WWII British Paratroops in Action - Set B
by Bronco Models
This is a review of Set B of Bronco's WWII British Paratroops in Action. I previously built and reviewed Set A as well as their initial offering of British Airborne Weapons and Equipment.
Set B adds three new figures: a paratrooper pushing a collapsible trolley, a second one unloading a wellbike, and the third paratrooper riding a wellbike. Other than the sprues for these three new figures, all the others are from the Weapons and Equipment kit, most notable two sprues to build the wellbikes.
What's in the box:
The kit consists of eleven sprues of injected plastic parts, three photo etch sheets, two decal sheets, a twelve page folded instruction pamphlet, and assembly and painting instructions on the back of the box.
The sprues for the three figures.
The 2 sprues for the wellbikes and drop containers.
The sprues for the collapsible trolley and PIAT ammo containers.
The sprues for extra weapons and the PIAT.
The sprues for the helmets and packs.
The three photo etch sheets.
The two decal sheets.
The multi page instruction pamphlet.
The figure assembly and painting guide on the back of the box.
As shown on the back box illustration, the three figures are lettered B, C & D. I guess figure A did not make the drop.
Figure B - Paratrooper pushing collapsible trolley.
Before assembling the figure, the trolley must be built so that the arms can be aligned correctly to hold the trolley handles. The instructions show the trolley assembled in three steps. First the canvas body is glued together. Then the outer frame is attached, and finally the wheels and end knobs are attached. A little care is needed to keep all straight and plum.
Although no specific order of assembly is provided, I followed my general steps for assembling figures: I first glued the legs together. Since the lower smock is provided separately, I glued the two halves together. Once the two sub-assemblies were dry, I then placed lower smock over the leg assembly. I then added the torso and head. I then attached the arms using the previously built trolley to make sure the hands were in the right position to hold it. I then added the equipment and personal gear before temporarily mounting him on a plastic juice cap for painting.
Following the painting guide, I hand brushed the flesh first, then the uniform. Pants were brown and the smock in three tone camouflage. Beret, boots and gear were then painted. I added the decals using Micro Set and Micro Sol. Location of these are not provided, so use your uniform references for placement. On this figure, I added sergeant stripes. Washes and highlights were than applied, with a final dust of some pigments. Here he is completed with a full trolley of ammo and weapons. (note - for the pictures here, I did not glue the hands onto the trolley handles. That is why you see a gap there.)
Figure C - Paratrooper holding folded wellbike.
It is not necessary to build the folded wellbike that this figure holds first, but it is advisable. Please see my review on Bronco's WWII British Airborne Weapons and Equipment kit for a detailed build review of the folded well bike. Also look there for mu build of the wellbike container. Here are some pictures of the completed bike before painting.
Again, following the logical progression of assembly, I glued the legs together and the two lower halves of the smock together. Once these were dry, I stack assembled the figure in this order, legs, lower smock, torso and then head. I left of the helmet and separate chinstraps for ease of painting the face later on. The arms are then attached using the previously built folded wellbike to ensure a proper fit once the figure is fully painted and assembled. Gear and any weapons were then added.
Similar to the Figure B, I followed the painting guide and hand brushed the flesh first, then the uniform. Again, the pants were brown and the smock in three tone camouflage. Boots and gear were then painted. I painted the helmet and chinstraps in base colors before gluing them on the the fully painted head. I added the airborne patch decal on his upper left arm using Micro Set and Micro Sol. Washes and highlights were than applied, with a final dust of some pigments before attaching the fully painted folded wellbike to his hands. Here is the figure unloading his wellbike from it's container:
Figure D - Paratrooper riding wellbike.
Prior to assembling this figure, the unfolded wellbike needs to be built. The build of this bike is similar to the folded bike, but has the handlebars and seat raised. The lack of a form to shape the slightly conical spokes still makes assembling the wheels difficult, but not impossible. The steps guide you through the motor assembly, rear wheel, frame, handlebars, seat, front wheel gas tank, exhaust pipe and then wiring, in that order. However, I left off the delicate handlebars until the end.
Stretched sprue is called for in making the cables and wiring, but I uses thin wire or fish line, since they need to bend around and through the frame. I found some of the extremely small PE parts to be a bit too small and hard to form (parts P1, P2 & P10, for example) , so I left them off. I doubt that anyone would know they are missing once the wellbike is fully assembled, painted and sits under its rider. The two foot rests (parts A39) that the instructions show to be added in steps 4 and 5 should be left off until you are ready to add the rider to avoid them from snapping off while handling during painting.
Like Figure C, I followed the same progression of gluing the legs together and then the two lower halves of the smock. Once dry, I stack assembled the figure starting with the legs and ending with the head, leaving the helmet and separate chinstraps off until after the face was painted. Sitting the rider on the built unfolded wellbike, I then added the arms so that they would properly fit onto the handlebars. Gear and any weapons were then added.
Once assembled, I painted the well bike as described in the instructions and the figure as stated above.
Although this is categorized as a figure set, it has two well bikes that are extremely detailed and have many small parts. While the assembly of the bikes, in my opinion, were difficult, the figures almost assembled themselves. Included in the set are lots of extra weapons and gear, which is a great bonus.
Thanks to Dragon USA for supplying this kit for review.
Reviewed by Jim Spellmire, SoCal AMPS
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