I had been following the development of the World War One Heavy Artillery Tractor with some interest, and I was delighted to see the release of the World War One Heavy Artillery Tractor at Duxford in June this year, of this really interesting piece of WWI history.
have brought us yet another super Great War item to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the war to end all wars. The kit was mastered by George Moore and initially sponsored by Bret Simpson. CAD work was by Thomas Moore and Resicast
acknowledge the help of Paul Rackman during the project. Prototyping was by Shapeways and Etchings by PPD Ltd. The end result of this collaboration is a unique vehicle that was widely used throughout the war by Britain, America and France to tow heavy artillery and other heavy loads.
Caterpillar track was invented by a British company named Hornsby & Sons based in Grantham in 1905. Hornsby sold on the patent for the caterpillar track to a U.S. company, Holt Tractors in 1909. Further reading of the development of the tractor can be found via the link below;
The kit comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard box displaying a picture of the built model, product and manufacturers details and a picture of a poppy to denote a century edition. The kit contains over 250 resin parts and 20 photo etched parts along with decals for British and American versions of the tractor. A 40 page instruction booklet is included along with a very useful CD.
The parts are cast in a light grey resin and are of superb quality. The parts are packed in a series of zip plastic bags and the whole package wrapped in bubble wrap for security when in transit. I could see no cause for concern with any of the parts in the kit.
The instruction booklet contains a part listing and is logically laid out with clear black and white build pictures accompanied with texts where necessary. To support the instruction booklet the kit comes with a CD containing 5 folders and the instructions in PDF format. The folders are as follows:
Detailed assembly colour photographs
A selection of ĎIn Serviceí photographs
A photographic walk around per
area showing in detail, the Chassis, Front Roller and Steering, Rear Chassis, Roof, Underside Idler Pulley, Engine, Main Floor and Controls, Radiator, Rear Drive and Axle, Track and suspension and overall pictures and drawings.
Walk around of the vehicle.
A folder on the assemble of the 8 inch gun (not included with the kit)
So pretty much everything from an instruction and information point of view you might need to assist with knowledge and the build is there.
The parts themselves are beautifully cast with excellent detail, clean-up will be needed to remove the pour plugs and a little sanding may be needed on the cross beam to obtain a perfect fit of the springs, but provided you follow the instructions and make a simple jig, as shown, to align these parts correctly the remainder of the build looks reasonably straight forward. The Photo etched parts have been kept to a minimum and are mainly to support the roof and the small pulley and wheel on the engine block.
Itís normal to pick out one or two parts for specific comment but this kit shouts quality from every part you look at, so Iíll let the pictures speak for themselves.
This is not a build for the faint hearted or beginner. Long gone are the days of block resin vehicles, the kit is very much in the standard format the difference being the material used for construction. Working in resin takes a little more patience and care but the results will be well worth the effort. Youíll be happy to know that the resin track consisting of 27 links per side just clicks together.
The engineering of the parts and overall quality is superb and the completed build will give you a vehicle of exceptional quality and detail. I hesitate to find fault with such a fine kit but the inclusion of clear plastic lenses for the lights would have been good.
I could see no reference for decal placement so you will have to do a little research there. Three sets of WD numbers are provided for British vehicles and one set for an American vehicle if that is your finish choice. However, if you look in the In Service folder it isnít too hard to recognise where these should go. The red decals provided should be obvious and are for use on the completed engine sides.
Normal precautions apply when working with resin.
From the information I have, this appears to be a cracking and accurate representation of a very common World War 1 Artillery Tractor, used extensively by both the British, Americans and to some extent the French. The engineering of the parts is excellent, the instructions clear and well supported with excellent additional material on the CD.
Being an open topped vehicle with the engine detail exposed this will make for a stunning kit and I have included some completed build pictures by Christophe Nachtergael which help show the quality of the kit.
If you wish to add to your display the Artillery options like the Resicast
WW1 6 inch Howitzer and WW1 8 inch howitzer are currently available and reviews for both guns can be found on Armorama. For those interested in WW1 Artillery also in the pipe line from Resicast
is the British 60pdr Howitzer.
British 8 inch Howitzer
British 6 inch Howitzer
Whether you build this kit as a standalone kit or towing one of the artillery gun options, you have in this offering an opportunity for a really stunning display and I take my hat off to Resicast
and George Moore for producing such a fine model. A welcome addition to the growing range of Great War kits.