Tuesday, July 6, 2021

4D Jeeps and M3A1 half-track

In this post, I present a couple more new offerings from 4D Models. The first model is a M3A1 half-tracked armored military vehicle (半履带武装甲车).

The 4D M3A1 is largely the same as their "M3" (M21) half-track, although parts for the mortar are not included, and the undercarriage is modified to accomodate an unditching roller.

There is a new sprue for a pulpit and roller, as well as an additional M2 machine gun. The model I have is molded in khaki drab, but similar to the M3 half-track, versions exist in both dark green and khaki drab plastic.

As with the earlier M3, the model goes together quickly and easily. The hardest part is to get the wheels onto the metal axles.

M3A1 vs M3 (M21)

Unlike the previous M3, the rudimentary M2 machine guns on the M3A1 do not come pre-painted.

The radiator louvres still look horrible

I think the roller may be a bit oversized, but the pulpit looks pretty good. Unfortunately, the interior still retains the M21 configuration, which would require more effort than it is worth to replace.

The other model is the Willy's Jeep off-road utility vehicle (威利斯吉普车 多用途越野用车).

The jeep comes molded in dark green or tan plastic, and includes a cargo trailer. I bought one of each color.

Unlike many other 4D models, the wheels are not painted to match the color of the plastic. The hubs are thick and bulky, presumably to allow the wheels to be firmly attached to the metal axles.

The model goes together fairly easily, but assembly took longer than for the M3A1 because of the delicate clean-up required for some of the smaller parts.

For one of the models, there was a molding issue that prevented the spare wheel from attaching properly. I ended up drilling out the hole, but the wheel still didn't fit well, so it's probably better to just file down the pin on the wheel and glue it in place.

The model doesn't look bad after being built up, but there is definitely room for improvement. The wheel hubs, windshield, steering wheel, and axe are all either too thick, or overly simplified. I etched a line on the axe to give it a bit of definition, but it was otherwise a featureless piece of flat plastic.

The windshield is a particular let down, since the design for the 1/48 scale 4D jeeps look so much better.

Compared to various other 1/72 scale jeeps, the 4D Models version is almost identical in size.

4D vs Hongwell

4D vs Marx

4D vs Hobby Master

4D vs Matchbox

The 4D jeep is probably closest to the Hobby Master jeep in dimensions, but, the wheelbase is closer to the Hongwell jeep. The Marx jeep is just as long as the 1/72 diecast jeeps, but not as wide. It almost looks closer in size to the 1/76 scale Matchbox jeep, but I think that is just because it doesn't have the spare tire and jerry can attached to the back.

I'm not sure if I will file down the windshield of the 4D jeeps to make them look better, but even if left as is, I think the models are more than adequate for gaming purposes.