As the Scorion and Scimitar kits share a lot with just the one sprue being different, I have incorperated both kits into one Preview, Although the Scimitar is not yet released, should it be different to what is shown I shall of course do a separate review.
The long awaited Scorpion from ACE, although now out of service with the British Army, with the hulls being converted to the Sabre reconnaissance vehicle using the Fox Armoured car turret mounting the 30mm Rarden cannon. The vehicle was however used in the first gulf War (Desert Storm/ Desert Sabre) Unfortunately Ace have made the same mistake as the AFV club 1/35th kit, the hull has the later type engine deck with the raised louvers, more appropriate for the later Scimitar and Sabre vehicles and for a few RAF Scorpions, anyone wishing to model an accurate Scorpion in army use will have to change this or live with it. However it does mean the the Scimitar will have the correct deck. I wish to Model a Falkland conflict vehicle which will mean changing the Hull louvers to the flush type, so look out for an article on how to do it later.
As with the AFV release the ACE release of the Scorpion has been labeled with the wrong engine deck, although I have seen pictures with this engine deck, a lot of this has been said by me, so to put things right here is the story of the Scorpion engine decks and how the ACE deck is right and wrong at the same time.
When the Scorpion was developed in the late 1950's and were accepted into service in 1970and were delivered in 1972. At the time they were fitted with the great Jaguar 4.2 litre 6 cylinder petrol engine which was actuall downrated to produce 190BHP instead of the 265 BHP it could have produced, the installation of this engine gives the original flush louvers seen on both Scorpion and Scimitar. The British continued to use the Petrol engine in the Scorpion until it was withdrawn from service.
In 1980 Perkins made a 6 cylinder Turbo diesel engine for the CVR(t) family with a similar perfomance but not as nippy as the petrol engine but had better MPG and gave 200BHP, these engines were offered to all export vehicles mainly going to the middle and far east, the diesel engined vehicles are the one portrayed by the ACE kit.
So there you have it, the raised louvers are all diesel engined vehicles used mainly in export, British Scorpions all had Petrol engines and Flush louvers. Just to complicate things further, all British vehicles have now had the diesel engine fitted, but they have changed the louver layout slightly on British vehicles.
To convert thre vehicle to a British vehicle is a very easy process which I will show on the web site and doesn't call for any great degree of scratch building, if you can cut plastic card into a rectangle you are half way there.
This is a late Scorpion in use with BAOR, it shows that the front louvers are indeed flush with the front but that the whole front is slightly raised in relation to the hull
This is a comparison shot of the kit showing the difference.
The Scimitar used the same hull and engine deck in the beginning
Later the Scimitar got modified with a new type of engine louvers layout
Later a new auxilary exhaust was added to the hull side.
Here are some pictures so that you can decide the difference in kit and real thing for yourselves.
And some of the Scimitar deck
And one of the Sabre deck
As you can see the Sabre is similar if not the same as the Scorpion (which is natural as they used the Scorpion hulls to make the Sabre) I am not sure if the Sabre deck has been modified the same as the Scimitar, if I come across any pictures I will update again.
After even further searching, I came across various pictures of Scorpion with the deck in the kit and also with the 4 tube smoke launchers. I must point out however that none of these have been in service with the British Army. So while the kit may be used as it is for foreign and export vehicles, for British army vehicles the louvers and the smoke dischargers must be changed. A couple of Pictures
The other thing that I missed were the smoke dischargers, the kit provides the 4 barrel dischargers, which are correct for the late Scimitar and Sabre but not for the Scorpion which should only have the original 3 barreled type
The very fine tracks are reproduced in PE, this is thicker than the PE that ACE has used before and a lot more malleable making the tracks easier to work with. it is very similar to the PE used by OKB Grigorov. The kit comes with a lot of options in equipment and stowage arrangement, so references will be needed when modeling .
The Scorpion comes in the normal off white plastic, there is a slight bit of flash on some parts but nothing drastic and can be removed with a finger nail, although it will need to be cleaned up after. The hull is a multi piece affair but fits together well with minimum clean-up. Suspension arms are moulded in place making wheel alignment a lot easier. Tools are all separate.
The Hull with the Drivers hatch and some of the stowage bins, this will be the same for the Scimitar when it is released.
This sprue is unique to the Scorpion and contains the 76mm gun along with the old type Square edge rear turret bin.
This is the sprue for the Scimitar. As you can see it contains a new gun and mantlet, sights and barrel lock.
The common wheels sprue for all the CVR(T) series, there are two of these sprues and contains both the new and the old type sprockets and idlers.
The turret sprue, this contains the later type angled edge rear turret bin, this is a different turret to the one supplied with the Cougar kit which also uses the Scorpion turret.
The tracks as can be seen it is a different type of metal that to what is normally used by ACE and is fairly easy to work with, it is also slightly thicker than normal giving the track that bit more depth.
Decals are provided for 4 vehicles, all are thin and in register although I am not sure about the way the Union Jacks fit together (18+19).
The sheet on the Right is the Scimitar decals, with options being provided for 2 Gulf war variants, 1 UN 1 Belgian (Somalia) and one UK/BAOR version.
The colour schemes.
A very nice kit of this speedy little vehicle (I have been up to 70 MPH in one) From what I have built so far the parts fit together well with a small amount of clean up. Although parts are included for early versions because of the hull only late versions can be really built.
Janes Armour and Artillery 1990-1991 by Christopher F Foss.
Tanks and Combat Vehicles Recognition Guide by Christopher F Foss