1⁄35Building the DML M2A1 Halftrack
introductionDragon’s brand new US M2A1 Halftrack answered a lot of modeller’s dreams. Not since the 1970’s have we had these vehicles in 1/35th injection moulded form, and those were heavily criticized for things such as inaccurate running gear amongst other things. You can find a full in-box review of the Dragon kit here.
the kitThe kit as supplied can make 2 variants, the M2 with a full MG skate ring around the crew compartment, and roller on the front, or the M2A1 that has a winch on the front and M49 ring over the co-driver’s position. Looking at references, almost any combination of these features can be made, since things were often field modified and backdated etc.
the build beginsConstruction begins on this kit with the assembly of the engine, front axle, and those gorgeous drive wheels! Not much of the engine will be visible once the model is complete, although if you leave the engine louvres open you will see the radiator through the gaps. Dragon have engraved the panel lines of the hood on the reverse side, so although no alternative hinges or hasps are provided, with a little work the hood can be depicted open, and then this little gem of an engine can be seen. All you’d need to add are some wires etc, as extra detailing, and there are plenty of references out there for the White 160 AX 6-cylinder. When faced with a number of small sub-assembly’s such as that presented on the first page of these instructions, I usually remove all the necessary parts from the sprues and lay them out in a similar way to they are on the instructions, then clean them up, and finally assemble them. In this way I tend not to get similar parts mixed up, so I suspect that parts A9 and A8 are reversed on the instructions, since when I came to assemble mine they were, so double check yours when putting them together. When you come to the two front wheels you’ll see that Dragon have engineered the ‘flat’ into them, with some subtlety too, it’s definitely not overdone! Everything about this first stage in the instructions just reeked of quality. Everything fitting together perfectly to produce the small sub-assembly’s for later. Moving onto the next stage of the instructions, I began to build the bogeys for the running gear. The bolt detail of the 16 road wheels is wonderful, as is all the detail. These can actually be built working, although as the tracks are supplied as rigid injection moulded parts, I didn’t see a use for this, and assembly is much simplified if everything is just cemented into place. The assembly can be a little fiddly on these, most especially with parts D5, and you’ll probably need tweezers! Be aware that the instructions show the first bogey to be constructed, back to front….on the illustration part D34 should be shown sliding into part D32 the other way around, although strangely, the other bogey is shown assembled correctly?
Copyright ©2020 by Vinnie Branigan. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of KitMaker Network, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2006-11-07 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 47340