Bren Gun Carrier (by Nigel Robins)
This excellent kit dates from 1964 and really is a tribute to the toolmakers at Airfix. It has a few faults, the main one being that it isn`t a Bren Gun Carrier but a late-pattern Universal Carrier.
As produced the kit is a model of a late pattern universal towing carrier complete with a 6 pdr anti tank gun and a crew. It can be back dated to the Bren and Scout Carriers by using a Matador conversion set.
The main improvement opportunities involve fitting a Bren gun which Airfix don`t provide. A little stowage helps as does rearranging the rear end of the carrier as, usually, they were fitted in this area with the long carrying box for the Bren gun rather than the tub provided by the kit. However there is no hard and fast rule on this as every preserved carrier I have seen has been different so do check your references. The 6 pdr is a nice little model which can be dramatically improved by drilling out the barrel. Airfix deserve credit for supplying a crew but they are functional rather than good and the suggestion to affix the guy "standing to attention" in the front passenger seat is best ignored. The gun crew are best replaced for diorama work as there are now 25mm figures around with much more character and variety of poses. The kit comes with good decals for a vehicle in the 51st Highland division, ideal for Normandy, which is a change, as Airfix decals from this period in the rest of the range tend to be poor. The final improvement would be to paint in the vehicle in the khaki drab/black scheme which looks very impressive on carriers rather than any scheme suggested by Airfix.This is my favourite Airfix vehicle kit from the sixties period as it is so good, has plenty of conversion potential, fits together well and has those lovely track units. This is a little gem of a kit despite celebrating its 40th birthday this year!