Saturday, November 19

Preview: A new M8 in 48th from Tamiya released at the fair....

There was not much in the way of unannounced items for scale modellers at the Tamiya Fair 2022 at Twin Messe Shizuoka. What there WAS however, was a newly tooled kit of a diminutive M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage in 1/48th scale. We have some images of the kit painted & unpainted, plus sprue parts & other details in our preview...
Preview: A new M8 in 48th from Tamiya released at the fair....

For the first time in three years, the Tamiya Fair is being held at Shizuoka in Japan this weekend:

What: Tamiya Fair 2022
When: 19th ( Sat ) 9:00-17:00, 20th ( Sun ) 9:00-16:00
Where: Twin Messe Shizuoka North Building, Japan.

Newly announced at the show was this new tidbit for AFV scale modellers, the 1/48th scale American M8 self-propelled howitzer kit. We look just a little at the "Scott" and then the new kit at the show now...
The Subject: The Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 'Scott'
Early in 1942, the US armoured force issued a requirement for a close support tank to work with medium tank battalions. To satisfy this demand the Cadillac Division of General Motors Corporation of Detroit, Michigan, United States took their M5 "Stuart VI" light tank and modified it to mount a 75mm field howitzer.

Soldiers of the 77th Inf. Div. walk past M8 self-propelled howitzers parked by the side of the road on Okinawa. 26 May, 1945
Cadillac's first attempt had an open-topped superstructure which resembled a scaled down M7, but the Army considered that this gave insufficient protection to the crew and, moreover, demanded too much modification of the basic tank. Eventually a new open-topped turret with full traverse, mounting the 75mm M2 howitzer was developed to fit into the turret ring of the M5 tank. Few other changes were found to be necessary beyond removing the ball-mounted hull machine-gun and transferring the driver's and co-driver's hatches to the glacis plate where they would not interfere with the traverse of the turret, and the resulting vehicle became standardized as the Howitzer Motor Carriage M8. The design was sometimes known as M8 Scott.

An overview of the gun installation in the turret showing the upper components of the mount. The trunnion cap is visible to the left of the mount, as are clips for the Thompson submachine gun at the upper left.
M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage seen here in Normandy. The crew is seen here maintaining their vehicle; one crew is swabbing the gun barrel, the second inspect the vehicle's main gun ammunition, and the rest is inspecting the interior.
Production was ordered in Apr 1942, and the production numbers reached 1,778 vehicles manufactured between Sep 1942 and Jan 1944. They were issued mainly as close support vehicles in headquarters companies of American armoured battalions in Europe. They were also employed in the Pacific theatre and by the Fighting Free-French in Italy and Southern Europe.

American light 75-mm self-propelled howitzer M8 "Scott" in the firing position. Germany, winter 1945.
Superseded in US formations from late 1944 (usually by 105mm howitzer-armed M4 Sherman tanks), the only serious defect of the M8 lay in its poor ammunition storage capacity, for which reason it was frequently fitted with a towing hook for an ammunition trailer.

The new kit from Tamiya:
New tool, in 1/48th scale, the new M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage was shown off at the Tamiya Hobby Fair in sprue form, in a constructed, but unpainted, and a a painted variant at the show this weekend.
Of the four new sprues and the metal weights, thread chain replica, the decals look to be from their 1/35th scale kit (they say so on the sheet). So we cannot say what decal choices are coming on this kit release (we do know there are two choices offered in this kit).
The assembled kit tells us a lot. The old "using the hand for scale" trick tells us the diminutive size of the tank is conveyed in this model. 
We never like the thread used as metal cable, and this tells you why. The modeller just has to  wet it down with white glue to shape it better.
The front of the M8, showing the cast texture on the mantlet and the flat, tolled plates on the front glacis.
The tracks are the link and length type, and with a lot of the upper hull in one piece, this looks to be an easy construction process.
The tools on the rear of the tank look great for this smaller scale. No photo-etch for the engine deck grilles is good for those who hate the metal.
Here is the kit assembled and painted up - albeit fairly basically, from the Tamiya staff. The figure included in the kit is on view also.
A view of inside the turret unpainted and painted shows the details of the interior. 

No exact release date is slated yet. We will bring you more about the kit as it surfaces. Until then, check out the Tamiya Website for more information...