Reviews of products for scale military vehicle models.

Book Author(s)
Michael Green
Review Author
Marc K. Blackburn
Published on
May 22, 2024
Company
Pen & Sword
MSRP
$46.95

Pen and Sword books is a prolific publisher of military history base in the United Kingdom and distributed by Casemate Publications here in the United States. This is a partner volume to NATO and Warsaw Pact Tanks, published in 2022. As with most books that come from Pen and Sword, the book’s binding, printing, and photograph quality is outstanding. The pages are printed on glossy paper and the photographs (color and black and white) are crystal clear. Given the varying quality of published photographs concerning military history topics for hobbyists, it is nice to see that they are investing in quality products.

Review Author
Andy Taylor
Published on
May 21, 2024
Company
Hauler Brengun
Scale
1/72
MSRP
$10.05

Hauler is well known for its detail and this set created for the Bundeswehr Schütze panzer (SPz) Marder 1A3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle is no exception. This 40-piece PE set, on a fret measuring 2.25”x 1.25, packs detail into an older kit to bring it to the next level. If you want a Bundeswehr (or Chilean) Marder in 1/72 scale, this is the only injection plastic kit on the market, currently in its fourth boxing in 2020 (the original mold dates to 1999).

Review Author
Jeff Leiby
Published on
May 16, 2024
Company
Academy Models
Scale
1/72
MSRP
$17.00

General

I rarely build 1/72 armor now, but this is a kit of the M60A1, which I commanded while serving in the US Army. I never operated this version, but it will add another variant to my collection. Academy has produced a 1/72 version of their previous 1/35 USMC M60A1 MBT as deployed by the USMC in DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM in 1990/91. The sprues are arranged differently than their 1/35 version of the same vehicle. It is very nicely detailed, there was no flash, mold seams were minimal and easily removed as the plastic is easy to sand. Parts fit, with a few exceptions, such as the road wheel arms to the underside of the hull, is excellent and very little filling was required. Filling large gaps in the lower hull above the final drives and the underside of the fender mounted sponson boxes (see photo #15) was necessary.

Review Author
Andy Taylor
Published on
May 9, 2024
Company
Hauler
Scale
1/72
MSRP
$9.30

Hauler is well known for its detail and this set does not disappoint. This set is designed to give 1/72 US armor (and soft skins) the next level with resin tools and PE tool clamps to replace the preponderance of molded on tools on vehicles in this scale.

In 1/72 scale, this is a small detail set, with the PE fret coming in at 0.75” x 1”. There are seven tools (pick, axe, sledgehammer, tanker bar, tank track adjusting wrench, handle, and shovel) with associated clamps and tie downs. The tie downs are tiny and can easily be sacrificed to the carpet monster. Fortunately, Hauler has you covered with a spare of each of the tool clamps (Parts nos. 1-5) and ten spare tool tie downs. The tank track adjusting wrench is not referenced in the instructions, but quick research indicates it is secured by two tie downs.

Review Author
Chris Bryan
Published on
May 4, 2024
Company
ICM
Scale
1/35
MSRP
$49.99

The ICM FWD WW1 Ammunition truck Type B, is another one of the unsung heroes of transportation from the Great war. ICM has chosen to give us the opportunity to add that vehicle to our collections . Upon receiving the kit I tore into it with great excitement , this has been on my hit list of builds . For the purposes of review the accompanying paint set for the vehicle was in the box and will be a separate review. Opening the box, I was not surprised to see it was packaged in the traditional ICM format of ta top box art cover with the contents in a top opening white box which I have found is extremely sturdy and survives shipping well. The first bit to be examined was the instructions, they are a center staple magazine format comprising 24 pages with 110 individual steps followed by 3 different color and marking templates. 110 steps at first seems excessive , it is actually done to clarify the process a bit better and is actually well done.

Review Author
Marc K. Blackburn
Published on
April 11, 2024
Company
Trumpeter
Scale
1/16
MSRP
$144.99

The Sd.Kfz 251D halftrack was primary vehicle in German mechanized formations in the Second World War. The vehicle was developed in 1937-38 and entered production in 1939. The variant that Trumpeter has produced is the last variant, ‘D’. The primary difference between the earlier models is that the back of the vehicle is a single sloping piece of steel. Over 15,000 were produced and continued to serve in various post-war armies.

Review Author
Andy Taylor
Published on
April 5, 2024
Company
Hauler
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$8.55

Hauler is well known for its detail sets to accompany new releases. The hedgerow cutter for Tamiya’s 1/48 M8 Howitzer Motor Carrier is no exception. This easy, five-piece PE set (the fret measures 1.25”x 1”) adds great detail with minimal effort (great for PE neophytes such as me). That is not to belay the extra detail that this accessory adds to your M8 to break through the Norman bocage.

The bends are easy 90o angles, one per piece. Assembly is simply cut the piece out, sand, bend, and glue (or solder), and can be complete in a few minutes. One of the best aspects of PE is that it can be “damaged” and/or have manufacturing deficiencies built into it; something that is much harder to do in other mediums.

This is an easy-to-use PE that adds another level of detail to an already impressive kit. It is also highly recommended for those wanting to learn PE skills.

Review Author
Andy Taylor
Published on
April 5, 2024
Company
Hauler
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$26.31

This Hauler detail set will take the Tamiya 1/48 US Howitzer Motor Carrier (HMC) to the next level. The 3” x 5.55”x1” deep box is chock full of two PE frets (2.5”x2” with Parts Nos. 1-30, and 1.5” x 1.5” containing Parts Nos. 1-6 for grills, baskets, and tool clamps) and four resin plugs with Parts Nos. 1-25. The parts arrived safely, with the exception of the two M1 carbines (Part No. 24) that were either short shot or broken in transit.

While the base Tamiya kit is great out of the box, there is always room for more detail, and this Hauler kit does not disappoint, especially in the interior as this is an open top combat vehicle.

Review Author
Andy Taylor
Published on
April 5, 2024
Company
Hauler
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$10.45

Hauler continues to produce high detail PE sets for mainstream models. The U.S. Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 - Grills and Basket set complements the recent Tamiya 1/48 M8 HMC.

Tamiya kits are known for their ease of building and detail. There are some tradeoffs that come with that philosophy, particularly with engine screens and lightweight metal baskets. This PE set fills that void and takes the Tamiya kit to the next level. This PE set contains four engine screens, the rear turret basket and, not mentioned in the packaging or instructions, 24 tool straps (Part Nos. 6), all in a small 1.5” x 1.5” fret.

The only bends required are simple 90o angles for the basket (the tool clamps take a bit more effort but have the strap and buckle assembly that really is crisp). An advantage to PE for the screens and basket is the ability to add damage and imperfections to replicate armored vehicles operating in the field.

Review Author
Bradley Moreland
Published on
March 29, 2024
Company
ICM
Scale
1:35
MSRP
$65.00

Unboxing

Unfortunately I lost the picture of the unboxing, but this kit comes with 7 sprues molded in grey, 2 clear, black vinyl tires, a small photo-etch and a small decal sheet. First impressions- this kit is very detailed and clean. By clean I mean very minimal flash to remove at all. The instructions have extremely clear pictures and type.Very easy to follow and know what you are looking at.

Assembly

I am highly impressed by the detail on this! The console in the cab even has cup holders! So many pieces! I would advise you to take your time and enjoy this kit!

In all honesty, this kit is probably a bit beyond my skill set. With my shaky hands and diminishing eyesight, the small details of this kit are a bit more than I can handle. Not to say I am not enjoying it. I am just going to say that as happy as I am with it, I know some other model builders will be able to do a much better job than I did.