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In-Box Review
135
Holt 75 Artillery Tractor
Holt 75 Artillery Tractor
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by: Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

Introduction

The Holt Tractor was tracked tractor that was built from 1908 till 1913 by the Holt Manufacturing Company. First used during the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct project, the tractor went on to serve in World War 1, most used to tow artillery. Almost 2000 Holt 75 Tractors saw service towing 9.2in and 8in howitzers.
A new kit from Roden represents the Holt 75 Tractor as saw service during the Great War.
Contents

10 Plastic Sprues
1 Sheet Decals
1 Instruction Booklet
Review

I was excited when the kit arrived, as it was a very interesting subject, that I have not seen in plastic before. Opening the box, the kit from Roden, is molded in grey plastic, with all the sprues sealed in a single bag, with the instructions and decal in a separate bag. Looking over the plastic parts I was pleased with what I was seeing. The parts are molded very well, I found some flash that will need cleaning, in most parts it looks like the ejector marks will be hidden after assembly, and no sink marks. The surface details on some parts is very well done, to include the no skid on the track fenders, and the roof parts has corrugation on both sides with NO ejectors marks on either side, well done Roden.

The center piece of the model will be the motor, and it looks well done, including the Holt name molded onto the side. The molding of the cylinder heads looks to be good and it does look like most of the plumbing is included, molded in plastic. There may be need to add some little bits of wire, if you are looking to fully detail it. What I found nice is the pully system for the motor is molded in on piece, which should make fitting easy, especially the way the belt runs through it. One thing I did not find not very pleasing, was there is no texture on the back side of the radiator. Even though there is a shroud around the fan, you may still be able to see inside through the fan blades.

As for the running gear, again well molded parts, including the cog drives. The molding of the small springs looks good, and should only need the seam lines cleaned up. Looking at the instructions, the assembly looks pretty straight forward, and does not look like there should be any issues. The front single wheel, where I did find a little more flash then most of the kit, should build up nice, with open spokes. There are also quite a few sprue gate tabs on the inner of the main drum that may cause a little extra work to clean up.

As for the tracks, Roden has provide molded individual links, that look to be rather well done. But there are what looks to be ejector “posts”, two on each track link. From what images I have been able to find online, these should not be there, so these may take some work and a sharp micro-chisel to get out of there. There is also some flash here that will need to be cleaned up.

Something I found a little strange was when I looked at the track fenders on the sprue, that shape looked way off. Looking through the instructions, the parts, two of them, are meant to be bent into shape once off the sprue. This could be interesting, and I would suggest care as to not break it, even though the parts are scored where they are to be bent. But as mentioned, the anti-skid pattern on the upper surface is very well done.

The 16 page instruction booklet looks to be well laid out for assembly, though there are no paint callout during assembly. In the paint and marking scheme at the end, there are some point out for colors, so I would suggest review during assembly to ensure if something needs to be painted prior to assembly complete, you get it. As for marking schemes, two are included, one for U.S. Expeditionary Force 1918, and one for British Army 1917.

The small decal sheet, with all white markings, looks to be very well printed.
Summary

Overall this looks to be a great looking kit of the Holt 75 Artillery Tractor from Roden. The kit looks to be generally well molded, there is some flash to clean up, and what looks to be ejector posts on the inside of the individual track links. Straight from the box, this kit looks like it will built a decent representation of the Holt 75. I would definitely recommend this kit, it is a very interesting subject, and a good looking kit.
SUMMARY
Highs: Nice moldings, individual track links, well detailed motor.
Lows: Some rather large ejector marks on track links, so extra flash on a few parts.
Verdict: A very interesting subject and great looking kit. Highly recommended.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 812
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 12, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.35%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.97%

Our Thanks to Roden!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Kevin Brant (SgtRam)
FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA

I am an IT Consultant and father, with a passion for plastic models. I mostly prefer 1/35 Armor and 1/48 Aircraft. My main interests are anything Canadian, as well as WW2 German and British Armor and Aircraft. I have been building models since I was a young kid, got away from it for awhile, but r...

