SA02318V welcome return of the M3 Half Track

Patrick Camilleri

509 posts


Community Moderator

Airfix Magazine had a series of articles in their June to October 1971 issues.  It was 5 part series.  Informative but not much modelling detail.

I could scan them and upload them here as pics if anyone is interested.

ntrocket88

93 posts

This link show a variety of conversions of the Airfix M3A1 Halftrack by a highly skilled scratch-builder:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixtributeforum/airfix-halftrack-m3a1-to-other-variants-t32643.html#p670869

In summary, the Airfix kit seems to have been copied from a White M13, with the twin 50-cal AA mount removed and with the wrong (International Harvester style) front mudguards. The Nitto kit is nearly identical to the Airfix one, though with a lot more details including the AA turret, it has all the same flaws.

To make a White M3, you need to:

  • Fix the front mudguards to make them match the White versions.
  • Cut down the divider between the driver and crew areas to just leave the flooring part.
  • Make the missing interior. Some Airfix kit releases come with a tilt which can hide the missing interior... but some do not.
  • Either heavily rework the 50-Cal MG pulpit (M3A1) or fit a pedestal with a 30-cal MG (M3) instead.
  • Fill and sand the hinged side plates and add back rivets (if you feel compelled to...).
  • Remove the erroneous step over the driver/passenger side doors.
  • M3 and derivatives were only used by US forces. I think only two or so were issued to the UK under lend-lease for comparative trials.

  For an International Harvester M5, you can keep the mudguards, but you will need to:

  • Fill and sand the hinged side plates and sand off all the rivets. Rivets are not required as the International Harvester versions were welded.
  • Round off the rear corners.
  • Cut down the divider between the driver and crew areas to just leave the flooring part.
  • Make the missing interior (or cover it up...).
  • Either heavily rework the 50-Cal MG pulpit (M5A1) or fit a pedestal with a 30-cal MG (M5) instead.
  • Remove the erroneous step over the driver/passenger side doors.
  • Remove the sliding opening on the driver/passenger side doors and the front windscreen armor (the mechanism was on the inside of IH ones).
  • Add rear bumpers.
  • M5 and derivatives were only produced for lend-lease, though there are some photos of US troops training with them in the US.

Obviously you can keep on adding details, but the above list should cover the basics.

Paws4thot

1212 posts

And this is before we mention the M2, or skate rail versions, or mortar carriers, or the Maxson turret with its quad 50 cals...

Bottom line, the easy answer to the original question is "buy a book".

Though I fly through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am at 65_000 feet and climbing.

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