|Scott Van Aken
The M8 light armored car is a 6×6 armored car produced by the Ford Motor Company during World War II. It was used from 1943 by United States and British forces in Europe and the Pacific until the end of the war. The vehicle was widely exported and as of 2006 still remained in service with some countries.
In British service, the M8 was known as the "Greyhound", a service name seldom, if ever, used by the US. The British Army found it too lightly armored, particularly the hull floor, which anti-tank mines could easily penetrate (the crews' solution was lining the floor of the crew compartment with sandbags). Nevertheless, it was produced in large numbers. The M8 Greyhound's excellent road mobility made it a great supportive element in the advancing American and British armored columns. It was marginal cross country, especially in mud. For more information, visit the Wiki link at the end of the article.
Tamiya's kit is superbly molded as one would expect. It depicts a late production vehicle and has a full fighting/driver's compartment. Not surprising is that about the first quarter or so of the instructions concentrates on building up the suspension. Then we deal with the interior, which includes the radio set and the driver's position. Oddly, Tamiya chose a very early instrument panel for their kit. I can only assume they chose a pattern vehicle that was either a test vehicle or one that had been cobbled together from several cars. Had I not just read a history of the M8, I would have never noticed this.
Tamiya chose plastic wheels, which I actually prefer on vehicles like this as they are easier to make look like rubber than the rubber ones. These are held on by polycaps so you can install them near the end of the build. Next are all the upper hull bits and pieces as well as the fenders. The hatches can be posed open if you wish. This kit does not include the forward storage box for the glass windscreens that were fairly common on later cars. It does include the side boxes that were typical of later builds.
The turret is a left and right half for the shell and once the 37mm gun is assembled it is easily inserted. The turret interior is nicely detailed so it looks busy. One of the final steps is attaching the .50 cal gun rail above the turret and installing the gun. If one wants a slightly earlier version of the vehicle, then one can leave off the side boxes and put in the racks for the mines. Some vehicles also operated without the side boxes as shown on the box art so you have a number of options. There are four markings options for the overall olive drab vehicles. Three are US and one is French. The small decal sheet looks to be well printed and should cause no issues.
I've always liked the look of the M8 and its cousin, the M20. These were not built in huge numbers, but a lot were doled out to other armed forces, which is why so many lasted so long. It is a nice kit that will undoubtedly build into an equally nice model.
Copyright ModelingMadness.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction in part or in whole without express permission from the editor.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Review Index Page
Back to the Previews Index Page