30mm L21A1 Rarden Cannon
for Warrior ICV
Review by Terry Ashley
armorscale have just released a metal replacement 30mm L21A1 Rarden Cannon (yes L21A1 not L2A1 as on the label), Set #B35-049 for the Academy Warrior ICV (kits #1395 and #13201) and this now makes three metal 30mm Rardens available to choose from along with previous barrels from Barrel Depot (set #BD35036) and Modelpoint (set #3527).
This comparison review will take a look at all three to see how they shape up but the first thing to note is none are truly accurate as they all miss some important details of the actual 30mm Rarden so we are left to sort out which most closely matches the original.
The new armorscale barrel has three metal parts (two, the barrel and cradle are pre-fitted together) with separate muzzle flash suppressor and a resin replacement mantlet, the Barrel Depot barrel has three brass parts and an aluminium barrel while the Modelpoint barrel has two brass parts.
Lengthwise the armorscale barrel matches available data and the 1:35 plans in the Concord Warrior book very well with the other two having the correct length barrel but both have the flash suppressor too short and the cradle is also too short meaning the overall length is about 2mm too short as well as the other dimensions not correctly proportioned. It should be noted that when fitting the barrel into the cradle with the Barrel Depot and Modelpoint barrels you can vary the barrel length so take care to line up the rear of the barrel with the back of the cradle to get the correct length of exposed barrel.
Both the Barrel Depot and Modelpoint barrels have small lips at the front of the cradle which is not correct and you should file this off to leave the front of the cradle smooth as depicted with the Armorscale cradle. There should also be a space around the barrel as it enters the cradle which is missing from all three barrels.
Comparison of the three barrels showing the incorrect proportions on all but the armorscale barrel
The biggest problem with all three barrels is the cradle is a round tube with the top opening machined in, this leaves the sides quite thick on the Barrel Depot and Modelpoint barrels while the armoscale cradle has beveled edges for a thinner appearance.
On the real cradle it is not circular but is a distinct U shape with the sides being vertical and this is not represented on any of the barrels with the cradle just being circular in profile. While this may look okay it doesn't portray the real cradle profile if you want a truly accurate Rarden gun.
Real Rarden mages courtesy Dan Hay©
The other issue is the cut-out in the cradle extends right back to the front of the mantlet on the real gun but it ends well forward on the Barrel Depot and Modelpoint barrels and is slightly forward on the armorscale barrel which represents this the best of the three.
Both the Barrel Depot and Modelpoint barrels fit directly into the Academy kit mantlet without alteration and the nicely cast and detailed armoscale mantlet fits onto the inner Academy kit gun mounting with any alterations either with the metal barrel fitting snugly into the mantlet for very simply assemblies.
As mentioned none of the barrels represent the 30mm Rarden accurately due to the round profile of the cradle and the cradle cut-out not extending back to the mantlet on the Barrel Depot and Modelpoint barrels.
But of the three available the armorscale barrel would be the closest as it does have the correct barrel length, correct size flash suppressor and the inclusion of the nicely cast and detailed mantlet will add that little extra to the kit.
which are much better represented on the armorscale barrel
Concord Mini Colour Series #7509