British Forces Land Rover Twin Set

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Company: Airfix - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Hornby America - Website: Visit Site
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The Kit

This 1/48th scale kit offers two vehicles for the price of one (both are available as single kits, too). Airfix has released several kits of vehicles, troops, and helicopters deployed to Afghanistan. Both vehicles are derived from the Land Rover Defender. The Snatch is a patrol vehicle with supplementary armor, “suitable for armored patrols in potentially hostile environments.” The WMIK serves as a Special Forces vehicle. Unlike its brother, the cab is replaced with a roll bar and is open to the air. The models are shipped in one plastic bag so several of the WMIK parts were damaged during shipping. Most of them could be repaired. It would be nice if Airfix could do a better job protecting parts during shipping. There are four sprues in light blue plastic (two for each vehicle), one sprue of clear parts, and a sheet of decals. There are two full-color exterior paint call outs for Humbrol paints. There is a total of 190 parts: WMIK – 89, Snatch – 101.


Since both vehicles are derived from the same vehicle, that chassis is identical, though the WMIK has a blast plate that protects the drive train. Once you transition to the bodies, there is a considerable difference. The Snatch has a cab and closed body with a hatch on the roof that is protected by ballistic glass. The various doors and hatches can be modeled either open or closed. I chose to keep them closed. For the most part, everything went together, but there were some issues. The biggest challenge for me was making sure the sides of the cab were aligned correctly. The cab seemed square, but somewhere along the line something must have gotten out of alignment because the firewall between the engine and passenger compartments was very difficult to position. Given these challenges, I also had a difficult time keeping the back doors square. There was a large gap which I am assuming is not present in the real vehicle.

Whereas the Snatch has an enclosed cab, the WMIK has a roll cage with a gun platform on the roof, so everything is open to the air. The parts for the roll cage, unfortunately, had a great deal of flash on some of them, and other parts were not fully formed. This seems rather odd, given that this is a new mold. Regardless, the engineering of the roll cage was fairly straightforward and it went together without too much of a problem. The attachment points are very delicate, so don’t be too enthusiastic with a sanding stick. Finally, a word of caution: the roll cage pieces are very fragile, so handle with care when you are removing them from the sprue and removing flash. The weapons are nice, but the main gun seems soft on detail, even for 1/48th scale.


When I looked for the Humbrol color of the vehicle (Matt Desert Tan), I couldn’t find it in my corner hobby shop or online, so I used Tamiya Desert Yellow and lightened it with white until I got an approximate version of what’s in the instructions. I appreciate that Airfix includes a full color drawing of the vehicle so one can get an approximate idea of what the vehicle should look like. Unfortunately, the instructions do not match either the photo on the cover of the box or what I found in line. In particular, for the Snatch land rover, the guard that goes over the front windshield is shown in the instructions as a solid color, yet when you compared it to the box cover, the wire screen goes over the front windows and therefore remains translucent. The only other mystery is the rear tail lights for the WMIK rover. The full color profile indicates some sort of tail lights; however, there are no decals or clear parts for said tail lights. Don’t know if that’s oversight or I am missing something. I have reviewed the instructions several times and have not found a reference to tail lights.

Before Hornby acquired Airfix, it was always frustrating to open an Airfix kit and let out a big sigh – the decals were out of register. No more. Decals are very good and in register (they are manufactured by Cartograf). They went on perfectly. The decals for the land rover include mesh for all of the windows. Once they are applied to the various windows, they become practically invisible. The mesh that goes over the land rover’s tail lights was nearly impossible to affix without running the decal, so I didn’t include it.

Regardless of the particular issues mentioned, I am elated to see Hornby taking the Airfix brand to new heights in terms of subject matter. These are interesting kits and, with some time and patience, should be a welcome addition to any modelers stash. My thanks to Hornby America and IPMS/USA for giving me the opportunity to review this kit.


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