Para Lightweight Trailer - Machinery
Resicast has released two relatively unusual additions to their range of 'Para' equipment, namely the lightweight trailers with specialist equipment for machinery and for electrical repairs in the field. The subject of this review is the Machinery version, with the Electrical trailer being reviewed separately by Chuck Aleshire. These trailers were used in small numbers by the British Parachute (Airborne) Divisions, and they were intended to be towed by Jeeps. However, when considering the battles on D-Day, at Arnhem, and crossing the Rhine, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where the troops on the Landing Zone are desperately calling to be provided with a lathe on the next glider. I would be personally surprised if any of these trailers actually accompanied Airborne troops into the field. In addition to the actual trailers, they also needed a second trailer with a generator to supply power for the tools.
On the other hand, these trailers were used by REME units, as well as RE (Engineers) and RA (Artillery) units. It would be easy to imagine light repairs to vehicles being carried out by REME detachments in armoured units, for example, and with this in mind the trailers would look great on a diorama with a disabled British tank.
The tough box contains the various components carefully bagged to separate the different parts of the model.
The quality of moulding is quite exceptional, with the wheels being a great example. The tire tread is rather understated, but the detail on the face of the wheel is simply incredible. All of the parts are equally well cast in good quality resin.
Assembly is very straightforward, and the fit of parts is faultless. The instructions consist of labelled photos of the trailer under construction, and it isn't difficult to work out the parts and where they fit. The only difficulty I experienced was with part A4, where the forward part was too tall and needed about 1mm removed from the bottom. I didn't notice this until the main construction had been completed, and I was forced to resolve the issue by quite serious surgery. In the photo below, the minor misalignment is visible before I started work on correcting it.
Assembly is straightforward, and the following photos illustrate the construction, with some added details in places.
In the photo below, a lot of the detail parts have been added. Notice in this shot the rod added to the vise, the cable added to the grinder, and the various parts at the front.
In the photo above, the handles for manhandling the trailer have been fitted; they fold backwards when the trailer is being towed. Also visible are the tubes on each corner of the trailer for fitting the frame and canvas cover during transport. The frame was fixed using rods on short retaining chains.
In the pictures below we can see the skid support at the front, and the electric cable for the rear light. The connector clips into a fitting on the trailer when not in use - when being towed, this connector would plug into the socket on the truck.
Below: the lathe and a few added details. Note that the lathe is bolted to wood battens, and also be aware that many of the trailer parts are plywood - do not paint them rusty!
For fun, can you guess what the large domed item is? Answers at the end of the review!
Below: the underside. Note the rod connectors from the brake handle to the brake drums.
The photo below shows the vertical drill. It benefited from some additional detail, following photos of the real item.
The finished model
The following series of photos show the end result of putting the review model together. Although some extra details have been added during construction, these details are very minor. The model is predominantly as it comes in the box.
All of the tools need to have electrical leads to connect to the power supply - which came from a generator.
Below: the folding tables protruded a fraction too much and touched the support leg. I suggest you file down the rear of the tables by 1mm to prevent this.
The photo below shows the retaining straps for the folding tables. The straps are metal strips in real life, with wingnuts to fix them.
The data-plate on the drill is an item from Archer Decals.
The straps over the dome may have been brown leather. I painted them as tan canvas straps.
Small mudflaps were made from tissue paper. Most of the trailers seem to have had these fitted.
The model, I will freely admit, is not one that I have been desperately seeking, but boy it was a great kit. I'm really glad I had the chance to make it. I painted it up as a REME trailer, with white 40 on the REME arm-of-service badge. I got the decal from my spares box.The basic colour of the trailer is SCC15, the British version of OD that was prevalent from 1944 onwards.
The quality of this Resicast kit is quite exceptional. In many places there is some outstanding moulding - in just a few places the items are a bit crude. This comment really applies to some of the additional items that are offered in the kit, and the main parts for the trailer are largely excellent. I have no hesitation in recommending this kit 100%.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Resicast for this review kit.
Reviewed by Chris Lloyd-Staples, 2VP (International)
Below this review are some photos of the trailer for modellers wanting to know more.
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The trailers varied considerably. Almost no two were exactly alike in terms of layout. The Resicast version is reasonably typical of the beast.
Above: Paras using the trailer. Below: Slightly different from the Resicast version
Above: note the wooden box lids. Below: Note the electric cable for the tail-light, and the table storage area. The handles for moving the trailer are folded back for towing.
Above, a general arrangement drawing, giving many details. Below: the big dome........
And the big dome is.......... a light! Designed to be hung up in a tree, or otherwise supported over the working area
Above and below: the prominent drill stand
Above: The folded wooden tables provided extra working area for the repairs. Below: the frame in place to support a canvas cover when in transit
Above: the metal plate under the chassis was painted white to aid night-driving
Below: this item is provided in the kit - I presume it is a meter unit.