AEC Mk.II Armoured Car, Part 3 – Turret & Final Completion

Published: May 16th, 2014     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: Bill O'Malley - IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt
Price: $69.00
Product / Stock #: 35155
Product provided by: MRC

Part 3 Review - Turret & Final Completion

This is the third, and final, section in a series of reviews covering the MiniArt AEC Mk. II Armoured Car kit. Previously, Part 1 reviewed the kit contents and assembly of the driver's compartment and Part 2 reviewed the chassis, engine, and exterior. This review covers construction of the turret and final completion of the model. Thanks to Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) for their generosity in providing the review sample of this kit and for their continued support of the IPMS review program.

Introduction

This is an excellent, highly detailed kit. The molding is very crisp with great detail, and the fit is excellent. There are a few difficult areas that will make the kit challenging for less experienced modelers, but it is a complex kit that builds into a fantastic model for more advanced & expert modelers.

Turret Floor & Wall Assembly

The final phase of assembly, the turret, starts with the floor of the turret in step 58, which goes together well with no problems. In step 61, do not install the tiedowns, Ab5, or the searchlight assembly until later, or they will get broken off.

Step 62 has more minute parts. The hinge pin, part Gc2, is too small to get through both of the photoetch pieces. It could just as well have been a nut on the photoetch, thus eliminating the aggravation of the tiny pieces.

Step 66 has more impossibly small parts, with photoetch PE29 needing three bends before being glued to part Ac6. I managed to get one bend in the tiny piece and then glued it on.

Turret Ring & Gun

In step number 70 the piston, Gc16, seems as if it should be installed unglued. The tabs on the top bracket allow the piston to rotate, but it needs to have an adjustable length and a rotating connection on the gun breach. I glued it to the gun breach but left the top end loose so the gun can elevate slightly.

Turret Roof

There is nice weld detail molded into the top of the turret. In steps 73 it seems that many of the individual pieces added onto the top of the turret could have just as easily been molded on rather than being made as separate parts. This would help to simplify the kit. Install the radios to the underside of the turret before the brackets, Gc26 & 27, to make sure there is room for the radios.

The interior of the car is so nicely detailed that it should be on display. I left the turret hatches open to view the interior, although it is mostly obscured. The fit of the top of the turret is very nice, so I decided to leave it unglued so that it can be removed to display the interior.

Turret Assembly

Step 75 completes the highly detailed interior of the turret. In step 76 there is a tiedown on the back of the turret, but I didn't see where the instructions show it to be installed. Step 76 also calls for the panels and roof of the turret to be assembled. The floor of the turret is assembled to the turret in Step 77, which also installs the barrel for the cannon. The barrel is nicely molded plastic with a very minor mold seam, however, kits as detailed as this one should have a turned brass or aluminum barrel.

The last step, number 78, calls for the assembly of the turret to the body and the addition of a couple of tow hooks. The floor of the turret slips in tightly between the shell racks and other equipment on the interior of the body. With all of the hatches on the body open the turning range of the turret is limited. The highly detail interior or the car looks fantastic when the turret roof is removed.

Finishing

The final step is finishing the exterior markings and camouflage. Four schemes are provided: 10th Indian Infantry Division, 1943; Royal Armoured Corps, 1943-44; Tank Proving Grounds Kubinka, USSR, 1944-45; 1st Armoured Brigade, Yugoslav People's Army, 1944-45.

I chose the simple dark yellow scheme of the second option, the Royal Armoured Corps. Everything was painted Tamiya Dark Yellow XF-60. Some white was added and the center of the panels lightened slightly. A dark wash was applied to the exterior. The interior was painted with Model Master Stainless Steel Buffing Metalizer to replicate a natural-steel finish.

Summary

This is a wonderful kit that is highly detailed, crisply molded, and has parts with a fantastic fit. There are many tiny, tiny parts along with the included photoetch that complicate the build. The kit's large number of parts and their small size will frustrate inexperienced modelers, but it will be an enjoyable challenge for the more experienced modeler who wants a highly detailed project.

I'm grateful to Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) for providing the review sample of this great kit, and to IPMS for letting me review it.

  • Turret Subassemblies 1
    Turret Subassemblies 1
  • Ring and Floor
    Ring and Floor
  • Turret Subassemblies 2
    Turret Subassemblies 2
  • Checking Turret Fit 1
    Checking Turret Fit 1
  • Checking Turret Fit 2
    Checking Turret Fit 2
  • Completed Interior - Turret Top Removed
    Completed Interior - Turret Top Removed
  • Completed Model - Right Rear
    Completed Model - Right Rear
  • Completed Model - Right Front
    Completed Model - Right Front
  • Tiny Parts Example
    Tiny Parts Example
  • Tiny Photoetch Example
    Tiny Photoetch Example

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