Britain started to develop tracked support infantry vehicles after the First World War. Carden-Loyd produced a range of early machine gun carriers that greatly influenced British design and by 1928 these were being exported to other countries. Vickers Armstrong also developed their own tracked vehicles.
The original concept of a tracked vehicle that could be used for transporting troops and supplies to forward positions changed in favour of a vehicle that could transport a machine gun crew to forward areas. The crew could then dismount and operate independently of the vehicle and this basic concept was never changed throughout the Second World War.
1936 brought the development of the Machine Gun Carrier experimental (Armoured), 1937 saw testing start on a General Purpose vehicle based on the MGC but with an altered superstructure. Developments continued and Vickers Armstrong produced a batch of 14 Machine Gun Carriers No 1 Mk 1. Six of these were converted as pilot models for the No 2 Mk 1 Cavalry and Scout Carriers.
The concept of a reconnaissance vehicle had been considered as far back as 1917 and Vickers Armstrong first produced a prototype Scout Carrier in 1929, but at that time the Army failed to grasp the concept and not until 1937 did this realisation dawn on the military of how useful a vehicle like that might be. Ironically Vickers Armstrong never built another carrier but in 1937 the design had been advanced enough that an order for 100 Scout Carriers Mk I was placed with Thornycroft at Basingstoke but then subsequently cancelled. Then in 1938 an order for 370 was placed with Nuffield Mechanisation Ltd and the contract was completed the following year. Only one other company was involved in the production of the early Scout Carriers and that was Aveling Barford, they produced 296 Scout Carriers Mk I commencing the contract in October 1938 and completing it in January 1940.
The general construction of the carrier was based on the Bren No 2 Mk I but with the armoured side built up around the right hand side rear compartment to help protect the radio operator. Provision was also made for a No 11 Wireless set and batteries were stored in an armoured box on the rear. The openings on the engine cover were covered over with wire screens, this helped reduce interference. Most of the carriers were destined for use with the BEF in France, although some made it to N Africa and were used in that campaign.
have continued their development of this highly important range of vehicles by bringing us not only the early Bren Carrier but the Scout Carrier Mk I as well.
This is a brief look at kit no 35.1205, Scout Carrier Mk I. The model was mastered by George Moore and this was a kit I couldnít help purchasing when I visited Duxford this year.
The kit comes contained in a sturdy and well padded box, showing a B & W picture of the product, product details and manufacturers detail on the outside. Opening a Resicast kit has become a bit like Christmas, you know that good things are going to be inside, and I was not disappointed this time either.
The kit contains;
- 24 page A5 booklet of build instructions.
- 8 plastic zip loc bags of parts.
- the lower hull.
- engine covering.
- 2 PE frets for further detailing.
Cast in a light grey resin the parts appeared free from any damage.
This is a full resin kit containing everything you need to build an accurate model of the Scout Carrier Mark I.
Graham at Resicast has perfected the art of casting so that building one of these is just like building any other plastic model. The difference is in the material, which is resin rather than plastic, and of course the detail of the parts which is, quite frankly, beautiful. I am not going to go into describing the parts, nor the content of the instructions as you can see the quality and content for yourself in the images. I will say that the parts are engineered with a model maker in mind as are the build instructions. This is another beautiful model from Resicast, of a highly important vehicle that should and, I am sure, will be a joy to build.
Mastered by George Moore, well that speaks for itself, cast by Resicast that should also speak for itself. You know you are getting as accurate a model as possible which is well researched and of the highest quality.
It is terrific to see the continued development of the Resicast Carrier range. This is a highly attractive and detailed kit. Build it and enjoy; as a stand alone vehicle or within a diorama, painted or un-painted, you should be well pleased with the result.
Also released around the same time was the early Bren Carrier Mk I kit No 35.1203. With planned early artillery pieces and the recent rise in availability of early plastic British Armour these new kits will open up a lot of possibilities for those interested in the early war years.
This is a highly important vehicle in the development of carrier design and use and I am delighted to see this kit available on the market. Letís hope someone is working on some early war years British Figures and trucks too!!
Universal Carriers Volume 1
by Nigel Watson