Build review: Dragon 6332 1/35 M3A1 Half-Track


This Dragon 6332 halftrack kit is yet another kit I’ve gotten from one of the sales. Halftracks were a very useful concept in WW2, the first time I encountered it was in the movie Kelly’s Heroes. It looks very different from regular tanks so I was interested in checking it out. This kit being touted as a 3-in-1, meaning you can build one of M3, M3A1 or the never-productionized M3A2. The thing though is that many of the features applied to M3A2 were actually used in M3A1 (such as the rear double rack), so you may need to decide for yourself what feautres you want for your own vehicle. I chose to do M3A1 for this build.

I wasn’t planning on starting the kit, but there were some complaints about this kit having fitting issues so I wanted to do a quick build to figure out what the problems might be. Let’s see what’s in the box.

The special feature in this kit are the idler wheels that were molded separately and not on any sprue. Perhaps they needed special casting procedure for these. The decal sheet is also quite large. 

Beginning from step 1, the parts A3 and A were swapped, and all sorts of confusion ensured because A8 and A9 also need to be swapped. The end result should be holes on A3 and A4 should allow A2 to fit in. A2 has a pretty narrow clearance for my assembly. I messed up mine in the beginning so had to rip pieces off and try again.

For assembly F there are large and small holes that looks very similar in sizes on part D13, so make sure you align them. One nice thing about this kit is that the front tires are sagged.

Step 2 is the bogie assembly. Painting wheels is hard if you make the whole assembly, so I left off the lower set of support. It should be easy to snap the assembly back into the bogie after painting.

Then it’s all about the undercarriage in step 3. Fitting the various parts are slightly tricky but they are going to work, except part C13 just couldn’t be worked into the kit so I left it off.

The front bumper are made of top and bottom halves so you need to deal with the seamline. C4 was tricky to install but eventually there are enough cues to get the piece into the right position.

Step 7 builds various support subassemblies. I suggest for dashboard M, leave off the wheel if you want to fit the figure after painting. 

Step 9 builds the cab. Note that the seat D25 can be swapped with K8 for a depressed seat with the driver, but the driver still sits too high. Not only is his eyes not lining up with the front window, but his right arm is also not remotely touching the shift stick. I had to remove a large chunk of his butt and thigh.

Step 11 the front window is the clear E1 which creates some challenges with painting if you have it in the OPEN configuration, so I left off the wipers and B3/D4 subassembly. 

Now gets to the confusing part of the build and I’ve gotten it wrong; step 12 branches off into the 3 variants. Immediate following the regular instructions was M3, followed by M3A1, then M3A2. 

 

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