Home > Reviews > USA > Riich Models 1/35 scale Kit No. RV35019; U.S. M1 57mm Anti-Tank Gun (Early Version) on M1A3 Carriage (5 Figures)

U.S. M1 57mm Anti-Tank Gun (Early Version) on M1A3 Carriage (5 Figures)

Riich Models 1/35 scale

Reviewed by Cookie Sewell


Stock Number and Description Riich Models 1/35 scale Kit No. RV35019; U.S. M1 57mm Anti-Tank Gun (Early Version) on M1A3 Carriage (5 Figures)
Scale: 1/35
Media and Contents: 268 parts (135 in medium gray styrene, 86 in light grey styrene, 46 etched brass, 1 length of nylon string).
Price: US$59.95
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Incredibly detailed version of this workhorse US antitank gun; choice of “street” or “combat tires”; full crew of five; variety of ammunition provided.
Disadvantages: Incredibly tiny parts (!); looks like they copied the DML direction format
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for all WWII US modelers, especially those doing “Battle of the Bulge” dioramas

B a c k g r o u n d

The US built a number of weapons for the UK after the start of WWII, and among other things they did the 6-pdr antitank gun. As the US 37mm M3 had been shown to be nearly useless against all but the lightest tanks, in 1943 they adopted a modified version of the 6-pdr as the 57mm M1 Antitank Gun. Its main difference was a barrel 15" longer to get better performance out of the powerful 6-pdr round. It used varying carriages but most of them show up in photos with regular or “street” tires and not the heavier unidirectional or “combat” tires. Normally these guns were towed by M2/M2A1 halftracks or WC-62/63 trucks and formed the antitank companies in infantry regiments.

During the Battle of the Bulge the 2nd Armored Division used theirs to great effect in covering the engineers when detonating bridges to slow down the German advance, and even the infamous SS General Peiper had to credit them with ruining his thrust towards the Allied rear area.


F i r s t L o o k

More than 45 years ago Tamiay released one of their first “Military Miniatures” kits of a British 6-pdr and crew, but it was very simplistic and had a lot of problems as did its crew. About 40 years ago Peerless Max produced a 6-pdr on a Gun Portee and also released the gun as a separate kit. It was state-of-the-art for its day and far better than the Tamiya one. It was re-released over the years by Italeri, Bilek and even Zvezda among others. But time passed them by and the “American” versions of the gun were nothing even close to the actual weapon.

In recent years both Riich Models and AFV Club have released new mold kits of this gun, but while AFV Club has focused on the Commonwealth versions Riich has done the American ones. This is probably their top-of-the-line kit as it includes a complete 2AD crew in their camouflaged combat uniforms.

The kit is state-of-the-art for today with a fret of etched brass included as well as the crew of five. The directions and layout of the kit are reminiscent of DML practices and the figures follow their format as well.

The gun can be assembled so that the barrel slides in its recoil mechanism (no springs involved at least!) and the breechblock may be left moveable if desired. The controls are very petite and include some very tiny parts and etched brass which some modelers will find annoying.

The gun shields are single sections of styrene but are suitably thin and as such are more durable and easier to attach. The sight access port comes with a separate door and open and closed position operating levers.

The trails are nicely detailed with etched brass mounts for the cleaning rods and maneuvering poles. If care is taken the trails will operate when assembled. However, the rocker brakes do not and must be cemented in place; the directions only show them in the down position so anyone wishing the gun to be in towing position will need to get references and make adjustments accordingly.

The modeler has a choice of two different styles of tires as noted and with care they may be made to rotate. The hubs are complete with the loops for towing with ropes.

As mentioned note that in Step 11 the rocker brakes are down and this is not their correct position for towing.

The kit comes with both US ammo crates and British ammo canisters as well as a variety of ammunition and packing tubes. US rounds are AP and HE and are indicated, and decals are provided to mark the crates, rounds and packing tubes.

The crew consists of a standing gun commander, standing loader, sitting loader, sitting gunner and kneeling rifleman. All of them come with the baggier camouflage uniforms and helmets with netting and scrim attached. Painting directions are of the “monkey see monkey do” variety in the direction book. Facial detail are good but uniform details are a bit softer than what many modelers are used to today.

Only one finishing option is given - olive drab overall.


C o n c l u s i o n

Overall this is a very nice weapon and a perfect match for the DML M2/M2A1 halftrack kit. With different figures it would compliment the Skybow/AFV Club WC-62/63 truck kit as well.


S p r u e L a y o u t

A 45 Barrel, trails, base, breech, details
Aa-e 49 Figures, accessories
B 59 Barrel midsection, trail inserts, suspension, carriage details
C 3 Gun shield
E 14x2 Combat tires and wheels, street tires
P 46 Etched brass
Wa 29 Ammo canisters, ammunition
Wb 8 Accessories for the ammunition sprue
1 Length of nylon string

Text by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 4 April, 2016
Page Last Updated 4 April, 2016