This is a new version of many Riich Universal Carrier’s and is the Airborne Version. The Universal carrier was changed to reduce its weight to enable it to be carrier in the Hamilcar Glider. This included removal and reduction of the armor plate and removal of all unnecessary equipment.
I had built the Tamiya Universal carrier many moons ago and I thought that was a great version but this excels in every area and now I must go and buy the other version of the Universal carrier released by rich.
The kit contains
- 7 sprues molded in light grey styrene
- 1 clear sprue
- 3 Photo Etch sheets
- 32 springs
- 1 decal sheet
- 1 instruction booklet.
The kit is includes a lot of unrequired parts as these are for the standard Universal carrier.
- Step 1 & 2 builds parts of the main hull with no issues
- Step 3 & 4 builds the suspension and wheel units, the only thing I found here was some of the holes needed a little cleaning out due to flash
- Step 5, 6 and 7 is the assembly of the hull side walls, wheel assemblies and tracks, here you must be careful in the alignment and position of the transmission unit. The tracks are a little tricky and a lot of care is needed but look good when complete, I decided to airbrush all the wheels, hull and tracks at this stage. I would suggest you install the rear wall and exhaust from Step 9 at this stage to save you having the issue I had with the fitting of these parts.
- Step 8 installs the upper track cover.
- Step 9 Assembles the rear wall with the exhaust system and also some of the driver compartment details. At this stage I found it very hard to install the parts of the exhaust and it wou have been better to install prior to the transmission installed at step 5.
- Step 10 installs the drivers pedals, gears, etc. The order in which these are installed should be noted as it is best to install the sub assembly F after parts 40 and 46 are fitted. Also the sub assembly F is very tricky so be careful here too.
- Step 11 adds more interior details including the Battery etc.
- Step 12 adds more parts to the rear wall assembly.
- Step 13 builds the PE side armor sub-assemblies and was very straight forward.
- Steps 14 thro to 21 adds the interior parts and seats etc. I must say that the instructions would have benefited with having more detail of the forming of the PE parts such as item Pa1 etc. I also found that parts Pa41 and Pa42 were reversed. The Gear stick assembly was also very difficult. Now for the biggest problem I encountered – the PE seat mounting parts which really needed a lot more detail of how to form them to enable them to be installed correctly. So please be very careful and trial fit as much as you can. Also there is need to assembly parts in a particular order for step 20 which is A23, A20 then the assembly of items A6,A10, A38 and A39.
- Step 22 is the subassembly of the frontal armor, please note the removal of the areas marked including the greyed out rivets which I nearly missed.
- Step 23 installed the front, side and rear amour plates plus some details. This was without any issues
- Steps 24 to Step 30 add all the final exterior details, at step 25 please note part Pa46 needs folding although not indicated. At Step 26 the install of Part Pa11 is missing but is identical to part Pa10 but on the opposite side. The rest is plain sailing.
- The next steps 31 to 36 are for the assembly of the Welbike and container. This was very easy except you need to very careful forming the wheel spokes.
Then on to painting and decals.
Overall I found this kit enjoyable and build into an impressive representation of the Airborne Universal carrier. This is very well detailed and builds into a great model!
Thanks go to Dragon USA for providing this kit to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it for them.