M4 18 Ton High Speed Tractor
by Steve Kubik
The M4 18 Ton High Speed Tractor was developed during World War Two to tow the 155mm ďLong TomĒ Gun, the 240mm/8Ē Howitzers and the 90mm Anti-aircraft gun. This particular kit is molded for the Long Tom and Howitzers. The kit will accent any of the AFV Club offerings of those artillery pieces.
There are 272 pieces in light gray resin of which 105 are the tracks and four etch sets for the headlight guards. One thing I noticed immediately when I opened the box was the casting plugs. I had heard horror stories from some modelers about the size of the casting plugs and the difficulty in removing them. Most of the parts in this kit donít have them or they are small to miniscule. The smaller parts are connected to casting blocks via very thin lines. Very few air bubble holes were found, but there is lots of flash to clean up.
Accuracy appears very good. Iíve not much to go on, as Iíve never seen one of these things in person. However, from the many photos that Iíve seen, online and in books, this looks to be a good rendition. Detail on the kit looks good from the pioneer tools, the bogies, to the inside of the cab. The crew seats even have seat belts molded in.
Detail is very good. No engine is included and the screens for the engine compartment are solid. I suppose that the holes can be drilled out and a rough engine scratch built that could be seen through the screens.
The instructions are decent but vague, in my opinion. Parts are not numbered and one must rely on the diagrams and photo to determine parts and their locations. Some are obvious such as the suspension and superstructure. From the two resin interior sets that Iíve used in the past, I guess this is standard for resin kits.
There are three major deficiencies and two minor:
Highly recommended. Canít wait to get started on this. Iíve had a 155mm gun for a long time looking for a companion.
Text and Images by Steve Kubik