An injection molded quarterscale British softskin vehicle!? Whoever heard of such a thing?
12,280 Austin K5's were produced from 1941through 1945. They were nicknamed "Screamer" because of their noisy transfer case.
Bandai first issued this model in the 1970's and reissued it in the late 1980's. Unfortunately, this is one of the series not
re-reissued by FROG/Fuman in the 1990s. Bandaiís molds had held up well but are rumored to have been mishandled by Fuman, and subsequently scrapped.
Packed in a sturdy two-piece box, all sprues were sealed in plastic bags.
Built with ninety-six olive pieces on four sprues and a sprue of six clear parts, the parts are crisply cast with sharp detail and virtually free of flash, mold marks, ejector marks and sink holes. There are some mold seams along edges but most of these can be eliminated with the pass of an X-acto blade.
The large wheel tires are molded as one piece with the hubs. The detail of the treads and hubs is good. The nine-part Own 6-cylinder, 85 H.P. engine has basic detail, but connects to a transmission and transfer case.
Almost no detail enhances the inside of the cab and doors. Little attempt was made to texture the canvas tarpaulin. Nor is there any texture on the cargo area sides and floor. Lithe parts like the rearview mirror posts and the tarp framing are a bit thick. The radiator grill is solid. A couple of handles are molded on.
Test fitting promises a tight model; three Bandai
1/48 AFV's I have recently built generally have good fit.
The K5 was 5.99 m (19 foot, 8 inches long). Bandaiís model almost spot-on.
Bandai released this model with their figure set No. 23, a sprue of four British soldiers in tropical gear. One is a driver, another is standing in the hatch in the cab roof. The other two look like the officer / NCO and rifleman from the Bandai set 8365, British Infantry set No. 1. These figures are in-scale and well detailed -- maybe not up to today's quality, but respectable. The set is comprised of thirty-eight pieces (excluding the flat bases) of three Enfield rifles, a pistol holster, four helmets, two field packs, four cartridge pouches, three canteens, two bedrolls, binoculars, and a pair of shovels and pickaxes. This increases the total kit parts count to one hundred thirty-four!
decals and painting
Several choices for units and vehicle numbers are provided. Bandai's decals were detailed, well registered, and thin.
The easy to follow instructions only reference general painting guidance.
Whether modeling an Austin serving an airfield in East Anglia, rolling westward past El Alamein, or into Hamburg, this kit offers us a good quarterscale British softskin. It is not hard to find but being an older Bandai 'red stripe' kit, it can be expensive.
Photos of built Bandai / FROG / Fumans: