Bronco has recently released a fun little kit of two German WWII rubber rafts, which come in a small, side-opening box with instructions and painting suggestions on the back. Two identical sprues of soft grey plastic make up the contents.
Expecting a run-of-the-mill modeling experience, I was more than pleasantly surprised by the engineering and design of everything – these were made with the modeler in mind. There are enough parts to assemble two rubber rafts. The top and bottom of each raft fit perfectly around a third, curved, inner bottom part to leave a single, very thin seam line around the exterior.
The nicely detail wooden-slat floors were engineered so they could be painted separately, masked, and then assembled with the rest of the raft, which is what I did, using Vallejo Panzer Aces 311 New Wood. I also used New Wood on the eight paddles included in the kit. Once dry, I then spread a thin layer of Mig Wash Brown Oil paint over the wood floors and paddles and let that dry for a few hours. I then used a dry cotton swab to remove the oil paint that had not set up yet, leaving a pleasing wooden color.
The paddle rings were a little fiddley but managed to be coaxed into place without too much trouble. No extras are provided, so the two I launched into who-knows-where were replaced with something similar from my spare parts box.
I finished the rafts using Model Master Helo Drab, followed by a coat of Vallejo Matt Varnish to knock off any shiny spots.
Building these were a fun way to spend a half-hour in front of the TV. Once the parts are clipped and cleaned, assembly is a snap, and the fit, excellent.
As a military modeler, it seems like I never have enough interesting aftermarket products to detail my AFV models, and I am happy to see such a kit produced. I highly recommend this set for anyone who needs to fill up the back of a truck, AFV or diorama.
I would like to thank Bronco and Squadron Products for providing this kit for review, and to IPMS USA for giving me the opportunity to build it.