M45 "Meat Chopper"
||Preview by Rob Haelterman|
M45 quad mount was a weapon that was developed at the end of WW2 and
is perhaps best known for its use on the M16 half track, but it was
also used as the M51 Multiple Machine Gun Carriage, which was an M45
on a two-axle M17 trailer.
I started with the trailer. The trailer looked like this (from Military Wiki).
Step 1 in the instructions mentions the option between parts 8 & 9 versus parts 26 & 27, but doesn't make it clear that these are for stowed or deployed supports respectively. Neither do the instructions point out how to install the deployed struts or that the option of deployed struts requires you to pivot part 7 as well. The painting guide and the artwork on the box can help here. Note that the wheels were sometimes removed when deployed; the M45 then only resting on its 3 struts.
I lost one of the PE stiffening plates for the rear (part 9). I decided to replace both with plasticard. The wheels were slightly flattened at the bottom.
Afterwards, I turned to the turret. Some parts (struts, handles) need to be made by the modeler. The instructions don't make it very clear how to mount the struts, but pictures found on Cybermodeler can help.
Paining and markings
includes a full color leaflet offering two marking options (see above
and below). The drawings are helpful for assembly as well. No color
references are given (but anyone with the most elementary set of references
will know that we are talking Olive Drab here) and neither are units
or time frame mentioned. The markings are sufficiently generic, though,
to fit almost any environment. Actually, you could get away with applying
no markings at all.
The decals themselves are very thin, and thus fragile. Care most be taken not to damage them, or have them fold on to themselves during handling. The lettering is tiny, but mostly readable. After I finished the kit, I noticed that some of the letters of the stenciling were incomplete, which might have happened during handling. This doesn't detract from the model as stenciling is bound to suffer during the operational career of any piece of (military) equipment.
I feel that the kit captures the look of the real thing, albeit with
detail that is a bit on the soft side. The PE is (at times) difficult
to handle (with my limited skills) while the resin MGs are absolute
Preview sample kindly provided by Armory.