Since I took up modelling again I have often heard lamented the fact that no one had ever manufactured a model of the T16 Carrier. Well here it is; a full resin kit from the manufacturer Resicast. First impressions are of an outstanding model of this somewhat neglected vehicle. Iím no carrier expert but I thought a little background information might be useful and to that end Iíve included a link to Maple Leaf Up
and the Digger History
site (scroll down).
The T16 was in fact developed in the US by Ford, to British specifications. Ford were drawn into the demand for more powerful and robust carriers and set about developing an ĎAll Americaní Carrier. In its operational role it was mainly issued to the Canadians who used it for towing the 6pdr anti tank gun and as a 4.2Ē mortar carrier, although like its smaller cousin, the Universal Carrier, it was developed into a number of different roles.
The official designation was Carrier Universal T16 Mk I. These machines were supplied under the Lend Lease agreement. Approximately 13,893 carriers were produced but many, as I understand it, arrived too late for the war. The bulk of the early production went to the Canadians and the British, though I am unsure of the actual number. They were also believed to be used by the British in post war establishments. I have also read that, although it was supplied with a larger engine, it was in fact under powered.
The kit comes in the familiar stout Resicast Box, the parts being contained in zip plastic bags wrapped in bubble wrap for extra protection. In total there are 11 zip bags containing the resin parts, the lower hull comes as a separate cast item, a further plastic zip bag contains the PE fret and also included in the box is an A5 size 24 page booklet containing the parts list, build instructions and reference pictures.
This is a seriously impressive kit, there are 204 resin parts (give or take a few!!) and 95 PE pieces on quite a large fret.
The instructions are of the new Resicast style being photo lead and showing the build sequence. The front page carries a picture of the fully built carrier, mastered by George Moore and two references for Nigel Watsonís excellent books on the Universal Carrier (Volume 1 and Volume 2), highlighted as ĎAbsolute Readingí. The next 2 pages are given to the parts listing, the bulk of the remainder of the booklet being devoted to the build sequence, 16 pages in all, showing the build stages and the parts being clearly identifiable. The pictures are of good quality and clearly show the part numbers and build sequence. The remaining 4 pages provide pictures of the actual vehicle for reference. The back page is a contact page for the company, should you find any broken or missing parts in the kit. Past experience with Resicast has shown a level of customer service that, quite frankly, is excellent.
The lower hull comes moulded as one piece, so you have an accurate and firm base to build on. What also caught my eye straight away were the two types of road wheels included with the kit, the later disc type and the more common spoke wheels, so you have a choice of how you finish the carrier and my recommendation would be to build on a specific reference picture. The spoked wheels supplied are the straight spoked wheel (Part No B-241120) that was included with the first 1900 vehicles produced. Thereafter, these were replaced by the offset spoke type (Part no B-241203). The later version of the T16 Mk I sported the disc style wheel.
You also get a choice of early or late bulkhead, parts MB and MC, and additional notes in the instructions help to guide you towards which parts to use on an early or late version of the vehicle. Again some good references or research may be necessary, but isnít that part of the fun!
Cast in a light cream resin I inspected all the main hull parts and apart from 4 small sink holes on the underside of the front plate, (these could be filled or left depending on your preference as they will not be seen when the carrier is built), I could find no air bubbles or other cause for concern. The set comes with a spare drive wheel, and one of these had slight damage to some of the teeth. The remainder of the parts I looked at were in extremely good order and very highly detailed. All are numbered, therefore it should be a fairly easy job to match them to the build instructions.
Also included in the kit are a set of the excellent carrier tracks I have commented on before and despite these being resin they are flexible, fairly easy to work with and build into quality tracks. The early style fenders are provided in PE form.
You will need a good sharp razor saw to remove the plugs from several of the items and general use, but most parts should be removable with a sharp X-ACTO blade. As with all resin kits you need to slow you build speed and take just a little extra care when building. Normal caution should be taken when working with resin parts
I was seriously impressed with the carrier conversions in the form of the Mk I and the MG carrier sets. Iím bowled over by this one. The best I can describe it is like having a highly detailed standard kit but in resin. This should build into a stunning and detailed model. With so many parts this kit is more akin to the design of a plastic model so you get a lot of build for your bucks. The recent issue of the towed 6pdr (35.1201) and the issue of a T16 crew and stowage to accompany the carrier (35.2305) will Iím sure for many round off the build. Stand alone or accompanied by the additional kits, or included in a dio this should make a stunning model of the US Ford T16 Carrier.
My initial thoughts are of an outstandingly detailed kit that will be a joy to build. The overall quality of the parts is amazing and the quantity large, and whilst this may seem daunting to some, in fact for me it represents excellent value for your money coupled with quality build time.
A Build Log
has been started on the Forums to evaluate the kit construction.
Universal Carriers Volume 2 by Nigel Watson