Bedford QLT 1/76 Airfix

The Bedford QL was a series of three-ton 4×4 trucks produced by Bedford for the British Armed Forces between 1941 and 1945. More than 3,300 units of the QLT “Troop Carrier” infantry transport variant alone were produced.

Two years after the Polish company IBG released five kits of the famous Bedford in 1/72 scale, in 2010 Airfix came with a brand new Bedford QL kit in its own popular 1/76 scale. They released it as a double kit of the classic QLD tarpaulin general multi-purpose flatbed and the QLT extended bed flatbed that carried around 30 fully equipped infantrymen. The kit contains a lot of parts with nice details and an excellent Cartograf decal sheet, which contains a large number of division markings, so we can build almost any machines from the battles in Europe after the Allied landings in Normandy. I have built the QLT version and my friend the QLD version.

The details of the kit are nice, despite being a bit rough in places. While I quite easily put up with the imitations of curled sails or the coarser details of the footpegs, the really ugly thing was the very simplified one-piece bicycle. It was shouting out for a replacement, as it looks great on the tailgate as carried-on gear! A bit of searching on the internet resulted in downloading a freely available 3D model of “some older man bicycle”, which I just scaled down and had printed from the resin by a friend of mine. The difference was huge! I just turned the handlebars of the bicycle so that it could be hung and did not deal with any differences further. The kit omits a few details, such as wipers, rearview mirrors or the gear lever in the cabin, but it is simple to deal with it with some minor scratch upgrades. Probably the only thing that does not please us is that the kit suffers from a large number of ejector pin marks, which must be filled up because they are quite visible (e.g. in the interior of the flatbed, doors, etc.). Instead of filing it with some putty, it is better to use some circles cut out of a plastic plate with a punch and die thing and glue them with normal glue into the sinkholes. The surface stays straight, it is easier to work with and there is less risk of damaging the surrounding surface. Apart from this annoying activity, the build went smoothly, including glueing the glass into the cabin frames. You can liven up the cabin by opening both doors, the back door can be left open on the body, too (the side doors on the flatbed are moulded in one piece with the side panels, so no easy way to deal with them, I just left them closed).

It took me more time to paint the individual subassemblies, also painting the “Mickey Mouse/Normandy Hedgerow” takes more than minutes to apply those curves with a brush over the moulded details. I used my favourite AK 3rd Generation Acrylics and Vallejo Model and Game Colors. The Cartograf decals were a pleasure to work with, they easily copied the rugged surface of the body and their print and colours are excellent. The patina was provided by Panel Liners from Tamiya, oil paints and a mix of CMK and Vallejo pigments. I must also say that in terms of shape, the Bedford from Airfix is better than the IBG, which at first glance can be seen mainly in the radiator grille, the shape of the cabin, the roof, the tanks and the wheels, but its disadvantage may be the reduced scale for the orthodox “one-and-seventy-two” builders. Personally, I don’t mind a mix of 1/72 and 1/76 scales in my display case, so I happily included the Bedford “Trooper” in the company of other finished pieces…

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