To set the scene, a short quote from the Introduction in the above Osprey publication:
"The Universal Carrier is typically British – peculiarly British some might say; a compromise, neither one thing nor the other. Designed for a role that it never fulfilled, it was adapted to dozens of others for which it was never entirely suited and was still in service, in vast numbers, long after it should have been pensioned off."
So there you have it, a vehicle that served all over the world, with both British and Commonwealth Armies, it was produced by small work shops and factories all over the country and manufactured abroad.
The Resicast set offer modellers the first opportunity, I believe, to model the Mk I version of this vehicle in 1/35. I am not aware of another kit or conversion that is, or has been, available before. If I am wrong, and there are other kits or conversion sets available, then I apologize in advance. Personally, I have only seen one scratch built Mk I.
As an Allied builder, with a main interest in British and Commonwealth vehicles, I am a keen fan of Resicast, but I make no apologies for that, as the company offers a wide range of British/Commonwealth kits and accessories I find particularly useful.
The Mk 1 carrier is often associated with the N Africa Campaign but I have seen pictures of Mk I in Holland in 44 with the Canadian Army.
The set comes packed in a strong sturdy box containing 8 plastic bags of resin parts, a fret of PE and several lengths of plastic rod, plus the instruction booklet. The contents are wrapped in bubble wrap for extra protection.
The conversion set is supplied with a 24 page booklet outlining the stages you need to go through to build the vehicle. The book contains both diagrams of the build stages and pictures of the actual vehicle for reference. These are clear and easy to follow. I have checked all the references I have and believe the layout of the parts, and the parts themselves, conform to give a very good representation of the Mk I. Cast in the typical Resicast light grey resin, the detail on the casting is excellent. With minimal effort required to remove the parts from their plugs and little clean up necessary. Obviously, being resin, care needs to be taken when removing the parts and a mask may be necessary to avoid inhaling any dust.
With around a 160 items it is not practical to list nor photograph them all here, I would be typing and taking pictures forever, but a brief over view, I hope will do: Bren Guns 3, Boys Anti Tank Rifle, No 22 wireless complete, POW cans of various sorts, front bin stowage, drive wheels, a complete set of the new style resin tracks, mud scarpers, 2” mortar, battery box, bren bin, grenade box, spare parts box, cartridge box, rear stowage, rifle support, cooker support, complete replacement for the engine housing and main armoured panels, new seats, grab handles, all the parts necessary for the drivers compartment, front light (2 types), antenna, fire extinguisher, spades, pick axe, starting handle, replacement seats to name but a few. In short all the items you will need to complete the build. The set also has a fret of PE containing around 47 parts. Including the short rounded R & L valance seen on some early vehicles but often later removed or discarded. You also get several short lengths of plastic rod to use during the build.
For reference I’m using the Universal Carrier Mk I/II book from the Military Vehicle Workshop Series and for background the Osprey New Vanguard Universal Carrier 1936-48, the ‘Bren Gun Carrier’ Story, plus a few others.
Alan has started a Build Log
on the Forums to evaluate the kit construction.