Finished: 35th scale Italeri LVT-5 AMTRAC
Posted by Don Murphy on August 17, 2010, 8:40:31
Finished my Italeri AMTRAC. The kit portrays a late war vehicle with no options for back-dating. The fit and build are typical Italeri with some steps over exposed and others with no mention in the instruction sheet. The plate markings in the hull bottom suggest that this is probably an early AMTRAC kit for the open-topped version. So if you really wanted to, you could probably scratch build what you needed. The holes are there for where the seats and control sticks would mount if the kit came with them. Tons of interior hatch detail, etc.
The suspension is pretty easy to build and all wheels are free moving. The track itself is (in my opinion) overly thick and each side's tracks are broken into two parts. The track connector pins are too small and do not melt. So I basically just superglued the tracks to the wheels. A bit time consuming, but it worked out, none the less. Once completed, it pretty tight fitting and the tracks do not move.
You can pose all of the hatches open or closed and the detail is pretty spartan. Thinking it was just me, I did some research and sure enough...there's nothing in there. Basically a hollow shell with an engine. A lot of "tank" stuff isn't there as the purpose of the vehicle was not to "fight" as such, merely to haul Marines to the beach and give them a better chance of survival.
The 75mm pack howitzer could take out a bunker or two and was the source of a lot of Japanese pain during landing time. Should the AMTRAC be forced to act as a tank, the 75mm gun was equally more than a match for the latest and greatest Japanese Army armor. Early AMTRACs had machine guns and this one has a hull mounted and turret mounted 30 caliber plus a pintle for a turret top 50 caliber M2. The open turret is pretty detailed with radio gear (as it was), shell stowage, gun sights and the howitzer breech.
I did something which is pretty hard to see but I was pretty impressed...I liberally splattered clear gloss coat on the bottom half to make it look like the AMTRAC was "wet." It gives the bottom half just the right sheen to make it look like it's just come out of the ocean. I initially wanted to do a diorama of it on a beach but I haven't really sat down and thought out how I'd like to proceed.
The kit portrays a vehicle attached to the 3rd Armored Amphibious Battalion during the battle for Peleliu in 1944. You get five marking choices and some accurate paint tips. For weathering, I kept it simple as (to be fair) the lifespan of gear in the Pacific wasn't that great and most of the AMTRACs would not survive the initial operations to get too rusty. I used Polyscale USMC Green for my overall color (brush painted) and then used Testor's ModelMaster Rust for the...rust.