by: Jim Rae [ ]
Look at almost any image of U.S. vehicles in the field during WWII, and one thing will become apparent - they carried an awful lot of extra equipment. Therefore, to produce a convincing model, some stowage will be necessary.
As the crews of these vehicles effectively lived in them for months on end, inevitably extra gear would be 'acquired' along with more 'personalized' touches. There have certainly been a number of sets produced for the M2 H/T recently, however few have contained quite as much as this new set from Legend Productions..
Legend's New Set
The South Korean manufacturer, Legend Productions have gradually been producing a series of stowage sets for a variety of Allied vehicles, the U.S. Sherman and the Firefly are just two of them, now they have been joined by LF1150 - U.S. M2 HalfTrack Stowage set. The set comes packed in a sturdy cardboard box with the contents inside a snap-top plastic bag and the bag wrapped in bubble-wrap.
Although the set, is designed with the M2 halftrack in mind, it will be useable with the M4 Mortar Carrier and (with the exception of one part) for the forthcoming M3 Halftrack. I would imagine, that in the case of the latter, Legend will produce a similar set with the two, rear-mounted, folding storage racks...
With this review, i'll look at some of the key components of the set and where they are designed to be used:
Front Mudguards/Radiator Grille: The often-seen large 'rolls' are included (curved) for the front mudguards. Also included, is a convincingly cast roll of barbed-wire which angles over the radiator onto the front roller/winch on the front mudguards. On the box-top illustration some suggestions are given as to where these can be placed although the armored cover over the winshield was often left propped open with items stored on top of it. Two replacement jerrycans and their holders are provided for positioning just forward of the front doors.
Rear: As mentioned previously, a large storage box is provided for the rear hull with a wide variety of smaller equipment moulded onto it - this is a really beautifully done piece which with careful painting will look very convincing indeed.
Sides: two large castings make up the principal parts for the side stowage. For the left-hand side, this consists of an amazingly-done piece with centered on two logs (frequently used by crews to give traction to bogged-down vehicles) this is cast with with additional storage rolls and infantry haversacks. On the right-hand side, a similarly large piece is provided with a series of stowed rolls with a rolled camo. net.
Crew compartment: a variety of standard-issue and more personalized items are provided to give a more personal touch to the compartment. These include a couple of Thompson SMGs, helmets (with covers) equipment pouches, .30 and .50 calibre ammo boxes a small lubricating oil drum and some more stowage rolls. The 'personalized' touch is provided with some wine bottles, a small milk churn, a cople of buckets and a rather nicely-designed hurricane lamp.
Casting: Quality of the casting is, as we have come to expect from Legend, impeccable. No bubbles or damage are present and definition on such items as buckles is crisp and clean.
Mould Attachment Points: most of the parts will need very careful removal. Some of the resin parts come with pretty substantial 'plugs' will require a degree of planning to remove along with the use of a razor-saw. In the majority of cases, the plug is on the bottom so they shouldn't be noticeable.
There is a lot contained within this set. I tend to think it should be used between a couple of Half-Track models rather than all stuck on one vehicle. However, like their M4 Stowage, there is a lot of value for money in this set and sufficient parts to decide what you want to use. A lot of the stowage is, once again, suitable 'generic' allowing it to be used on anything from Armored Cars to Pershings making this set very flexible indeed - something which Legend have done on all their other stowage sets.
Very Highly Recommended