In-Box Review
1/48 British Austin Truck
British Truck 3 Ton Austin K5
  • Bandai 1/48 Austin truck

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

An injection molded quarterscale British softskin vehicle!? Whoever heard of such a thing? Read on...

the kit

12,280 Austin K5's were produced from 1941through 1945. They were nicknamed "Screamer" because of their noisy transfer case.

Bandai first issued this model in the 1970's and reissued it in the late 1980's. Unfortunately, this is one of the series not re-reissued by FROG/Fuman in the 1990s. Bandaiís molds had held up well but are rumored to have been mishandled by Fuman, and subsequently scrapped.

Packed in a sturdy two-piece box, all sprues were sealed in plastic bags.

Built with ninety-six olive pieces on four sprues and a sprue of six clear parts, the parts are crisply cast with sharp detail and virtually free of flash, mold marks, ejector marks and sink holes. There are some mold seams along edges but most of these can be eliminated with the pass of an X-acto blade.

The large wheel tires are molded as one piece with the hubs. The detail of the treads and hubs is good. The nine-part Own 6-cylinder, 85 H.P. engine has basic detail, but connects to a transmission and transfer case.

Almost no detail enhances the inside of the cab and doors. Little attempt was made to texture the canvas tarpaulin. Nor is there any texture on the cargo area sides and floor. Lithe parts like the rearview mirror posts and the tarp framing are a bit thick. The radiator grill is solid. A couple of handles are molded on.

Test fitting promises a tight model; three Bandai 1/48 AFV's I have recently built generally have good fit.

The K5 was 5.99 m (19 foot, 8 inches long). Bandaiís model almost spot-on.

Bandai released this model with their figure set No. 23, a sprue of four British soldiers in tropical gear. One is a driver, another is standing in the hatch in the cab roof. The other two look like the officer / NCO and rifleman from the Bandai set 8365, British Infantry set No. 1. These figures are in-scale and well detailed -- maybe not up to today's quality, but respectable. The set is comprised of thirty-eight pieces (excluding the flat bases) of three Enfield rifles, a pistol holster, four helmets, two field packs, four cartridge pouches, three canteens, two bedrolls, binoculars, and a pair of shovels and pickaxes. This increases the total kit parts count to one hundred thirty-four!

decals and painting

Several choices for units and vehicle numbers are provided. Bandai's decals were detailed, well registered, and thin.

The easy to follow instructions only reference general painting guidance.


Whether modeling an Austin serving an airfield in East Anglia, rolling westward past El Alamein, or into Hamburg, this kit offers us a good quarterscale British softskin. It is not hard to find but being an older Bandai 'red stripe' kit, it can be expensive.

Photos of built Bandai / FROG / Fumans:
Bandai Gallery
Highs: Rare 1/48 subject, good molding. An engine. Respectable figures.
Lows: A few cast-on parts and little texture detailing.
Verdict: Buy one if you can find it.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 8361
  Suggested Retail: $44.00
  PUBLISHED: Jan 29, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Hi Fred Jealous? Me?! I want one! All the best Rowan
JAN 29, 2009 - 10:07 AM
Hi Rowan Me not jealous ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I have one of these in my famous "get round to it pile !!!! It is a very neat little model. Nige
JAN 29, 2009 - 10:28 AM
Nice review, too small for me but I would like one on 1/35 if you can arrange a plastic moulded injection kit that would be much appreciated! . Al
JAN 29, 2009 - 06:18 PM
Thanks Alan, I'd like one too! I'll work on making one.. Fred
JAN 30, 2009 - 02:18 PM

Click image to enlarge
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  • Bandai 1/48 Austin truck
  • Bandai 1/48 Austin truck
  • Bandai 1/48 British Desert Infantry
    Bandai 1/48 British Desert Infantry, set 23
  • Bandai 1/48 Austin truck
  • Bandai 1/48 Austin truck
  • Bandai 1/48 Austin truck
  • Bandai 1/48 Austin truck
  • Bandai 1/48 Austin truck
  • Bandai 1/48 Austin truck