British Cruiser Tank A10 Mk.IA
Gecko Models, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Luke Pitt
Not so long ago a plastic kit of an British A10 Cruiser would have been unthinkable but here we are now two new plastic kits of the same vehicle within the space of a year.
Hot on the heels of the Bronco kits of the same type, Gecko Models has now released their versions of the English A10 Cruiser. I sometimes wonder why companies do this, but it’s nice to have choice!
A well printed and precise 31-page instruction book is included with 41 construction sequences and 5 marking choices.
These marking choices are:
The instructions and the packing have a quality feel to them and this perception is carried over to the plastic parts.
Contents comprise 1,022 medium grey plastic parts are included (more than 35 sprues) together with a 34-part photo-etched fret, one medium size decal sheet and a strand of wire. To be fair, the massive part count is largely made up the individual tracks, which take up 588 parts over 7 sprues.
Comparisons between this and the Bronco kit are inevitable as are the different design and assembly approaches. For example, the Gecko kit tackles the tracks by the inclusion of multiple part individual tracks where the Bronco kit does the same thing using the link and length approach.
Undoubtedly the Gecko approach is more accurate in terms of shape, particularly on the guide horn inner profile, but it comes at a cost. The tracks themselves are very fiddly to put together and require a fair degree of clean up.
The lower hull tub is another example. The Bronco kit is supplied as a one-piece moulding where the Gecko kit addresses this area as a four-piece flat pack assembly. The sheer detail of this kit is simply breathtaking. The upper hull has both domed rivets and screws on the rear deck and is covered in all the smaller fine detail that the Bronco kit lacks.
The road wheels and suspension are another example. The Gecko kit exhibits much finer detail in terms of shape and definition of the smaller details, with bogie springs in particular being provided as two parts as opposed to Bronco’s one. The Gecko approach lends the springs a see-through look, which is far more ascetically pleasing to the eye.
The entire kit is like this with my perception being the kit was not rushed with almost everything double checked, as opposed to the Bronco kit. The Gecko kit also provides a semi complete interior with only the engine and transmission missing. Sadly it is a little inaccurate with the forward bulkhead being the wrong shape and the turret basket floor being depicted as wood.
I rate the Gecko kit somewhat higher than the Bronco kit. The Gecko kit has it faults and the overly complex nature of the track assembly comes to mind but overall, in terms of detail, in my opinion it is superior to the Bronco kit.
Both kits are fine and I think they just appeal to a different demographic. If you want a quick build buy the Bronco kit. If you want a detailed build buy the Gecko kit.
Thanks to Gecko Models for the sample.
Text and Images by Luke Pitt