Hobby Fan
M58 Mine Clearing Line
Charge/M200A1 2 1/2 Trailer

Hobby Fan 1:35th
Kit HF-056
Review by Terry Ashley

M58 Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC)
The MICLIC is a rocket projected explosive line charge which provides a "close-in" breaching capability effective against conventionally fused mines and when detonated provides a cleared lane 8 meters wide by 100 meters long. The MICLIC system consists of an M353 3-1/2 ton or M200A1 2-1/2 ton trailer (or M200 tracked trailer) chassis with launcher assembly, M147 firing kit, M58A3 line charge and a 5-inch MK22 Mod 4 rocket. The line charge is 350 feet long and contains 5 pounds per linear foot of composition C-4 explosive.

Engineer units employ the MICLIC in response to minefield breaching requirements and a typical mission involves the MICLIC trailers being moved into position and the line charge prepared for firing by an Engineer squad. A suitable combat vehicle tows the MICLIC trailers to the point of the breach and a second MICLIC may be fired from the breached lane if a longer breach is required.

The kit:
The Hobby Fan kit represents the M58 MICLIC with M200A1 2-½ ton Trailer and consists of 110 parts in light yellow resin with a length of twine, thin wire, a length of fine chain and thicker length of wire plus two small decal sheets with stencil data for the trailer.

Hobby Fan

Quality of the resin casting is exceptional with many very fine parts cast perfectly without any hint of air bubbles, warping or other blemishes for some of the better quality resin you will find today. There are the characteristic large casting blocks on Hobby Fan resin parts but these are mostly very easy to remove and some minor resin flash or film is on a few of the finer parts which is also very easy to remove.

Of particular note are the very fine hooks, lifting eyes and tow shackles which are cast extremely fine and with perfect consistency as well as the open turnbuckles that add excellent detail definition to the set.

The launcher frame is made up of separate side frames and cross members which are cast perfectly square and warp free to ensure the assembled ‘box' is nice and square. The large A frame launch arm is cast with a length of wire trapped inside the middle arm that ensures the frame remains perfectly straight and does it's job well with just some fine resin flim to be removed from the frame before use. There are alternate support arms and hydraulic raising cylinders so the launcher frame can be shown in the transport or firing modes.

The lower charge container body has the lower floor with curled charge line included and separate sides which are cast very thin being almost translucent while still remaining perfectly straight but take care when removing the casting block as this is along the edge with the thin walls and thicker V strengthening sections and it is easy to cut into the thin walls if not careful.

Wire provided is fitted between the curled line charge and rocket motor for an authentic appearance with the fine turnbuckles that secure the launcher unit to the trailer as well as the fine chain to finish off the nice details.

The M200A1 trailer is another nice assembly with separate side chassis members and front A frame with cross member supports with separate leaf spring suspension and axle. There are separate brake drums and the four large wheels are again perfectly cast with very good tread pattern and include the ‘Good Year' embossing with nice hub details with the only blemish being some very minor dimpling around the outer wheel rims that should disappear when painted. The very small casting block scar can be positioned at the ground contact point to hide completely.
Trailer Wheels
Hobby Fan

There are separate rear taillight assemblies and the front support leg with winder handle as well as the fine tow hook at the front and as mentioned there are numerous very fine hooks and lifting eyes to add along the sides of the trailer.

The launcher frame, line charge body and trailer can be assembled as separate sub-assemblies and painted separately if you wish before final assembly to make things easier as the trailer and launcher unit are usually painted different colours.

Stencil data is provided on the two small decal sheets for the main body and trailer and this helps to add more authenticity to the model.

The instructions consist of two double sided ‘letter' sized pages showing the numbered parts layout for easy identification and a series of exploded view assembly drawings of the three main sub-assemblies which are very clear and easy to follow and should make assembly as trouble free as possible.

Side views of the unit show the location of the stencil data and there is a small photo of the real trailer and of the assembled model that also help with the assembly and decal placement.

This is an exceptional well cast set with many very fine parts and as mentioned the blemish free finish of the parts is quite impressive and will build into an impressive little model of the unique piece of equipment.

This set will add that something different to your dioramas and should be appreciated by modern vehicle modellers.

Hobby Fan resin sets may be a little on the expensive side but there is no denying the quality of what you get for your hard earned.

Highly recommended.

Resin Parts
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Hobby FanThanks to Hobby Fan for the review kit.

Page created September 5, 2005
Last updated September 5, 2005

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