Rubicon models have been around for a while now, mainly focusing upon World War Two. The kits are intended to be in scale with 28mm miniatures, although, as always, one manufacturer’s 28mm is another’s 32mm or vice versa.
First of all, each of these vehicles and variants is packaged in classic ‘model kit style’ as one complete kit in a box. All the parts are present to create that particular kit, with some options to create variants but you would have to rely on your supply of ‘spare parts’ for additional stowage, etc.
The ‘Standard’ R75 motorcycle kit comes with the option to add different panniers, a choice of MG34 or MG42 machine gun to the sidecar and to add a canvas cover over the sidecar itself. A nice touch is the inclusion of an additional piece designed to strengthen the connection between the motorcycle and sidecar. This aids in ensuring that repeated handling on the tabletop is less destructive.
The instructions suggest that you can use a crew for either the European or North African theatre but only Germans in Early War European uniform are supplied. However, the instructions are very clear, and offer hints and tips as you go along to aid construction. The kit comes with a nicely done decal sheet for European and African campaign vehicles.
The ‘North African Campaign’ R75 motorcycle is exactly the same kit, but comes with a crew in tropical issue uniform, including rolled up sleeves, and the option to add field caps or helmets to them. Again, there is a useful decal sheet.
The next two kits are both Willy’s Jeeps, the US designed and created utility vehicle which was used by the Allies throughout much of World War Two. The Commonwealth version has additional parts allowing for the creation of the US Army standard version, a British Long Range Desert Group version, a British Airborne version and a British SAS version. These variants are really a question of using the different weapons and placing the weapon mounts as detailed in the instructions. However, the same instructions also suggest using different crew options, none of which are actually provided with the kit. There is a decal sheet to detail the kit and make it look like a US or Commonwealth vehicle.
The US Army Willy’s MB is exactly the same kit as the Commonwealth version but comes with four crew in US Army uniforms, with some head and arm options.
These kits are all very detailed and fairly robust, so would survive careful use on the tabletop. The ability to create variants is present, especially in the case of the Jeeps. However, the lack of crews in some of the kits is a shame, especially as these are shown in some of the instructions. All the crew options could perhaps have been included in each box, which would have been useful. However, as kits, these are high quality and would be useful for model makers and gamers looking for a different resource to use.
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