A few months ago there was a discussion between quarterscale modellers arguing whether Bronco had used a weird marketing strategy releasing first the uncommon versions of Staghound armoured car – the Mk. III and AA. Surprisingly, people were mostly interested in the current kit - the T17E1 Staghound Armoured Car Mk.I that was developed by Chevrolet in 1942, and then entered service in 1943. This variant was equipped with with 37mm M6 gun and 3 .30 cal. machine guns (co-axial, front, turret AA), s British #19 radioset, and could reach speeds up to 55 mph.
Although first fights in Italy using Staghounds revealed that they had problems on muddy or winter roads, they were in service until the end of the war, and even in post-war conflicts. This particular kit is marked "2 in 1," meaning that there are 2 finishing options: the regular Mk.I, as well as a field conversion with the 60LB rocket launcher. That modification was invented by Canadian troops in order to compensate for the poor anti-tank capacity of the 37mm gun.
The kit comes in a cardboard box with an illustrated top and some basic information on the sides. Inside there are:
4 tan styrene sprues
1 clear sprue
1 PE fret
a decal sheet
a piece of twine
The black and white instruction manual contains a brief annotation In English, German and Chinese
A color chart for Humbrol, Tamiya, Mr. Hobby paints
A parts layout
A paint guide (as separate sheet)
The parts for Mk.I turret, as well as the 60 lb. rockets and their corresponding mounting rails, are new parts, previously not included in Bronco’s Staghound kits. The PE fret and clear sprue are also slightly different. The moulding is comparable to recent Bronco’s 1/35 releases and the parts on the sprues have crisp detail and no flash, so minimum clean-up is required.
The hull of the vehicle consists of 9 parts and the fit is excellent. There are location points and almost no putty was required. I have compared the size of the hull according to plans in Armored Car. A History of American Wheeled Combat Vehicles
, by R.P Hunnicutt, and there are no dimensional issues with the model.
The suspension is extremely detailed for 1/48th scale, and features axles, steering linkage, suspension mountings, and suspension springs. Thanks to Bronco, there is no flash on tiny parts. Comparing to 1/35th scale models, the leaf springs are 1-piece and the only thing you need to do is to remove the seam lines. Each of the four large wheels consists of two parts, and there are three locating pins inside to ensure the proper tire pattern. If you want to replace the wheels – the chained version is available from Black dog— I recommend gluing the wheels instead of making them rotatable for better stability.
The hull’s top plate has again excellent detail with a turret ting and intake grills. The exhaust mufflers require drilling holes in the rear plate, as well as their PE protective covers and chain storage box, which are optional and should be used based on the references. The engine access doors have some handles to be glued on, and one should be very careful removing these parts from the sprues, since they are very thin. On the sides of the hull, there are large stowage boxes and extra fuel tanks, which are optional, since they are not seen on all reference images. The fuel line linkages and PE straps add detail to the model.
The driver compartment roof has separate visor ports and the periscopes are clear parts; these can be shown open or closed. The front armor plate has a .30 cal. machine gun mount, and although the detail is pretty good, I replaced it with an RB model barrel, since it has a better cooling jacket.
The four fenders come as separate parts and have optional PE mud flaps. Other details included are: jerry can, OVM tools, head & tail lights, and towing eyes. The headlights have PE guards, and there is a plastic part that should be used to bend them into proper shape.
The turret is made up of upper and lower halves. Front armor plate, crew hatches, lifting hooks, clear periscopes and antenna mounts come as separate parts. Please note that if building the rocket version, the holes for the mounting rails must be drilled before gluing the turret’s lower part. The gun and MG mount could be movable after assembly. Inside the turret, the radio unit with etched guards is provided, but it is not necessary to assemble it in case you don’t open the hatches (same can be applied for the 37 mm gun breach). On the photos of my build. the plastic .30 cal. MG was substituted with an RB model barrel.
The 60 lb. rockets and their mountings are nicely-detailed, and the rear guide fins come as separate parts. If you are not interested in making a rocket version Staghound, you can save these rockets for a Sherman Tulip, since no one is producing that version.
Once you are through all the build steps according to the instructions, you might wish to add weld seams to the model, since they are missing on the hull and between the turret halves. Just check the Armorama walkarounds listed below.
Painting & decals
Two options are available
There is no further description. Both variants have overall British olive drab no. 15.
I had no expectations or preferences for Staghounds, so I simply built all three Bronco 1/48th kits (see my build feature of the Mk.III here
). In my opinion, they are one of the best models I’ve seen so far in any scale. Both of the options provided in this kit are very attractive, and I am considering ordering another copy to make a regular Mk.I version, too. In that case, the rockets could go to Sherman Tulip project. Well done, Bronco, I am looking forward to your next release in quarterscale!
Armored Car. A History of American Wheeled Combat Vehicles
, R.P Hunnicutt (this book has 1/48 schemes for the Staghound)
Staghound Armored Car 1942-1962
, Steven Zaloga (Osprey publishing)