Sunday, 25 August 2013

Chobham gypsy wagon : QRF 15mm up-armoured Warrior review

Along with the Challenger 2 (reviewed here) my last order from QRF included a trio of MCV80 Warrior with Chobham which is the FV510 Warrior in its wartime configuration with large slabs of Chobham applique armour added to the front and  sides.

This configuration was first seen in Operation Granby and also used in Kosovo and Operation Telic. For a mid-eighties vehicle both QRF and Skytrex make the vanilla Warrior, while Old Glory UK has an updated version of the Warrior with WRAP 2 ERA package hidden in its modern infantry listing.

The QRF Warrior is nice and chunky with very few parts: a hull, two track pieces, a turret and two side skirts. Overall detail is good as is the quality of casting. The frontal Chobham block is a little on the thick side, thick enough in fact that the driver would hardly see over it but this isn't really noticeable unless the model is viewed from the side and held at eye level. The side skirts might be a little on the thin side and could be thickened with plasticard but they look the part and I left these alone. As you can see in the photos, the track to hull fit needs a little filler but that is not much of an issue since it is mostly hidden behind the armoured skirts.

As usual with QRF, the gun's thickness isn't exaggerated and it is very thin as a result. This tends to make the gun prone to bending or even breaking (one broke during transit). I replaced all three guns with homemade brass Rardens which are relatively easy to make using a 1.6mm (actually 1/16") tubes for the cradle and flash suppressor and 1mm rod for the barrel.

Producing these in consistent batches is a little time-consuming (although faster than you'd think) but relatively easy as long as they are built as sub assemblies, each of which is made slightly longer than needed and then adjusted.

First the gun barrel and flash hider are made by gluing a length of 1mm rod about 5mm into a 1.6mm tube. The end of the tube with the protruding barrel is then filed into a cone. Once you are happy with the flash hider shape, cut the cone off the tube (slightly longer than it should be as it is easier to adjust the length by filing) by rolling it under a scalpel blade.

The gun cradle is then fashioned by filing down the top half-way down the tube until you get a nice trough. This is easier to do if the tube is painted to see exactly where you a filing and by resting the tube on a piece of wood as you file it down. The forward end of the cradle is then filed back to the desired length and the barrel assembly is inserted into the tube from the front. This is glued with a small amount of liquid superglue and all that is left is to cut off the original gun, drill a 1.6mm hole through the turret mantlet, insert the completed gun and glue it down, preferably from inside the turret.

The result is a very sturdy gun with near scale thickness that will stand up much better to handling. With the addition of stowage and thermal imaging ID panels, the QRF Warrior model makes a pretty good rendition of the British infantry's main personnel carrier.


  1. I love what you have done with this, unfortunately I think the Turret is too flat but thats more QRF. Hopefully now they are into Rapid Prototyping we will see all this stuff redone.

  2. I agree that the turret might possibly be a little too shallow but it is hard to judge because the massive skirts tends to dwarf the turret and make it look pretty small when viewed side on on the actual vehicle.