The M3A1 Halftrack
This comes from
Tamiya's M3A2 kit, which actually was only a prototype vehicle that never saw
production. There are a number of faults and corrections vary from simple to extensive.
The Eduard photo-etch set for the "M3A2" is a good asset for this project.
There's not much apparent overlap with the new Verlinden set, which I also used.
M3A1 did not have ladders. The easiest way to remove the ladder is to get Tamiya's
M21 mortar halftrack and swap the sidewalls. I removed some locating tabs that
differ between the two kits and puttied the ejector pin holes, taking note of
the guides where the walls meet the floor and chassis assembly and where the interior
pieces are mounted to each set of walls, and which ones needed to be removed.
By hanging ditching timbers on the sides I avoided having to shave off the solid
tie-downs on the outer walls and replace them with Accurate Armour brass pieces.
replaced the kit's solid drive and idler wheel with the resin set from The Tank
Workshop. They need some clean up but they're worth the effort. I also used TTW's
nice front wheels with chains for the muddy autumn setting.
rubber track does not have the correct center guide teeth. Tracks that come with
TTW's wheels have teeth, but the treads are not as well defined as Tamiya's (from
which they were obviously and poorly molded). And the TTW teeth are too large
to fit in the space between wheel halves. Because each option had it's own deficiencies,
I used the rubber band tracks because they were easier to install. Be careful
not to put too much pressure on the delicate resin wheels. The rubber tracks have
some spring which raises them a bit off the tops of the wheels. I glued my track
down securely onto the wheels.
MG pulpit falls woefully short. I carved out the gun ring and replaced it with
the ring from Tamiya's M8 Greyhound. I detailed the outer face of the pulpit with
rivets (shaved from old Tamiya M3Lee pieces) and Accurate Armour tie-downs.
the .30 machine guns and cradles with those in the new VP set.
rear seat back along sidewall behind driver should have one long pad, not be split
in two. I used putty to bridge the gap.
gun racks were replaced with Verlinden photo etched pieces but unfortunately they
are too small to accommodate slipping Garands into them. Consequently I ended
up stacking the guns in the stowage bin. Support brackets were added to the back
ran Evergreen strip along the top of the sidewalls (except rear door) and drilled
holes for canvas cover support brackets.
detailing included adding tie-downs to side walls and fenders; bolts for the battery
case; new mud flaps from thin plastic card; and the kit's jerry cans, trays and
attachment brackets, mine racks were replaced with Eduard pieces.
only platoon leaders had radios in their halftracks, so if you don't use the radio,
remember to not use the antenna. Verlinden's set comes with a nice radio, but
the Tamiya version is fairly decent.
kit's driver sits so high he cannot see through the windshield --- half his head
is above the walls. I not only sanded down his the butt, but remade the seat out
of thin plastic card (eliminating the padding) to further reduce his height. I
also replaced his head with a smallish one from Scale Model Accessories, scrunched
it down tight on his shoulders, and did likewise with the passenger next to him.
Life and Death..."
Battle of the Hürtgen Forest
of the Diorama
Ambulance and Beep
Jeep, 2.5 Ton Cargo Truck, Trailers