Old 03-27-2006, 12:03 AM
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James Tainton James Tainton is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: I'm not really sure... I just woke up and found my
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If you haven't seen this -it doesn't look good

Bronco Hotchkiss, Arrrghhh!
March 24 2006 at 7:05 PM Steve Zaloga (Login Steve.Zaloga)
Moderator - Allied WWII
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OK sports fans. After waiting for well over a year for the Bronco Hotchkiss, and having read favorable reviews elsewhere, I plunked down my money and got one this week. I started working on it a couple of nights ago. Nice looking molding, but assembly (at least of the suspension) was so-so at best. Nasty mold shift on wheels, clumsy assembly of front and back of the bogies, wheel edges too thick. In Bronco's favor, the springs are a very nice touch.

Tonight, I took out my scale plans for a reality check. I have a set of Hotchkiss company plans, as well as a very attractive set of plans done by Y. Tomioka in 1971. The good news is, the kit is reasonably close to the Tomioka plans (which have been printed in a number of Japanese hobby magazines). The bad news is, that the kit isn't anywhere in the ballpark to the original Hotchkiss plans (which include measurements). The upper hull is too narrow, the turret is too small, lots of dimensional issues overall. Who's right: Tomioka or Hotchkiss? I also have Tomioka's T-62 plan, which is also very attractive, is not dimensionally very accurate. Short of running over to Saumur and measuring their Hotchkiss, I suspect the Hotchkiss company plan, while plain, is more accurate on basic dimensional data. I vote the Hotchkiss plan.

The Bronco problems are not small. For example, according to the Hotchkiss plan, the widest part of the upper hull casting should be 49mm (it's 44mm in the kit, about 10% narrow)

The old Heller Hotchkiss kit, while it has some real shape problems on the rear hull casting and lots of detail issues, is still quite close to the Hotchkiss plans. The Trumpeter kit is somewhere in between: closer dimensionally to the Hotchkiss plans but much too wide fenders; better detail than Heller, but still a lame rear hull casting. Unfortunately, the size discrepency between the Bronco and Heller kits rules out parts swapping between them as far as the hull is concerned.

Bottom line: None of the kits will result in an accurate model out of the box but Heller seems more dimensionally accurate (even if a detail horror). I suspect that the Bronco Hotchkiss will look OK built out of the box but will appear to small if stuck next to figures or other tanks.

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Old 03-27-2006, 09:32 AM
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panamadan panamadan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, MN, USA
Posts: 485
Just started this kit this past weekend. Suspension is not a whole lot better than the Trumpeter kit. The rest of it is so-so. Not really worth the price asked for it. It is a cute little bugger though!
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