announced they were releasing the Valentine Tank in all of its many guises there was considerable interest from modellers. MiniArt
then for reasons unknown suddenly stopped producing the all of the various models promised and Bronco Models
stepped in where the later Valentine is concerned. Bronco Models
I believe purchased the moulds or cad images from MiniArt
and then added the Chinese touch when it comes to model production. Bronco Models
has (I am informed) added 90% new parts to this kit and from what I can see it is easy to believe.
In the standard Bronco Models
box you will find;
- A lower hull
- 17 light grey sprues
- 1 clear sprue
- 2 photo etched sprues
- A colour poster of the box top artwork
- A good quality semi gloss instruction booklet
- An addendum instruction for an additional part rather than a correction
- 18 sprues each containing 12 individual track links
- 2 decal sheets
Starting with the changes; the only parts I noted from an initial inspection that came directly from the MiniArt
offerings are the hull and the parts that make up the radiator and fan assemblies, the driverís seat is also a possible direct transfer from one company to the other. One thing that surprised me when MiniArt
was doing the Valintine and even more so now that Bronco Models
is releasing them is that they go to all the effort of providing the radiator and grills along with the drive shaft but have not included an engine. If a modeller is going to go to the effort of making these parts in order to display the area an engine is really needed to show it in a context for display purposes, by this I mean showing the vehicle worked on or even having been a victim of enemy fire, as it stands it seems more of a gimmick than a display option but I suppose it does get you part of the way there.
The moulding quality as is typical of Bronco Models
is first rate with no obvious issues that I could see, and other than the fact that Bronco Models
tends to aim at the high end of parts breakdown, it should be relatively easy to build with the minimum of clean up being needed. The photo etched frets included in the kit should really be thought of as one due the fact that one of them only contains 2 very small parts and relates to the addendum mentioned earlier. The main photo etched fret is not excessive and will satisfy most I believe for those that like to festoon their builds with photo etched parts I am sure suitable sets are already in the pipeline.
The individual track links supplied with the model are not workable but they should look good when assembled, and being individual links it does provide the opportunity to depict your model on an uneven surface and for it to look right. The instructions state that 101 links are required for each run and Bronco Models
supply 216 track links and so there are a few spares. There are 4 attachment points on each link but care taken during removal from the sprue will pay dividends when it comes to the cleanup, I should say that I have found the track links from Bronco Models
a relative joy to assemble when cleaned up properly, and a royal pain in the rear if you only think you have cleaned them up so and extra few minutes spent during removal could save a lot of time later.
The instructions for the model are laid out in 33 stages using the line drawing method to guide your construction. The stages are nicely laid out with none being overly busy or complex, of course however this is a Bronco Models
which does mean some very small and fiddly parts need to be added. The finishing options provided with this model cover 4 options that could not be more different having two Russian options and two desert options which are;
- Red Army Eastern Front 1944 Unit Unknown
- Buccaneer of B Squdron 50th Royal Tank Regiment North Africa February 1943
- Red Army Eastern Front 1944 Unit Unknown
- 2nd Armoured Brigade Nuseiat Camp near Gaza Palestine October 1943
The decals provided for this options look good with good colour registration as far as I can tell. I nice addition on the decal side is the inclusion of decals covering the text on fuel cans and the like which is often overlooked.
This latest offering from Bronco Models
is a must have for the Valentine tank fan and a worthy addition to any modellers shelf. Bronco Models
has taken what was already a good line of models and added extra details throughout which should result in a very pleasing model. There is one thing that i would have liked to see supplied with this model and that is a crew, perhaps a couple of Russians and a couple of British desert tankers which would have satisfied all of the finishing options the kit offers.