Wednesday, September 15

Preview: Tamiya's American Tank Destroyer M18 Hellcat in 35th scale

Tamiya are certainly producing a number of military kits this year. Their recent Nashorn in 48th scale is followed by this, the M18 Hellcat in 1/35th scale. We have some information on the kit and pictures of what can be expected in our preview...

Preview: Tamiya's American Tank Destroyer M18 Hellcat in 35th scale

American Tank Destroyer M18 Hellcat
From Tamiya
1/35th Scale
Military Miniature Series No.376
An overall length of 192 mm
Two marking choices are included
The subject: The M18 Hellcat
During World War II, the M18 Hellcat tank destroyer was developed by the United States Army to compete with powerful German tanks such as the Tiger and Panther. Equipped with a high-powered 76mm tank gun on an open-top turret to aid vision for the gun crew. 

An overhead shot of an M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer showing the open turret configuration.
To secure space inside the turret, the main gun loading section was laid out with the barrel rotated 45 degrees. A lighter, automatic transmission and the first torsion bar suspension for American tanks were a feature of this tank, where speed was a factor in the design and use. The tank being able to "shoot and scoot" out of danger if needed.

A soldier mans the M2 .50 calibre machine gun on an M18 during a training maneuver. The Hellcat’s main gun was a high-velocity 76mm cannon
The star-shaped 9-cylinder gasoline engine mounted on the rear of the hull demonstrated a maximum speed of over 80km /h, making it the fastest tracked vehicle in World War II (and fastest tank in US service until the Abrams). Production of the Hellcat began in July 1943, welcoming its first line on the Italian front in 1944. 
After that, the Hellcat was dispatched to Northwestern Europe and the Pacific front and it had a fair share of victories against not only German tanks, but all other soft skin and infantry it encountered. The Hellcat contributed to the victory of the US military as a pioneer in anti-tank combat.

The new kit from Tamiya:
This new tooling of the American Tank Destroyer M18 Hellcat is reproduced in 1/35th scale. And although there is no set release date and price, one would think it would be appearing about the end of the year.
The kit's features:
- This new kit has an overall length 192 mm, and an overall width 80 mm. 
- It is based on research of the actual vehicle, the height-reduced body is equipped with a powerful 76mm tank gun, and the fearless style is reproduced with a rich sense of reality. 
- The interior of the turret, such as the main gun loading section, ammo racks, radio, and swivel gear, has a detailed finish. 
- The texture of the canvas cover attached to the mantlet is also realistically recreated. 
- The headlight lens is a clear part. 
- For the complicated suspension, the parts are integrated together to make for easy assembly. 
- The single pin type track is a connection type with a straight part integrated. 
- A full-body image of a standing tanker is included
- Two types of markings for vehicles deployed on the Italian front at the end of World War II are included.
You can see more about this and Tamiya's other kits on their website...