1/72 Mars Challenger I & Caesar Miniature Modern Brits

Gallery Article by Greg Kerry on Mar 4 2013


Mars small scale AFV kits are some of the cheapest available here in China. They're not so common but I found some in my little local model shop in Nanjing.  A quick look inside one box persuaded me that they might be a bargain.

Like many of the more economical Chinese plastic kits, what's in the box doesn't necessarily relate too closely to the illustration on top of the box.  Here, the boxtop showed a Challenger II in full desert garb while inside was a fairly basic mark I.  Still, what can you say for two quid?

Detail is mostly molded-on but otherwise pretty good.  Tracks are soft vinyl and not so good.  However, several of the range I found suffered from a big construction problem: their lower hulls are too narrow for the upper hulls.  To solve this I sawed the lower hull in half and glued a filler strip between them.  Another problem was with the front track guards which projected too far forward: more hacksaw work shortened these and got the kit looking at least half decent. 


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After painting in acrylic sand, washing in watercolour grey, and drybrushing white the model seemed to justify the earlier effort. 

Then I turned to the Caesar Miniature figures. The Modern Brits are one of this company's latest products and really I can't recommend them enough.  For softish plastic figures they are quite excellent: lots of sharp detail, convincing poses, and mold lines which are all but non-existant.  Once again, I painted with acrylics, washed with watercolours, and drybrushed with watercolour white straight from the tube. 

The base is a simple scrap plastic case from something or other, covered in white glued tissue paper, sprinkled with dirt, painted/washed in watercolours, and embellished slightly with plaster lumps of walls and debris.

So, great figures, poor vehicle - but finally quite a satisfying little diorama.

Greg Kerry

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Photos and text by Greg Kerry