First a couple of words about the original:
The Bedford MWD was the ubiquitous 15cwt truck in British service - over 200.000 have been produced during the war and it served in every theater. Also only 4x2, it had a powerful 72 hp engine and reached a top speed of 95 km/h with a range of over 400 km. It could transport a 10-man squad or up to 800 kg of material.
The early version had only canvas doors and tiny screens for the driver and passenger, earning it the nickname "pneumonia wagon". In 1943, the design was updated to have half doors and a proper windscreen, together with some changes to the engine covers and instrument layout.
In the desert they were also used as 2pdr ATG portees.
The Airfix kit comes with 95 parts on 3 grey sprues plus one clear sprue for the windshield.
It allows to build both the early and late version and several canvas configurations, so you'll have a decent amount of pieces left after you finished:
You could even further reduce the number of used parts by omitting the engine parts and some of the interior that might not be visible in the version you want to build.
The kit comes together without any issues and I only encountered two small pitfalls:
First, the tires are flattened on one side so be careful when you assemble them to make them fit correctly.
Second, the instructions skip one step when it comes to the steering wheel, but it is quite obvious how it should work.
The final product is a fine little model:
I found several pictures of MWDs in North Africa, and it seems to have been quite common to remove the side covers of the engine, so I left them off my truck, too:
I also left the hood separate to allow easy access to paint the engine:
Size-wise, it fits quite well with 28mm miniatures, mostly because the MWD is such a small truck. A Company B driver doesn't look out of place at the wheel (apart from his missing legs...):
And next to some Perry Miniatures 8th Army soldiers it still looks good:
Even in direct comparison to a Warlord Games 3-ton Bedford the scale difference isn't outrageous:
Just to put the difference between 1/48th and 1/56th scale into some numbers:
This MWD is 1.3 cm too long, 0,6 cm too high and wide.
And with a coat of sand color it is almost ready to roll!
All in all, this was fun to put together and the kit makes a very nice looking model. The scale is acceptable in my mind, and I am looking forward to finish the paint job soon!