MD-3 USN Tow Tractor

Published: August 19th, 2015     
Product Image
Box top
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall - IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Brengun
Price: $16.50
Product / Stock #: BRS144025
Product provided by: Brengun

This is another of those Brengun kits that is SO useful when doing a diorama. In this case, the diorama is a USN aircraft carrier deck, and the kit is the MD-3 tow tractor. Actually, the kit is TWO MD-3 tow tractors. Better value for the money.

While I was looking up the catalog reference for this kit, I found another useful item in the Brengun accessories catalog. How about a tow bar for this tractor? It's item number BRL144115, $6.05.

The Kit

You get two of all the parts. There are two sets of resin parts to make two tractors. Also, the PE fret has all the (tiny) parts you need to make two tractors. The decal sheet has enough decals to make two tractors, as long as you don't want the black warning stripes for the bumpers on the second kit.

All of the resin parts are nicely molded, without bubbles or excessive flash. The PE parts were nicely set up, with almost no trimming required on any of the parts.

Pre-Assembly

You have to cut the tractor body off of the pour block. Fortunately Brengun engineered this nicely, so the cut is squarely across the bottom of the tractor, so even if you make a minor error, it's not readily visible. I know this. The wheels came off the pour block quite easily. I used a #10 blade, which is curved and larger, making the cuts clean and fairly easy. The rear tow extension is a separate part, and it came off with a small saw. Again Brengun makes it nicer by putting the cut where you hide it between the tractor back and the extension.

Painting

I painted all of the parts yellow with my airbrush. I then painted the top of the tractor flat black where it has non-slip surfaces. I also painted the tires at this time. I had to put a coat of Future on for the decals.

Decals

The decals were very good, nicely printed. I thought the "Do Not Sit Here" decals were a little large for the area they go on, but I haven't seen one of these for about 20 years. Everything went on nicely, even the front bumper where I had made a cutting error. There are enough numbers to do another white or yellow tractor if I want. I'll just have to print my own bumper decals. I put another coat of Future over these decals for protection against handling.

Assembly

I took the painted and decaled tractor body and installed the wheels. Then the pintle hooks, front and rear. These are tiny little parts, and I'm glad I have a jeweler's apron for when I drop parts or the tweezers suddenly become "tweezer-pults" and fling the part.

I installed the rear tow extension and the driver's interior, which is gas pedal, brake pedal, parking brake handle, dashboard gauges and steering wheel. This was not a trivial task, as the PE parts tend to have a mind of their own about how they want to be installed.

Once the interior was finished, I installed the 6 grab bars on the exterior. Well, 5, because I managed to lose one, in spite of the jeweler's apron and other precautions. And the tractor was done.

Overall Assessment

Highly recommended. These little tractors will add so much to a carrier deck, either as part of the model base or a diorama.

Many thanks to Brengun for the review kit, and to IPMS/USA for the chance to add some character to my carrier deck.

  • Instructions
    Instructions
  • Decals
    Decals
  • Resin
    Resin
  • Parts
    Parts
  • Photoetch
    Photoetch
  • Painted tractor
    Painted tractor
  • Tractor & box
    Tractor & box
  • MD-3 and EF-18G
    MD-3 and EF-18G
  • Front
    Front
  • Rear view
    Rear view
  • Left side
    Left side
  • Right side
    Right side

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