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Armor/AFV: Softskins
Softskins group discussions.
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PLASTIC (not resin) 5-ton M-series kits?
alphalimafoxtrot64
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Virginia, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 02:46 PM UTC
Hi guys. Just wanted to ask this question again, not sure if everybody was listening...

I'd like to build a couple different variants of the first-gen M-series 5-ton trucks (G-744/M39) as well as the PIP updated M813 M-series rigs. I know that either Italeri or Revell build a 5-ton "late model" M923 cargo six-by, but haven't seen or heard of either of the "first gen" M54 or "second gen" M813 six by's in anything EXCEPT dreaded expensive resin. Forking over nearly 175 bucks for this stuff is beyond a teacher's salary - I'd be able to buy a pile of 923's and a bunch of Tamiya M35's as well instead....

I wonder if any out-of date kits from years past exist? By the way, any links would be appreciated - but NOT INTERESTED IN RESIN KITS!
viper29_ca
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Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 04:27 PM UTC
About the only trucks left on the market are the Italeri M923 Big Foot, and the AFV Club M35 Fuel Truck (or what ever the designation is for the fueler).

Beyond that.....it is ebay or if someone has an extra in their stash they are willing to give up. Italeri had the M923 truck (non Big Foot) in 2 flavors, regular cargo, and one with the Shelter on it (both the same truck), and AFV Club had the regular M35 Cargo. Beyond that, Real Model has tons of conversion kits for alot of different mods. From communication vans, to gun trucks, tractors to tow trucks.
MacTrucks
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Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 04:30 PM UTC
That about sums it up for 1/35 scale. What you are looking for doesn't exist in plastic. Never has and just may be the case of never will. Believe it when I say, I have seen some of the most knowledgeable builders of 5 tons have said time and again how they wished for a plastic kit. Its not a matter of getting the right person to read your post.

If you are willing to put the effort in, a conversion is possible using kitbashing and scratchbuilding. I'm heading that way in 1/72 scale. Thankfully the Academy kit is great starting point. Far better than trying to update a WWII vintage truck.
Jmarles
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Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 04:46 PM UTC
One option may be the old Revell M.A.S.H. kit of the "deuce and a half". It's an ancient kit, and I've heard originally it was released as 1/32 scale as its molds go back to the 60's. But I believe - although I am no expert on US trucks - it could be an m 39. Maybe you could use it as a base and superdetail/scratch some of it. I actually have the kit, and to be honest - there are worse kits out there. Why not google "M.A.S.H. truck" and see what you think. HTH.
Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 05:37 PM UTC
Revell's M.A.S.H truck is a 2.5 ton M34 truck...


Frenchy
Graywolfgang
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Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 06:18 PM UTC
I hat to burst all of yalls bubbles.. Revell has a kit of a 5 tyon wrecker in 1/32 scale. Kit # 8035.. I have one in rap. Not for sale or trade. I don't know if any are on ebay.. Hear are some tech manuals you might look for also.. These are for 5 ton and 10 ton models

TM 9-2320-211-10 5 Ton, 6x6, M39, M40, M40C, and so on...

TM 9-2320-260-10 Operators Manual, 5 Ton, 6x6, M809, M809A1 and so on...

TM 9-2320-206-10 Tech Manual 10 Ton, 6x6 M123 (2320-395-1875), and so on...

Happy hunting
Wolf
alphalimafoxtrot64
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Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 09:54 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I hat to burst all of yalls bubbles.. Revell has a kit of a 5 ton wrecker in 1/32 scale. Kit # 8035..
Happy hunting
Wolf



Thanks for confirming my assessment, Wolf - I was SURE that some company had built a plastic 5 ton six -by at some point!

Now, I can completely understand your not wanting to part with such a thing, but Wolf - would you mind sharing a few "box art" snapshots of your treasure? I'd like to see what it looks like.

Real Models versions of M52's, M54's, tippers and gun trucks are awesome and out of the foreseeable future for me - as long as I'm on a teacher's salary in this crappy economy - so all along, I've been reading blogs and resource guides about M35A2 (etc) cab conversions to 5-ton frames, such as the 923 Italeri.

