Military Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale military vehicle models.

M-76 Otter Light Amphibious Transport

Published: January 15th, 2018     
M-76 Otter Light Amphibious Transport
Reviewed by: Robert Head, IPMS# 48922
Scale: 1/72
Company: Croco Models

About the Company

Croco Models is a small model manufacturer from the Republic of Latvia. They've recently begun developing small kits of rare vehicles, and various model building accessories. This is the second model of their offering and is of the M-76 otter which was a USMC light amphibious vehicle and this is the first time this subject has been offered in any scale.

Short History

Designed by the Pontiac Motor Division in the early 1950's as the T46, this vehicle began life as the intended replacement for the Studebaker M29 Weasel. This amphibious cargo carrier was designed to carry cargo or up to eight troops over shallow rivers and swampy terrains and would become the M76 also known as the Otter. Development started in the late 1940's with the less than enthusiastic US Army watching on. The Army soon lost interest in the project, but the United States Marines, who have a habit of accepting vehicles which the US Army disapproves of (for example the M103 Super Heavy Tank), became interested. Production would start on the M76 Otter in the mid-to-late 1950's

Sd.Kfz. 2 Kleines Kettenkraftrad Typ HK 101

Published: December 28th, 2017     
Sd.Kfz. 2 Kleines Kettenkraftrad Typ HK 101
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/9
Company: Italeri

Background on the vehicle is provided in English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian. Colors are called out in Italeri acrylic paint numbers and some in RAL numbers. Detail color references are included in the various assembly steps. Diagrams of each of the sprues are included, which is important as the parts are not numbered on the sprues themselves. The sprue letter is only called out on the diagram, not the actual sprue. Identifying the correct part will require referring to the sprue diagrams to see the number and where it's located on which sprue. I made copies of the sprue diagrams to tape up in front of my workbench for quick reference. I also added tape tabs to the sprues with the sprue number to make it easier to find the right sprue.

Hull Assembly

The first series of steps assembles the Kettenkrad's tub, suspension, and wheels. The suspension arms are not glued as they have a press fit, and small springs allow the suspension to flex. The kit parts for the suspension arms, 180G, have small holes, which I assumed were for the spring, although this is not indicated on the instructions.

German WWII Clamps

Published: December 25th, 2017     
German WWII Clamps
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/35
Company: Eduard

This is a photoetch interior set to any 1/35 German WWII armored vehicles. They replace the molded in clamps on tools provided.

In the packet is:

  • 1 photoetch sheet
  • 1 instruction sheet

Summary

This is a fantastic set for added some great additional details to German Tanks etc. The set contains parts to make 15 tool clamps and 24 tow cable clamps.

Thanks go to Eduard for providing this set to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it for them.

T-34/76 Factory 183

Published: December 15th, 2017     
T-34/76 Factory 183
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/35
Company: Academy

Background

I won't go heavily into the background of the Russian T-34 tank, suffice to say that it is a VERY strong contender for "the tank that won the war". Certainly, this was so on the Eastern Front of World War Two. It was well suited for the climatic conditions found on this battlefront, with its harsh winters and "muddy season". Its diesel engine was easier to start in cold conditions than the gasoline engines preferred by the Germans, and its wide tracks allowed it to better handle the muddy and marshy conditions found in much of Russia. It had well-sloped armor that at least in the early days of Operation Barbarossa proved a very tough nut for German anti-tank gunners to crack. And it's 76 and later 85mm main gun was quite capable of defeating the armor of most German tanks.

M1A2 Abrams U.S. Main Battle Tank

Published: December 15th, 2017     
M1A2 Abrams U.S. Main Battle Tank
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/48
Company: Tamiya

Background

The M1 Abrams, named for former General Creighton Abrams (commanded US troops in Vietnam following General Westmoreland, and later became US Army Chief of Staff), is the current front line Main Battle Tank of the US Army and US Marine Corps. It also serves in the Armed Forces of nations such as Australia, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. It first entered service with US forces in 1980 and has over the years since been upgraded with various enhancements, especially as battle conditions in which it finds itself have changed from a tank vs tank to "urban combat" situations.