Italeri 1/35 M-20 Scout Car




$21.00 MSRP (2004)


Two options


Scott Van Aken




The M-20 is a derivative of the M-8 Armored Car. It was developed in 1944 to provide US forces with a fast, all-terrain reconnaissance vehicle. The M-20 was nearly identical to the armored car versions, but devoid of the 37mm cannon. This made it totally inadequate against enemy tanks, and so it was used to escort infantry units. All different versions of the M-20 were used in the final year of WWII. As with all US military vehicles, they were used by a plethora of foreign nations in the years following the war and I'd be surprised if there weren't a few of them still around!


For some reason, kit makers seem to think that all ground military vehicles should be molded in OD plastic and Italeri is no exception. This one is very well molded with crisp details. I did find ejector pin marks in areas where they will be difficult to remove (as in a section of grated surface), but overall it is free from flash and I found no sink areas of any real consequence. Something I appreciate is that the wheels are not rubber but plastic. Rubber is fine, but in my experience, it tends to crack and deteriorate over time. The position of several parts like shovels and axes are engraved on the upper body, though I must say I'd appreciate it more if they weren't.

This kit does provide a full interior so the detail freaks will enjoy going over things and enhancing them with various scratch-built or aftermarket bits. All the crew hatches are separate to allow even the more dim recesses to be visible. Optional bits are the ability to install or leave off the side fenders. There are also a number of bags and bundles that can be glued in place on the exterior should you wish it. There are many small detail parts so care will be needed when removing them.

Instructions are excellent with 12 construction steps. Color information is provided in the appropriate steps and referenced to generic or Model Master acrylic paints. A nice touch are a couple of overall drawings so that one can see what it is like when done. Markings are provided for two Olive Drab WWII vehicles; the box art version of the US Army in 1945 and a French Army version from 1944. Decals are well printed and should prove to be very good.


Overall, a really nice kit of an important armored car. Perhaps not quite as nice as the M-20 turreted version by Tamiya, but then again, it is about half the cost!

Kit courtesy of my bargaining powers at swap meets!

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