It helps to have been an "owner and operator" of a deuce and a half for almost eight years - I can visualize the deuce like the back of my hand. Mine was a 1970 Kaiser Jeep w/ow, w/o heat kit, w/o turbo - plain Jane as a cargo truck could possibly come! She was a Fort Meade, Maryland base truck that never left the base. Just used for drills, training, and the MI (Military Intelligence) battalion's use on post.

Anyway, I do appreciate any tips in the 5-ton mystery - since I just started digging into this quest, I bet eventually a few other folks might chime in with a memory of an old kit that Lindberg or Monogram or MPC built back in the "old days"!

I'll also be happy to hear of any other modeler's trials and tribulations of their mods & conversions from "little" 2-1/2 ton deuces into "big brother" 5-tonners.

Thanks again for all your ideas!

Adam
alphalimafoxtrot64
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Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 10:15 PM UTC
Wolf, I just found the "history" on the Revell kits you mentioned - apparently, this was an early '80s run of Cold War-focused ground/air/space-related stuff - all seems to have been NATO - across a variety of scales.

I looked into "Revell History Makers Series" and got lots of info. Even found some cool kits for cheap! However, not yet the elusive PLASTIC 5-ton - hey, it's OK! All good!

And for those interested in such things, I even found an online petition requesting that Revell reintroduce the series!

http://www.petitiononline.com/revell/petition.html

(just copy & paste the above into your browser if I forgot to make it a hyperlink)

Adam
somtec
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Posted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 11:39 PM UTC
Hi
Was this kit a true 1/32 or did it just say that on the box as it came form a time when scales seemed to change depending on which box they came in. Monogram come to mind.
Peter
HeavyArty
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Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 12:00 AM UTC
We were all listening last time, but the Revell wrecker isn't really worth mentioning. The Revell 5 ton wrecker was a reboxed, early '70s(?) Renwal kit and was really bad. It is 1/32 or larger and lacks detail. It is not really that accurate. Unless you have to build something that looks kind of like a 5 ton(ish) wrecker in plastic straight from the box, it isn't worth building. You would have to rebuild almost every part to get it looking good and up to today's standards. Also, it is highly sought after on the "collectors" market, so it usually goes for a pretty high price. For what is in the box, I don't know why. One or two do come up on eBay pretty regularly.

Here is one built-up and for sale on eBay. You can see how bad it is.


I had one that I got really cheap and used its frame, parts of the running gear, and some cab pieces as a base for my 1/35 M123A1C tractor (which is a much larger, 10 ton truck) and it looked closer to the right scale for it, not an M54 series 5 ton. The rest was tossed in the garbage can.

The lighter green parts of the cab and frame are from the Revell wrecker. Sorry for the crappy pic, but I had a cheap digicam back then.


The completed, highly modified, model.


As we stated before, the best way to get an M54 in plastic is still to use "Animal's" M54 conversion with an M923/5 and an M35. It isn't that hard and looks great when done. Mine came out pretty good as an M54A1 guntruck and the conversion wasn't too difficult.

Same crappy digicam, but you get the idea. (Yeah, I know, I missed reshaping the nose to a flat profile, I realized it too late when I was already done painting. Oh well, so be it.)


Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
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Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 12:19 AM UTC
The Renwal kits were from the late 1950s-early 1960s not the 70s. When I was younger, my friends' big brothers had the Renwal kits, the epitomy of cool back in the day. Renwal had quite the line Cold War missile related weaponry. Revell reissued the molds in the early 80s. Fifty years later, they are very primitive, but back in the day, when kids played with models, they were high speed, low drag.

The Revell M*A*S*H truck is the original Monogram M34 deuce and a half. Revell's original deuce and a half was in 1/40th scale. The old Monogram truck is one of the ones that they released in 1/35 scale and not 1/32.

