Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Scale Model Review: M151A2 Hardtop with Trailer by Academy

M151A2 Hard Top with Trailer by Academy

I've finally got around building models again this year and I've had this one kicking around the house for awhile. My inspiration was that I drove one just like in the Army back in the 80's. It's a M151A2 with a trailer(M416 I believe). If my memory serves me right I don't remember a lot of these that came with the hardtop. Most I saw had the soft-top version. Most scale models I found were of the soft top so when I found it I snapped it up quick. 

The inspiration. My M151A2 in Germany back during the Reagan years.

I consider this my "first car". I had a civilian license before going in the Army but I had to learn all over Again. It is on one of these I learned to drive a manual transmission and it's a wonder it survived that ordeal. After awhile I loved driving them. powered by a sturdy 4 cylinder engine top speed was about 50 mph on the highway(yes we pushed them). We warned they were prone to roll-overs due to high center of gravity. I also learned later it was due to the 4 wheel independent suspension that made them prone to tip. 

They were excellent for what I call off pavement driving like dirt roads and in the woods. The knobby tires though I didn't work as well on slippery pavement or snow. I actually had a couple spin outs on snowy slick roads so they had their limitations. 

In the past I haven't done very many military models like this. Maybe a battleship or an old World War 2 plane but that was decades ago. I usually stick to cars of the 1/24-1/25 scale genre so to do a 1/35 scale military model was new to me. 


The level of detail impressed me as I went along. I don't think I was expecting a whole lot from such a small kit but the number pieces surprised me. The majority of pieces also fit together quite well. Many models, like the my previous kit a 1/25 scale Impala, had some parts that wouldn't quite fit right and needed work to go together. Excess flash,mold lines and injector marks were minimal. These are imperfections left over from the manufacturing process for those that may be new to scale modelling. 


I had a hard time thinking of any to be honest. I did have some issues with the instructions. The kit gives you an option to build a topless version with an M60 mount. Sometimes it wasn't always clear which parts were for a particular version. There were also some extra parts, actually they're listed in the instructions)which could get mixed up. It happened that I put on the wrong dashboard/windshield part. It was only slight difference in appearance on the inside. It wasn't a big deal but could be for those going for extra mile for accuracy and authenticity. This was to be a sentimental shelf display model and not a show contestant so I was fine with it.

Overall I think it came out very well in the end. I'm not sure I'd recommend this as a first build as it's has many tiny pieces that require tweezers to hold them. I actually lost a tiny piece of the engine that because it fell on my basement floor to never be found. Maybe someone with moderate experience would find this a nice challenge. Have fun with it.

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