ARM: Review - Vulcan 1/35 scale 2-Pounder Anti-Tank Gun

Kit Review: Vulcan Scale Models 1/35 scale Kit No. 56001; Ordnance 2
Pounder Mark IX Carriage Mark II British Anti-Tank Gun; 126 parts in
grey stryene; retail price US$23.95
Advantages: first kit of this weapon as a styrene kit; nicely done set
of accessories offers numerous options for posing the model
Disadvantages: no crew figures; no =93portees=94 available (not Vulcan=92s
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all artillery and Commonwealth modelers
The 1930s gave all of the tank-building countries very false hopes
for their antitank guns, as in exercises the antitank guns were
frequently rated able to knock out any tank they faced regardless of
battlefield conditions or armor protection. The British 2-pounder, a
40mm weapon very similar in concept to the US M3 37mm, the German PaK
36 3.7 cm, and the Soviet M1932 45mm, seemed like a good idea in 1939
but soon found itself outclassed in combat. Added to that was the over-
engineered mounting for the 2-pounder which made it heavier and more
difficult to use in action than the others (lower, simple split-trail
carriages). Gunners soon used to not raise the upper shield and fire
the gun from its wheels with the front spades raised in order to
provide a modicum of mobility.
Later on in the war the guns were fitted to 6-pounder type split-
trail carriages (Mark 10 gun on Mark 4 carriage) and a semi-squeeze
bore projectile was offered with a squeeze-bore adaptor as the =93Little
John=94, which got a bit more mileage out of the gun against German
light armor. Also fitted as the standard tank gun on the A13,
Crusader, Valentine and early Churchill tanks as well as most armoured
cars, the 2-pounder was also quickly replaced by the 6-pounder on the
latter three tanks and the later armoured cars.
For many years the only kits available of 2-pounders were either
white metal or resin, expensive and mostly not very good. It wasn=92t so
much that the manufacturers were poor as the gun was very complex and
difficult to mold or cast.
Vulcan, a new manufacturer from Hong Kong, has now entered the 1/35
scale market with this kit, which is a very impressive first product.
Portraying the awkward Mark II carriage, the kit comes with state-of-
the-air molding and modeling techniques and is very nicely done on but
two sprues (a 2-pounder is a very small gun at the end of the day!)
The kit provides the Mark IX gun complete on the Mark II carriage
with nicely done wheels, using the now-common method of =93sandwich=94
construction to both avoid seams and provide tread depth. Each tire
consists of two sidewalls and three =93tread=94 sections. Wheels are in
two parts with a dished =93hub=94 side and a ribbed rear side.
The gun proper comes with a =93slide molded=94 barrel and even offers a
poseable breech block. The shield comes as a single piece but with
some care may be separated to simulate the folded section for travel
or the =93lessons learned=94 combat deployment to reduce gun height.
The very petite lower carriage comes with tie rods, a handling spike,
and separate mounting arms for the front spades which may be fitted as
folded for travel or late combat or down for early combat positions.
The kit comes with two ammo boxes with separate lids and separate
round casing bases so the modeler may portray either a full or empty
ammo box, or anything in between. Accessories also include a sight
case and ready ammo box for the gun as well as six =93live=94 rounds and
six empty casings, also with =93slide molded=94 open throats.
No decals are included, but as these guns had few markings it is not
a major problem.
Overall this is a great first effort and one which has already been a
big hit with Commonwealth modelers. Kudos to Vulcan for a lovely kit!
(I suggest anyone interested in the 2-pounder pick up a copy of =93The 2-
Pounder Anti-Tank Gun in Canadian Service=94 by Doug Knight, Service
Publications, Ottawa, ISBN 978-1-894581-36-3.)
Thanks to the guys from Wings =91n=92 Treads for the review sample.
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Cookie Sewell
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