Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Xtreme Modelling No.06

Although the allied armies of WW2 employed many types of tank destroyers, most were simple adaptations of existing tanks. The US Army's M-18 Hellcat was an exception as it was a purpose built tank destroyer from the outset, entering service in early 1943 and participating in every theatre of operations thereafter. Its modest armour protection made it vulnerable to artillery fragments and medium AT guns, but due to its high power gun and impressive road speed, it proved popular with its crews. With a top speed of close to 55 mph, it was the fastest tracked vehicle used by any army in WW2. This is my first model project produced by AFV Club, and I must say it will definitely not be my last. The level of detail is exceptional, and apart from a few minor fit problems, it builds into a beautiful replica of the actual vehicle. The Hellcat represented a first of sorts for me. After 10 years of building strictly German tanks and AFV's, this is my first attempt at an Allied vehicle and it made for an excellent change of pace. I began construction by cleaning and assembling the suspension and roadwheels, minus the tracks, as the model would later receive fruil metal tracks. The wheels and lower hull were covered with sifted sand and static grass attached with Testor's liquid cement to replicate caked on mud and dust.