The majority of the parts are to update the turret with a new roof, canvas covered mantlet, Commander’s cupola and hatches plus the Loader’s hatches and new periscopes as well as the rear towing pintle.
The standard of casting is very good with no air bubbles, warping or other
blemishes and just the usual casting blocks to be removed which is quite straightforward
apart from cupola.
The casting block is on one edge of the cupola and this covers an indented lip meaning when you remove the casting block you have to carefully add back the lip so it will sit evenly inside the turret cupola ring.
Detail on the parts is also good with weld seams added around the cupola ring and the edge of the roof with well defined cupola vision ports and periscope detail on the inside of the cupola. All the hatches have details on both sides with the cupola hatches including the very small pad lock brackets in the outside, just be careful as these are extremely fine and easily damaged.
You have to add a thin wire handle to one of the Loader’s hatches with all hatches fitting neatly in place if you show them closed and of course the inner detail is visible if shown open. The loader's hatches should have rounded corners at rear hinge edge but this is easy enough to add with light sanding but the hatch cutout in the roof will have to be modified accordingly which will take a little more work.
The canvas covered mantlet has very well defined canvas folds and other details that match photos well with the co-axial machine gun housing as a separate part allowing the upper bolted bracket to be included with this fitting neatly into the recess in the mantlet. But it should be noted the mantlet cover design is that used postwar where the side trunnions are covered and it extends further down at the front than wartime covers.
New resin periscope covers are provided for the turret and hull periscopes to replace the kit items as does the rear towing leaf spring hitch and large towing hook.
Fitting the resin parts to the Bronco kit requires some kit modifications but the instructions only have a parts layout photo and two photos of the assembled parts and so I will outline the steps involved.
The kit turret roof (part E3) also includes the back turret wall that fills the gap below the turret basket and after assembling the turret you should cut off the rear wall from the roof and glue in place to fill the opening, no need to be too careful with the cut as this will be hidden inside the turret.
To fit the new mantlet it is best to cut the front section from the turret ring (part E27) level with the front of the turret walls after assembly as the mantlet will not fit properly otherwise.
After the kit modifications you can glue the new resin roof in place with the fit being good overall and not requiring any trimming of the resin roof or the kit turret but you may have to firmly hold the rear of the roof against the basket top while the cyanoacrylate cures to ensure the roof sit perfectly square.
To fit the kit 77mm gun to the resin mantlet will require you to drill out the mantlet to fit the neck on the kit gun and this will then just slip into place and the kit co-axial machine gun will need the locating base cut off and fitted in place as you attach the gun mounting to the mantlet.
Before attaching the resin mantlet to the turret you may want to include the kit gun breech which can be assembled as per kit instructions but don’t attach the breech to the gun mounting (part E6) at this stage as you need to modify the mounting to fit the resin mantlet.
On the back of the kit mantlet (part E18) are two gun support mounting brackets and you should carefully cut these off as close to the base of the brackets as possible and then trim the front of the brackets to fit the rear contours of the resin mantlet. Only minor trimming is needed as the rear contours of the resin mantlet are similar to the plastic mantlet only the resin part is thicker hence the trimming.
After test fitting of the modified brackets these can be glued to the gun mounting (part E6) as the gun is fixed in place so elevation isn’t an option and the brackets glued to the resin mantlet with thick cyanoacrylate for strength. It is best to temporarily fit the barrel through the mantlet and into the mounting to ensure everything lines up as you glue the mounting in place on the back of the mantlet.
The assembled gun breech can then be attached to the gun mounting as per the kit instructions to complete the assembly and the mantlet can now be glued to the front of the turret.
The fit of the mantlet to the turret is very good in both width and height but there is a bit of a gap between the resin roof and the top of the mantlet and adding a thin strip of card to fill this would be the neatest solution but other than that the fit is excellent.
All other parts also fit perfectly with no other modifications required with the rear spring towing hitch simply replacing the kit parts as do the pericopes.
Overall this is a nice update with well defined details on the canvas covered mantlet and additional roof details such as the weld seams and the added cupola details and the work required on the kit shouldn’t be a problem but some modelling experience would be helpful.
As the instructions are rather basic careful study of what is needed beforehand would be required and hopefully the steps above will help but overall this is a fairly simple update for the Bronco Comet.Highly Recommended.
See the A34 Comet Subject page for additional detail/update set reviews available.
Thanks to Legends Productions for the review set.
Page created January 8, 2007