In the great pantheon of WWII military vehicles the humble hand cart will surely never replace the likes of the Sherman tank or the Spitfire. Yet, like it’s better known brothers-in-arms, it can boast “Hey, I was there too, doing my little part!” And indeed it was, in the guise of the M3A4, M4A1, M5A1, and M6A1 Hand Carts designed to carry in its various guises as much as 400 pounds of ammunition, general supplies, a M1917A1 water cooled .30 caliber machine gun, the M2 HB .50 caliber machine gun, and even the 81mm mortar. All this time modelers have had to make do with scratch built attempts at replicating this miniature beast of burden, but no more.
Plusmodel out of the Czech Republic has seen fit to step into the breach and is now offering the M3A4 hand cart in a combination of resin and photo-etch as kit #373 in their ever expanding line of small and esoteric pieces of equipment. The little kit comes with 28 parts to both assemble and fill your cart. Eight of the resin pieces are for a load of .30 cal machine gun ammo; two large crates and six individual ammo cans. The ammo load is very well molded with all the handles, latches, etc, as well as embossing on the side of the cans.
The remaining twenty parts go toward constructing the cart itself. The wheels are three piece affairs with a single tire and a two part wheel hub and spoke assembly. The tires have no markings on them but appear to be the Firestone ribbed implement tires although sadly, after the nice embossing on the ammo cans the tires have none. The chassis and the tongue of the cart are both nicely done one piece affairs that have nice detail throughout.
The photo-etch pieces make up the tow ropes and pulling handles as well as the four corner loops through which the tow ropes could be attached as needed. The photo-etched parts looks particularly delicate and may end up being highly susceptible to the dreaded tweezer launch phenomenon.
That’s pretty much it, should be a quick little build that can certainly add a unique touch. Now if you have a wounded 1/35 John Wayne to haul around in it you have pretty much got yourself a readymade D-Day diorama!
Highs: Unique kit of a very esoteric subject. Comes complete with a combat load of supplies. Very delicate molding throughout. Lows: No embossing on tires, some very small parts that may be difficult to work with. Verdict: Looks like a nice little kit that would build up quickly.
About Rick Cooper (clovis899) FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.