Dragon 1/72 LVT-(A)4

KIT #: 7388
PRICE: $20.00 SRP
DECALS: At least two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:  

HISTORY

The Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) was a class of amphibious vehicles introduced by the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Army during World War II. Originally intended solely as cargo carriers for ship to shore operations, they rapidly evolved into assault troop and fire support vehicles as well. The types were all widely known as amphtrack, amtrak, amtrac etc., a portmanteau of amphibious tractor.

In the LVT-4, The engine was moved forward and a large ramp door was added to the rear, allowing troops to exit from the rear of the vehicle. This innovation also greatly facilitated the loading and unloading of cargo. Some vehicles received armor kits. It was by far the most numerous version of the LVT, with 8,351 units delivered. Many of the British LVT versions were armed with a Polsten 20 mm cannon and 2 .30 cal Browning MG.

The LVT-(A)4 of 1944, was a  fire support version, with 75 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 turret armed with a 75 mm howitzer, in some cases replaced with the Canadian Ronson flamethrower. A single .50 cal machine gun was installed on the ring mount above the turret rear. In the late production vehicles the heavy machine gun was replaced with two M1919A4 .30 MGs on pintle mounts and one more in the bow mount. 1,890 units produced.

THE KIT

This is the second LVT kit produced by Dragon and this time it is the heavily armed support vehicle. This means a new sprue with all the bits and pieces for the new upper hull and the turret with the gun on it. Like the other kit, it is not parts intensive, since the innards will be invisible once the kit is built. It has the usual superb dragon molding with a goodly number of small bits, like hand holds to attach. It also has Dragon's excellent DS tracks so no worries about a myriad of tiny tracks. The 'road wheels', return rollers and the sprockets are all molded into the side pieces, speeding up the build process.

Here is a full run of features from Dragon:

- Newly tooled glacis plate
- 75mm M8 gun newly produced
- Delicate LVT-(A)4 model produced in miniature
- Turret molded w/full detail
- Gun can be elevated at different angles
- Hull top is well detailed
- Fully detailed deck
- Delicate rear hull w/tow cable included
- Sprocket wheels w/breathtaking detail
- Detailed one-piece hull sides molded w/intricate wheels
- One-piece slide-molded lower hull w/weld seams
- One-piece DS tracks included

Markings are provided for two vehicles. One is the box art version in overall OD with the 3rd Armored Amphibian Battalion at Peleliu in 1944. The other has large patches of sand and brown on the hull and is with the 2nd Amphibian Battalion at Iwo Jima in 1945.

CONCLUSIONS

Here we have yet another excellent 1/72 military vehicle kit from Dragon. One that won't require months to build and yet will provide a neat display when done.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LVT_4

May 2011

My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local retailer or on-line store.

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