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Built Review
135
BC-1306 radio set
US WWII BC-1306 radio set
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by: Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]

Introduction

The BC-1306 radio (SCR 694) was a lightweight portable radio designed initially for airborne and mountain troops, but given widespread use in the US and Allied militaries in WWII. It was a high frequency two way radio reciever/transmitter and radio telegraph unit, operating between 3,800 and 6,400 Mhz. It had a range of 15 miles for voice communication and 30 miles on morse code between moving vehicles, and reportedly further if in a fixed ground position with longer antenna. When teamed with the BC-611 (SCR536) radio handset, with a range of two miles, it could serve as a communication center for patrols or scouts. Power was supplied by either a hand crank generator or PE-237 vibrator power supply.

The radio was primarily installed in 1/4 ton 4x4 trucks, but was also carried in the 3/4 ton WC series, in half-tracks, and any other vehicle that would hold it. For infantry use, it could be easily carried (unless you talk to the guy who had to carry it around) in a simple canvas pack, with the hand crank generator carried separately. The radio saw widespread use until it was replaced by the GRC-9 radio (similar in appearance and compatible with BC-1306 equipment).

Legend Productions now offers a nice resin kit representing the BC-1306 radio set.

The Kit

This set comes in a small, end opening box with a photo of the completed kit on the box top. This also comprises the paint guide. Inside the box are resin and brass parts to assemble two complete radios and a small fold out paper, color printed on both sides, showing the assembled set with some parts labelled, as well as how to install the kit on a Jeep.

The resin parts consist of a radio and power unit on one block (two each), three headphone earpieces (two each), handheld radio and two part antenna base (two each) and two sets of bolt heads on a single mold. The etch fret has two mounting bases for the radio, two headset pieces and protective grillwork for the radio faces for each radio, plus a spare in the event you lose or destroy one during assembly. Two different gauges of brass wire, one strand of fine copper wire and one insulated copper wire are provided for the power cord, connection cords and headset wire.

All the moldings are of excellent quality with clear and crisp detail on all sides. My sample had one small broken part-the power supply plug base on the radio face-which can easily be repaired with CA glue.

The instructions are very basic. The paint guide is visual only, with no color reference.

Assembly

Fortunately for modelers, anything US army related is going to be some shade of olive drab. Photos of the BC-1306 abound online so visual reference for painting the dials and data plates should be easily accessible. I drilled out the ports where all wires would plug in (I forgot the antenna connection in the upper right corner) and then used Tamiya olive drab, sprayed from an airbrush and brushed flat black to get the dials and plates. Highlights were done with a silver pencil. The etch frames are a little tricky to get into place properly and I had problems with the plug base on the radio face bumping against the frame. No measurement is given for the length of wire used to hand the earphones on, so it was an issue of trial and error. Once I had a length I liked, I glued that in place.

The earphones have good exterior detail but the ear cup will be flat once cut from the plug, so I carefully carved this out. The etch head clip has thin ends that apparently need to be folded in half, though this is not clearly indicated on the instruction sheet. Once the earphones were assembled I glued them in place on the hood, and then coiled the fine copper wire around a pin, carefully stretched it and put it in place.

As I don't have a completed vehicle on which to install the radio, I held off on the antenna assembly. The upper of the antenna base is well formed and includes the clamps that held the ground wire in place on the side. Again, not clearly shown in the instructions is the featureless cylinder piece on the pour plug which serves as the lower half of the antenna, mounting on the underside of the mounting bracket. This part isn't detailed at all. The antenna would have a wire running from the radio to this unit.

The handheld radio unit has all details molded in place, with no information on mounting an antenna here. The detail is very good, though at the connecting point some minor re-sculpt will need to be carefully done to preserve the strap.

Youtube has the original Signal Corps training film on the use of the BC-1306 shown below


Conclusion

This is a very nice radio set which will make an excellent addition to a static model or a diorama. Based on the lack of detail in the instructions, it would appear Legend Productions intended this set for experienced modelers who are used to working around such issues, though it wouldn't really take much more effort to provide a bit more information on assembly, or a clearer photo of the completed, painted set. That issue aside, all parts are extremely well molded and it will build into an attractive set. Retail price is suggested at $16.95 US but it can be had for less, including free shipping, so shop around carefully.



SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent detail and molding.
Lows: Instructions are somewhat vague.
Verdict: This will build into a very nice looking radio set.
Percentage Rating
88%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: LF1264
  Suggested Retail: $16.95
  PUBLISHED: Oct 31, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 84.47%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.06%

Our Thanks to Legend Productions!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Russ Amott (russamotto)
FROM: UTAH, UNITED STATES

I got back into the hobby a few years back, and wanted to find ways to improve, which is how I found this site. Since joining Armorama I have improved tremendously by learning from others here, and have actually finished a couple of kits. I model to relax and have fun, but always look to improve. ...

Copyright 2018 text by Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Darren, thanks for getting this up and running. I hope people like the set.
OCT 31, 2013 - 12:29 AM
Nice review, Russ, and a very useful accessory. The small radios are BC-611 "Handy Talkies." Legends has modeled these configured for an airborne drop - with the protective covers installed and the carrying strap wrapped around the body. The orange cover protects the push-to-talk switch which has its own black rubber cover. (You see a lot of these orange covers on contemporary collection radios (like mine below) simply because the Army had thousands made which were never used. They're now very common on the collector's market. I've never seen them in WWII photos except for pics of troops preparing to drop for Overlord. I'm sure they were used for Varsity, too, and probably for post-war airborne training. ) The BC-611 antenna telescopes (like an old car antenna) from the right rear corner. In the right front corner (of the photo below) is an up-side down metal cone-shaped protective cover for the antenna. This cover screws onto the radio body in the right front corner for safe keeping, but it can be moved to cover the antenna when its collapsed to its lowest position. When the cover is over the antenna, all that's visible on top is the cover. In normal use, the orange cover would be removed (and probably discarded) and the antenna telescoped up from the top rear right rear corner with it's protective cover screwed onto its stowage location on the top right front corner. The carrying strap was not very long and was designed to go over the shoulder and carry the radio just forward of the user's armpit. This way, the antenna could be quickly extended and the radio rotated up to the user's head. Sounds funny, but this is what the FM shows. There are even a couple of episodes of the old TV series "Combat" where guys carry and use it exactly like that. Anyways, since you made a comment in your review that wondered about where the antenna was on the BC-611...
OCT 31, 2013 - 02:46 AM
Thank you for the input. I had searched all over and didn't find this information.
OCT 31, 2013 - 04:52 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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