Gary Johnson (garyj36 here at Armorama) has recently started a garage casting business. His first piece is the BRE seen on USMC M1A1HCs in OIF and an ice chest that was also a common sight on vehicles in OIF. This extension is very useful in carrying all the gear that was needed during the invasion phase of OIF (OIF 1).
Most USMC tanks had these affixed to the rear of the turret bustle rack. Also, the US Army started using this style basket as well, many units have now acquired or ordered this style BRE and it can be seen on many Army Abrams in Iraq now. It was not used by the Army's 3ID in OIF 1 though. Gary sent me samples of these to build and see what I think of them.
Parts and Assembly
The parts are cast in crisp, yellow-tan resin with a paper-thin layer of flash on them. This flash is easy to clean up with a sharp Xacto blade and some sanding. The parts are broken down into the bottom frame, rear frame, two side-pieces, and a center hanger. There were a few small air bubbles in my sample on the inner parts of some of the tubing. A few of these caused the part to break while sanding, but were easily fixed with a small amount of superglue. The BRE assembled easily by attaching the rear part to the bottom, then the sides, and finally the center hanger. I had no issues with assembly. The ice chest only needed a little sanding on the bottom and to pop a few resin bubbles off and it was ready for painting as well.
The assembled BRE is in perfect scale with ones I have measured and looks great. The only issue I have is that the water/fuel can holders on the sides should be more rectangular as opposed to having rounded corners. They are not that far off and do look the part though. The ice chest can accent any modern vehicle and is perfectly scaled to the size of any number of commercial ice chests.
I highly recommend these items for anyone wanting to build a USMC M1A1HC or a current US Army Abrams. The BRE looks great and the ice chest can be used on almost any vehicle. Great items.
How to get them
Available are a 3ID BRE, a bustle rack APU, CIPs, an M113 storage rack, and Bradley storage racks in the works. He sells his products on eBay and is known as "Gulf War Armor."
I highly recommend these items for anyone wanting to build a USMC M1A1HC or a current US Army Abrams.
About Gino P. Quintiliani (HeavyArty) FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
Retired US Army Artillery Officer, currently a contractor at MacDill AFB in the Tampa, FL area. I have been modelling for the past 35+ years, really seriously on armor and large scale helos (1/32, 1/35) for the last 30 or so.