The Austin K5 entered product ion in July 1941with an initial contract for 1300 vehicles. It followed the War Office decision to opt for 3ton 4 x 4 vehicles and coincided with Bedfordís QL series.
It soon became known as the Ďscreamerí due to the excessive noise from the transfer case, not a good thing if you were close to the enemy!
A number of variants were produced, including a large number of 6pdr portees (2000). When the N African campaign ended many of these were converted back to GS vehicles using a wooden body and used in NWE.
This is a review of the standard Austin K5 3ton 4 x 4 GS as used in North Africa from Sovereign 2000
. The K5 saw service throughout the war in many theatres of operation.
The kit comes packed in a strong sturdy box with a coloured picture of the completed model on the top and the manufacturers details. Inside are 3 zip bags of parts and 3 sets of parts contained in bubble wrap. The box is padded out with small styro-foam blocks.
Instructions are in the form of four A4 size sheets. The front sheet contains some basic sensible instructions and a picture parts list. The remaining three pages show the build steps in pictorial format for completing the kit.
A set of on line plans are also available on the company website:
K5 Build Plans
The parts are cast in a cream coloured resin and seem to have very good general quality and sharp fine detail. I canít see any major issues with the kit, I saw one built and on display at the Sovereign stand when I was at Duxford and couldnít resist the purchase.
What you will need to add are some tie-downs and wipers, which can be made from wire and plastic card. I felt a small PE fret with these would have been a good addition to the kit. The frame you will need to make from wire if you want to add one but there is a good example of the layout for this on the last page of the instructions.
Other than that you should have the makings of a very good kit. Sovereign 2000 do this truck for both NWE (hard top) and N Africa (soft top). The NA version comes with pressed steel planking which can be carried on the on the sides of the vehicle if you wish.
I have no plans to compare this one against but it matches well with all the reference pictures I have.
The chassis is nicely detailed with drive shaft, axels, tow hook, fuel tanks and stowage boxes. You get a decent engine and, with the exception of some wire to add, everything that should be there looks to be there.
The cab is also nicely done with pedals, gear stick, brake and a small dashboard. The seats look good. Mirrors and wipers will need to be constructed from wire and plastic card. You will need some glass for the screen too.
The wheels and hubs are also well done, as is the spare wheel stowage.
The bed of the truck has nice detail and has the points where you need to add the tie-downs, which always helps. If you wish to add a tilt then you will have to make one from wire.
There are quite a few small, and probably fragile, parts and quite a lot of flash on some items, so clean up with care would be the way here.
You would need to check you references for the use of press steel planking, but it doesn't look out of place.
Normal safety precautions apply when working with resin and they will be the usual pour stubs and some flash to remove to a sharp razor saw and modelling knife will be needed.
Excellent detail with what looks to be a fairly simple build sequence. It is good to see reasonably priced resin kits of British and Commonwealth vehicles. Perhaps not for the beginner, but if you have reasonable skills then this one shouldnít present too many problems.
The casting is fine and detailed and only the lack of some PE tie-down and wipers might annoy some.
As a standalone vehicle, or within a diorama, Sovereign offers the modeller an opportunity to display another of those uniquely looking British vehicles of the WWII era.
I havenít built any of the Sovereign kits before, apart from several of their figures which I reviewed here on site some time back, and Iím looking forward to seeing how this one goes together, as you can never have enough British Softskins!!
You have a nice clear area in the truck bed to stock up with equipment, stores or troops to add something unique if you wish.
Iíve attached some pictures of the built kit from the Sovereign website for further reference.