Over the past months I have been posting some reviews on a range of British and Commonwealth items that I felt didn’t perhaps get as much ‘press’ as they deserved. I have concentrated on a range of some of the smaller manufacturers products, and have been a bit remiss in not covering a few more of the excellent items produced by the Scottish company Accurate Armour.
Well known, and well established, Accurate Armour produce a range of excellent items. This set, A054 British Infantry Update Set, is a very useful item for those interested in that genre. It was designed to update and correct the Tamiya British Infantry set 35223-1000 that was, for many years, one of the few choices offered in plastic injection 1/35 British Infantry for British and Commonwealth modellers, a situation I am pleased to say is changing for the better.
The set comes packed in a sturdy plastic bag stapled to a backing card with the product details and makers name on the front. This is fairly standard packaging for many of their smaller items. On the reverse of the backing card are contact details for the company and in nice proud letters ‘MADE IN SCOTLAND’.
Cast in a light grey resin, the set consists of 6 x Bergens, 6 x ammunition bandoliers, 6 x short stabbing bayonets (pig stickers), 6 x 1943 gas respirator carriers and 6 x Bren spare barrel cases. All the items I checked were free from any defect. The casting and detail are excellent. I have used these items on many of my British/Commonwealth figures and although the packaging states 5 sets, inside are in fact 6 and that has always been the case so far.
Also included is an A5 information sheet detailing what is incorrect in the Tamiya kit and also information on the various items contained with the set. This should aid modellers in understanding what the normal equipment for British/Commonwealth troops was during NEW operations.
During the D Day landing, many troops carried a Bergen rather than the normal back pack. This was particularly so for Commando units. The Bergens are, I believe, an excellent representation of this bit of kit. I humped one of these for many years and the detail looks good to me. A coiled rope is depicted hanging on the LHS of the Bergen, which is an item carried by Commandos and Airborne troops.
Again, a very good representation of this bit of kit. It has the correct proportions and is not oversized like many of the plastic items I have seen.
The short stabbing bayonet:
This is the correct weapon to accompany the No 4 rifle and a good representation of the kit, coming complete with web frog.
Often seen and carried by infantry, this is a nice additional item to add a bit more to your figures. The bandoliers were made of cotton cloth, worn and hung in many different ways, and had 5 cloth pouches containing 10 rounds in each, (other manufacturers please note).
Bren Spare Barrel Case:
Another well detailed item, and a good representation of the kit with the correct number of pouches, buckles etc. The flat back is a little thick and needs to be sanded down. As you would only need one of these per infantry section, the rest can be utilised and cut into small pouches, for ammo, compass or general use elsewhere.
This is an excellent set of replacement accessories. It can be used with any 1/35 plastic or resin figures. It provides the correct kit for NWE and the quality and level of detail is 1st class. As always check you references, not all troops by any means had Bergens, but Commandos and those troops in the Air Landing Brigades certainly did. The Bergen would have been a prized item by those who could get it.
The bandoliers are a great addition, and the rest of the standard equipment is just right. You will need to add some straps by your chosen method, but all in all it is a hard set to beat and the only one I know of that provides decent Bergens. The only down side is the Bergens are all moulded the same. However, that can be fixed with a little creative thinking, adding the odd shovel, 2in mortar or hanging helmet/cup.
I have also found the unused Bren cases very handy for small pouches when cut up.
Normal precautions apply when working with resin and a sharp saw and X-acto blade are a must.
Highs: A great set of replacement kit items, useable on any 1/35 plastic or resin figure. Excellent detail and first class moulding.Lows: None I can think of.Verdict: Highly Recommended.
About Alan McNeilly (AlanL) FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM
Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...