Tuesday, September 29

Watch the skies! …for Bronco’s new October Airborne kits…

Bronco’s newly announced brace of kits are very British army and very airborne. In fact both were designed to be used with the “Red Devils” in mind. Both the Swing open nosed version of the Horsa II A.S.58 and the Tetrarch airborne delivered tank will further populate your D-Day and after diorama – let’s see what they were all about in today’s preview…

Bronco’s new kits for October 2015.

A17 Vickers Tetrarch Mk.I/Mk.ICS Light tank
Plastic injection moulding plus a small PE sheet
1/35th scale
A new light tank from Bronco - rare but a very interesting AFV if we follow a little of the history of this vehicle...

Developed in 1936 by the Vickers-Armstrong company, with a total of 177 vehicles in two basic modifications the Tetrarch Mk I and the Tetrarch Mk ICS manufactured from 1941 through 1942. In 1942 twenty vehicles were delivered to the U.S.S.R. under Lend-Lease, of which 19 fought on the Eastern Front until October 1943.
Originally designed as a commercial venture by Vickers-Armstrong’s and offered as a Light Cruiser tank. In the event it was adopted by the British Army as a light tank and became, by default, the first British airborne tank. Tetrarch’s most unusual feature is the steering system that works by turning the road wheels and actually bending the tracks so that, on large-radius turns it can be driven more or less like a wheeled vehicle.

Most notably on the 6th of June 1944 (D-Day) a handful of these tanks, carried in General Aircraft Hamilcar gliders were towed across the channel and landed in support of Sixth Airborne Division on the western flank of the invasion forces.

Hamilcar gliders of 6th Air-landing Brigade arrive on Drop Zone carrying Tetrarch tanks, 6 June 1944.

Airspeed A.S.58 Horsa Glider Mk.II
plastic injection moulding plus a small PE sheet
1/35th scale 
Having already seen the Horsa I with the solid fuselage but now this – the Mk.II has the swing open nose to allow cargo to exit straight out of the nose and a longer wingspan of 26.8 m, a reinforced floor and double nose wheels to support the extra weight of vehicles. The tow was attached to the nose rather than the dual wing points of the Mk.1. In total 225 were built by Airspeed, 65 by Austin and 1271 built by Harris Lebus. Both Horsa variants were used by the USAF.
The success of Germany's glider borne troops during the invasion of France and the Low Countries encouraged the Allies to look at making their own versions. The most successful British type was the Airspeed Horsa and was built in large numbers. Equipped with a large cargo door on the port side, jettison able tail and a nose that turned to the side, the Horsa Invasion Glider proved to be very capable. The type was used extensively during most airborne operations involving British Paratroops and was responsible for airlifting nearly a quarter of air-supplied supplies during the Normandy invasion.
The Horsa was extremely manoeuvrable considering it was un-powered and rather large. Huge flaps powered by compressed air and wing mounted air brakes allowed them to stand on its nose and swoop down quietly to a landing, although the troops carried probably didn't appreciate this much.

A full interior is rendered on this kit and the Mk.I - a bit of work unless you want to seal it u- but what results if you can get it looking like the real thing....
All of these kits will be available from Bronco’s suppliers in October.