M22 Locust Airborne tank

Kit #: PS720022 Preview by Tony Mackinder - tonymackinder1999(at)gmail(dot)com
Edited by Al Magnus


The T9 was designed to a British specification for a light air portable tank to be used by the Airborne Divisions in NW Europe. The idea was to remove the turret and place it in the aircraft (the C54 Skymaster) and carry the hull under the aircraft secured by two clevises/D shaped brackets on each side. After initial testing the weight had to be reduced and along with other changes became the T9E1. The tank never saw active service with US forces but was used in training. It was later designated the M22 with the British giving it the name Locust.

A total of 830 were built between late 1943 and early 1945 with 260 shipped to Britain, its only operational use was by the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment who used eight Locust carried in Hamilcar gliders during Operation Varsity in March 1945 to cross the Rhine.

Post-war it was used by Belgium and Egypt.

British version
In British service there were several changes:

  • a blackout light was added to the left head light
  • the four lifting clevises/brackets on hull sides were removed
  • a smoke bomb thrower was added on each side of the turret
  • larger tow shackles with two holes fitted, front and rear
  • the 37mm gun could have a Littlejohn Adaptor (which squeezed the round producing a higher velocity, but this required special ammunition). Photographs suggest it was not used on Operation Varsity locusts
  • the large brush guards around the lights were not fitted

What's in the box?

This is the usual S-Model quick build with simplified one piece tracks with two models in the box. This is the American version and all the decals are for American vehicles, strangely the smoke bomb throwers are included and shown added on the instructions. As you get two in the box, I'm tempted to do both versions. Markings for British service would probably include a winged Pegasus (Airborne forces), white 41 over green and blue horizontally divided square (recce regt) and black 7 on yellow disc (bridge classification).

S-Model are now putting the instructions on the back of the box and the only painting guide is the front of the box, but as no paint numbers are mentioned nor any indication where decals are placed, you will have to do some research!


[1] Airborne Armour. Tetrarch, Locust, Hamilcar and the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment 1938-50, Keith Flint (2004), Helion
[2] Tanks of the Early IDF History of the IDF Armoured Corp Vol.1, Tom Gannon (2019), Trackpad Publishing (has good photos of a preserved British Locust showing the new tow shackles)

Preview sample purchased by the author.

S-Model products are available at Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 27 November 2019