Military Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale military vehicle models.

M60A2 Starship

Published: May 9th, 2016     
M60A2 Starship
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1:35
Company: Dragon Models

Developed in the late 1960s, the M60A2 was an ambitious attempt to create a multi-tasking battle tank to accompany the M60A1, one capable of firing both conventional 152mm rounds or the new Shillelagh anti-tank missile. It featured a rotating command cupola with integral machine gun and a distinctive low-silhouette turret. Because of its technologically advanced design it was nicknamed “The Starship” by operators. It went into service in 1972, and all told, 526 were manufactured.

Despite the hype, the vehicle proved to be a major disappointment, as the new anti-tank missile lacked both range and armor penetration capability. Consequently, it was phased out of service rapidly, the hulls being converted to M60A3 standards or being used as the basis for bridgelayers. The gun system, however, was incorporated into the M551 Sheridan air-droppable tank after revision due to its light weight.

Panzer IV Ausf.H - Late Production

Published: April 14th, 2016     
Panzer IV Ausf.H - Late Production
Reviewed by: Will Nichols, IPMS# 360668
Scale: 1/48
Company: Tamiya

Tamiya’s ever growing line of 1/48 armor kits has added one of the most produced armored figting vehicles of the Second World War, the Panzerkampfwagon IV, with this release being the ausf H version. The kit is molded in Tamiya’s standard desert yellow plastic. The tracks are plastic link and length type, and the only multi-media in the kit is two steel weights for the lower hull. Originally Tamiya 1/48 armor kits came with die cast metal lower hulls, but that has been replaced with a plastic hull in this release, with the two weights being a compromise. There is no zimmerit texture on the hull parts, a necessity for a German armor kit of this time frame. Tamiya recommends either buying their zimmerit tools and applying your own, or using the self adhesive vinyl zimmerit that they produce. I chose the latter for my build.

M901 Launching Station & AN/MPQ-53 Radar set of MIM-104 Patriot SAM System (PAC-2)

Published: April 10th, 2016     
M901 Launching Station & AN/MPQ-53 Radar set of MIM-104 Patriot SAM System (PAC-2)
Reviewed by: Dan Brown, IPMS# 47967
Scale: 1/35
Company: Trumpeter

The PAC-2 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile system, whose primary purpose is to intercept ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of flight. This new offering from Trumpeter is the first injection molded kit of the Patriot Missile system in 1/35 scale. The kit includes the Transporter Erector Launcher Trailer, 4 missile containers, a missile and the AN/MPQ-53 Radar set trailer. There is only one option for displaying both trailers and that is the deployed position with the outriggers down and the missiles raised.

British 7ton Armored Car Mk.IV

Published: April 9th, 2016     
British 7ton Armored Car Mk.IV
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 32587
Scale: 1/48
Company: Tamiya

The latest in Tamiya’s range of 1/48th scale military vehicles is what the firm lists as a “British 7ton Armored Car Mk.IV”, while the correct designation is in fact “Armoured Car, Humber Mk.IV”, so I presume the lawyers found that “Humber” was a protected trademark and Tamiya didn’t want to pay for the privilege of using it! These vehicles were to be found all over Italy and NW Europe in British, Canadian, Polish, etc. units, as well as training units in the UK, from 1943 onwards.

Gone are the days when Tamiya incorporated a cast metal hull piece or lumps of metal to attach to the hull interior of their 48th scale military vehicle range. This kit includes only injection molded plastic parts of a dark green color, plus a small decal sheet. No cast metal, no photo etched, no clear injection plastic parts. Detail is good for this scale and there are no visible ejection pin marks that need removing, nor any flash on the parts.

Panther Ausf. D V2

Published: April 8th, 2016     
Panther Ausf. D V2
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dragon Models

This kit from Dragon Models of the World War Two German Panther tank prototype is somewhat of a curate’s egg. Some parts good, some parts less so. However, it IS the first mainstream injection molded plastic kit of the prototype of this seminal German medium tank, and so for this Dragon are to be commended for issuing it. But it is, as I say, not without its faults. Read on…..