Friday, May 10

Oh Canada you finally have your RAM! Bronco Models 35th scale Cruiser Tank Ram MK.II early preview...

This has been long called for by certain quarters of the modelling community - now Bronco Models has released what we think will be the first in a series of  1/35th scale Canadian Cruiser Tank Ram kits. They start with the MK.II Early Production - see it's features, colours & artwork in our preview...

No dodging this Ram from Bronco...

Canadian Cruiser Tank Ram MK.II Early Production  
From Bronco Models
1/35th scale
Kit No #CB35215
Hey! Bronco are making the Ram II? Don't know anything about this vehicle? We found a little bit of history and some nice pictures to put you in the mood...
In 1940 the Canadian Government decided to build a Cruiser tank for the Canadian army, using parts from the US M3 Lee. The first pilot tank was ready by November 1941, using the entire M3 lower hull, but with new cast upper hull and turret. The first 50 tanks were designated the Ram MkI and mounted a 2 Pounder gun. However, the main production version would be the MkII with a powerful 6 Pounder anti-tank gun. Unfortunately, the 6 Pounder was not ready until April 1942, and by this time the American M4 Sherman was entering mass production. 
The Ram was no longer needed as a combat tank but was produced as a training tank. The Ram MkII weighed 29 tons and had armour up to 87mm thick. Powered by a 400bhp Continental R-975 radial, the Ram had a maximum road speed of 40 km/h. The 6 Pounder gun could penetrate 90mm of armour at 1,000 meters, using APCBC ammunition. The early Ram MkII's had side doors in the hull sides and a machine gun sub-turret, which were eliminated in later versions. 
Some 2,032 Ram tank were built and were used for training both in Canada and in the UK. A few Ram tanks were used in action as Armoured Observation Post (AOP) and Gun Position Officer (GPO) tanks with the Royal Canadian Artillery regiments. Many Ram's had their turrets removed and were converted to Ram Kangaroo heavy APC's, or gun tractors. These were used in N. W. Europe 1944-45. In 1945 Ram tanks were used to equip two Dutch armoured battalions, remaining in service until replaced with Centurion tanks in 1952. The Ram tank was used as the basis of the highly successful Sexton 25 Pdr Self Propelled Gun.
Ram Mk.II specifications
Dimensions 5.80 x 3 x 2.67 m (19 x 9.10 x 8.9 ft)
Total weight, battle ready 29 tons (65,000 lbs)
Crew 5 (commander, driver, co-driver/machine-gunner, gunner, loader)
Propulsion Continental R-975 9-cyl radial Gasoline 400 hp (298 kW)
Maximum speed 40 km/h (25 mph) – P/w ratio 12.3 hp/ton
Transmission Borg-Warner clutch, controlled differential
Suspension Vertical Volute Springs (VVSS)
Range 232 km (144 mi)
Armament Main : 6-pdr (57 mm/2.24 in) MkIII – 92 rounds
Secondary: 3 x.303 cal. (7.69 mm) Browning machine guns -4400 rounds
Armor Maximum 87 mm (3.42 in)

Variants of the Ram to help you work out which is which...
This new kit from Bronco:
We have a few pictures of the feature-set of the kit, with a walk around of the finer features of this new 1/35th scale kit.
A few different angles of the CAD version of this tank which is still in the last stages of development. The golden parts int he picture are of course the Photo-etch additions to the kit.
There are two choices of Ram II provided in the box, they are:
Ram Mk.II, early production, from the “A” Squadron, Grey and Simcoe Foresters, 2nd Army Tank Brigade, based in Great Britain in mid-1942.

Ram Mk.II, early production, with the 6-pdr (57 mm/2.24 in) Mk. III, auxiliary turret and US M3 type suspensions, in khaki brown livery. It is from the Lord Strathcona’s Horse training unit, belonging to the Canadian 5th Armored Division, based in Great Britain in late 1942.
OK - so that is all we have on this sure to be popular kit - You can see more about Bronco's kits on their website.