During this year´s Nürnberg Toy Fair a small kit caught my eye mainly because it is in „my“ scale of 1:72 and secondly due to the fact that I was -until then- absolutely ignorant about an „Otter“ Recon Car at all.
So my curiosity was on „top alert“ and what else could I have done but to buy an „Otter“ and review it?The history
Because the „Otter“ is amongst the lesser known armoured vehicles of World War II please allow my some introductory notes before I actually look at the kit:
The allied light reconnaissance car „Otter“ has been produced by General Motors of Canada in high numbers: Between 1942 and 1945 1761 „Otter“ had been produced for the allied war effort. Based on a Chevrolet C15 CMP (Canadian Miltary Pattern) it was used by the British Army as well as nearly all other Commonwealth forces during World War II.
Armed with a Brengun in an open turret and a 12,7mm Boys Anti Tank Rifle, it´s 106 HP GMC engine gave the 4,4 tons of the „Otter“ a street velocity of 75 km/h.
The „Otter´s“ armour was with it´s 12 mm (Front) and 8 mm (flanks) ideally suited to protect the crew from small arms.
As a special „bonus“ for my curiosity: The „Otter“ was used by the Polish army during the liberation of Northwestern Germany (where I live) and also by the Royal Jordanian army during Israels War of Independence. At least one was even captured by the Israelis!
After lifting the box (a very sturdy affair and to be recommended to other manufacturers!) you will find two seperately bagged sprues, a fret with photo-etched parts, the decals and the instructions:
Let´s start with the sprue for the chassis:
Modellers who already built the Bedford C15A by IGB will instantly recognize the plastic – both (Otter and C15A) had a common chassis and no wonder the kits have these too:
As can be seen in the following pictures, the plastic is not only crisply moulded but also some very diminutive parts are on the sprues – you will need tweezers and a veeery steady hand during assembly:
On the other hand you will get your satisfaction by looking at a very accurate and extremely detailed miniature!
The second sprue is totally new and incorporates anything needed to build an „Otter“:
The armoured body inside and out:
The armoured chassis and the top of the cabin:
The rest of the „Otter“-parts are crisply moulded and simply looking at them will make most modellers happy:
Assembling these finely cast parts is pure fun: I couldn´t find no misalignement whatsoever: Everything fits like the proverbial glove. Even myself, the left-thumbed modeller, was able to finish the „Otter“ without any problems.
A testimony of quality!
The photo-etched fret incorporates a sand shield, two security sheets for both axles and four fender-parts:
Call me hopelessly old-fashioned but I would prefer those „normal“ black-and-white instructions that I am used to: There are moments when the parts-placement is not 100 percent clear and maybe an old-fashioned manual would have helped here.
Nothing serious and maybe I am not „up-to-date“.
The decals …
Strange thing: The version which is displayed in the box-art is NOT included.
Colour coding is following four different manufacturers systems:
To sum it up
This petite „Otter“ was unknown to me until I saw it in Nürnberg and although I am not THE avid military modeller it was pure fun building this fine little kit:
Extremly fine parts, a perfect casting and a more than perfect fit of these parts gave me some very relaxed hours of modelling.
Those with the intention of leaving well-trodden pathes should think about building one of IBGs military 72nd scale kits!
This review would not be complete with a little critique:
The boxart shows us an „Otter“ with the Boys 12,7mm AntiTank Rifle.
Unfortunately this is NOT included. But it can be easily „raided“ from IBGs Bren Carriers !
I would like to finish this review with data that are of vital interest to us modellers:
Length of the „Otter“: 4,5 metre = 62,5mm in 1:72
ength of the modell: 63,5mm
Width of the „Otter“: 2,16 metre = 30,0mm in 1:72
Widht of the modell: 28,5mm
Height of the „Otter“: 2,44 metre = 33,88mm in 1:72
Height of the modell: 30,0mm
To be recommended for experienced modellers due to the veeery exquisite and finely cast parts.
Available at Modellbau-König.
Dr. Michael Brodhaecker, Lingen