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Kit Reviews Gecko Models Bedford MWD 15cwt GS (open cab/aeroscreen) Truck Kit

Smeggers

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Gecko Models 1/35 Bedford MWD 15cwt GS (open cab/aeroscreen) Truck. 35GM0025

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Gecko Models have certainly got the bit between their teeth when it comes to British Army static models. Hot on the heels of their MWC Water Bowser (35GM0024) comes this little model, and not before time. I have often gone on about the lack of British vehicles being produced in models and along comes Gecko and bangs out a couple of decent models in double-jig time.

What you get for your £30.00 plus.
Gecko thoughtfully put their models in plain white boxes and then add a coloured slip-cover. Inside the box, there are 18 grey sprues plus four tyre rims; a small transparent sprue with headlight lenses and aeroscreens, one small photo-etched brass sprue with 48 parts and a decal sheet with sufficient choice for four different units covering 1940-1944.
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There is also a driver figure included with a choice of two heads, with beret or with side cap. Good idea there, not everyone wants their drivers wearing tin lids! The final object in the box is the 32 page instruction booklet. This is a work of art on it's own! Gecko have put clear drawings and numerical call-outs into a sensible method of building. They have included a couple of photographs to emphasize the odd point or two. The rear four pages contain painting instructions for the four different units.
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The kit itself
The moulding on the kit is superb. There is a minute amount of flash on the seat backs and absolutely no evidence of mould ejection pin marks on any of the visible parts. Sprue Dh has a beautifully detailed engine which would be of interest to the petrol-heads among you. Mrs Smeg aka The Leader of the Opposition always asks me why I build the engine if I show a model with it's bonnet down. My answer is always the same, "because it should be there". I do try as much as possible to leave the bonnet unglued so I can show off the detailing on the engine. This does of course mean that my models never end up sealed in a display case!

Overall thoughts and observations.
A fine kit from a manufacturer rapidly making a good name for itself. I have built several of Gecko Models kits and find them well-detailed, well-planned and well thought out. I really cannot criticise the models and hope they continue producing British Trucks. If I did have to nitpick, it would be the history at the start of the instructions. This is done in very small print on a blue background and does nothing for my ageing vision! This needs to be at least 10pt or above.
All in all, this is a well-produced model which can be used in a number of military settings or as a stand-alone model. I am very impressed with the kit and can only give it an excellent five out of five. As an aside, the box art may appeal to a reviews editor of our acquaintance as the front bumper reads the name of his old regiment.

Smeggers out.
 
Recently purchased this kit and noticed the instructions show the bonnet only opening on the top with the sides remaining in place. I'm pretty sure the sides are hinged to the top hence the gap at the bottom that they point out with two lovely photo, and the spring catches fixing on the sides. Still think the kit is amazing and hope to see a few more Bedford products from these guys
 

Richmal

Crow
Recently purchased this kit and noticed the instructions show the bonnet only opening on the top with the sides remaining in place. I'm pretty sure the sides are hinged to the top hence the gap at the bottom that they point out with two lovely photo, and the spring catches fixing on the sides. Still think the kit is amazing and hope to see a few more Bedford products from these guys
Ah........You've found the spring catches :) Now try building them. I have a man with a white coat ready to take you away.
 
I must admit that it does look like one is building a miniature Bedford rather than a kit of one, the level of detail is amazing. I do happen to like the white coats though to quote the great Lemmy "I really like this jacket but the sleeves are much too long" :grin:
 

Smeggers

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I must admit that it does look like one is building a miniature Bedford rather than a kit of one, the level of detail is amazing. I do happen to like the white coats though to quote the great Lemmy "I really like this jacket but the sleeves are much too long" :grin:
I must admit, the standard of detailed kits coming from Gecko Models is absolutely incredible! We now seem to be entering a time where detail is important without the need to resort to after-market products and long may it continue. When one can buy a kit like this for under £40.00, then he is getting a decent slice of the wedge and not having to chuck as much again at it to make a decent kit. Of late, kit manufacturers have been over-pricing mediocre kits and pandering to the after-market sellers. Now we have at least one manufacturer keeping their prices down and producing first-time models.
 

Richmal

Crow
I've built both the MWC and Early MWD. Agreed that they are highly detailed but can't help thinking that some PE peices could have been molded in plastic for the younger or less experienced modeller. At the moment I'm attempting to convert the cargo bed of a second MWD into a MWR (Radio). So far so good.
013 - Bedford MWD early.jpg
 
I've built both the MWC and Early MWD. Agreed that they are highly detailed but can't help thinking that some PE peices could have been molded in plastic for the younger or less experienced modeller. At the moment I'm attempting to convert the cargo bed of a second MWD into a MWR (Radio). So far so good.View attachment 521583
Is the door window part of the kit?
 

