PSC 6pdr & Loyd Carrier (15mm) — review

Here's another British WWII gun and tow in 15mm (1/100) from the Plastic Soldier Company, this time the 6pdr (57mm) anti-tank gun and Loyd Carrier.

This is a pretty nice pair of models, very easy and straightforward to assemble, which come in a box of four sprues. The carrier and gun are on a single sprue, along with crew figures and various items of stowage — mostly ammo boxes. I especially like the modeling of the canvas tilt, which has a bit more of a fabric-like character than many injection-moulded examples I've seen, and it sits very snugly over the sides of the Loyd.

The only assembly issue I had was with the fit of the axle stubs and sockets; they were all too tight to press-fit without risking bending or breaking something. A few swipes with an emery board loosened them up sufficiently though. The same was true of the mounting pin for the gun barrel.

The carrier can be assembled without the tilt, and four seated crewmen are included, as well as figures to represent the gun crew in action.

In this picture they're just held in place by bits of BluTak, as they'll need to be painted separately and then glued in place. Trying to paint them in situ would be a nightmare.

There's no rolled-up tilt included amongst the stowage, so if you want to represent that on a top-down model you'll have to provide it yourself, one way or another.

 The instruction sheet is a little clearer than most I've seen from PSC, both in terms of image quality and instructions. It could still do with some improvement though; the instructions for their kits are PSC's weakest point, I would say.

For example, the sheet mentions installation of the fuel tanks, but it's not completely clear how or where they fit except by their shape. Likewise, the exact placement of the seated crew is rather vague according to the instructions, but I notice there are four square pads on the floor of the carrier which I have assumed are where the crew seats are.

The exposed engine housing is nicely represented, and in this picture you can also see the ammo cases and what-not that fill up the side bench-seats. They're quite nicely modelled, but if you want to use the Loyd as a troop carrier, you'll want to leave them out and fill up those benches with squaddies from some other source.

I have had some difficulty tracking down where and when the Loyd was first used in action. I've seen one photograph of one in Italy in 1944, but apart from that I don't think they saw active service until after D-Day, in the ETO.

The 6 pounder represented is the later version, with the stepped barrel and muzzle brake. It could be used as the early model 6 pounder, sort of, by cutting off the muzzle brake and ignoring the stepping of the barrel. The gun can be assembled either in its action configuration, or towed, but not both — or at least, not without using two separate models. There are two barrels provided on the sprue; one as shown here, and the other with what I assume is a muzzle cover in place, for use if the gun is to be depicted towed. There are also two sets of wheels with different hubs and tread patterns, and I'm not really sure why that is. I would have to do a bit more research to find out, if I were so moved.

In brief, this is a nice, well engineered pair of models, and the Loyd isn't easy to come by in this scale — certainly not for this price. I'm very happy with them.

Later:




I was pointed towards this Australian film of a pair of Loyds on the back of a truck outside Alexandria.

They appear to be part of a Valentine tank unit, so are probably the Starting and Charging variant rather than gun tows.

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