As with most artillery gun kits the “Pheasant” 17/25pdr Anti-Tank Gun has one big weakness which is the lack of a crew to man the gun. Bronco
has done more than most in regards to the artillery gun kits by either supplying crews with the kits or releasing a figure set for each specific gun. This product provides a five man crew for the “Pheasant” 17/25pdr Anti-Tank Gun.
In the end opening box you will find two light grey sprues containing the five figures that make up the crew. These are packaged together in a polythene bag which is loose inside the box. Assembly and painting instructions are on the rear of the box, the painting instructions provide paint colours by;
• Gunze Sangyo.
• Hobby Color.
The kit consists of four gun crew members and an officer, “an officer!” I hear you say, but don’t fret all is not lost with this one. Starting with the uniform detail which I compared to period pictures of my grandfather in Africa, Sicily, and Italy during World War Two looks good. The shirts all look accurate with the correct number of buttons and collars correctly depicted, the breast pockets are accurately placed with a single button to secure them, the flaps for each of the breast pockets matches one of three types I have observed in my reference.
The shorts look right as in the length, but I have some concerns about the pocket detail as the reference pictures I have show a flapped pocket on the right and a slit pocket on the left, however I suspect that like the shirt flaps there were more than one design. One of the gunners is wearing trousers with good detail overall, but they do not have the thigh pocket on the on the left hand side, this again could be down to variations in uniform detail during the war. The puttees have also been replicated well on this figure
The boots, socks, and puttees look accurate with the exception of one of the loaders who is missing the puttees, and the socks are folded over just above the boots. I should also mention that while there is no tread pattern on the soles of the boots the instep has been rendered. The boots on all of the figures look accurate, and with fair to good crease detail imparted to all of the uniform. The helmets appear accurate and due to being connected to the sprue under the helmets rim should be easy to remove and clean up without causing damage. It is worth mentioning that the officer has been supplied with the choice of a peaked cap or steel helmet, I would go with the steel helmet and remove the binoculars from his right hand to make him look more like a gunner than an officer.
All of the parts of the figures are moulded in their own area of the sprue which will save searching. Here is a parts breakdown of the figures;
• Separate head.
• Two legs split at the groin.
• Two arms (one figure has the left arm split into two parts).
• Helmet or cap.
I have assembled one of the figures in order to check the fit of the parts and clean-up. Clean-up is great as there are no seam lines in this sample but a light scrape is in order to soften the areas where they should be. The fit of parts is also excellent with the assembled figure shown in the pictures having nothing but glue holding everything together. There really is nothing else to say about them.
I don’t like the fact that an officer has been included in this set but then again the inclusion of a steel helmet for him and with minor work you lose the officer and gain a gunner. I like the mix of trousers and shorts which provide diversity and look right in all of the settings the kit is for. The figures have all been cleanly moulded, better than any injection moulded figures I have seen to date. As with all kits there are weak points with the biggest one in this set being the figures that are wearing shorts should have been provided with legs separate from the shorts and a recess moulded into the shorts making for a much more realistic look.
For a review of the Bronco kit that accommodates these figures see:
“Pheasant” 17/25pdr Anti-Tank Gun