U.S. Machine Gun set
released in 2003 by Academy was widely praised for its attention to detail and
plenitude of parts for both the Browning .50 heavy machine gun and its smaller
.30 counterpart. Three years later, Tasca has released two.50 sets, one for infantry
or dismounted armor troops reviewed here, and the other for turret use.
comparison between the two products shows Tasca's set to be highly accurate in
detail (the Academy set is no slouch in this regard). But the Tasca parts are
more refined and maybe scaled a bit better, perhaps to the point of being endangered
by successive layers of base paint, highlighting, weathering, and lacquer. Whereas
these more pronounced details on MGs from Academy, Tamiya, DML, etc., would stand
out better. Which raises the question, at what point does one sacrifice accuracy
for artistry, or vice versa? That's for each individual modeler (or contest judge)
to decide, of course.
gun's receiver has been cast with the cooling jacket holes opened, a first, to
my knowledge, for a .50 in any media. The part is situated on a pin on the larger
sprue and easily slides right off. It appears the part was cast separately and
then manually slipped onto the main sprue for delivery to the customer; the Japanese
language instructions point out a small molding pip on top of the receiver that
may require attention. The result is excellent, and you could always open the
cooling holes with a fresh hobby blade if so desired. There is a shortened barrel
that slides into the jacket, as well as a full-sized barrel that can be carried
on the turret rack of a tank or stowed in a halftrack. Holes are drilled out of
the barrel ends and the flash suppressor is less pronounced than on the Academy
gun can be modeled with the receiver top opened for loading ammo or maintenance.
The cocking lever is small and fragile and care will be needed when removing it
from the sprue. A puzzling absence, given all of the care that has obviously gone
into this set, is the butterfly thumb trigger that is positioned between the grip
handles. Other kits miss this as well, but not Academy.
tripod has the clamping rings and levers on the legs (remove the nearly invisible
molding gate between the levers and the legs). Part #Y16 is a delicate elevating
and traversing mechanism. Unlike the more comprehensive Academy kit, there is
no folded tripod included in this set, and you only get one ammo box, and no decals.
(Note: Tacsa provides two identical sprues, as seen above, to oufit two machine
like Tasca's set, particularly the opened cooling jacket. But you are paying a
premium for this level of quality and the value of the detailing might be lost
if you are heavy-handed with the sprue cutter or paintbrush. On the other hand,
Academy's set might not be as refined, but you get much more for your money.
very fortunate to have such difficult to decisions to make!
sample provided by Tasca.