What Price Glory BC 611 Radio Reproduction
Review Date: 5/24/2014
Author: Chris Guska
The BC 611 (SCR 536) radio was the standard platoon level radio within the rifle and weapons companies. Known as the "Handi Talkie", the BC 611 was a common communications tool along with runners, EE8 field phones and the company level BC 1000 (SCR 300) radio.
Men of M Company, 358th Infantry fire WP 81mm Mortar Shells, December 1944
Over the years there have been only two "reproduction" commercially available BC-611 Radios available. The first of which was the "Ultimate Soldier" 2/3rds scale kids toy "handy talkies" as well as the What Price Glory reproductions detailed in this article. The WPG BC611 has been around for 3 or 4 years, but only after seeing the reproduction out in the field last fall with friends did I decide to pull the trigger and buy one.
I ordered the BC 611 via the e-commerce engine for What Price Glory on 3/15/2014. I paid via PayPal.
The order shipped on 3/18/2014 from UAE. I received the order on 3/21.
US BC-611 (SCR-536) Handie-Talkie Radio
Price : US$135.00
Out of the box, there is a lot going for this repro. Metal construction, full size, an attempt was made to capture the details.
The paint color is a bit light for my tastes, but it does attempt to recreate a wrinkle finish - ending up being more of a "hammered" finish than wrinkle. I'm not sure if it is paint or powder coat, but it is pretty tough.
Overall, the topcover has the right shape, edge detail, placement of the antenna hole and cap storage plug.
Phillips head screws are used extensively on the reproduction instead of slotted screws. This is a detail that needs fixed.
There are slight differences in the antenna cap retaining lanyard. Additionally, the cap is secured with a modified snap ring rather unlike the original. Creative.
The antenna and insulator itself is different than the original. More details on that in a section below.
The hand strap retaining screw is a bit longer than the original an does not sit flush with the mount, this screw will need to be shortened and threaded back further
The antenna on the reproduction is significantly shorter than that of the original. Additionally, the shape and construction is different. This is something I would replace prior to displaying the unit.
The antenna insulator is totally different in shape and materials. The original is a clear resin, while the reproduction is a simple silicone plug.
The Push to Talk switch rubber cover is nicely done and could most likely be used as a replacement for an original. The switch beneath the cover is a small micro switch, such that the throw of the switch is significantly shorter than the original. A heavy squeeze is required on originals while the reproduction will only depress slightly to activate the switch.
Once again, phillips head screws are used in place of slotted. These will need to be replaced prior to display on both the PTT switch cover and frequency card plate.
The frequency card plate is installed upsidown on ever one of these that I've seen. Easy fix.
The hand retaining strap / shoulder strap is the correct length, although I'm not in love with the webbing. While of the correct width and thickness, I don't like the weave and how soft it is. If the opportunity presents itself to replace with original or better quality reproduction webbing, I will most certainly do so.
The data plate is nicely done, while different than the original, it is authentic in style and resembles the original Electrical Research Laboratories type plate. Once again, phillips head screws are used to retain the plate. Those will be replaced.
The microphone and speaker covers are well done and compare very well against the original.
Interior detail showing access to the included FRS radio. The radio is retained on a sliding pin such that it cannot be totally removed from the shell, but still able to access the battery compartment and controls.
The bottom thumbscrew detail is well done.
Shape and size is right on
Most of the details are well done
Cost is about half of an original
It works on FRS
Phillips head screws
The color could be better
Antenna is wrong
Antenna insulator is wrong
Strap could be better
For $141, the WPG BC 611 is a fair deal. For the serious enthusiast, it requires work to defarb. A paint job, some detail stamps / stencils, replace all the phillips head screws, replace the antenna and insulator - this could be an awesome item. The potential is there, it just needs some tweaking. As it comes out of the box, I would not display it.
For tactical use, I would probably use it out of the box. Some of the details would annoy me, but I'd get over it.
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