Monday, May 20, 2013

Studebaker M29C Weasel

The M29C is the amphibious version of the M29, a tracked cargo carrier for transport across snow. The addition of float tanks that were bolted onto the front and rear of the vehicle gave it enough buoyancy to travel through calm waters while propelled by its tracks.

I have wanted a 1/72 version of the M29C for a long time because one of the first models I built happened to be the 1/35 scale Monogram Amphibious Weasel. Unfortunately, most of the 1/72 versions of the M29C are very expensive – the Hauler kit runs about $40, while the Extratech kit runs about $65.

The only other 1/72 M29C I could find was from Sergeant’s Mess. Their amphibious Weasel (AV13) is priced at £7, which is a bargain compared to the resin models. My only reservation was that they bill their miniatures as "1/72 20mm" which always sends up warning flags for me, because 1/72 ≠ 20mm.

Anyway, I decided to take a chance and order some of their miniatures to see how they scaled out, and included the Weasel in my order. Here's what I got:

The kit comes with 15 parts, some of which are not described by the instruction sheet (headlamp, front and rear tow hooks, windshield, rear panel, and canvas top). The hull is a solid chunk metal, and has quite a bit of heft.

The interior detail is not bad, but the driver's compartment did not have any leg room, so I drilled out some space to give the illusion of there being some space for the driver's legs.

I inscribed some lines to delineate the surf shield on the front, and then assembled most of the model in about 30 minutes.

I couldn't find the length of the Weasel with float tanks installed, but the width of the vehicle is only about 0.5mm off of the expected dimension in 1/72, so I think that the length is probably not far off either. Although I guess it's not saying much, since the difference in width between 1/72 and 1/76 is only a little over 1mm. However, it certainly looks about right compared to pictures of the real thing.

One difference that is very noticeable, is that the model does not have the side skirts that partially cover the wheel well.

The instructions show the rudders installed in the down position, but I placed them in an upright position for travelling on land.

I'll be adding some additional details to the model before painting, but for gaming, it can really be used without any additional modification.

I wonder if anyone makes a 1/72 SCR-508 or SCR-528 radio in resin, or if I have to scratch build one myself?


Sean said...

Pretty cool find. I also balk a little at 20mm but like everything else it is nominal. The 25mm figures are too big and some 1/72 manufacturers are only 22mm to the top of the head, like the BUM western set I got rid of.

Remco said...

The monogram box brings back memories, and the 1/72 scale model looks realy good, even details I see.
Thanks for sharing!

EY said...

Thanks for reading and commenting!

@Sean - I agree that a little bit of variation is tolerable, especially when the models are smaller.

@Remco - Yes, Monogram and Shep Paine dioramas, great memories.