by: Kevin Brant [ ]
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.
10 Plastic Sprues
1 Sheet Decals
1 Instruction Booklet
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.
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.