The Renwal wrecker was also released in a civilian format:
GeraldOwens
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Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 07:58 AM UTC
Quick overview: For US post World War Two trucks, you have the Monogram two and a half ton M34 Reo "Eager Beaver" truck prototype, released many times since the early 1950's most recently by Revell, both as a "MASH" truck and in a Revell/Germany combo kit with the primitive Monogram Willys Jeep kit (though without the M6 37 mm gun that used to accompany the Jeep). These are 1/35th scale, though some boxings from the 1960's claimed to be 1/32nd. The M34 is a very primitive kit, and if you have your heart set on one, I suggest you just use the cargo box and wheels and mate them with an AFV Club M35. The Eduard photoetch set for the AFV Club kit is equally useful here.
AFV Club's M35 kits are superb. You can get a Vietnam era deuce and a half using the gun truck kit, and the M35A2 from the 1980's/90's era can be built using the cargo or fuel truck kits. Revell offered a very nice base model M35 kit in the late 1950's, but it is 1/40th scale. It has been reissued as a nostalgia piece in recent years.
For five-ton trucks, you have only two sources. The Renwal 1/32nd scale wrecker is the only kit based on an M54 series truck, and it was most recently offered by Revell. The molds date from around 1957, and are very basic. Italeri offered their modern five ton trucks in 1/35th scale, both as M923 and M925 variations, though the "Bigfoot" tire tread pattern is poorly depicted on that version. Detail is really basic for a modern kit, so spring for an Eduard photoetch set to dress it up. I have seen some impressive conversions of these kits to depict the two earlier series five-ton trucks, so if you don't want to buy a resin conversion, you can exercise your scratchbuilding skills.
Graywolfgang
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Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 02:00 PM UTC
You got to remember when this kit came out, there wasnít any set scale like there are today. I know it is crude, but it is a good starting place. With the Tech Manuals I listed there are a number of trucks that can be built.
viper29_ca
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Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 04:12 PM UTC
In those days it was considered "Box Scale". Back when the cardboard box was the most expensive part of the kit. The plastic itself was dirt cheap....so for the most part, they designed the size of the kit around the size of the box they were willing to use, which you end up with some odd ball scales.

Most armor was 1/32 (Monogram, Airfix, Revell) however alot was 1/32ish, and then along came Tamiya and upset the apple cart, introducing a set scale of 1/35. And the rest is history.
Graywolfgang
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Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 06:27 PM UTC
When Tamiya and Italeri came on the scene they sure messed things up. Tamiya wasnít much better at first. Remember their old old M4A3E8? If you arenít old enough to remember it, well it was bad. It was a cross between 1/30, 1/35,and 1/32 all in one kit and nothing was right. About the only parts that wear 1/35 was the road wheels, and that was about it.
RotorHead67
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Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 07:04 PM UTC

Quoted Text



I'd like to build a couple different variants of the first-gen M-series 5-ton trucks (G-744/M39) as well as the PIP updated M813 M-series rigs. I know that either Italeri or Revell build a 5-ton "late model" M923 cargo six-by, but haven't seen or heard of either of the "first gen" M54 or "second gen" M813 six by's in anything EXCEPT dreaded expensive resin. Forking over nearly 175 bucks for this stuff is beyond a teacher's salary - I'd be able to buy a pile of 923's and a bunch of Tamiya M35's as well instead....



Adam.
Revell used to make an M52 Wrecker, and Monogram kitted an M44 6x6, but they are long gone and long in the tooth as well. The only 5 tons still available in plastic is the 939 series ie: 923 & 925. And 2.5 M35 & M49 kits. Happy Hunting ,but you wont find anthing in plastic its all in RESIN.. AAAWWWGGGG
allycat
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Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 07:23 PM UTC
Revell had a kit containing a jeep and M34 type truck in one box.

#03029 'M34 Tactical Truck and Jeep'

I've seen the kit in various internet shop lists but can't tell you about quality etc.

TTFN
Tom
alphalimafoxtrot64
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Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 11:03 PM UTC
Hey all - I am really glad to hear all the comments and "back histories" on the 5-ton six-by's that you are bringing to the table!

Gino, your mod/buildup of the M123 10-ton tractor is killer! Also, thanks for sharing your "slightly up-gunned" M113/M54 combo truck for inspiration!

