ARM: Review - 1/35 Scale Resin Artillery Trailers

Kit Review:
    Tiger Model Designs 1/35 Scale Kit No. 353001; U.S. M8 Ammo Trailer; 26 parts (24 in light tan resin, 1 section of lead foil, 1 section of wire); price
$24.95
    Masters Productions 1/35 Scale Kit No. 35010; Remorque a Munitions U.S. M10 (U.S. M10 Ammo Trailer); 30 parts in light tank resin; retail price 31.00 Euros (about $38 at current exchange rates)
Advantages: "Complete the model" essential parts for a combat-ready model of either the M7 Priest, M8 75mm HMC, or M16 quad .50 AA halftrack; very nicely done and provide a number of options
Disadvantages: Some pour plug/mold gate cleanup necessities (Tiger Model Designs), requires a good parts box and selection of wires (Masters Productions)
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all WWII US "Redlegs" or those using MAP equipment
    If the artillery is truly the "God of War," then he must be a hungry one. Artillery is one of the biggest draws on supply of any of the combat arms – it needs manpower, drayage, ordnance support and supplies, and above all – ammunition. No matter how well designed, most of the SP guns used by all sides during WWII did not carry enough ammunition for most combat needs.
    The US had two prime weapons for most of the war: the small M8 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage, mounted on the M5 light tank chassis; and the M7 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage or "Priest", mounted on the M3 medium tank chassis. The M8 only carried 46 75mm rounds of all types, and even though the Priest was far better – carrying 50% more or 69 rounds – neither was considered able to carry sufficient ammunition for independent operations.
    The simple solution to the problem was the provision of small, armored trailers, such as the M8 and M10, to carry more ammunition for the primary weapon or its secondary weapons. These could also carry fuel, food, or any other type of supplies which needed basic protection from shell fragments or small arms (which is all that could be provided by the 1/4"-3/8" armor plate of the trailers.
    For example, the M8 trailer could carry 42 105mm rounds complete, or 93 75mm rounds, 360 rounds of .50 caliber, or 54 standard 5 gallon "jerry" cans. It was fitted with an armored top comprised of split halves, so that it also offered a bit of overhead protection as well. The smaller M10 did not, but appears to have been able to carry nearly the same weight (2,200 pounds in the M8). The M8 weighted 2,640 pounds and was built by John Deere; the M10, 2,000 pounds, and was built by Fruehauf Trailer Co. Both used standard 9.00 x 20 wheels and tires similar to those used on the GMC CCKW series trucks.
    The M8 was most commonly found paired up with the M7 due to its general status as close-support/direct-support artillery. The M10, as an open trailer, was more likely to be found with the M8 HMC or later on with the M16 MMGC carrying .50 caliber ammunition.
    Both kits are quite similar in parts breakdown and overall quality, which is excellent. The Tiger Models kit has some large pour plugs, the worst one being about 1/16" thick on the bottom of the trailer body itself, but does not appear to be either life-threatening or too hard to sand off. Both kits again seem to be well-thought through, and assembly does not appear to be too bad.
    The Tiger Models one has the better directions, as they explain the steps and the "bits" as you go through; they also explain what to do with the wire (actually solder) and lead foil to make the cables and straps found on the actual trailer. They do mention that the landing gear leg can be assembled in the "Up" or "Down" position, but only show one sketch of it in what appears to be the "Up" position. No decals or finishing options are included.
    The Masters Production directions are in French and English, but in many cases tend to skip over some steps such as the brake rigging. (The other is only in English, as it was produced in Florida whereas Masters is French.) They also tend to skip optional items, such as how to put the landing gear leg up; it is only shown in the directions in the "Down" position, and one extra sketch of the locking bars in the "Up" position, which is not of much help.
    There aren't many references for these two outside of places like Portrayal Press, so you are pretty much on your own. I do know the serial numbers go on the tailgate and many units sufficed their numbers with a T (e.g. C-26T) to show it was a trailer and not a vehicle. One M10 I have a photo of coupled to an M8 of the 15th Cavalry Group is serialed 0787881, so the Ordnance trailers appear to be in the 07XXXX block.
    Overall, these are nice additions to your "Redlegs" and complete the model!
    Thanks to Vincent Berto for picking these two up for me!
Cookie Sewell AMPS
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