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Brigade's Haifa II GEV in 15mm

Haifa II class Heavy GEV Tank
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:


Brigade Models informs us:

The model was renamed the Boyd when we revamped the range and it became part of the American Republic's (AmRep's) armoury. The 6mm version is still the same one ( link ) and most of the variants are still available (a couple have been pulled as the moulds are no longer usable).

The Haifa II has become the Kochte class. The Kochte is also available in 6mm ( link ) and a redesigned version is out in 15mm ( link ).

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10 December 2001page first published

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Brigade Models has offered a line of 1/300 scale science fiction vehicles for a number of years, and recently has embarked on the project of bringing many of those vehicles to 15mm scale.

We've just received a review sample of their latest 15mm vehicle, the Haifa II Heavy GEV Tank. This vehicle is similar but not entirely identical to their 1/300 scale Haifa Medium Tank (which probably explains why the 15mm version is the Haifa II).

the pack

The model kit arrives in a ziploc bag - not much to look at, but then it's nice to know that your money is being spent on the model, not the packaging.

model components

Inside the bag are 10 pieces:

  • lower hull piece
  • upper hull piece
  • upper turret piece
  • lower turret piece
  • main gun
  • 3 hatches
  • cupola ring
  • sensor (?) device
side view

The hull consists of three pieces:

  • lower hull, which is the hovercraft skirts and a flat featureless bottom
  • upper hull, which is everything above the skirts
  • an octagonal driver's hatch to fit over an opening in the front hull

The hull pieces fit together easily. If you put the model up against a light you can see a miniscule gap between the pieces, but it wouldn't be visible on the tabletop. Seams are slight but visible on the hull pieces. Some minor clean-up might be desirable to remove excess metal in places.

The hatch is designed to mate with the opening in the front hull. This first required clean-up of the hull opening, which was easily done with a sharp hobby knife. The hatch and hull will mate together, but it takes some patience. (We found it easiest to do this while holding the upper hull upside-down, so the mating part of the hatch could be seen through the opening.) When we got the pieces mated, however, the hatch was slightly crooked on the hull. We suggest not worrying about mating the hatch to the hull - just glue it down so it looks straight. (Since it sits in a recess, you can't tell if it fits into the hull or not, so mating doesn't matter.)

Theoretically, the separate hatch allows you the option to pose it open and insert a driving figure (which you'd have to scrounge up yourself). As a practical consideration, the open hatch would force the turret to face sideways - good for a diorama perhaps, but not something you'd normally see on a wargaming table.

top view

The turret consists of:

  • the bottom piece, a featureless part that includes the pin to insert the turret into the hull
  • the top piece, the visible part of the turret
  • the main gun
  • the gunner's hatch, a rectangular hatch that fits over the opening on the left side of the turret
  • the cupola ring, which fits over the circular opening on the right side of the turret
  • the commander's hatch, which sits on top of the cupola ring
  • and the box which sits above the main gun - presumably a sensor device of some sort

It took a few moments of patient work with a file to get the lower turret piece to fit inside the upper turret piece - our sample's floor was a shade too wide, but that probably varies depending on how the turret parts pop out of the mold. The upper part has a slight but visible seam, and some excess metal at the rear that you might want to clean up with a file.

The main gun piece needed some clean-up to remove some excess metal from the sides, but afterwards fit tightly into place at the turret front. The "extra" bit on the end of the gun barrel is supposed to be there - don't trim it off! The barrel ends in a flat surface (our sample had some excess metal that was easily filed off).

The gunner's hatch just sits on top of the turret, resting against a brace to the left. It is detailed top and bottom, so can be posed open if desired.

The cupola ring comes with a pin, which fits into the dimple at the back of the turret opening. This has the minor disadvantage, however, of exposing some scratches in the turret top. (The turret opening and ring also don't line up properly, which won't matter unless you plan to pose the hatch open.) The simplest expedient is to file off the pin and glue the ring down so the scratches aren't visible, which is easily done.

The commander's hatch snaps into place on top of the cupola ring. Our sample fitted perfectly. This hatch can theoretically be posed open, but you'd have to slice the hatch in half since it looks like it opens down the middle - not a casual customization.

The box rests on a mounting bracket which is half molded to the turret, and half molded to the box itself. To put it into place, just line up the two bracket parts. Our sample needed some minor clean-up to remove excess metal, then fit in place fine. (Purists may want to fiddle with the fit to get the box to mate solidly with the turret - our sample was a little crooked.)

Haifa II posing with Force XXI infantry to show scale

In scale, the Haifa II looks appropriate for a ground-effect vehicle - roughly the size of a WWII-era tank, low sillouette, with a long gun that can be whatever weapons system you want it to be. The hatches seem wide enough for 15mm scale figures (though the gunner's hatch would be a tight fit!).

Haifa II as painted by Brigade Models

Despite our quibbles above, this is one of the best kits we've seen for science fiction vehicles in this scale. Overall fit is good, kit engineering is intelligent, detail is above average - and it should look good on your gaming table.