The Half Track was developed from the concept of the scout car as a troop carrier and recon vehicle. Many more uses became apparent by mounting a 37 mm cannon with two .50 caliber machine guns, 75 mm and 105 mm cannons. Also built was an M16 multiple machine gun mount called a “Quad 50”. The M16 mounted a M45 Maxson .50cal MG “quad” arrangement. The U.S. half-track was first used in the Philippines where several initial design problems arose. The suspension was modified for increased reliability, but one of the main criticisms, the lack of overhead armor, was never changed throughout the life of the vehicle since the added weight decreased mobility. After the surrender of Bataan, several half-tracks were utilized in the Japanese army. In North Africa the half-track was improved with heavier road wheel springs and heavier springs for the rear idler. During the battle of the Kasserine Pass, several half-tracks were captured and used by the Germans.
At the time of the invasion of Sicily, the half-track had settled into its role as an armored infantry transport vehicle that was able to deliver infantry closer to the battle since they were less vulnerable to rifle fire. The vehicle would hold supplies and infantry field equipment, leaving the infantry unencumbered by heavy field packs. The half-track was highly mobile and could follow tanks quite easily, unlike trucks which were more at home on the road. The half-track was often criticized as too lightly armored, but this could partially be attributed to abuse of the vehicle.
September bring us another model kit release and as with our last post, it also comes from Monogram. This is Monogram’s Half Track M-16 part of the SSP (Selected Subjects Programs) which features a nostalgic original box art as it was during those bygone years. The stamping date on the mold shows the years 1956 and boy have we built model ever since. I quickly notice the lack of considerable flash and mold lines that usually accompany model kits of such age. The tracks are made of a soft rubber. My attention moved forward to a small sealed bag containing the front tires. I certainly wasn’t around for the introduction and subsequent releases of this kit, but I suspect that this tires are not as old as the rest of it. They are made of a hard solid rubber with very crisp thread blocks and a thin easy to remove mold line.
Judging by the size of the figures provided with this model kit, I have the feeling that this is a 1/32 scale model rather than the advertised 1/35. Decals are nicely printed for a model kit of this price range. As with the Monogram 1/32 Panzer IV, I will hold the same opinion of these old school releases.
If you’re looking for a model kit for the young modeller of the house or even just to own as a collectors item, here is a kit I recommend to you.