M20 Armored Utility Car
1/35th Scale - Kit No.35234
Building and Detailing by Terry Ashley
is next. The new rear and side bulkheads are added along with the crew seats.
I replaced the fire extinguisher with one made from plastic rod, re-attaching
the kit handle to this and mounted in the Eduard etched item. The driver's
station was detailed using the Eduard foot pedals, instrument panel and
handbrake. Two prominent wires on the sidewall next to the driver were added
from thin wire.
The jerry can had a retaining strap added from the Eduard set and the filler cap replaced.
is provided in three major sections to give the correct angles to the side plates.
The insides of these parts can be easily seen and needed some cleanup and extra
detailing. The new lower section (part F11) which includes the driver's compartment
hatches of the correct shape (they are different to the M8). The locating pin
points on part F11 were removed, this still left the hole for the pins on part
F26 to locate but left them flush.
Bolt heads were added on the inside to correspond to the bolts on the MG ring mount on the two sides and rear plate from Grandt Line items. There are a number of tie downs on the inside of the sidewalls and front plate, these were added from thin wire attached with thick cyanoacrylate, the resulting "blob" of cyanoacrylate represents the weld securing bead. There were also 23 tie downs around the outside of the superstructure added in the same manner. The 4 storage boxes on the inside walls had their latches added from Eduard items. The rear plate is attached last and needed a small amount of filler on the side joins. This is not due to any poor fit but because these join lines are not present on the real vehicle. Finally weld seams were added along all the external plate join lines of the superstructure. These were added by running a small bead of undiluted white glue along the plate joins with a sharpened matchstick. When the white glue is almost dry, use the matchstick to add texture to the weld seam. The bolt heads securing the MG ring to its mount were also added from Grandt Line items and the MG mount had the handles added from thin strip.
The fit of these parts is spot on and required no filler (other than as mentioned above).
The wheels have air valves added from thin wire and were lightly "flattened" on the bottom by sanding on a flat surface to give a nice 'sit'. Reference to pics show that there is no side bulge to the tyres. The wheels were left off until after painting, this is made easy by the now familiar Tamiya 'Poly caps' for attaching the wheels.
The M2 machine gun was detailed using the Eduard set. The gun mount (part E3) is for post war .50 cals, this being replaced with the etched metal cradle. The ammo box cradle is also replaced with the etched item, as is the cooling jacket on the barrel, the sight and firing handle mounts. The barrel was drilled out and small etched chains added on the cradle.
As mentioned the fit is brilliant allowing you to concentrate on either a 'quick build' OOTB or add detail without having to waste time filling poorly fitting parts.
The interior is painted and weathered before the top hull is attached. There is some debate as to what colours are used on the interior of these vehicles. The instruction call for the entire interior to be Olive Drab but I have seen shots where the front section is white with only the exposed center section OD. I chose this scheme, spraying the front interior white, masked this off and spraying OD to the rear section. Because the vehicle is so open careful masking is required from the inside of the top hull before it is attached, as well as from the outside. Some thought must be given as to how you will remove this inside masking after painting.
After all paint had dried additional items of personal storage inside and out was added.
Another superb kit form Tamiya, everything we have come to expect from them these days. Easy of construction, plenty of details and well engineered. I personally like the M20 over the M8 as it looks sleeker with it's low profile minus the turret.
The model will eventually find a home in a diorama with Tamiya's brilliant Dragon Wagon in the near future.