Academy 1/35 M10 GMC Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2015||Manufacturer||Academy|
|Kit Number||13288||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Excellent interior and exterior detailing||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$55.00|
Originally developed as part of a mobile tank destroyer force in 1941, the M10 was composite solution to a complex problem. The US Army used a modified M4 Sherman chassis to transport a 76mm (3 inch) anti-aircraft gun in an open-top turret. The US was not the only ones to adapt an AA gun for anti-tank duties, the Germans used the 88mm AA gun against British and US armor in North Africa with devastating results.
Academy released this kit about ten years ago in the 'M10 Duckbill' configuration (late production version with larger counterweights on rear of turret) and in honor of the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, we have the return of the M10, this time with the earlier (smaller) turret counterweights.
The kit is molded in a forest green styrene and is provided on nine trees, plus the upper and lower hull, one fret of photo-etched parts, and two runs of black vinyl track. The detail is finely molded and there does not appear to be any flash on any of the parts or trees. Ejector pin marks are mostly limited to areas that will not be visible when the kit is assembled, but there are a couple of spots that will need attention, primarily on the inside surface of the turret.
The M10 features a very detailed driver's and radioman's compartment, inner hull stowage, and ammunition racks. The turret is also beautifully detailed with the 76mm main gun, secondary armament, and turret stowage. The suspension and road wheels are very nicely executed.
Among the features and options:
- Detailed road wheels and suspension system
- Detailed transmission
- Detailed driver's station
- Detailed radio operator's station w/radio set
- Positionable crew hatches
- Ammunition racks with ammo tubes
- Grouser racks on the rear hull sides
- Choice of photo-etch or styrene light guards
- Nicely detailed M7 76.2mm main gun in open-top turret
- .30 caliber and .50 caliber machine guns on turret-top pintles
- Nice selection of external stowage gear and pioneering tools
As you can see in the accompanying photos, this model was designed for the modeler from the start - there are no holes in the lower hull for motors, switches or battery stowage. When assembled, the lower hull mates solidly with the upper hull leaving no unsightly gaps (and daylight) as was the case with the older Tamiya kits. Options in this kit include two styles of drive wheels and return rollers, two different styles of towing loops, two different types of towing hitches, positionable driver's and radioman's hatches (complete with periscopes), and even an additional 30 caliber machine gun to augment the 50 caliber. A complete set of ammunition is provided (stored in tubes in the hull and stored at the ready in the turret).
Numerous other details are also provided including canteens, lanterns, and even a Thomson submachine gun. A complete set of pioneering tools are also provided. The only minor drawback that I can find in this kit involves the pioneering tools, actually where they mount. The rear of the hull has silhouettes molded to show where to place the tools, and while this might be helpful for some, it will need to be removed with a little light sanding.
Markings are provided for eight examples:
- M10, A21, 702 TD, US, Normandy, July 1944
- M10, -, 601 TD, US, Anzio, May 1944
- M10, C32, 703 TD, US, Paris, August 1944
- M10, C33, 703 TD, US, Aachen, October 1944
- M10, D1, 72 AT Regt, RA Italy, August 1944
- M10, Demon, 5th AD, France, Bas-Rhin, January 1945
- M10, Epervier, 2nd AD, France, Paris, July 1944
- M10, Strassbourg, 5th AD, France, Aachen, April 1945
It is nice to see this kit back on the market and provides the modeler with a nice kit out of the box and the AMS builder with a great foundation for the inevitable aftermarket enhancements. In either case, I hope this means we'll see a reissue of the M10 Duckbill in our future which is also a very nice kit. This kit is highly recommended!
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!