This year sees the 20th Anniversary of the start of Resicast. Since its conception many terrific kits have been provided for modellers of 1/35 scale subjects, particularly British and Commonwealth ones. Always willing to bring something new and unusual to the market, this kit fits that bracket well.
River crossing were a fairly common event during WW2 for all combatants. Whether opposed or un-opposed the first thing you need to do is get your troops across to the other side and to do that you need boats/vehicles of some sort unless you want them to swim. The Allies had a variety of options for water and river crossings and down at the lower end of the scale (but no less important) were assault boats.
These craft fall into the domain of the Engineers and Resicast have a set of such craft as used by the US Army during WW2. I am more familiar with British rather than US subjects but during WW2 Engineering equipment was often pooled together for a particular event.
The model was researched and mastered by Lionnel Gonnet.
This is an unusual set that has a terrific potential for diorama builders or as a stand alone subject, so lets see what you get.
The kit comes packed in the standard Resicast format , in a strong sturdy cardboard box. The box top shows a colour picture of the complete item and manufacturer's details. The items are well packaged, with individual parts in zip plastic bags, of which there were nine, and the boats themselves which consist of two separate boats and one set of two stacked boats.
The utility trailer is the Two-wheel, Utility, Pole Type, 2-1/2 Ton, Type 1, Infantry Support Raft and/or Pneumatic Bridge Equipment, Model D-2424.
There is a good review over on Us Army Models
that covers some of the more technical data on the trailer and highlights some possible build issues or points for thought you may like to read.
If you are interested a technical manual, TM5-9074 Maintenance Manual and Parts Catalogue for Trailer, Two-wheel, Utility, Pole Type, 2-1/2 Ton, Type 1, Infantry Support Raft and/or Pneumatic Bridge Equipment, Model D-2424, is also available from Rob Van Meel Ė Re-Print Military Literature
The trailer parts are expertly cast , the build instructions cover the chassis assembly, standby assembly, boat assembly and painting.
You should check the build sequence against the part numbers carefully as a couple of PE parts are noted in the US Army Models Review as being mis-numbered, but I wonít discover any errors until I get to the build.
You would also need to decide reasonably early on how you intend to display the kit, whether with the trailer fully loaded or partly unloaded.
The trailer could be used for securing different types of loads, and bulk binding beams and a longitudinal beam are provided in the kit - I believe these should be used if you intend to secure the boat load although this may not be clear in the instructions, or from the photographs provided.
These trailers had a telescopic pole (that connected to the towing vehicle) which could be varied in length according to what was being carried on the trailer. The rule of thumb seems to have been donít extend the pole to its completely extended length unless absolutely necessary.
There are quite a few small resin parts that go into the construction of the trailer so care will be needed when removing these and to avoid losses to the carpet monster!
The kit seems to be a good representation of the actual trailer, I may add some comment later when I get my technical manual.
Four boats are provided in the set, two individual separate boats and two boats cast in a stack. 20 paddles are provided, which is enough for the two individual boats, eight paddles for each I believe and a few spares. The paddles where contained in canvas bags so you might want to fashion a couple of bags to represent the other paddles for the two stacked boats. Along the side of the boats are hand holds and these will need careful cleaning out as there is a little flash present.
This is another first for Resicast, a set which has great diorama potential. The two stacked boats are not an issue if you are showing the full load but I would have preferred four individual boats and 24 paddles, or a couple of canvas bags to go with the stacked boats.
Another Allied trailer is also a real plus as there are far too few of these around, so even as a towed load this one has a lot to offer.
There are not a lot of references around for this kit, so I ordered up a copy of the manual mentioned above which will help increase my knowledge about the trailer and clarify any points I may come across.
Whilst the boats are specifically of the US type you might be able to use them in any combined operations you come across, as Engineering equipment was often pooled for a specific event.