Military Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale military vehicle models.

M9 ACE Photo-etch Set

Published: November 30th, 2017     
M9 ACE Photo-etch Set
Reviewed by: Ben Morton, IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hauler

The M9 Armored Combat Earthmover (ACE) is a highly mobile armored tracked vehicle that provides combat engineer support to front-line forces. Fielded by the United States Army, its tasks include eliminating enemy obstacles, maintenance and repair of roads and supply routes, and construction of fighting positions. (Wikipedia)

Takom released a 1/35th scale model of this vehicle in 2015. That kit has been reviewed elsewhere and one of the minor shortcomings of that kit (and there are few) owes more to the limitations of injection molded styrene than to anything else. The oversized and out of scale headlight covers being one of those items that is first to come to mind.

British Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun Archer

Published: November 28th, 2017     
British Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun Archer
Reviewed by: Tim Wilding, IPMS# 47420
Scale: 1/35
Company: Tamiya

History

As WWII progressed, British troops found that their 2-pounder and 6-pounder guns were being rendered obsolete by German armor, and planners decided to develop a vehicle using the powerful 17-pounder (76.2mm) gun. The vehicle chosen to mount the gun on was the Valentine with the turret removed and replaced with a fighting compartment. This new vehicle would be known as the Archer. Interestingly, as there was little time to re-organize the cramped layout, the 17-pounder had to be mounted pointing rearwards to fit it in. As a result, the Archer moved and fired in opposite directions. Designed and manufactured by Vickers' Armstrong, 655 were produced by May 1945. It served with British and Commonwealth units from October 1944 until the end of WWII, and with the British using it until the early 1950s.

Photoetched Engraved Plates for AFV's

Published: November 27th, 2017     
Photoetched Engraved Plates for AFV's
Reviewed by: Ben Morton, IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hauler

Hauler has been busy of late with a pile of kits and accessory items. Among the accessory items are some 1/72nd scale engraved plates. The plates come in a variety of types that represent those used by the various combatants of WWII as well as some plates representative of those employed by more modern armies, notable the United States. Among the offerings are:

  • German WWII - Early type
  • German WWII - Late type
  • U.S. - Grill type
  • Modern - Lentil type
  • Modern - A type

Each plate measures 35mm x 65mm and you get one plate per package. As you can tell from the photos the various patterns are reproduced, in scale, and will go a long way toward giving your latest project the proper look.

Here's direct links to each plate reviewed:

US M915 Army Truck with Container Trailer

Published: November 27th, 2017     
US M915 Army Truck with Container Trailer
Reviewed by: Dan Brown, IPMS# 47967
Scale: 1/35
Company: Trumpeter

The M915 is the basis for a series of heavy trucks built for the US Army. In the late 1970s the US army identified a need for a line of commercial trucks. AM General was selected in 1977 and the first vehicles were delivered in 1978. This new release from Trumpeter depicts the M915 Line Haul Tractor. This vehicle is limited to operating on hard surface roads and typically tows the M872 semi-trailer. This combination has a payload capacity of around 30 tons and this new release from Trumpeter contains the M915 tractor, M872 trailer and a 40ft container.

As is typical of these larger Trumpeter releases the large box contains a large number of light grey plastic sprues, 24 rubber tires, a small decal sheet, and a small photo etch fret. The well over 500 parts are very well molded with no production issues, no broken parts or flash. This is typical of modern Trumpeter releases. Also, the instructions are typical of Trumpeter, clearly printed line drawings and I had no issues with them at all.

M60A3 "Patton" Main Battle Tank

Published: November 26th, 2017     
M60A3 "Patton" Main Battle Tank
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Scale: 1/35
Company: AFV Club

Background

The M60 series of tanks replaced the M48 as the main combat tank of frontline US armored combat units, first entering production in 1960. Instead of the 90mm main gun of the M48, the M60 introduced a 105mm gun. This was deemed necessary to defeat the latest Soviet T-54/55 tanks that entered service with Warsaw Pact forces in the mid to late 1950's.

With the introduction of the more powerfully armed Soviet T-62 (an upgrade of the T-55), the M60 received an upgrade to provide it with better ballistic protection, including a newly designed turret: the M60A1. More improvements were made to the M60 after the failure of the joint West Germany/USA MBT-70 main battle tank project. This resulted in the M60A3, including the introduction of a laser rangefinder and a thermal sleeve for the 105mm M68 gun, the combination of which resulted in greatly improved first round hits on targets. This version of the M60 entered service with U.S. forces in 1979, with M60 production ending in 1987. The M60 series of tanks was widely distributed to U.S. allies, including large deliveries to the armed forces of Turkey, Egypt and Israel.