by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
The ATMP in this offering from Gecko Models, in 1/35th scale is a great accompaniment to the British Special Forces with support groups which has just been released from Gecko Models. Within the British armed forces, this vehicle has a presence and provides all terrain support, plus is also amphibious and so is a go anywhere vehicle. No protection is provided for the troops using it, but this a support vehicle rather than an assault vehicle. The vehicle can handle a payload of up to 1600 kg and can also be used to tow the British light gun.
This offering from Gecko Models, arrives in a cardboard tray with flip top lid and an additional card lid with artwork. Inside the various components and sprues are supplied in a mix of zip lock and sealed plastic bags, plus of course the instruction booklet. An examination of the parts reveals very nice crisp mouldings that are very clean.
This particular vehicle is quite a simple design, the hull of the vehicle as a flat bottomed boat appearance, but I appreciate the effort put in to getting the angles and limited detail present. Part of the reason I appreciate this effort is looking for reference is hard work, as I was only able to find very little information regarding this vehicle. The controls for the vehicle are akin to a quad bike, but something that is a little odd, is that the handle grips are at different heights, which I would imagine makes this a odd feeling vehicle to steer. Following the release of this model Gecko Models released a photo etch tread pattern set for this model, and I will say that that I am little surprised that the tread pattern is so clearly shown in the instruction booklet, but is missing from the physical model. Something I found of note is that there are some pieces that need to be removed with a sharp blade or chisel, and that makes me wonder if there is a follow up coming for this model. The crew area of the model is limited to two seats, an over shoulder harness and a roll cage to protect the occupants.
The wheels of the model have been very well tackled and you can see from their size and tread how with the physical floating attributes of the hull provide the drive for the vehicle. The treads pattern of the tyres has been slide moulded, the front and rear faces are applied via separate parts, and finally a rudimentary axle is included so that the modeller can leave the model so the wheels rotate, should they wish. A shovel and axe are provided for storage on the vehicle, with photo etch clamps, provided for both except the blade of the shovel. Two stretchers are also included in this offering, and Gecko Models have gone to a lot of work to get the details right for them.
A single figure is included for the model. This figure has the option of two heads, with and without eye protection. The only issue I can see with the figure, is that the helmet straps look a little on the heavy side where they extend out from the head. Depending on how you feel about this, you can always thin or replace them. The figure is in a seated position and is driving the vehicle. This is an attribute that I greatly approve of, as it is something that I was not expecting to find. Personal weapon wise, we have a number of options: you get a Glock 17 and sig 226 automatic pistols, these are provided both in and out of their holsters and so provide some nice spares. Rifle wise, you have three L85A2 rifles with to designs of sight and one of these has an under slung grenade launcher. Photo etch is also provided for the weapons. Gecko Models has provided in the instructions images for the multi terrain pattern camouflage and the dessert disruptive pattern material depending on what you wish to represent. Finishing wise you are left with the standard all green or sand coloured vehicles, but I am sure if you look around alternative options are available.
This offering from Gecko Models is something out of the ordinary and is the first time I can recall having seen it offered. So far as I can see from my limited ability to find reference, I believe that all aspects of the real vehicle have been replicated, but I would have expected to find, somewhere to secure personal weapons. I cannot say that what is provided is wrong in this respect, as I was unable to find good reference to show this attribute. I like that the model is not heavy on the photo etch side of things, and I especially like that a figure has been included for it. If used in conjunction with the British Special Forces with support troops, you have the possibility of a truly visually appealing diorama.