M-10 Duckbill GMC
1/35th Scale
Kit No.1397
In Box Review by Terry Ashley


The kit:
This is the forth in the Tank Destroyer series from Academy and is the later M10 GMC with redesigned turret and 'Duckbill' counter weights.

The quality of the mouldings is as good as we know from the previous M10/M36 kits with only a minimum of pin ejector marks on some parts, mostly those with detail on both sides or intricate mouldings but other than that just the normal cleanup is needed for the plastic parts.

Academy seem to give us a bit more with each kit and if you were wondering why there were the rear fuel tanks and engine bay sidewalls in the previous kits then the inclusion of the full GM 6046 12-cylinder diesel engine in this kit answers the question, more on the engine later.

The lower hull:
As with the other kits, you have a choice of Type 2B or Type 2D 1-piece transmission covers which includes casting numbers but you will have to add the drain plugs underneath the final drive housings. The VVSS suspension bogies are the Type 2C-2 Intermediate raised roller with a choice of open spoke or solid spoke wheels and idler wheels with rear detail inserts for the solid spoke wheels with nice grease plug and relief valve details while there is a choice of Type 2 revised or Type 3 Simple Plate drive sprockets.

The interior is again quite complete with lower floor forward transmission bulkhead and gearbox, driver’s position with gear levers, foot pedals, instrument panel and seat plus the co-driver’s seat. The fighting compartment has the floor with rear engine compartment bulkhead which includes the oil cooler radiator details and side sponson mounted ammo racks and shell cases, there is also a redesigned rear bulkhead to better incorporate the engine.

The rear hull panel is of normal M4A2 style for this kit and as mentioned there is a complete diesel engine supplied. This consists of 14 parts with nice crisp details and includes the two cylinder banks, six large air cleaners and rear fans although you only get the fan covers and not the actual fans which would have to be acquired elsewhere if you wanted to show the engine out of the vehicle?

The Upper Hull:
Moulded in one piece the M10 hull of M4A2 style has separate engine bay doors and separate fuel filler caps while at the front are separate crew hatches with additional separate periscopes, handles, hinge detail and internal fitting for nice little assemblies plus the usual array of pioneer tools.

One the hull sides are the moulded on bosses for the appliqué armour with separate outer bolts, the only parts that need any real work are the front and real light guards which are a little on the think side, but many will replace these with etched items anyway?

The Turret:
This has been redesigned from the earlier M10 turrets with the upper half moulded in one large piece incorporating the front covered section, side and rear walls while the lower half/turret ring has the lower halves of the rear wall and gun mount included as well as bolt head and traverse teeth around the ring. All this detail on this one moulding does result in a few pin ejector marks in tricky places but with a bit of care can be removed. The fit of the upper and lower turret halves is very good with the joins along panel lines so there shouldn't be any problems with seams to fill. The mantlet has has the two side cast ridges resdesigned for a more rounded appearance then the earlier mantlets.

The rear 'duckbill' counter weights also fit together well and the small seam should be easy to deal with and there is the makeshift armoured turret cover sometimes fitted to later M10s.

On the interior gun breech has also been slightly tweaked from the earlier kits with a few more details added and refining of other detail as well as separate two part breech block and sight plus some other details such as the seats and ready rounds in the rear bustle, there is scope to add additional details here but the basics are there.
You have a nice .50cal for the pintle mount on the rear turret although the .50cal but the gun from the new Machine Gun Set would look even better.

The decals are well printed with thin carrier film and provide markings for four vehicles although they are fairly generic overall with no specific units identified in the instructions other than to say three are from US Ubits in Germany 1944/1945 and and French unit from June 1945.

The tracks are continuous length vinyl T51 Rubber Block with the end connectors in the right place between the blocks, the securing bolt is also present on the connectors for what are very nicely detailed tracks in this medium.
Outside view
Inside view

Another very nice kit for allied fans with nice details and the inclusion of the full engine allows you to build the complete interior from front to back.
With the full interior and the practice Academy has now had with these kits the promised M4A2 should be quite something when released next year.

Highly Recommended.

Extra detail bits

The Sprues:
Click on thumbnails for larger view
New Sprues
Academy Academy
Detail Images
Academy AcademyAcademyAcademy
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M10 and M36 Tank
Destroyers 1942-53

New Vanguard No 57
Osprey Publishing
US Tank Detroyers
Walk Around

Squadron Signal Publications #5703
ISBN 0-89747-456-2
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.115
ISBN 83-7219-080-1
Wydawnictwo Militaria
US Tank Detroyers in action
Squadron Signal Publications No.2036
ISBN 0-89747-385-X
Allied & Axis 12
Ampersand Publishing
Soft cover, 96 pages

Allied & Axis
US Tank Destroyers
of WWII photo CD

Enygma Graphics
Enygma Graphics
SHERMAN A History of the
American Medium Tank

R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books ISBN 0-89141-080-5
Modeler's Guide to the Sherman
MMIR Special. Ampersand Publishing Company, Inc
Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten.

Page created 4 December 2003

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