British Bofors 40-mm Mk.1/2 AA-gun

Kit #: 6170 Preview by Will Alcott - will_alcott(at)yahoo(dot)com
Edited by Al Magnus

The small box contains 4 dark tan sprues with a total of 57 parts. Of those, 39 go into the gun, 16 make up the crew of 4, and 2 make up a base and an oversized flag if this is to be used as a war gaming piece. The moulding of the parts is excellent, with great detail on all parts of the gun, carriage and crew.

The model is described as 'snap fit - no glue required', though the instructions note that glue can be used 'for more reliable connection of details'. The only parts the specifically require gluing are the 4 fixing stakes (A7) that are carried on the sides of the carriage.

A few minor criticisms of the kit are:
  • The moulded sights (parts A6 and A8 x 2) are clunky, but probably could not be done better in injection moulded plastic. Dan Taylor Model Works offers several photo-etched sets representing different variations of Bofors sights. These are nominally 1/76, but can likely be adapted to fit the Zvezda kit.

  • The gunners' platform (A25) has two holes in it to accept pegs on the feet of one of the standing loaders. Similarly, the two seats (A27 and A32) each have a hole in the backrest to accept a peg on the crewmen's backs. These should be filled if the crew is not used, however this is not noted in the instructions.

  • The gun carriage is moulded with the outriggers deployed, so depicting the model in a towing configuration will require some surgery.

  • The gun is not designed to rotate on the base, but can only be installed at one of four positions. This can easily be changed by removing the pegs from the bottom of part A25.

  • The gun shields are a reasonable job of representing the spaced construction of the originals, but could be improved by adding a groove along the edges, or by rebuilding the parts with thin card or metal.

  • A total of four 40-mm ammo clips are provided - one moulded in place on the gun, two moulded together on the ammo rack (these could be improved by scribing a groove along the top edge) and one moulded in the hands of a loader. Additional ammo clips or ammo boxes would have been a nice accessory for the kit.

  • No decals or painting instructions are provided.

When this kit was first issued there were comments on some online forums suggesting that the kit was actually 1/76 scale. I was unable to find drawings or much in the way of dimensional information, so I measured a real Bofors gun (located at the Brockville Armory in Brockville, Ontario) against the kit's parts, shown above. The results are summarized in the table below.

DimensionFull size [inches]1/72 [mm]Zvezda [mm]1/76 [mm]scale
A - length of breech casing39.2513.813.713.172.8
B - length of barrel sleeve21.8757.76.97.380.5
C - length of exposed barrel and flash hider6824.024.522.770.5
D - length of flash hider113.94.43.763.5
E - overall length of gun132.2546.746.944.271.6
F - width of shield25.
G - height of shield4315.215.614.470.0
H - width of gunner's platform6322.22221.172.7
I - length of recuperator cylinders30.7510.811.210.369.7
J - diameter of foot pad144.94.74.775.7
K - side-to-side distance between mounting feet 14450.850.348.172.7
L - fore-and-aft distance between mounting feet 14450.849.848.173.4
M - width of frame above rear axle4515.916.515.069.3

I conclude that the gun is very close to being 1/72 scale, with the biggest scale issues being the barrel sleeve, which is nearly 1 mm too short, and the flash hider, which is about 0.5 mm too long. I would say the model will fit in well with other 1/72 vehicles.

Preview sample purchased by the author.

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Article Last Updated: 05 August 2016