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In-Box Review
135
M22 Locust
M22 Locust (T9E1) Airborne Tank (British Version)
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The M22 Locust is an American designed airborne tank that (excuse the pun) never really took off. It was a light weight tank designed by Marmon Herrington and was designed to be air-portable by the C54 Skymaster aircraft. The idea was to remove the turret and place it in the aircraft and carry the hull under the aircraft secured by the clevises on each side. The tank never saw active service with US forces but a limited number saw service with the British Parachute Regiment in the form of the 6th Airborne Reconnaissance Regiment during Operation Plunder, on that occasion they were transported in Hamilcar gliders and so there was no need to remove the turret. This diminutive little tank is not much larger than a Bren gun carrier and it is one of those armoured fighting vehicles I never expected to see from an injection moulded plastic manufacturer.

Contents

Inside one of Bronco Models typical boxes you will find;

• 5 green sprues
• An upper and lower hull
• 2 slide moulded idler wheels
• A clear sprue
• A photo etched fret
• A decal sheet
• A glossy print of the box art
• An A4 glossy instruction booklet

Review

Starting this review with the instruction booklet seems a good place to begin; the high quality glossy instruction booklet consists of 16 pages with the front having an image of the box art and a short introduction in English, German, and Chinese. On the next page you will find a guide to applying the included decals, then a breakdown of the construction symbols used, finally there is a paint guide with four manufacturers paint listed which are;

1. Mr Hobby
2. Hobby Color
3. Humbrol
4. Tamiya

Before you finally get to the construction stages there is a parts list in order that you can check all of the needed parts are in the box. You now get to the construction stages in the booklet which uses the line drawing method to show the way. Construction is complete in 23 stages which are very clear and not overly busy. The instruction booklet finishes with three finishing options for your M22 Locust which are all vehicle of the 6th Airborne armoured Reconnaissance Regiment and all dated Oct 1944;
1. T-159184
2. T-158978
3. T-158977

Stages 1-4:
You begin this model by adding a partial interior which, while I cannot guarantee the accuracy, is a nice touch in such a small model and something that Bronco Models has been doing a lot more often of late. It should be mentioned that the sample I am looking at to write this review is one of the first produced and did not include details of a construction correction in stage one, Bronco Models E-mailed me the correction and I have included it in this review on the very rare chance that you are missing this correction when you purchase this kit.

Stages 5-10:
These six stages cover the running gear and tracks of the M22 Locust. The idler wheels on this model are a fantastic example of just what it is possible to do with injection moulded plastic currently as they are little gems. The main bogie assembly of which there are four is going to take some time to complete as while it is fairly straight forward there are some very small parts. On stage 7 there is the second and final part correction which I have again included pictures of in this review. The tracks for this model are, surprisingly, link and length which I was not expecting, however thought has gone into this and they are shaped where needed similar to how Trumpeters KV tank tracks are supplied. It should be said however that the tracks supplied with this model are very fine and a reasonable step to take.

Stage 11:
Covers the addition of the fenders on the M22 Locust and any relevant details, this step is split into two sub sections and should not present any issues.

Stages 12-16:
Covers finishing the upper hull both inside and out and there is not that much on the upper hull to worry about. It is worth mentioning that photo etched brush guards are supplied for the lights as seen fitted to the M22 Locust at Bovington but period photos of the M22 do not seem to support this addition to the vehicle.

Stage 17- 23:
Covers construction of the turret and unlike the upper hull there is a fair number of parts to be added including quite a lot of interior detail which does mark this kit as a fantastic offering for those who like to super detail their models or show them in the less than normal situation such as having its turret removed. Bronco Model has provided two main barrels to give you the option of two very different looking finished models.

The Parts in General:
As is expected of Bronco Models the moulding quality is of a very high standard with no obvious issues that I detected. The sprues are packed in their own polythene bags with the exception of the one duplicated sprue. The upper and lower hull are packaged in a bag together in the correct orientation and the two idler wheels are packaged in their own bag inside the hull. Photo etched parts have been kept to a minimum but not at the expense of detail as there are some very fine photo etched parts such as the grills.

Conclusion

This is, I believe, an excellent model of a very small tank that will, I am sure, start showing up in dioramas with some Para’s in attendance. The small size of the finished model should not detract from what is a very detailed kit, and with it including an interior should make for a little stunner when complete and leaves the way open for the after-market manufacturers’ to supply an engine for the model. As usual Bronco Model has gone a very long way to provide a model of a vehicle I never expected to see in plastic.

SUMMARY
Highs: The idler wheels are fantastic and the inclusion of an interior where needed is a great addition to this model.
Lows: I know link and length tracks will not appeal to everyone and I cannot see any other possible issues with this model.
Verdict: If you want a unique looking small armoured fighting vehicle in your collection this model could be what you are looking for. Very highly recommended.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: CB35161
  Suggested Retail: £24.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 22, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.97%

Our Thanks to Bronco Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Chris it was most likely the ones in British service as they were given away after the war.
FEB 22, 2013 - 02:44 PM
Strangely enough I was just about to post a new thread to tell people about this new kit as I haven't seen it mentioned on here before. Obviously I don't need to now. Looks a nice kit but I wouldn't mind seeing the Hamilcar done in plastic too.
FEB 22, 2013 - 07:24 PM
Not an expert but one difference would definitely be the rocket launchers on the side of the turret. Maybe someone who knows more will chime in. ~ Jeff
FEB 22, 2013 - 07:47 PM
Jeff I believe they are smoke dischargers. I have noted that the one at Bovington Tank Museum and the one pictured in this thread have brush guards for the lights but period pictures do not show this feature.
FEB 22, 2013 - 08:19 PM
The Brit version has larger tow shackles, front and rear to aid in tying it down in the glider.This was missed when the kit was first released , parts have now been added and I believe there is new box art coming to reflect that . See review on PMMS
FEB 22, 2013 - 08:39 PM
Thanks for that Jim; I believe that is the reason for the corrections which I noted in the review and relates to the "G" sprue now included I believe. As I mentined in the review the brush guards are included as PE items if you wish to add them.
FEB 22, 2013 - 08:55 PM
This is an interesting Development. I have a few pics of the Bovington example which I think are already up in walkabouts. Another excellent addition to the Allied range. Al
FEB 23, 2013 - 03:31 AM
you should note that the Bovington Locust is actually a US vehicle painted in British 6AARR markings so don't be confused by the presents of head light guards and smaller tow lugs, these are not British Locust features. Cheers
FEB 23, 2013 - 06:15 AM
Thanks Terry, I read your build review as well which is very helpful. Cheers Al
FEB 23, 2013 - 08:49 AM
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