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In-Box Review
135
LVT (A)-2
USMC Landing Vehicle Track A-2
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by: DJ Judge [ 210CAV ]

Introduction
Italeri has added to their growing renditions of Marine Corps Landing Vehicle Track kits with their kit # 6470 LVT (A)-2 “Saipan”. First accepted into service in 1944, 450 were used during World War 2 in support of the various amphibious landings in the Pacific theater. Armed with a combination of .50 and .30 calibre machine guns, it had the capacity of carrying an additional 18 combat equipped Marines.

the kit
The instructions are clear, the diagrams ample and the assembly sequence easy to follow. There are 170 light gray plastic parts displayed on three sprues, making for a relatively light parts count as a result. Many of the parts are obvious carry-over parts from previous Italeri LVT kits and there are no figures provided.

Italeri’s LVT 4 kit contains a nice wooden floor however this kit does not have one. The tracks are in two pieces of flexible vinyl that will require joining together to make a single track per side. I had high hopes that Italeri would have provided a better set of track. Alas, they continue to use the same two piece track that I have found impervious to gluing. I rely on a hot knife to melt them together. The challenge is to correctly perform two melting operations on each track. Take your time with this step. Unfortunately, there are just not a whole lot of economically attractive alternatives to using the kit supplied track.

The decal sheet provides two sets of markings along with the two different paint schemes. One represents a vehicle from B Company, 2d AMTRAC Battalion employed by the 2nd Marine Division during the 1944 invasion of Saipan. The other allows you to escape applying the standard Navy blue-gray paint and instead put on a camouflage pattern and decals for a vehicle from the 4th Amphibian Tractor Battalion used at Iwo Jima in February of 1945.

The kit includes a choice of mounting either two .50 caliber or two .30 caliber machine guns. I would recommend that you stick with mounting one .50, but there are two gun shields provided along with mounts so you can easily add another weapon system if desired. Molding is generally good with only minor flash and pin marks throughout the kit.

Conclusion
This is a very reasonably priced kit for the subject and I am looking forward to putting this baby together in the near future. The tracks are a let-down but the rest of the kit is promising, especially for those interested in WW2 USMC gear.
SUMMARY
Highs: Clear, crisp molding without undue flash
Lows: Terrible track
Verdict: Good kit, easy to assemble and a unique addition to a collection of USMC vehicle from World War II
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6470
  Suggested Retail: $34.58 USD
  PUBLISHED: Jun 26, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 79.70%

About DJ Judge (210cav)
FROM: VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES

Retired Armor Officer challenged by the thrill of World War II Sherman tank modeling.

Copyright ©2019 text by DJ Judge [ 210CAV ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

BIG HINT on using the Italeri tracks: First, melt them together as per the instructions. Then, reinforce the joint by using two staples per joint. Really. Also, it is fairly easy to hide the track joint. And by using this method, and taking some care, you don't even have to reinforce the sprocket axel. I have built several LVT-4 with this method, no problems yet!
JUN 26, 2008 - 06:40 PM
Good tip and one I shall refer to as I build this kit. thanks DJ
JUN 27, 2008 - 12:34 AM
Jacques-- could you share some pictures of your LVT work with us? thanks DJ
JUL 03, 2008 - 01:58 AM
DJ, here is all I found. All my builds were for commisions, and quite a while ago, so I did not take pictures as religiously as I do now. Standard Italeri LVT-4, headlights are not lowered, and I added Verlinden MG's instead of the horrible Italeri offerings.
JUL 03, 2008 - 05:09 AM
Jacques-- Dang, buddy! That is nice work. I really like the worn look. Down loaded the shots and will apply to one my humble efforts. thanks again DJ
JUL 03, 2008 - 05:30 AM
Why Italeri has after all these years of complaints about their tracks continue to use the same materials for it has remained a mystery to me. Do they have a century worth of these materials that they refuse to improve on the tracks of the models?
JUL 08, 2008 - 07:37 PM
Good point! I don't think they are going to improve it. The only alternative I have seen is that of Hard Core Models. But, they wanted some exhorbitant amount of money for the track.
JUL 09, 2008 - 12:25 AM
There is another track available: http://www.greatmodels.com/~smartcart/cgi/display.cgi?item_num=ATT23. Cost is on par with most aftermarket tracks, but I do not know the difficulty level in dealing with these types of tracks.
JUL 09, 2008 - 01:33 AM
Rob-- now that is a reasonable price to pay for the track. I just ordered it. Plan on doing a blog once I complete the Sherman Mark III by DML which, to say the least, is a complex assembly to complete... DJ
JUL 10, 2008 - 02:42 AM
   

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