Copyright ©2019 text by Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



Comments

Sink marks caused by the centre beam / Robin
AUG 12, 2018 - 06:10 PM
Thanks for the information, I was unaware that line along the top should not be there.
AUG 12, 2018 - 10:54 PM
I haven't seen the top of one of these tractors so I am not certain about what it should look like. The plastic part looks as if it is a row of sink marks. If they are irregular I would put my pennies on the sinkmark alternative, if they are perfectly regular then it is more doubtful .... Images on the internet show that at least the front and rear edges of the roof plating are one continuous plate, no break in the edge. This clip on Youtube shows one being driven around and has some close up views of the edge of the roof. They were focusing on the exhaust pipe and got some of the roof at the same time: LINK This is the only overhead view I could find but it isn't clear enough to be conclusive, even if it looks like continuous plates: If it is sinkmarks they should be relatively easy to fix. Fixing all the bolts (top of every 5th corrugation) will be a bit more work .... This clip shows a restored Holt 45 (fortyfive) tractor, no front wheel, with the same type of roof construction. At the 1:53 mark it is being driven up on a trailer and the top of the roof is visible. LINK / Robin
AUG 12, 2018 - 11:58 PM
I remember the discussion regarding the "roof sink line" in Simon's build of their kit several months ago. I don't think it's a kit "killer" issue in itself. Roden is famous for fit issues-- I've built several of thier 1/32 scale WWI aircraft, and all of them have issues ranging from very mild to severe. But often they are the only "game in town". In this case, I'd just replace the corrugated roof material for a more "scale" look anyway-- there are several manufacturers who make corrugated metal roof material in various scales for model railroad purposes, as well as Evergreen Styrene products and Plastruct which make styrene corrugated material. Or you could use the new corrugated forming tool (Small shop I think) I've seen advertised lately. It would be difficult to bend corrugated roof material into a curved shape, but not impossible. I agree, it's a shame Roden hasn't corrected this, but it's not impossible to overcome. VR, Russ
AUG 13, 2018 - 09:15 AM
Sooo..... after a long wait, last week I finally broke down and bought one of these Roden Holt tractors, along with their new 8" BL Howitzer. I started work on the Holt tractor almost immediately. It's like I thought, there are some minor fit issues (typical of many of Roden's kits). The roof sink marks are there, but with a little thinned Tamiya putty, some sandpaper and a little effort, I made them go away. The kit is going together quite well, and could be a super detailers dream, but out of the box it's just fine. There is some work to be done around the halves of the front wheel ring, which definitely needs scraping, sanding and a little carving with a sharp scalpel (and just a dollop of thinned Tamiya putty) to get the assembly to look right (mismatched/alignment in the molds, accompanied by some over-engineering of the circular wheel parts). But overall this kit is not too bad, and is going together quite well. I think one just needs to understand Roden Kits are not Tamiya kits (But Roden does offer things other manufactures don't). The BL Howitzer looks pretty simple too--(perhaps a little too simple). But it comes with a limber, the Howitzer, and a stabilizer platform on wheels. Combined with the Holt Tractor, it's going to make an impressive "Artillery train", and it'll make a wonderful addition to my collection of Artillery pieces and their prime movers (which I'm an admitted sucker for). I'm on to the Holt engine now, and am debating whether I'll replace the rocker springs with coupler springs from N gauge model railroad couplers, or continue my OOB build. Not a lot of the top of the engine will be seen when the push-rod tubes are in place and the roof is on. VR, Russ
MAR 25, 2019 - 03:28 AM
Well, I built the engine and water tank assembly yesterday. I'd built most of the frame a few days before, including the front steering wheel. I have to agree that it's not an easy kit to build because there's a lot of cleanup for the parts-- especially anything that's "round". It occurs to me the molds were mis-aligned slightly for my kit, leaving a "ridge" on either side of any circular feature, such as the flywheels, front wheel parts, and the fanbelt assemblies. But then there are other parts which are precisely (and cleanly) molded. There is also a bit of flash on some parts, yet not present on others. Theres an interesting difference in plastic, with one sprue being made of a harder plastic than the rest. I've found if the instructions are followed precisely, the kit goes together well (so far), the places I've screwed up are where I didn't look carefully at the diagrams. But overall, I think the kit is going together just fine-- it requires some cleanup, but only what I'd expected from my experience with other Roden kits. VR, Russ
