Dragon 1/72 LVT-4 with 1/4 ton truck
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Two complete kits.|
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.
The LVT-4 was a mid-war development of the original LVT. 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.
This is another of Dragon's 1+1 kits with a main feature kit along with a smaller vehicle. In this case it is their LVT-4 along with the newly released Jeep (excuse me....1/4 ton 4x4 truck).
The LVT itself is a relatively simple kit regardless of scale as it is basically a mobile open box with a few guns. All of the road wheels are molded onto the outer side half wiht only the forward sprocket being a separate item. The idler is molded onto the inner and outer hull sections. The tracks are Dragon's much beloved DS tracks and are in two sections on each side. The interior is pretty much a single piece with interior benches that can be modeled up or down. If you want to put the Jeep in there, it has to be up.
Like its larger scale brother, this one has two .30 and two .50 caliber machine guns for self protection with the .50s having gun shields. The rear ramp can be built up or down. There is no indication that this is movable. Apparently one way or the other.
The Jeep is a beauty of a kit in and of itself. It has a nicely done chassis and can be armed with either a .30 cal machine gun, .50 cal machine gun or twin recoilless rifles. These are all on a pintle mount behind the front seats. Of course, you can build it with no armament at all if you wish.
Instructions provide GUnze color references and are well drawn. Dragon kits always seem to have a part labeling glitch so be careful during construction. Markings are for three LVT-4s. One with yellow bands from Iwo Jima in 1945, A 79th Armored Division one from the Netherlands in 1944 and a French version from Indochina in 1954. All are overall Olive Drab. The Jeeps are pretty much the same other than weapons and serial. No unit information is provided. I would have thought one option would be French, but that is not the case.
It is a neat pair of kits with neither one of them being particularly parts intensive. The box lists 100 parts. These will make a neat diorama or a pair of very nice small scale kits.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or have them order it for you.
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