Get On Board Bren
The Universal Carrier Patrol, also familiarily known as the bren gun carrier by virtue of having a slit to the left of the driver through which a bren gun was carried and fired, was produced in 1940. It became an ubiquitous vehicle fro the British Army and Commonwealth forces. It served many puposes from scout vehicle, personnel carrier, machine gun mount and light artillery tractor. It had variants that carried a 2” Mortar or were eqipped with a flamethrower, the so-called “Wasp”. By the end of World War II, 54,000 had been produced. Production continued after the war, as it saw service in many other arenas, and eventually 113,000 were made.
The Flames of War – Universal Carrier Patrol contains 9 sprues enabling you to make up 9 Universal Carriers.
Each sprue contains :-
- 6 x parts to build the basic Universal Carrier
- 1 x Bren light machine gun for the forward facing mount
- 1 x BOYS anti-tank rifle for the forward facing mount
- 1 x Vickers heavy machine gun to be mounted centrally
- 1 x Bren light machine gun on an Anti aircraft mount
- 1 x Fuel tank and flamethrower assembly
- 1 x Flamethrower firing nozzle for the forward facing mount
There are also 9 x 4 figure crew sprues. Each crew sprue has :-
- 3 x top half only figures :- 1 x Driver with steering wheel, 2 x Gunner
- 1 x full figure for the rear of the vehicle as either passenger or heavy machine gun or anti aircraft gunner
- 1 x Sheet of decals containing :-
- 18 x “Desert Rat” symbol of the 7th Armoured Brigade
- 18 x the number “54” in white on a red field
These decals are to go on the front mudguards though insignia were not always carried.
Assemble The Force
Construction was very straightforward. It took me 5 minutes per vehicle. The parts are well cast with no flash and fitted together snugly. For once the instructions were printed on the back of the box for both the basic vehicle with the Vickers Heavy Machine Gun mount and for the Wasp flamethrower variant.
It would have been useful to have some indication of what each of the 5 available guns were. I believe the three that have the protective shield on top are, in order of length, the stubby one is the flame thrower, the mid length one is the Bren gun and the long barelled one is the BOYS antitank rifle. The other two are the chunky Vickers heavy machine gun and a second Bren gun on the AA mount.
The men were nicely sculpted too with good poses. As ever with BattleFront miniatures the level of detail in such a small scale is outstanding.
Ready For Action
I love the Universal Carrier Patrol set and it’s excellent value for money. This is a very useful group of vehicles that can fulfill many roles. You might almost say their use was universal! The fact that you get nine in the box, that can all be configured in any of the variants is first rate. I probably won’t use the Wasp myself as it didn’t come into service until the late war (1944) but I built one anyway.
The variety of figures means you can populate all your vehicles differently and the spare weapons that you don’t use will all go very nicely into the spares box.
One grumble, though, there are no Action cards for the use of the Carriers so you will have to source these separately.