Wednesday, June 1

Preview: Three American classics inbound from I love Kit in July...

"I Love Kit" has three releases due for July that are already available to pre-order from hobby shops. We look at the art, sprue shots, colours, marking choices and other information we have on them in our preview...

Preview: Three American classics inbound from I love Kit in July...

M4A3E8 Medium Tank - Early
Model no #61619
1/16th scale
Price: $188 USD from Hobbylink Japan
The official name is the M4A3(76)W HVSS, but "Sherman Easy Eight" is the nickname this tank is widely remembered. Sherman M4A3E8 earned the nickname from its experimental E8 designation. This new variant entered WWII late in the war (Dec 1944) and was kept in service in various western allied nations deep into the Cold war.
This tank sported the much-vaunted HVSS (horizontal volute spring suspension) wide track and suspension upgrade. HVSS suspension increased the Sherman's weight by 2950lbs with the T66 single-pin track and 4780 lbs with the T84 double-pin track. HVSS allowed the installation of wider tracks, thereby decreasing the tank's ground pressure, and eased maintenance on the running gear since the bogie no longer had to be disassembled to remove road wheels. HVSS also provided more wheel travel, which gave the tank an easier and more stable ride, it also made the tank a much more stable firing platform.

A CAD image of the kit
The turret was also enlarged to accommodate the more powerful 76 mm gun. The muzzle velocity of the 76 mm cannon, the vehicle's primary armament, was 792 m/sec, causing penetration of 101 mm of armour at a distance of 1,000 yards (914 m).  From its predecessor, the M4A3E8 inherited glacis sloped to 47 degrees to the vertical, while driver and co-driver vision slots were changed to periscopes housed in the top of the hatches. The most significant change that distinguished the "Easy Eight" from its predecessors was the "wet storage" of ammunition to reduce fire risk in the event of penetration from an enemy AP round. 

Markings included in this kit
Decals included in this kit
Production of "Easy Eights" began in early 1944 and continued until April 1945. The "Easy Eight" became the standard tank of the American 3rd and seventh Army in Europe, and after the war, was successfully deployed in Korea and the Middle East. In the postwar years, it was included in the armament of various Western Allied armies. A total of 4,542 M4A3 tanks of both suspension types were produced. This model kit comes with photo-etched parts, metal parts (main barrel, machine barrel, cable, etc.), 3D-printed parts and one resin figure.

The sprues of the kit.
Transparent parts for vision ports are provided
Model Length: 471.6mm / Width: 186.2mm 
Metal Parts: springs, track shaft, copper cable, main gun barrel, machine gun barrel
Total of 30 sprues, upper hull, lower hull and turret
-The kit consists of over 2200 parts in total
-Multi-slide moulded lower hull and upper hull
- 170 3-D printed  parts
-1 resin figure included
-320 individual track links
-Photo-etched parts included

M1278 Heavy Guns Carrier – General Purpose (JLTV-GP)
1:35th scale
Model no #63536
Price: $57 USD from Hobbylink Japan
The JLTV or Joint Light Tactical Vehicle was a new US military programme, initiated to partially replace the fleet of ageing HMMWV utility vehicles. The new vehicle is intended for the US Army, Marine Corps and Special Forces.
Markings included in this kit
Decals included in this kit, mostly stencils and instrument dials
M1278 is a heavy gun carrier. It is a baseline 4-door general-purpose version of the JLTV family. It has a shielded M2 heavy machine gun station on the roof. Alternatively, it can be fitted with various remotely-controlled weapon stations, armed with the M2 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, or even a lightweight 30 mm chain gun.

Transparent parts for windows and lights are provided
Masks for the transparent parts are included
The M1279 is a utility version. It is a 2-door pickup with a cargo area at the rear. It can carry various supplies and cargo. The M1281 is a close combat weapons carrier.

The sprues of the kit.
Model Length: 153.9mm / Width: 92.4mm  
360+ Total Parts     
Total of 7 sprues, cab and tires
-Detailed multi-directional slide-moulded cab.
Photo-etched parts are included.
-The main tires are hollow rubber with a very good tread pattern 
    -Full drive train assembly complete with engine transmission, differential housing and suspension units.

M3A3 Medium Tank
Model no #63517
1:35th scale
Price: $51 USD from Hobbylink Japan
The M3 medium tank was developed and manufactured in the United States during World War II. The M3A3 is a vehicle in which the engine is replaced with a combination of two air-cooled radial R975 engines top GM's 6046 type in-line six-cylinder two-stroke diesel engine, and the body is the same welded type as the M3A2. 
Markings included in this kit
Decals included in this kit
 In Britain, the tank was called by two names based on the turret configuration and crew size. Tanks employing US pattern turrets were called the "Lee", named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Variants using British pattern turrets were known as "Grant," named after Union general Ulysses S. Grant.

The hull is slide-moulded
-  120 individual tracks links
photo-etched parts are included. 
The sprues of the kit.
Transparent parts for vision ports are provided
Model Length: 162.2mm   Width: 77.8mm
Total of 19 sprues, lower hull, upper hull and turret
The kit consists of over 630 parts

You can find out more about I Love Kit models on their Website