Kit Review: Airfix 1/72 scale Kit No. A05330; WWII RAF Bomber Re-Supply Set
; 199 parts (190 parts in grey styrene, 9 clear styrene); retail price US$2
Advantages: nice, new set first one released by Airfix since 1973; multiple
vehicle in nominal OO scale (1/76) or 1/72 allows for many options
Disadvantages: no figures (see text)
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all WWII RAF fans and postwar model railway modelers
I have always had a soft spot for Airfix, as they were the first series of
models that I encountered in the same exact scale - 1/72 - and of more int
eresting subjects as they were historical and not simply one-off prototypes
as many American models of the late 1950s-early 1960s were focused on. The
y really hit their stride at the end of the 1960s with some truly great kit
One of my all time favorites was their Short Stirling bomber kit from 1966
- not only was it very detailed for the time, but it came with a small tra
ctor and bomb dollies to set it off. Apparently Airfix got a bug in its ear
from modelers, for three years later they released an Austin K2 ambulance
and fire engine as the RAF Rescue Set. In 1971 they followed it with a pair
of fuel bowsers as the RAF Refuelling Set, and topped it off with a "Queen
Mary" tasker and mobile crane in 1973 as the RAF Recovery Set. Each one ca
me with a few figures suited to their missions, and as well as that they ad
ded a "rubber" (flexible plastic) set of RAF Personnel in 1972. While I cha
nged over to armor and eventually from 1/76 to 1/35 scales, I still fondly
remembered these sets.
To everyone's suprise, in 2013 Airfix returned to this line and released a
new WWII RAF Bomber Resupply Set. This is a welcome addition to the older
kits, and provides a wide variety of new items.
Included in the box are the following: a Bedford MW chassis, with two bodi
es so it can be finished as an MWC petrol bowser (fuel tanker) or an MWD ca
rgo and personnel carrier; a Standard 12 hp 4x2 truck, better known as the
"Tilly"; a David Brown VIG 1 Tractor/aircraft tug; a 450 gallon petrol bows
er trailer; three bomb trolleys, two Type C for four bombs each and one Typ
e F for a single large bomb; a 500 cc single-cylinder motorcycle; a mobile
maintenance platform trailer; a bicycle; 6 x 1000 lb MC bombs; 6 x 500 lb M
C bombs; one 4000 lb HC "Cookie Cutter" bomb; one 8000 lb bomb; six SBC sma
ll bomb containers; six wheel chocks, one ladder, three "jerry" cans, a 55
gallon oil drum, and a mechanic's tool kit.
While nominally 1/72 scale, apparently old line Airfix fans have noted the
vehicles all appear to be 1/76 scale, the old Airfix military vehicle one
derived from British OO Gauge model railways. But as all the vehicles are r
ather small, the differences are so slight that few will notice or care abo
ut the differences.
The Bedford is very nicely done and unlike the old Airfix sets comes with
clear styrene for the windshield and side windows. The MWC body comes with
its doors closed, but there is a rough interior so a good modeler can open
them up and add details to represent the pump system. The MWD canvas comes
with a separate rear flap and a tailgate which can be represented in the lo
wered position or removed, so it also presents a number of options.
The Tilly is also very nicely done and comes with the cowl panel and winds
hield as a single clear part for rigidity and ease of assembly. Its canvas
is open at the rear.
The David Brown tractor appears to be a near clone of the old Stirling kit
one, but as it was nicely done in 1996 all they have done is clean up the
molds a bit and reproduced the original kit nearly part for part less the d
Two comments on the vehicles. Apparently as a sop to modern aircraft model
ers, the tires have all been "flattened" where they touch the ground. Also,
all three vehicles have a front axle which uses tabs and slots which cleve
rly permit the front wheels to be angled when installed for posing the whee
ls in a turned aspect.
The bowser trailer has flattened tires as well, but it comes with a comple
te pump system inside and split doors to begin with.
The maintenance platform is a two-story affair and looks something like a
mobile "jungle gym" set. It is provided for crews working engines, fuelling
, loading items, etc.
The bomb dollies come in what appears to be a similar fashion to the origi
nals, namely carrier racks that can be inverted for carrying single 500-100
0 pound bombs or right side up to carry two bombs. The F dolly only carries
one large bomb, either the 4000 or 8000 pound weapon. The 500 and 1000 pou
nd bombs are basic and old-fashioned three-piece styrene affairs.
The motorcycle comes in three parts - forks/wheel, handlebars, and body. A
s such it can be posted with the front forks angled where the modeler choos
es, as its flip-down stand is deployed. The bicycle is a single piece with
- as is common in small scales - no spokes.
There are four large wheel chocks and two small ones provided, as are thre
cans with solid handles vice three individual bars (the very fussy may wan
t to replace them with fine wire).
The kit comes with a reasonably good set of decals and also two pages of c
olor (!) finishing and marking directions, with the suggested time frame be
ing mid 1943. Paint recommendations are not surprisingly keyed to Humbrol p
aints (also now owned by Hornby, Airfix's current parent company).
Overall this is a very nicely done set with a great deal of flexibility. A
s I also model OO Gauge British pattern railways, the vehicles will be "dem
illed" and used for my layout.
8 years ago