Home > Reviews > USA > Masters Productions MP35043 - M4 18 Ton High Speed Tractor

M4 18 Ton High Speed Tractor

by Steve Kubik
 

Summary

Stock Number and Description Masters Productions MP35043 - M4 18 Ton High Speed Tractor
Scale: 1/35
Media and Contents: 272 resin parts; 4 photo-etched parts
Price: USD$175.00 available online from Mission Models
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Excellent casting; small casting plugs; important subject; appears accurate; minimal air bubbles; well detailed.
Disadvantages: Treads molded to drive sprocket; no loading crane, clear windscreen material or decals
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 


Masters Productions' 1/35 scale M4 Tractor is available online from Mission Models
 

FirstLook
 

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.


 

Castings

 

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

 

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

 

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.


 

Instructions

 

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.


 

Cons

 

There are three major deficiencies and two minor:

  • The treads are molded to the drive sprocket and the rear idler wheel.

  • No crane for the loading of ammunition.

  • No clear styrene for the windscreen. 

  • The .50 cal machine gun looks too small and the mouting spindle appears to be the wrong type

  • No decals are included.

 



Recommendation

 

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
Page Created 25 May, 2006
Page Last Updated 24 May, 2006