MAR 26, 2019 - 04:10 AM
As to the groove in the roof: Evergreen makes corrugated roofing (unfortunately corrugations on one side only) and various hobby companies in the railroad vain make actual corrugated metal in assorted scales that could be used as a replacement.
MAR 26, 2019 - 04:37 AM
Michael, Yep, I realize that, and even have a package of Evergreen, a package of Plastruct (they make it corrugations on both sides), and a package of Micro-Scale "real" corrugated tin (It's actually Aluminum, but in HO and O scale, which is 1/86 and 1/48) on hand. I also thought of vac-forming it, buts it's slightly to big for my machine. I wanted to build this beast OOB as a challenge, to see what I could do with it just as it is. So far, its entirely doable with a little "elbow grease", sandpaper, sanding sticks, and a very sharp scalpel. There really is no "groove" in the roof--it's a line of very small sink holes at the bottom of each "U" shape in the corrugation. Frankly,that's been the easiest part of the fixes for this kit-- I just mixed some Tamiya grey putty with Tamiya thin cement, then used the tip of the cement brush (I have a special jar of Tamiya liquid cement I keep just for this) and placed a tiny drop of this mixture in each hole. when dry, I used a folded bit of 400 grade sandpaper to clean out the bottom of the corrugation. I used the same sandpaper along the edges of the roof to thin them out on both sides while I was waiting for the glue and putty mixture to dry. The entire process took about an hour. I just finished assembling the tracks-- they have a small sink hole inside the depression ends, but it's easily scrapped out with a rounded scalpel. There's some flash, but the tracks are semi-workable, and look good when assembled. They do lack connecting pin heads-- which I'm debating whether or not to add (I'd really like to finish this OOB). VR, Russ
MAR 26, 2019 - 06:49 AM
So... I've just about finished the build portion of my Roden Holt 75. The kit fenders have been discussed by others, but I found them easy to bend down, and a drop of CA gap filler spread into the remaining gap has ensured they stay together. The frame of the roof is together, close attention to the instructions and some dry fitting ensures the frame goes together properly. I found the fuel tank has quite a few gaps, and will need some sanding of the retaining bands (molded in conjunction with the frames), and some thinned filler around the edges. Tracks-- these are a bit of a pain to get on. I had to look at several Holt 75 photos to see the excact orientation of the tracks. And they kept falling apart, but eventually I got them to work. Did I mention that I left the idler and driver wheels to freely rotate? I thought it would help with the mounting of the tracks-- but I was wrong, they should be glued in place. The rest of the details are pretty straightforward, although everything needs some sanding and scraping to get rid of obvious seam lines. Altogether, the kit goes together fine, and looks good when completed. I left my tractor in five major components for painting-- A) Frame and suspension with tracks and engine bearers; B) Fenders, floor plates/flywheel cover with seat and controls; C) Engine and exhaust; D) Roof and supports; E) Radiator w/supports. Overall, I started the build on a Friday Afternoon, and completed major construction by a Tuesday evening, working about 5-6 hours a day off and on (I'm retired). I watched four movies in the background while building too! This model is not an easy one, thanks to the level of sanding, scraping and filling needed, mostly for anything that's molded as a "round" part. But, the fit is not too bad, the detail is nice ( could be "crisper" in places), and it builds into a fine model. It's an excellent base for super-detailing if desired. One aspect that's not included in the kit is a prop shaft, and the large winch reel at the rear, with the underside detail being simplified. These would be nice to have in the kit, but, they are not really necessary for an artillery tractor. Next I'll be tackling Roden's rendition of the 8" BL Howitzer. That kit (in the box) looks pretty good, without many of the mold misalignment issues of the tractor. I guess we'll see..... VR, Russ
MAR 27, 2019 - 02:27 AM
   

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