nice option to have.
The photo etched fret included with kits is surprisingly large as regards the parts on it, and even covers areas that most would miss such as the data plate on the outer face of the right hand door. All of these additions while small in size, really do go a long way to make this a very accurate model.
The instructions included with the model consists of 8 small pages which uses the line drawing method to guide you through construction.
Page 1 provides a copy of the box artwork which is followed by a guide to decal application, and lastly on this page there is a guide to icons called out during construction.
Page 2 starts with a paint guide for four manufacturers, these are;
- Mr Hobby
- Hobby Colour
This is followed by a contents guide and some advice about following the instructions.
Page 3 is where construction begins; the two steps covered here begin by adding the ammunition tray supports together with the floor, back, and side panels. The only parts here which are not 100% accurate are the central panels (parts H4), these panels should be runners on a frame not solid panel with the runners attached. It is of course possible that some examples may be like this, but that is not the case in the examples in use by ‘The Garrison’.
Page 4 covers some 5 sub-assemblies which are; the locking handles for the doors, the tow hitch for the gun, both of the travel stops for the doors, and the wheels for the trailer. It is worth pointing out that the lock on the tow hitch (part G17) is pushed down when the gun is attached and springs up to lock the gun in place, this is opposed to being lifted and then lowered. The tread pattern on the tyres is accurate and has the ‘Dunlop’ name on the tyre walls, the tyres on our No 27 trailers are a mix of Michelin and Dunlop. One thing I cannot be sure of is tyre size as our tyres are 16inch but I believe it says 15inch on the kit tyres; I can’t be sure because even with magnification I cannot see if it is a 5 or a 6. This however will not be a big issue for most I believe.
Page 5 is where the sub-assemblies from page 4 are added to the model. Everything here looks spot on as regards the model parts. There is one detail missing which in fairness to Bronco Models
cannot be seen unless the wheel and mudguard are removed. The detail that is missing is where the automatic braking system comes out of the body and attaches to the hubs.
Page 6 covers the doors of the trailer open, starts work on the top of the trailers, and assembles the towing arm. Again Bronco Models
has done a very good job with the information we provided them in all of the parts covered on this page. They have what I believe is the most accurate towing arm available to date; with the fold out lifting handles being very well replicated and only the spring hidden underneath not present. The canvas cover is a fantastic moulding with the only improvement needed being a decal for the information printed on it. The rubber bump stops on the inner face replicate well the slight none alignment that is present; the instructions call out to paint these black as they are rubber, however it is not uncommon to see them painted over in whichever colour the trailer is if repainted.
Page 7 covers assembly of two types of ammunition tray and their insertion on the trailer along with attaching the mudguards. The open ammunition tray has been seen before, and regardless of how you look at them they do replicate the tray very well, also unlike others who have released a version of the trailer Bronco Models
supplies a complete set of ammunition trays. That is not the end of the story though as Bronco Models
have included a full set of the closed ammunition trays, that split to remove the shell and cartridge and which appear accurate to me. I will mention that for reasons known only to the gods! the closed trays are said to have been more popular and it was not uncommon to see mixed trays in the trailers. Two of the enclosed ammunition trays are supplied split if you wish to depict them that way. The mudguards while not requiring much work are also very well rendered; don’t forget to remove the ejector pin mark on the inside face of the mudguard.
Page 8 covers the addition of the top and doors to the trailer along with the tool tray and towing arm. It is my opinion that the canvas cover has to be added for an accurate model, as it is very rare to see a No 27 ammunition trailer without the canvas cover fitted. At the end of this page the model is complete and ready to be displayed in a way that suits you.
The ammunition supplied with this model consists of;
- 12 anti-tank rounds
- 26 loose HE shells (depending on how these are painted some could be used to represent smoke shells).
- 32 HE shells for the open trays.
- 32 cartridge cases.
It is my opinion that this is the most accurate representation currently available of the No 27 ammunition trailer. There are a couple of details that the scratch builders out there can add to make this kit 100% accurate; however Bronco Models
has done a fantastic job in releasing a kit that most would believe is complete, unless of course they have good first hand knowledge of the trailer.