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M1 Caterpillar Sixty

Plus Model 1/35 Military Medium Tractor M1 Caterpillar Sixty Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2005 Manufacturer Plus Model
Subject Military Medium Tractor M1 Caterpillar Sixty Scale 1/35
Kit Number 064 Primary Media Resin & Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful Detailing Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) N/A

First Look

M1 Caterpillar Sixty
M1 Caterpillar Sixty
M1 Caterpillar Sixty
M1 Caterpillar Sixty

The Caterpillar Sixty is one of the most common heavy-duty all-terrain construction and agriculture vehicles in the 1920s and its improved versions well beyond WW2. It was not only built by Caterpillar in the United States, it was also produced under license abroad. While it only generated about 70 horsepower, its combination of weight and transmission gearing have the Cat Sixty a drawbar pull of over six tons.

The versatility of this mechanical marvel was not lost on the US military. The US Navy Sea Bees and the US Army Engineers adopted the vehicle for a variety of duties including runway construction in the Pacific theater.

I should be used to the amount of detail that Plus Model crams into any of their kits, but nevertheless I dropped my jaw when I opened the box. There were four bags full of resin parts, two sizable frets of photo-etched parts AND a vacuformed section of Quonset hut that was welded atop of some of these vehicles to protect the operator from sun and the elements. In fact, when I turned the Quonset section over, there were two more bags containing track links inside.

Cast in a darker tan resin, this kit features superbly cast and detailed parts. The drive sprockets, for instance, feature the same offset attachment points for the casting blocks that are just recently being applied to injection-molded kits to preserve sprocket details. On close examination of all of the parts, none show any sign of air bubbles or defects.

The instructions have seen a significant improvement since the last release I’ve seen. The illustrations are very well done and they now use multi-color printing to make key information easier to spot.

This is not a kit for beginners. While the resin parts are the primary content of the kit, there is more use of photo-etch for structural integrity of the model and this will require more experience (and patience) in the use of cyano-based glues and the requisite tools for working with resin and photo-etch parts.

Wow! The amount of detail that Plus Model has put into this kit is staggering and with the help of the new-styled instructions, assembly should be painless for any modeler with the skills and the tools. This kit is definitely recommended! For more information about this set and the other releases from Plus Model, visit their website at www.plusmodel.cz.

My sincere thanks to Plus Model for this review sample!

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