Military Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale military vehicle models.

M4A2 76mm Red Army

Published: August 17th, 2017     
M4A2 76mm Red Army
Reviewed by: Max Welliver, IPMS# 50498
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

The next Cyber-Hobby Orange Box offering is a Red Army M4A2(76) tank. A total of 4,102 M4A2 medium tanks were sent to the U.S.S.R. under Lend-Lease during WWII. To make the kit more valuable, the kit includes a fine 1/35 scale Maxim machine gun as well!

Opening the Box

This thin, side-opening Dragon box is filled with a nice amount of parts. The sprues are molded in light grey plastic and have some really detailed cast textures and weld seams.

The kit includes:

  • Seven sprues
  • One clear sprue
  • One small cable
  • Two small sheets of PE
  • Two lengths of DS track
  • One gun mantlet cover made of the same DS material
  • One small decal sheet

They provide decals for two tanks:

Panzer Kpfw. IV Ausf. D

Published: August 15th, 2017     
Panzer Kpfw. IV Ausf. D
Reviewed by: Tim Wilding, IPMS# 47420
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

This kit is the first armor kit in the 1/35 Platz line from Dragon. They have taken the Panzer IV from their Girls Und Panzer line, re-boxed it and gave it new decals and instruction sheet. The molding is from 2012 and has about 175 parts, with DS tracks. This is quite a reduction in parts then from other Dragon kits. Slide molding technology allows Dragon to mold past subassemblies into one or two pieces. The box is overall white with just a black strip and one picture of the tank, no real box art like other Dragon kits.

German WWII License Plates

Published: August 15th, 2017     
German WWII License Plates
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hauler

This detail set by Hauler provides numerous license plate frames in different shapes for WWII German vehicles. The set is a steel photoetch fret that is 1 1/8"x3 7/8". The PE pieces have a slight curl to them. This set provides only the backing plate for licenses, but no decals or stickers are provided for the actual license plate graphic. Mounting brackets are not provided either.

There are 33 license plates provided in the following sizes in millimeters (width x height):

  • 6 - 14x3 rounded corners
  • 6 - 9x5 rounded corners
  • 3 - 6x4 rounded corners, no edging
  • 3 - 10x3 rounded corners, no edging
  • 6 - 9x6 notched corners
  • 6 - 14x3 square corners
  • 3 - 9x6 rounded corners

The photoetch pieces are thin and closer in scale than base kit plastic pieces. These license frames are a good option to replace thick (or lost) plastic kit pieces.

Thanks to Hauler for providing the review sample to IPMS.

M40 Gun Motor Carriage and M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage in WWII and Korea

Published: August 9th, 2017     
M40 Gun Motor Carriage and M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage in WWII and Korea
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Company: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

DavidDoyleBooks.com (Schiffer Publishing) out of Memphis TN, has just announced a new offering in the widely held 'Legends of Ground Warfare' series, called 'M40 Gun Motor Carriage and M43 Howitzer Motor Carriage in WWII and Korea', by popular author David Doyle. Anyone familiar with Mr. Doyle's previous work will recognize this authoritative combination, and this latest release won't disappoint.

M40 Gun Motor Carriage comes as a hardcover, 9.5inch square book, following the format of Mr. Doyle's previous 'Legends' volumes, containing high-resolution images printed on heavy, high quality stock paper.

Like most of his other works, Mr. Doyle's M40 is comparatively priced, and a great value.

The book opens with a table of contents and a brief, two-page introduction to the various vehicles covered in the book, as well as a comparison chart of the two main types; the M40 155mm Self- Propelled Gun (SPG), and the M43 8-in. Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH).

T54 E1 - Smart Kit "Black Label Series"

Published: August 6th, 2017     
T54 E1 - Smart Kit "Black Label Series"
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

You've got to give Dragon Models some real credit - they're willing to put out the oddball kit now and then, and to do it with class. The U.S.-made T54-E1 tank (not to be confused with the Russian T54) was one of the several attempts in the mid-50's to upgrade the M48 from its 90mm gun to something with a bit more punch. Three different approaches to this idea were initially attempted, including this one, which clearly owes its ancestry to the famous French AMX-13 tank developed around the same time. The idea, of course, was that an autoloading main gun would eliminate the need for a human loader, and would permit extremely rapid firing during combat. There were a couple of problems with this idea, however. First, once the nine-round "magazine" was expended, someone typically had to exit the vehicle to reload it - not something you necessarily want to do under fire. Second, early autoloaders were notoriously indiscriminate, happily loading some poor crew member's ARM if nothing else was immediately available (although this may be apocryphal).