M5A1 Half-Track

Airfix 1:76 Scale Vehicle Review

British M5A1 Half-Track with ring mount, 1:76 Model Kit Airfix 02318

The Airfix model shown here is advertised as an M3A1 Half-Track, but the flat section mudguards, the hinged top section of the hull sides, and the vehicle dimensions point to a M14 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage supplied to Britain under Lend-Lease and re-converted to the M5A1 Half-Track configuration. The stowage racks on either side of the vehicle have been left off to simulate an M14 conversion which had not received the racks. The M5A1 has been painted Humbrol 159 Khaki Drab, highlighted with 30% white. The .50 cal. M2 Browning included in the kit has been left off, because the vehicle will be fitted with a .303 Bren light machine gun. External stowage may be added to further detail the half-track.

Contents

Evaluation

Excellent choice of subject, converted M14 Multiple Gun Motor Carriages were used as M5 and M5A1 Half-Track personnel carrier in the motorized infantry battalions attached to British armoured formations.

Scale model with good detail.

Compatible with Fujimi, Matchbox, Nitto, Crusader Models, JB Models, Milicast and Cromwell Models.

The Airfix model is incorrectly advertised as a White M3A1 Half-Track serving with the US Army in Normandy, when in fact it is a British M5A1 Half-Track conversion of the IHC M14 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage manufactured by International Harvester Co. of Chicago, Illinois.

The engine compartment is slightly distorted and needs careful adjusting to achieve a better fit.

Parts No. 36 and No. 37 are labeled incorrectly in the instruction manual. Part No. 36 should be mounted on the right bumper, Part No. 37 on the left bumper.

Part No. 31, jerry can, was marred by a sink hole.

Part No. 40, ring mount, was not cast correctly.

No optional parts. Side and rear doors and armoured windshield covers are provided in the buttoned-down position only. The Fujimi M5A1 is the better choice for collectors interested in modelling the half-track with open windows.

The Airfix model of the M5A1 Half-Track is an excellent choice for wargamers who look for cheap and serviceable armoured personnel carriers to equip their British Motor Battalions. The Airfix M5A1 Half-Track is perfectly compatible with the Fujimi M5A1 Half-Track with winch, which offers more detail and a better variety of modelling option.

Airfix Modelling

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