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13408

Academy 1/72 M3 Halftrack & ¼ ton Amphibian Build Review

By Edward St. Denis

Date of Review July 2007 Manufacturer Academy
Subject M3 Halftrack & ¼ ton Amphibian Scale 1/72
Kit Number 13408 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely done "slide molded" components for "cab" and tracks, GPA at least as good as 1/35 scale one, Harley WLA a plus Cons No clear parts for windshields, decals not quite right
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $20.00

Background

M3 Academy continues to release interesting multiple vehicle kits in 1/72nd scale. This release features an M3A1 halftrack, amphibious jeep (Seep), and Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycle.

The old over-scale Hasegawa M3A1 halftrack has sorely been in need of replacement. The Seep and Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycle have never been done in injection-molded form in 1/72nd scale (Nitto did a WLA in 1/76th scale).

The Kit

For a look at our in-box review, go here.

Construction

The M3A1 halftrack was built stock except for the addition of MV Products lenses, small arms, stowage and seat, rear stowage, and front armored visor supports. The kit assembly was straightforward except for the attachment of the front and rear superstructures to the frame.

I ended up gluing the front superstructure first. After it had dried, I attached the rear superstructure with superglue. Finally, I aligned and glued the side armor to the front compartment with superglue. It was quite difficult to ensure perfect alignment in all three axes.

M3 Seep Harley

After this was complete, I still had to fill a gap with Mr. Surfacer liquid putty. The Seep was built stock except for the addition of a windshield, windshield wipers, gearshift levers, taillights and a Thompson submachine gun.

SeepThe WLA construction was very simple. I added saddle bags from the Nitto WLA and a MV Products lens to the hollowed out headlight.

Painting & Marking

All three kits were painted in Model-Master olive drab. Kit decals were used on the halftrack and Seep. Stars from the Nitto WLA were used on the WLA.

Conclusions

All three kits build up into fine replicas of the originals. The M3A1 halftrack can be used as the basis for many conversions including backdating to the M3 variant. The extra gas cans were a nice addition but extra stowage would have been even nicer. U.S. M3s were invariably festooned with a great deal of stowage. Finally, no manufacturer has given us the mines for the mine racks.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

References:

Harley

  • Ansell, David. The Illustrated History of Military Motorcycles, London: Osprey, 1996.
  • Bellona Military Vehicle Prints Series 6, Herts, England: Bellona Publications Ltd., 1965.
  • Berndt, Thomas. Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles 1940-1965, Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1993.
  • Boniface, J. M. and Jeudy J. G. US Army Vehicles of World War Two, Somerset, England: Haynes Publishing Group, 1991.
  • Crismon, Fred. U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1994.
  • Denfield, D. and M. Fry. Indestructible Jeep, New York: Ballantine Books Inc., 1973.
  • Hunnicutt R. P. Half-Track A History of American Semi-Tracked Vehicles, Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 2001.
  • Mesko, Jim. M3 Half-Track in action, Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 1996.
  • Zaloga, Steven. US Half-Tracks of World War II, London: Osprey Publishing Company, 1983.
  • Zaloga, Steven. US Halftracks of World War Two, London: Arms and Armor Press, 1985.

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