Maquette Bishop Mk I. MQ-3551

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Maquette Bishop Mk I. MQ-3551

Post  László Harsányi on Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:34 pm

Commonwealth armor of the WWII is my soft point, so sometimes I buy kits that I would normally never buy. That was the case with this one too. Even though I suspected that it won't be the Kit of the Year, for a measly 8 Euro I had to buy it.



The kit is the old VM (or Dragon - I do not know which company made the original molds) kit to that extent, that maquette didn't even change the VM logo on the instruction leaflet. In the box the parts are on four large and a small sprue plus two identical sprues with the individual track links.

The hull parts

Stowage and other mixed parts

Running gear and mixed parts 2.

Gun

Wheels

Track links


Interesting that the molds are made of three different kind of plastic. I was a bit affraid of the large white sprues as their feeling was the same as the old Czech or East-German kits from my childhood, very hard and brittle, but luckily these were a bit softer and easier to handle.

The those details which are shown are quite sharp, taking the age of the kit, but often oversized and some areas (like the gun's casematte) is quite simplified. The parts of the gun are roughly as detailed as the Tamiya's venerable 25 pdr gun. Below is a comparison of a preserved Valentine and the front of the kit and some detail of the final drive. (There is an additional part for the front armor plate with the driver's visor slit so it's not so bare and the large headlights are missing from the museum vehicle.)





The greatest problem of the kits are the sinkmarks. There are huge ones on the running gear parts, and shallow ones on the engine cover hatch.





The instruction is an A/4 size, four page leaflet, not very user friendly. To identify the right parts you would need some reference photos. My box was a net-sale and the decals are missing from it, but according to the very limited instructions there should be decals for two vehicles, one in desert camo (probably the boxart of the Dragon kit) and a green-black one, which is on the box cover. (The Dragon cover seems suspicius to me, as the photos I found shows this vehicle in a simple Light Stone or Desert Pink colour.)









Summarizing the things: this is not the kit what you should buy if you want an easy build. But as this is the only plastic version of this very peculiar vehicle you have no other choice: you can love it or leave it. Eduard is making a PE set for this kit which is greatly enhance it, and if you have an ammo limber in your spare box from one of the 25 pdr Tamiya kits that can add a nice extra touch to this.




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Re: Maquette Bishop Mk I. MQ-3551

Post  Richard Marchand on Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:54 pm

Nice review halaci. Well detailed and informative.

Like you said those oldies are not for the faint hearted but with lots of TLC they can be build into impressive models.

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Re: Maquette Bishop Mk I. MQ-3551

Post  alex on Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:56 am

if you want i have 3 belona booklets on the valentine/bishop and also a military vehicle workshop series booklet
all contain excellent detail drawings which can be of great help. if you want pm your postal adress and i will mail photo copies. there is also a good article/build on the military modelling magazine forum
alex
ps accurate armour do some updates for this kit as well

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Re: Maquette Bishop Mk I. MQ-3551

Post  László Harsányi on Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:29 am

Thank you Richard and Alex!

Alex I have sent a PM with my mail. I'm thinking about the Eduard set if I can get it on their E-day in Prague, but in fact I do not want to spend too much for this kit. First because I bought it to practice some painting techniques with my airbrush - those huge flat areas are perfect training grounds. Second if my unlucky star had not changed its course in half a year somebody will announce a completely new Valentine/Bishop line in a much better quality out of the box. What I've really looked for is a metal barrel, but I havn't found anything.

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Re: Maquette Bishop Mk I. MQ-3551

Post  Jenny Ryan on Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:57 am

A great review . Really informative.

I am a big fan of Eduard , just because they usually have an update available for all kits . This is great as it shows just by looking at the website what they improve , giving you an idea of the inadequacies of the base kit !

Jenny flower

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Re: Maquette Bishop Mk I. MQ-3551

Post  László Harsányi on Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:53 pm

You are absolutely right Jenny, publishing the instructions in pdf format on their website is a service what other companies should follow. These are not only good for checking the inadequate points of a kit but I can decide whether the modifications are OK to my skill level as well and - very important - it makes clear what upgrades that special PE set really contains and what are just on the marketing photo. This last one is crucial in case if there are a few different set for the same kit complementing each other. I hate Voyager's habit to photo all of them together and then you have to datamine on the net, what will you really get for your money.

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Re: Maquette Bishop Mk I. MQ-3551

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