M10 Tank Destroyer
Manufacturer: HäT Industries (Armourfast) (Kit #99004)
The third of HäT's new line of wargamer kits is the M10 Tank Destroyer. Although the real M10 was based upon the M4 Sherman chassis, the wheels and tracks on this kit are completely new and improved over HäT's earlier Sherman kit. The wheels are very detailed, although not molded all the way to the back. There is a lip at the front face of the wheels that will be visible on the completed model. The tracks are fairly well detailed on the outer surfaces, and have the outer row of track guide teeth molded onto the inner surface, which is a definite improvement over the earlier Sherman kit.
The detail on the upper hull is really quite well done with recessed panel lines around the engine access hatches, bolt detail, engine grates, and fuel filler caps all very well done. The crew hatches are molded closed. The armor bosses on the front hull look pretty good, but on the hull sides, they are more like locator marks for more 3-dimensional bosses to be added. This is probably as best as could be done, considering the sloped surface of the hull. The engine access door on the rear of the lower hull is molded in greater relief than on the M4 kit, although there still are no exhaust parts included.
The turret looks really nice, and captures well the unique faceted shape for this vehicle. As you can see in the scan, the bottom of the turret, as well as the hull turret ring, are molded closed, which is not accurate for this vehicle, but it does hide the lack of interior this way. For those industrious modelers who want to add a full interior, you'll have to open up the bottom of the turret, and the top of the hull. No gun breach is included, but the gun barrel is once again molded perfectly round and straight. There are two machineguns included: a .50cal and .30cal. The .30cal was not very common, so having one included in the kit is a real bonus. Both are finely molded and detailed, especially the .50cal, which I think looks better than the machinegun in the Italeri (ESCI) Sherman kit.
The kit represents the mid-version of this tank destroyer, with the wedge-shaped turret counter weights. According to my references, the dimensions of the kit are perfect. The instructions are printed on the back of the box, and no decals are included. Note that each box sold in stores includes two complete kits.
All in all, I am quite impressed with this new kit. It improves upon the molding quality of the earlier Sherman kit, and although it is designed specifically with wargamers in mind, with a little extra work, it will build into a really nice example of this oft-overlooked armored vehicle.
Thank you to HäT for providing the review sample.
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