Kit Preview : 1/76 Cromwell Chevrolet Staghound MkIII

About the manufacturer
Cromwell now focuses on 1/76 and 1/72 Combat ready models which combine a reduced count of parts and a good level of detail. Older kit type models are still available, mostly on Ebay. I find Cromwell castings to be among the best on the market.

About the vehicle
The Chevrolet Staghound was an American armored car built to US T17 specifications. The US Army having decided to standardize on the M8, Staghounds were reserved for Lend Lease and used by the British and Commonwealth, in Italy and North West Europe. They were good armored cars but judged to be too large and cumbersome for reconnaissance work in hilly Italy. The Mk III carried a late Crusader turret with a 75mm gun. There is some doubt as to whether this version was ever used in combat.

More information at Wikipedia.

Here is a review of the 1/35 Bronco kit with links to photo repositories of the MkI.

About the kit
The kit predates the Combat Ready series but is still a very simple one. It comprises a hull, 4 wheels, the turret and 2 hatch doors, the 75mm gun (identical to the one on later Churchills), two stowage boxes and an exquisite commander figure, looking through his binoculars with his elbows resting on the turret. The extra plastic rod in photo #2 is not an antenna stub, it is a broken wheel axle. Photo 3 shows a very inconveniently located air bubble, smack in the middle of the rear axle.

Reviewed on 7/24/09.