The standard 3 ton truck (lorry) for Great Britain in WWII was the Bedford QL. A four wheel drive vehicle that was well liked and easy to maintain, it was a general workhorse with roughly 54,000 built in a wide number of body styles. The QLT, a troop carrying version, was extended just past the rear axle by just over 3 feet (1 meter) and featured bench seats down both sides and a third bench down the center with seat backs alternating sides, allowing every other man to look left or right. 26 fully equipped soldiers could be carried in this fashion in reasonable comfort.
The kit comes in a fairly large, top opening box, with just four main sprues inside. There is lots of room in the box for extras, which also allows the parts to bounce around a bit. Though each sprue is packaged in a separate plastic pouch, I still had a couple of parts knocked loose.
The plastic is gray styrene, with one separate small sprue of clear parts. Molding looks very good, although there is a bit of flash on some parts and some very faint sink marks visible on two of the cargo bed panels. Many small details, such as bolt heads and rivets, are well done.
The A and B sprues are the same as from the previous release, with the truck cab and lower suspension on sprue A and the engine and wheels and some small detail parts for the cab on sprue B.
These parts are all well done, although there are not many locator pins on them so exact placement may be a challenge. Care will need to be taken for the suspension in particular as most of the upper body parts line up from the axle locations. The engine looks very nicely molded and should stand out well if left visible. The frame parts listed here are not for use as they fit the shorter length QL. The kit tires have "Avon" clearly embossed on the tire sidewall. According to Terry Ashley, the proper wartime tire was from Dunlop.
The other two sprues, G and H, have the new lengthened frame parts and a well detailed cargo/troop bed. The seat backs look a little thick but could be trimmed down if the modeler desires. The canvas cover for the cargo bed comes with the sides molded in the rolled up position. There is no underside detail so the modeler will need to scratch a frame if one is desired.
The clear sprue has the windscreen and door panes. There are extra parts intended for the forthcoming radio truck.
The instructions are done with 3D cad images showing parts assembly. While they provide a nice image of what the parts are supposed to look like when assembled, it can be troublesome trying to place a part because of the above mentioned lack of locator pins. There are a number of sub assemblies completed first before the general assembly begins. There is no photo etch in this kit. Total construction is presented in 35 steps.
A paint guide is provided at the start of the instructions with paints called out in Vallejo model air and model color lines. Three vehicles are presented, one in green with black "mickey mouse" camouflage 5th battalion Coldstram Guards, 32nd Guards brigade, Guards armored division, Holland 1944, two is from Podhalanian rifle battalion, Polish 1st armored division, Normandy, summer 1944 (this is the box art vehicle) and third is from the 1st battalion Suffolk regiment, 8th infantry brigade, 3rd infantry division, Normandy, June 1944. The latter two vehicles are in one color green paint. This is listed as Vallejo olive drab, which I don't think is the correct color. I will check with resident experts on this topic.
There are a couple of small details missing. The gas detection paint tray (flat tray attached to the front of the cab below the wind screen), wiper blades starting handle and rolled canvas radiator cover are missing, as well as tow shackles on the front leaf springs. Some of these can be scratched. There is some aftermarket available but it may be hard to find. I expect more will become available in the near future.
It is nice to see something like this offered in plastic. Truck kits aren't too popular because they are so "ordinary" I suppose, but there is so much that can be done with them. With the detail presented in this kit, it is only a matter of adding some personal gear, which has also recently become available. I would love to see drivers and seated soldiers in styrene, but at least for now the Bedford is available. I will add this kit to my list of build logs to do to show how it goes together.
Last year IBG models
of Poland released the general service Bedford QL, subject of a review by Jim Rae. IBG have now expanded the range (and molds) to provide a new kit of the Bedford QLT troop transport.