The US Armies quest to have mobile Anti-Tank protection produced a number of different approaches. One was the M3 75mm GMC, which was essentially the US built version of the French 75mm gun mounted to the M3 Halftrack. Approximately 2200 vehicles were built and they were employed from the Pacific theatre to the Italian campaign. The Famed “Devils Brigade” or the First Special Service Force as they were formally known even had a pair in what was known as the “Cannon Company” and these were employed up to the invasion of southern France.
Trakz Armor Products has recently re-issued the older KMC conversion for the Tamiya M-21 Halftrack. This is a rather extensive conversion containing over 75 resin and Photo-Etch parts. The Resin parts come in 3 plastic zip lock type baggies and appear to be well cast with some very fine flash to clean away as well as the normal pour plug you get with any resin kit. The Photo-Etch is showing it’s age in that it’s a bit on the thick side in my opinion as well as the attachment points for the parts. That said it is not terrible by any stretch of the imagination and is totally usable. You will have to add the rivets to the front of the gun shield but there are tiny indentations that show the placement for your rivet heads. The instructions are well detailed and illustrated and include a parts diagram so that you will be able to locate them without much trouble. The instructions also very carefully take you through the build process and show you where alterations will have to be made to the base Halftrack kit. This kit is basically designed solely for the Tamiya M-21 Halftrack, but you could use the M-3A2 or the M-16GMC with some basic alterations. But in my opinion because of the rear hull sides the M-21 is the logical choice for a smooth build.
Overall this is a well detailed and interesting conversion kit of a very interesting Halftrack. Even if it is a re-issue it stands up well to today’s high standards it is also very welcome since the KMC version has been out of production for some time and rather hard to find. It would be wise to have a few resin conversion kits under your belt before heading into it but this kit is not out of reach for most modelers. Do your research and you will find many interesting camouflage schemes to paint yours in. I will be doing a complete build article with this kit in the very near future so stay tuned.
Many thanks to VLS for supplying the review sample