Released some time ago, this figure set from Accurate Armour provides a 2 figure crew set for their Matador Gun Tractor. We donít see that many WW2 British figures from Accurate Armour but these 2 are a nice addition to the small but growing range of British/Commonwealth figures in general.
The set consists of 2 figures, a Driver and an Officer, both figures being badged as Royal Artillery personnel. They come packaged in the standard Accurate Armour mode in a plastic bag with a cardboard backing detailing the set and contact details for the firm. Both figures are cast in a light grey resin and I could see no sign of air bubbles and the casting were sharp in detail and free from defects. Both figures are in the seated position appropriate for a vehicle/chair. No photograph or instructions come with the figures so you will have to refer to you references or the Accurate Armour web site on how to proceed with them.
The Driver: Wearing the economy style Battle Dress Serge 1940, the uniform looks correctly depicted with the buttons apparent down the front, patch breast pockets, and with the left hand leg trouser pocket high up and to the front of the trousers. The BD collar is open showing the figure wearing an ORís flannel shirt (which were issued from late 1944 and could be worn with a tie). To complete the main body, he is wearing anklets and standard issue Ammo Boots. No webbing is worn which is pretty standard for drivers at that time.
The arms come as separate items, so this should make fitting the driving wheel easier. The shoulder flash and patches are depicted as raised areas on either arm and will assist painting or may need removed if you wish to use decal markings. The face contains quite good detail and I think I see the signs of a moustache, but could be wrong. It is quite a fit/tough looking face, of a well seasoned soldier. On his head he is wearing a General Service Cap which has a raised RA badge, again to aid painting. In the driver's left hand is the knob of the gear lever so you may need to bear this in mind if using the set for another kit. His right hand is a closed fist, so again something to think about if using the set for other purposes.
The Officer: Officers in the British Army had to purchase their uniforms and the DB blouse had to be worn with the collar open and a shirt and tie. They had a number of options: Wear the ORís issue BD, Wear the ORís BD and have the collar altered to get a better looking garment, or wear a tailor-made DB that had to be made from approved material to the standard issue. This figure appears to have opted for the customised BD. The blouse has pleated pockets and buttons down the front and the collar is open and shows the figure wearing a shirt and tie. The trousers depict the leg pocket slightly lower down so he may have a mix of 37/40 pattern and tailored economy/austerity pattern clothing. He too is wearing anklets and what appears to be Officers regulation brown pebbled field boots. His epaulets depict the rank of what I would say is a Captain or if you count one of the crowns as a button a Lieutenant.
As with the Driver, the arms come as separate items again with the raised detail for the shoulder patched and markings and in addition the set contains a map case for the officer to rest on his knee or hold in his left hand. The right hand contains a cigar for him to puff on. The map case contains the appropriate detail and even has a moulded on strap on the reverse. The head has nice facial detail, this time most definitely wearing a moustache and seems to me to have a slightly older, more mature, face of an experienced officer with some service behind him. On his head he is wearing what I guess to be a Khaki Beret, as officers had the choice to wear this if they choose to, which again has the raised RA badge to assist painting. Again no webbing is present on the officer.
Although marketed as a crew for the Matador Gun Tractor both these figures should fit into most large British Trucks. I test fitted the driver into my Bedford and with just a little filing he sits well in the drivers seat despite the fact that this was a built vehicle although obviously I had to remove the steering wheel. I hadnít yet fitted the head but there would appear to be sufficient clearance for him to sit comfortable within the vehicle. Later on unfortunately, after the head was fitted, the figure proved to be too big for the cab, even with some filing both to figure and seat, and it was one of the Accurate Armour Bedford Conversion cabs I tried so caution might be advised. Still I shall find another home for him in time.
I like the fact that the figures have no webbing, a pistol holster and belt may have been appropriate for the officer , but Iím happy he is shown without. There are few drivers for British trucks around, so personally I was delighted to see the release of this set, which should add options for the modeller that werenít there before. The set has good clean and crisp casting and I particularly like the order of dress in terms of choices and overall accuracy.
Highs: Two very good figures that add good options for manning the larger British/Commonwealth trucks. Sharp and clear detail. Addition of the map case for the officer most appropriate.Lows: High price tag. May be usable with other vehicles with some slight modifications but will vary. Verdict: Excellent to see some more British/Commonwealth drivers on the market. Variety of order of dress and absence of webbing a big plus.
About Alan McNeilly (AlanL) FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM
Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...