Military Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale military vehicle models.

M3A1 Scout Car: The US Cavalry’s Primary Reconnaissance Vehicle in World War II

Published: April 20th, 2019     
M3A1 Scout Car: The US Cavalry’s Primary Reconnaissance Vehicle in World War II
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Schiffer Publishing

David Doyle's latest book is one of the latest entries in the 'Legends of Warfare' series with entries in Ground, Naval, and Aviation. The first Ground book focused on the Panzerkampfwagen IV, the first Naval book was on the USS Yorktown (CV-5), and the first two Aviation books were are on the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (#4) and Douglas TBD Devastator (#3). This tome is the ninth release in the Legends of Warfare - Ground series.

 

M3 Half Track

Published: April 20th, 2019     
M3 Half Track
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1:76
Company: Airfix

When I was around 10-11 years old, I got into a small-scale armor kick.  The local shop carried Airfix kits and I built a lot of their kits at the time.  The first time I built the M3 Half Track it was an MPC release in their Battle of the Bulge Historama kit.

Fast forward 45, cough, years later and Airfix is rereleasing many of their kits under their Vintage Classics range.  The kit appears to be the exact same plastic first released in 1966 including the 1 Ton Trailer.  The kit includes 54 parts molded in an OD plastic.  There is a bit of flash but what would you expect from a set of molds almost older than me.  The kit includes some nice detail, a driver and one of the nicest small scale .50 caliber machine guns.  Decals are included for a M3A1 during Operation Overlord.  More about them later.  The color scheme is shown in full color in the instructions.  Other than that change, the instructions look like they did when I first built it.

Meng Sd.Kfz. 179 Bergepanther Ausf A

Published: April 20th, 2019     
Meng Sd.Kfz. 179 Bergepanther Ausf A
Reviewed by: Dan Brown, IPMS# 47967
Scale: 1/35
Company: Meng Models

With the development of the Panther and the Tiger 1 the Germans came to the realization that they needed an armored recovery vehicle that could handle the weight of these larger vehicles. MAN was originally tasked converting Panther Ds for use in this capacity.  The vehicles selected for conversion had the turret removed and replaced with a central 40-ton winch and a large rear spade to dig the vehicle in. A wooden work platform was built over the winch and a light crane (1500 kgs capacity) was installed on the rear deck.  For armament, a 2cm KwK-30 cannon was mounted on the front along with the standard machine gun.  This new kit from Meng is the first new modern kit of this interesting vehicle and the first release of this vehicle since the old Italeri kit from the mid-1990s.    

M12 Gun Motor Carriage - Images of War

Published: April 15th, 2019     
M12 Gun Motor Carriage - Images of War
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Michael Reeves, IPMS# 51129
Company: Casemate Publishing

From the author's website:

Although only 100 examples were produced, the 155mm Gun Motor Carriage M12 served with distinction as an infantry - support weapon and in particular as a bunker - buster during the U.S. assault on the Siegfried Line in the winter of 1944 - 45.

Spread through 144 pages, almost 200 photos, nearly evenly divided between photos of the sole surviving example and vintage development and combat photos, including numerous previously unpublished images, chronicle the history of this pioneering self - propelled gun and its companion M30 ammunition carrier.

What's Inside...

This volume in the series follows the typical format found in the Images of War collection and contains the same excellent level of quality in providing atypical images of this important ancestor of modern self - propelled artillery. The real meat of the book is in the photos and accompanying captions. There is just enough text to provide interest and a good overview of the evolution of the M12 without being overwhelming. The chapter breakdown is:

US Light Tank M3 Stuart Late Production

Published: April 7th, 2019     
US Light Tank M3 Stuart Late Production
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/35
Company: Tamiya

When I was younger my comics of choice were of the Military persuasion and one of my favorites was The Haunted Tank which initially featured an M3 Stuart blowing away Tigers with it's 37mm. I didn't realize the issue with that but I loved the stories and so started my love of the Stuart. As I got older I turned to more history books and read about the Honey used by the British in the desert and the US in Tunisia. When the new Tamiya kit showed up it just had to be built even though I haven't built a 35th scale tank in, cough, 40ish years.

This is the second version of the Stuart that Tamiya has done and thankfully they have done a completely new tool for this kit which gives some lovely detail. There are 183 parts in green plastic, 4 clear parts, 2 rubber tracks and a string for the tow cable. Those poly caps are included to let the front sprockets turn and the main gun to elevate. There are 3 markings options in the kit. A US tank in Tunisia and 2 Russian tanks. An interesting option is two separate tanker helmets so you can depict either a US or Russian tanker, a nice touch.