in the 18th and 19th centuries, the British and French navies espoused different
concepts for gunning their ships. The French built large, solid vessels and only
gunned them as much as the design would reliably support in all weather, whereas
the British tended to cram as many heavy guns as possible onto a design. The result
was that often the British ships could not work their lower guns or were topheavy
from placing heavy guns high on the hull.
same basic thing happened with US and German halftracks early in WWII. The Germans
only placed as large a gun as their chassis would handle with ease, and as a result
they mainly used either 3.7 cm or 2.8 cm antitank guns or 7.5 cm howitzers early
in the war for fire support. The US, however, jumped right up to the M2 105mm
howitzer in October 1941. This caused problems with an overloaded chassis, and
while extra bracing was added, it was not a totally successful design. Three hundred
twenty-four were built through April 1942, and while a handful remained in service
through the end of the war, it was quickly declared obsolete and the survivors
were converted back M3A1 personnel carriers. The T19 served in North Africa, but
while it continued into Sicily and France it was with dwindling numbers as the
M7 105mm HMC and later the M4 series 105mm tanks replaced it.
modelers who are not afficionados of the M3 series halftracks may not recognize
the vehicle, but anyone who has ever seen the movie Kellys Heroes
has seen one. The characters Cowboy and Willard are the
crew of a T19 which has some scenes early in the film, later being blown up by
P-47" fighter bombers.
has now continued its excellent series of American halftracks with the T19, which
was an easy conversion for them since they had the yeoman M2/M3 chassis and their
nice new M2A1 105mm howitzer to combine. The kit uses many M2/M3 sprues, the upper
carriage of the M2A1, and 49 new styrene parts and a new fret of 16 etched brass
does show somebody thought more about this one after the lukewarm M3 kit with
its needless errors, and comes with the early model M2/M3 armored cab with screws
and no jerry can holders (this is from the earlier 75mm GMC kit). A totally new
body is provided that also provides the non-skid diamond finish on
the floor plates and screw-fastened body plates. It also comes with four jerry
cans for water (flip-top lids vice the screw types for fuel), new seats, and a
cut-down front windscreen armor plate to clear the gun when in travel lock position.
Eight 105mm rounds are provided, but are molded in clips of four rounds
each; this may turn off some but does make them easier to handle and install.
A stub axle and mounts are provided for attachment to the M2A1 upper carriage
as is a new gun shield (the late production one with with extended protection).
suspension remains the same and the later model bogie mounts with the openings
in them are also not present. DML continues to provides a complete drive train
including a complete White engine and transmission. While the hood is molded in
one piece, DML has notched the back side as well as the insides of the cab
sides to permit easy cutting to open them up for display. The steering does not
operate (no big loss of oversized parts) but is very petite and neatly detailed.
This kit offers a choice between the spring compensated idlers and non-compensated
idlers with a set of parts included on an addendum tree. However,
while all sources indicate the frame received extra bracing to support the 105mm
howitzer, I cannot find references to it. Suffice it to say the original M2/M3
chassis is provided in the kit.
bogies and track runs remain impressive, as the idlers and drivers are slide-molded
with respectively thin details and openings. Each bogie assembly consists of 18
parts and is very petite; the mounting suspension provides five more with the
track tension adjusters nicely portrayed. The tracks are the same with DML having
them in hard styrene plastic in two halves, cut in such a way that the chain
plate drive tooth guides in the center are represented as they are found on the
actual vehicle. Since the tracks were metal with rubber endless belt
casings vulcanized onto them, this is a neat way to portray it.
of the parts are provided but not used on this kit; as it is an early model chassis
it only uses the highway headlights and not the later removable combat
ones. Also, it comes with a simple pedestal mount for a machine gun so the entire
M49 mount is redundant. The rear plate with door includes the correct WWII taillight
configuration: an oval on the left top for the taillight, a rectangle on the right
top for the stop light, and two rectangles on the bottom for the combat blackout
taillights. As noted in other reviews the model has the civilian style
dashboard, so note that the instruments are a brushed aluminum color on preserved/restored
vehicles and not the more common black with white numerals. (Archer Fine Transfers
has a great set for these gauges.)
these vehicles apparently were not winch equipped, it only comes set up for the
roller and no length of nylon string for the cable and chain for the final hook
arrangement are provided.
etched brass is minimal in this kit and primarily covers the headlight guards,
radiator cover louvers, mud flaps, sliding covers for the view slits, and reinforcement
brackets for the roller mounts. A radio is provided but is not shown as used in
model comes with two Cartograf decal sheetsa targeted set of stars and tactical
markings and bumper code jungles; once more it oddly it does not come
with blue drab serials, but instead yellow is indicated in the directions (and
provided). Five suggested finishing options are provided: Four as US Army
vehicles without bumper codes , with one named Cathy and another Battering
Ram, and one with the 7th Regimental Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division,
Rabat, Morocco, 1942 (olive drab with US flags and the name Evelyn).
before, I strongly suggest getting David Haughs U.S. Half-Tracks,
Steve Zalogas US Halftracks in Action from Concord or Jim Meskos
M3 Halftrack in Action from Squadron/Signal as they all provide a lot of
photos and good information for finishing.
this is a much more thoroughly thought through kit than the M3 and should prove
popular with US halftrack fans.
to Freddie Leung for the review sample.