You are right about David Willett's kitbash conversion tutorial - he does an excellent build using the AFV Club M35 and the Italeri 923/925. That is exactly where I am headed; but I can already predict I'll be sidetracked into doing versions of 923/925 OIF gun trucks instead! (The Tankograd OIF "armored softskins" mag is a regular on the bathroom mag rack)

I think I've heard from the best and most informed folks, now - the message is clear: you can't find either an M39/G744/M54 5-ton or an M809/813 PIP 5-ton in any scale today - in plastic - so it's time to get my "kitbashing" powers up & running!

At least the deuce and a half M35 cab, doors, and windshield frame are all the same for M-series 5 and 10-tons! That's a good place to start!

Adam
Frenchy
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Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 01:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I think I've heard from the best and most informed folks, now - the message is clear: you can't find either an M39/G744/M54 5-ton or an M809/813 PIP 5-ton in any scale today - in plastic


On a side note you can find one affordable resin M813...in 1/87th scale It was released by H&K, along with a M811, a M246, a M814, a M818, a M52, a M543 and a M41 :
H&K M818 tractor truck :

H&K products listing here

In the same scale, Roco makes/made a plastic M54 :

and a M62 :



Frenchy
Sabot
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Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 02:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Revell had a kit containing a jeep and M34 type truck in one box.

#03029 'M34 Tactical Truck and Jeep'

I've seen the kit in various internet shop lists but can't tell you about quality etc.

TTFN
Tom

It is a reboxing of the 1950s Monogram M34 deuce and a half (mentioned above) and the Monogram Willys Jeep (minus the 37mm anti tank gun, also mentioned above).
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
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Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 02:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

In those days it was considered "Box Scale". Back when the cardboard box was the most expensive part of the kit. The plastic itself was dirt cheap....so for the most part, they designed the size of the kit around the size of the box they were willing to use, which you end up with some odd ball scales.

Most armor was 1/32 (Monogram, Airfix, Revell) however alot was 1/32ish, and then along came Tamiya and upset the apple cart, introducing a set scale of 1/35. And the rest is history.


Box scale never really applied to armor kits. About the only box scale mainstream armor kit from the 50s was the Revell M4A1 'Black Magic' Sherman tank kit. The rest of Revell's armor line was 1/40 scale.

Renwal's armor models used a constant scale that advertised 3/8" equals one foot. They worked out to 1/32 scale. At the time, Renwal's armor kits were the most detailed military models you could buy.

Monogram began 1/35 scale long before Tamiya hit the scene. Several of Monogram's armor kits ended up with motorized copies produced in Japan (half track, M34). Monogram started producing 1/32 scale kits later when it looked like other western companies were going in that direction. Airfix began a 1/32 scale line (some of the nicest armor kits out of the 70s) that fizzled out quickly. Many of Monogram's original 1/35 scale kits were subsequently reissued with 1/32 scale on the box, much like Airfix did with their 1/76 scale kits, but were never 1/32 scale to begin with.

Tamiya ran with 1/35 scale because that was the scale other Japanese companies were using with their motorized copies of Monogram kits.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 02:38 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey all - I am really glad to hear all the comments and "back histories" on the 5-ton six-by's that you are bringing to the table!

Gino, your mod/buildup of the M123 10-ton tractor is killer! Also, thanks for sharing your "slightly up-gunned" M113/M54 combo truck for inspiration!

You are right about David Willett's kitbash conversion tutorial - he does an excellent build using the AFV Club M35 and the Italeri 923/925. That is exactly where I am headed; but I can already predict I'll be sidetracked into doing versions of 923/925 OIF gun trucks instead! (The Tankograd OIF "armored softskins" mag is a regular on the bathroom mag rack)

I think I've heard from the best and most informed folks, now - the message is clear: you can't find either an M39/G744/M54 5-ton or an M809/813 PIP 5-ton in any scale today - in plastic - so it's time to get my "kitbashing" powers up & running!

At least the deuce and a half M35 cab, doors, and windshield frame are all the same for M-series 5 and 10-tons! That's a good place to start!

Adam



The conversion is pretty straight forward. Follow Dave's tutorial and you will be good. If you need any help with it, don't hesitate to ask here, lots of good advice from may. Can't wait to see your trucks.

Good luck.