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Bronco 1/35 scale Humber Scout Car Mk. I

Kit: No. CB-35009
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: Bronco Models, from Stevens International, 856-435-1555
Price: $59.98
Comments: Injection-molded, 339 parts (77 photoetched-metal, 5 vinyl, 1 photo film), decals
Pros: Great detail; good quality moldings; mostly good fit
Cons: Fiddly construction; over-engineered photoetched-metal details
Bronco's little Humber Mk.I is a gem. Molded in light gray plastic, the parts show fine detail throughout, including nice weld seams, latches, and bolt heads. On the inside, Bronco supplies a detailed engine bay and fighting compartment. The fret of photoetched-metal enhances the plastic parts and includes brackets in the engine compartment and a very nice protective screen for the radio. A precut piece of clear film provides the driver's windshield.

Bronco provides a tree of extra goodies, including helmets, rifles, sidearms, and other personal equipment, perfect for personalizing the finished model. But the icing on the cake is the inclusion of a beautifully cast resin commander figure that fits perfectly in the top hatch.

The Cartograph-printed decals are excellent, with good color saturation and perfect register. Markings are provided for six vehicles: four British wartime subjects and two postwar cars, one British and the other Danish.

The interior went together well with just a couple of minor quibbles. The first is the lack of consistent paint callouts; some colors are indicated, but I mostly relied on Internet photos. Flat white predominates, while I picked out details with other colors. The other issue was that the locating pins on some of the parts were larger than the holes provided; nothing that couldn't be remedied with trimming and test-fitting. Take care removing parts from the sprues; the plastic is a little soft, and some of the parts are delicate.

The upper structure represented my only major issues with the kit. First, the front plate seems too large for the space; I had to file away quite a bit to get it to fit well. Then, the instructions would have you install a five-part photoetched-metal latch assembly inside each of the Humber's several hatches or firing ports. Most of the parts are tiny, and many require bending. After the second one disappeared into the air above my workbench, I cut my losses and left the bulk of the parts out, buttoning up the hatches.

The chassis and undercarriage built up quickly. All four wheels sit on the ground perfectly, but the front suspension is a tad delicate - I broke mine several times during subsequent handling.

Toward the back of the 16-page instruction book things go a little awry, with several pages being out of order. After installing the superstructure on page 11, turn to the back page, then back to page 13, then 12, before ending on 14.

Tools and other exterior details went on quickly. I left the tires off until after painting. After priming the model and filling a couple of small gaps with super glue, I sprayed the whole thing with Tamiya acrylic olive green (XF-58).

After a coat of gloss, I applied decals. I couldn't resist marking option No. 4, a car from the 29th Armoured Brigade, 11th Armoured Division in Germany, 1945 - after all, how often do you get to put the word cerebral on the side of an AFV? The decals are thin and laid down perfectly. After an oil wash, I gave the model a coat of acrylic clear flat and weathered it with pastels. The last step was popping open the driver's vision hatch, dropping in the film windshield, and securing it with clear-part cement.

In spite of a couple minor fit issues, I enjoyed building Bronco's Humber. I spent about 30 hours on it, and it looks right. Experienced builders will appreciate the detail and finesse of the kit, but the fiddly construction and large part count may frustrate beginners. - Aaron Skinner


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