Richmal

Crow
With the MWC and Early MWD out on the shelves the next one you should see on the horizon is the Later MWD sporting a closed cab (like the MWC) and a full canvas tilt (if the boxart is anything to go by. The superb detail is probably down to Simon King, the owner of an MWD and currently restoring a MWR (Radio) who assisted Gecko on the specifications and detail photos.
001 - Bedford MWD Late.jpg
002 - Bedford MWD Late.jpg
 
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Smeggers

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Kit Reviewer
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I've built both the MWC and Early MWD. Agreed that they are highly detailed but can't help thinking that some PE peices could have been molded in plastic for the younger or less experienced modeller. At the moment I'm attempting to convert the cargo bed of a second MWD into a MWR (Radio). So far so good.View attachment 521583
Having done some research on the MWR, I have found one stumbling point; the Chore Horse battery charger was factory fitted to the rear offside, behind the rear wheel. I have found, however, that many photos show the charger fitted below the offside front step!
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Both photographs show the charger fitted to the front. This seems strange as all the battery operated equipment was stored in the rear of the truck.
Mike Conniford's British Light Military Trucks 1939-1945 has some excellent photos of the MWR including the Chore Horse Generator located at the rear.
The vehicle had a crew of Driver/Signalman, Signalman/Operator, Signalman/Leader(JNCO). Occasionally, the crewing would include an SNCO or Officer.
 
I must admit, the standard of detailed kits coming from Gecko Models is absolutely incredible! We now seem to be entering a time where detail is important without the need to resort to after-market products and long may it continue. When one can buy a kit like this for under £40.00, then he is getting a decent slice of the wedge and not having to chuck as much again at it to make a decent kit. Of late, kit manufacturers have been over-pricing mediocre kits and pandering to the after-market sellers. Now we have at least one manufacturer keeping their prices down and producing first-time models.
Things have certainly moved on from the bad old days where the chance of finding anything not German, American or Russian were nigh on impossible. Yes there is still the plethora of Tigers and ones that only existed on paper but it's encouraging to see manufacturers from eastern europe and the far east investing in commonwealth subjects. Now where's my K2Y, C9B and Bedford OY in plastic :threaten:
 

Richmal

Crow
Having done some research on the MWR, I have found one stumbling point; the Chore Horse battery charger was factory fitted to the rear offside, behind the rear wheel. I have found, however, that many photos show the charger fitted below the offside front step!View attachment 521814
View attachment 521816
Both photographs show the charger fitted to the front. This seems strange as all the battery operated equipment was stored in the rear of the truck.
Mike Conniford's British Light Military Trucks 1939-1945 has some excellent photos of the MWR including the Chore Horse Generator located at the rear.
The vehicle had a crew of Driver/Signalman, Signalman/Operator, Signalman/Leader(JNCO). Occasionally, the crewing would include an SNCO or Officer.
Interesting information. My thoughts are that since the batteries are stowed at the front of the cargo bed it could be easier to route the cables from the front.
Things have certainly moved on from the bad old days where the chance of finding anything not German, American or Russian were nigh on impossible. Yes there is still the plethora of Tigers and ones that only existed on paper but it's encouraging to see manufacturers from eastern europe and the far east investing in commonwealth subjects. Now where's my K2Y, C9B and Bedford OY in plastic :threaten:
Bedford OY/OX would really be pleasing (Y)
 

Smeggers

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Kit Reviewer
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Things have certainly moved on from the bad old days where the chance of finding anything not German, American or Russian were nigh on impossible. Yes there is still the plethora of Tigers and ones that only existed on paper but it's encouraging to see manufacturers from eastern europe and the far east investing in commonwealth subjects. Now where's my K2Y, C9B and Bedford OY in plastic :threaten:
I've said it before, Germans, Shermans and Ivans was all the main manufacturers would make. Happily, since the break up of sov-bloc countries, there is a better choice for the model-maker. There are still one or two golden chalices to find, such as the Karriers, Crossleys, Mawdeslays, Commers and even a few more Morrises; but slowly and surely, they're being reeled in. I would love to see a Guy (truck) or a Thorneycroft but that seems beyond the capabilities of most companies.
If you ignore the over-priced Accurate Armour offerings and the abysmal offerings from Wespe, and cast your net wider, you may find a nugget from either PlusModel or FanKit; both eastern-european manufacturers. As far as British manufacturers go, there ain't that many left. Scale-link do one of two good British trucks, figures and accessories and there are one of two single-owner suppliers. Other than that, scratchbuilding is the way forward!
 

Pop5

Crow
Oh yes there is…

No Bedford OY/OX,

But here's what they do now & there are more on the way…

Just like :santa:

Bedford QLB Bofors Gun Tractor
Bedford QLD General Service
Bedford QLR Wireless
Bedford QLT Troop Carrier
Chevrolet C15A Personnel Lorry (Cabs 12 and 13)
Chevrolet C30A General Service (Steel body) - nice build
Chevrolet C60L General Service
Chevrolet C60S Petrol Tank (Cabs 12 and 13)
Chevrolet Field Artillery Tractor FAT-4
Scammell Pioneer R100 Artillery Tractor
Scammell Pioneer SV2S Heavy Breakdown Tractor

& most available from UK suppliers
 
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