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Paul A H

M4 High Speed Tractor (3 in./90mm) - 1:72 Hobbyboss

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Paul A H    2,110

M4 High Speed Tractor (3 in./90mm)

1:72 Hobbyboss

 

m4tractor90_01.jpg

 

Based on the chassis of the M3 'Stuart' Light Tank, the M4 was an artillery tractor designed to tow 90mm, 155mm and 240mm guns and howitzers. Over 5,500 examples were manufactured by Allis-Chalmers of Milwaukee, and it was used by the US Army until 1960. The M4 was also supplied to Brazil, Greece, Japan, the Netherlands, Pakistan and Yugoslavia. A flexible and tough design, many M4s enjoyed a second career after their military service, being popular vehicles in the logging and road construction industries.

 

After a bit of a hiatus, Hobbyboss appear to have made 2017 the year of the small-scale AFV. A month or so ago we received their new Land-Wasser-Schlepper for review. Now they've followed up with a mini-range of the M4 tractor, starting with the 90mm version. The kit is vintage Hobbyboss, being well-packed in a sturdy box, beautifully moulded and yet incredibly simple due to a focus on ease of construction and through the extensive use of multi-part slide moulds.

 

m4tractor90_02.jpg

 

Construction is simplicity itself. The running gear and tracks are moulded as single parts, with just the inner face of the drive sprocket, the return rollers and the trailing arm for the idler wheel moulded separately. Obviously some compromises have been made in order to mould the tracks in this way, but they really are pretty good considering the low part count. Even though the inside faces of the tracks are relatively untroubled by moulded detail, I probably wouldn't complain if a lot of my small-scale tracked vehicles were supplied with tracks like these. Once the tracks are complete, they can be fitted to the lower hull. In keeping with the rest of the model, this is a simple structure with just the frontal section of the hull moulded separately.

 

m4tractor90_03.jpg

 

m4tractor90_04.jpg

 

A basic interior, including crew and passenger seats and driver's controls, has been included. This is good, as it really would have shown if Hobbyboss had elected to scrimp on the interior. Although sometimes seen unglazed, many photographs of these vehicles show a windscreen in place, so it's a shame that Hobbyboss have omitted this feature. Once the interior has been assembled and painted, you can drop the slide-moulded body onto the lower chassis. The 90mm ammunition box is a separately moulded part (the 155mm/240mm variant is on the way), leaving just the headlight and defensive machine gun to finish the model off. Small details such as the tools have been moulded in place, which doesn't surprise me given the approach Hobbyboss have taken to this kit.

 

m4tractor90_05.jpg

 

Two marking options are provided, but tn historical notes are included to place the marking options in context, which is a shame. Paint references are included for the Mr Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol ranges.

 

Conclusion

 

This kit marks a welcome addition to Hobbyboss's range of 1:72 AFVs. Whilst some compromises have been made, detail is generally good and the one-piece tracks are adequate for this scale. It's a shame that they haven't provided a windscreen, but fitting some clear film should be within the capabilities of most modellers. Other than that, for what it is, this is a really neat little model.

 

bin.jpg

 

Review sample courtesy of logo.gif


 

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Sgt.Squarehead    6,185

Oh those tracks.....Why didn't they do what they did with the IS-3?  :doh:

 

Still at least the track modules are hard plastic (unlike Dragon's latest Braille offerings), so you will at least be able to glue zillions of tiny bits of plastic-card to them to represent the inner track teeth!  :rolleyes:

 

But I suppose we do now have something M4 HST shaped in 1/72 plastic to work on, so.....WooYay(ish)!  :yahoo:

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