by: Kevin Brant [ ]
During World War 2 the primary anti-tank gun during the middle part of the war was the Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt, or 6 pounder for short. The 57mm gun was first used in April 1942 in North Africa. Though eventually “out-gunned” by the 17-pdr, the 6-pdr fought on until the end of the war, and even saw service for almost 20 years after World War 2.
4 plastic sprues
2 black plastic wheels
2 length of string
1 photo-etched fret
2 decal sheets
Over the past little while we have been lucky to have many new releases of the famous British 6-pdr anti-tank gun. One of the latest releases from Riich is an Army variant of the 6-pdr with four crewman. The gun was previously released on its own, the only real addition is the figures. The kit is molded in grey plastic, which I did find a little soft, also found some of the molded detail a little soft as well. There is a lot of flash and many ejector marks to be found(more on these later). The kit does include some nice detail parts, but they contain a lot of flash. Even the figures included in the kit, while not bad, have weak molded detailing and lots of cleanup work to do.
Having seen and build the Bronco Airborne variant of the 6-pdr, and know that Bronco and Riich are under the same roof to speak, I had expected a lot of parts to be familiar. This is not the case, while some parts do look that same, the molding quality is not as good as the Bronco release.
Building the gun is not that bad though, the fit in most cases is good. Construction begins with the barrel and breech assemblies. The parts go together relatively well, but watch for the ejector marks. Some are large and protruding, and will get in the way of some parts fitting together properly. In Step 1, there is an error in the instructions, the barrel in labeled Part A1 when it is actually A12. The barrel is one piece, with a two piece muzzle brake to be built and attached.
You will need a little care and patience with assembling the breech, as there are many small parts. You will also need to be very sparing with the plastic model glue, as with the soft plastic, I found a little extra Tamiya Extra Thin glue can quick distort or remove some of the details quickly. There are also a few small photo-etched parts during these steps, again a little patience and no problem.
With the breech and gun done, assembly moves on to the shield. You will have the choice of ammunition racks on the inner shield, I chose the open one, and left it empty as it would more than like be during firing. I also chose to mount the extra shield at this time, as the instruction call for it later, I thought it would be easier to line up before the main shield is mounted. It should be noted, that I have read in a few places that the second shield was rarely used, but I did like the look of it. The instructions did call for the removal of the rivets on the shield face to be replaced by photo-etched bolt heads, but I just left the molded on rivets as I was adding the second shield.
I next moved onto the carriage, and again the fit was not too bad. And again some of the ejector “stumps” will need to be cleaned up to get parts to fit, especially the legs. The carriage built up well, I did not have any major issues here. I chose to leave the poles off, and with the photo-etched straps was able to leave them hanging for effect.
You will have to watch the fit on the hand brakes, as I found one side did not want to go into place very well. A little sanding and persuasion and it got attached. Also when putting the legs together on the axles, I found it a little difficult to the get the pin all the way through, and it needed a little extra persuasion as well.
The kit does include a single sprue of ammunition and cases, not a lot but a start. And included is a sheet of decals to dress up the rounds and cases. The instruction do provide a great overview of the colors and markings for the different types of 6-pdr rounds, and decals are included for marking the rounds and ammunition cases.
As for the figures, again as mentioned earlier, I found the detail a little week, and lots of cleanup. As for the fit, the figures did go together relatively well. I did find a couple small gaps at the hip joints, but nothing a little brushed in liquid putty won’t solve. The addition of the camo netting is a nice touch on the helmets.
It should be noted that I was not able to get the aimer figure into to location pictured. I believe it may have to do with the shoulder rest on the gun, but not a huge issue. The kit does include a sheet of decals for insignia on the figures.
Overall it is not a bad kit from Riich, but it is not a great kit either in terms of moldings. I found the details and molding to be a little soft, with lots of cleanup of flash and ejector marks. The construction of the kit does go rather well, the fit is generally good, and the instructions guide you along well. There are some nice touches, to include the photo-etched details and decals for both the ammunition and figures. The kit does provide a nice option to be almost a diorama in the box, and is way ahead of the old Tamiya kit, it could use a little work. If you are a die-hard anti-tank fan and have to have a 6-pdr with crew, then I would recommend it.
As I already have a diorama in the works, I will update it once the painting and final assembly is complete.