Vargas Scale Models

Holt Gas-Electric Tank

Kit #: R3D-72-051 Preview by - Al Magnus


From Wikipedia:
"The Holt Gas-Electric Tank was the first prototype tank built in the United States in a collaboration between the Holt Manufacturing Company (now Caterpillar Inc.) and the General Electric Company. The tank, built during 1917-1918, was the only one of its kind built, as testing proved it lacked the agility and maneuverability required. The crew number is often given as six, on the assumption there would be two machine gunners, a gunner and loader for the main gun, a driver and a commander."

The Kit

Vargas Scale Models is one of the many new players in the 3D printed scale modeling community. This is one of six kits I purchased at the 2022 IPMS USA Nationals in Omaha, Nebraska at the Vargas booth in the vendor room. The Holt Gas-Electric Tank model quickly grabbed my eye and I added it to my growing stack immediately. I inspected a couple of the kits before my purchase, but this was not one of them.

Below are a few photos of what you get in the box - a solid one piece body, two tracks runs and a frame of parts for guns, turrets and panels, and an instruction guide with photos of the real vehicle on one side and part placement guides on the other. Unlike their Ford Chase kit (previewed here), the printing layers are very noticeable and will make it difficult to eliminate them via sanding and/or primer without damaging the adjacent rivet detail. Some of the small details are very nicely done, such as the handles all being hollow. There is a hollow stern complete with engine detail, though I'm thinking this is mostly speculative as the only photo of this area I could find was in reference [3], and it is tiny and quite dark. My sample has one track run with incomplete shoes.


I'm somewhat disappointed with this kit. I can work around the printing striations fairly easily but the incomplete shoes on the track is another matter and looks to be a finicky repair job. The track issue was discovered after I had returned home so I contacted Vargas for a replacement. I received an immediate reply that they'd reprint a new track and asked for my mailing address, but, as of this writing, some 6 weeks following my original request I've not yet heard anything further from Vargas. I have no idea whether or not I'll ever get a replacement. Overall, poor quality control and customer service. All I suggest is, don't buy any Vargas kits online because, if it is seriously flawed, you will most likely not get a replacement. Only buy when you can inspect the contents prior to purchase.


[1] wikipedia
[2] Tanks Encyclopedia
[3] Landships

Preview sample purchased by the author.

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Article Last Updated: 18 October 2022