T17E1 Staghound Mk I
|Kit #: 7001||Preview by F. Giovagnorio|
The Staghound was a highly successful armored car, used by the Allies during and well after the end of WW2, with the latest vehicles being deployed in Lebanon during the 80s. The Mk.I was the version produced in larger numbers, while the Mk. II (with an howitzer replacing the 37mm gun) and the Mk. III (mounting the turret of a Crusader tank) were much less successful.
RPM produced 1/72 plastic kits of both Mk.I and Mk.II versions: you can read the Mk.II review by Al Magnus here. The kit was accurate, with 172 pieces to assemble; not a quick build one, so there was space for an easier to build, yet well detailed kit.
Neucraft Models enters the market of resin 1/72 vehicles with this kit, which comes in a sturdy cardboard box with nothing outside; inside, you can find the small number of pieces (only 20) separated into different plastic bags. As in every recent prodution, casting is top-notch without imperfections or abnormalities. Another small bag contains a piece of copper wire which is going to be cut to make the 2 connectors for the external fuel tanks, plus the 2 posterior towing handles prepared from copper wire. A small fret of decals completes the package. The instruction sheet can be downloaded in PDF from the Neucraft Models site; it shows the completed vehicle with all the pieces where they should be, plus guides for decals positioning. This is how it looks:
Some simple measurements confirm the accuracy in scale of the model, which is 75.7 x 37.3 mm while it should be 76.2 x 37.4 mm. Absolutely nothing to complain here.
The main part of the kit is obviously the body, split into two halves with many details sculpted in place, such as tools, handles, hatches and front towing cable. Easy to assemble, but you will want to replace some details and scratchbuild them, such as the handles on the engine deck which are sculpted solid.
The turret is quite detailed and only needs glueing the main armament in place (the 37mm gun with the coaxial MG, and the AA MG on the roof with its cartridge box).
The design of the Mk.I included a front shield for the main gun that can be seen in the picture below, visible on many of the earlier vehicles, but apparently lost in most cases while the war carried on. This shield is not present in the kit, and Kevin Zhang from Neucraft explained that both the specific vehicles which can be reproduced with the supplied decals did not carry the shield, hence the decision not to include it.
The roadwheels are very well done.
Add the lateral fuel tanks, lights, mufflers, gas can and you are done. For additional realism, it is possible to separate the front lights from the external protection, which can be scratchbuilt from tin foil.
Decals are present for two vehicles, both in Belgium 1944:
It must be said that these 2 particular vehicles, like many command Staghounds, had additional radios with added mounts fitted to the front hull periscope openings. These extra details are not difficult to add to the finished vehicle.
In conclusion: A quick-build kit which will produce a rather accurate and detailed model, with a quality suitable of improvement with some simple scratchbuilding.
Preview sample provided by the manufacturer.