In order to break into the fortified zones on the European continent, the Allies anticipated needing a new class of vehicles, assault tanks, which placed maximum armor protection at a higher priority than mobility. Nuffield responded with 18 separate designs (AT1 through AT18), each design larger and heavier than the last. The AT 2, the subject of this kit, was never built, but served as a stepping stone to the eventual development of the AT 16, or Tortoise, two of which were built, but the war ended before they were needed.
Don’t be fooled by what looks like a turret on this vehicle. It’s actually a fixed superstructure such as on a Sturmgeschutze. In the AT 2 version, it mounted a 95mm howitzer.
This was one of the nicest cast small scale resin kits I have ever seen. Detail was extensive and crisply rendered. There was very little flash and no, I repeat NOT ONE, short shot, warp or bubble hole. The resin is a little soft, which is actually a good thing as it is not brittle but can still be sanded/filed. There are 127 resin, and 23 PE parts. My only beef is that the metal used for the PE is a little thick, so it made removing the parts from the PE fret problematic. One thing that was missing however, were all the little access panel handles on the engine deck. Their locations are there in the form of small dimples, but you have to make the handles out of wire if you want them. The hull is cast hollow, but the superstructure is solid, so you cannot display the top hatch open.
Clean-up was easy and removing the casting blocks seemed simpler than in other resin kits I’ve done. The instructions are very basic and, in some cases, you need to look closely at them and the parts involved to insure you’re getting everything correct. The armored side skirts are held in place by a system of supports on the inside that would be very finicky to get aligned considering that you also need to get the drive sprocket and idler wheel set at the same time along with four sets of return rollers on each side. Since you can’t see any of this with the exception of the drive sprocket and idlers, I left it all off with the exception of two supports on each side to provide stiffness. The instructions tell you to install the road wheels before you put on the side skirts, but this would make painting awkward. I tested it out, and you can mount the wheels after the skirts are in place, so I painted them off the vehicle and then installed them after the hull was painted.
The tracks come in four separate runs. Since I wasn’t using the top runs, you can’t see them even if you try, the remaining two per side were dipped in very hot water to soften them, wrapped around the drive sprockets and idlers and then joined in the middle of the bottom run.
This is a beautifully executed kit of an incredibly obscure vehicle that was never even built. It can really stand out in a collection, but that $61 price will deter only the dedicated collectors.
Thanks to OKG Grigorov for supplying the sample kit and to IPMS/USA for the chance to review it.
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