by: Darren Baker [ ]
The following introduction is as provided by Bronco Models:
The M19 gun motor carrage was based on the M24 Chaffee light tank built by Cadillac and Massey-Harris. It was a light anti-aircraft tank, mounting 2 40mm Bofors guns in an open topped turret. The 40mm Bofers anti-aircraft gun was adopted by the US Army after six British built guns were trialled in 1941. It was by far the best anti-aircraft gun in its class, with a muzzle velocity of 881 meters per second, and an effective range of 7,000 meters. The M19 mounted two weapons side by side, with 352 rounds of ammunition. It entered service in late 1944, and saw action in the ground role as an infantry support weapon, where it was very effective. As the war ended the production was cut to 285 vehicles from the original order of 904 units. The M19 saw action again in the Korean War 1950-53 in the ground role supporting Infantry. A small number were exported the Netherland Army in 1951, and a few to the Japanese Ground South defence force in 1954. The M24 fleet was replaced by the M41 Walker Bulldog in the early 1950s. The M19 was also withdrawn, but the turrets were removed and mounted on the M41 hull to produce the M42 Duster of which 3700 were eventually built. The M19 had a road speed of 56kmh and a range of 241 kilometres. In action the M19 was normally manned by a crew of 6 soldiers.
This offering from Bronco Models is packaged in the usual cardboard box with card lid, the box was very heavily crush damaged at one end despite having been packed inside a further cardboard box. Fortunately the contents were not damaged due to there being space inside the box. The contents inside are all packaged in either sealed plastic bags or Ziploc plastic bags, with the contents being individual or dual sprues in each bag. There is a small quantity of photo etch, some of which is unfortunately very small. Plus a nice, small decal sheet has been provided by Bronco Models.
The lower hull is a single piece moulding, requiring a front and rear plate. There are a number of small elements that need to be added, that will require care during placement. The suspension system is a torsion bar affair and as with the Chaffee’s the suspension is fully workable, providing care is taken during construction. The shock absorbers present on some of the suspension arms, have been provided in two parts in order to maintain a fully workable and accurate suspension. The road wheels and return rollers have been accurately rendered and are attached via a pin, in order that they can rotate after being added. The drive wheel is made up of four pieces and again can continue to rotate after being added, via a pin that is added at the back of the bell housing. The idler wheel has been slide moulded and with the addition of photo etch produces a very accurate rendition of this aspect of the vehicle.
The tracks have been provided as individual workable track links, with Bronco models having provided both the T85E1 and T72 tracks, which are again workable. The track guards have been very finely moulded to what I believe is a scale thickness and so care will be required during removal from the sprue, and addition to the model.
The main weaponry in the form of the Bofors guns and the secondary weaponry in the form of a 50 calibre machine, have slide moulded barrels to provide the hollow effect of the muzzles and have been moulded as a single piece to avoid mould seams on the barrels.
The upper hull has been moulded as a single piece and will require a large quantity of additions to finish it. The tools have all been provided separately, and so look good. The crew access hatches have been provided with clear periscopes and photo etch protective frames. However, they will not easily be displayed open. The back end of the Bofors guns have been very well detailed, but will again require a great deal of care due to a large number of very small parts having to go together in some assemblies.
The interior of the open turret has been very well tackled from the seats to the mounting plates, and even the communications equipment in the form of radios have been well represented. The large number of ammunition bins being have been included and presented well. An aspect of the model that has not been considered, is that there is a pin that you are advised to push through the upper hull and then secure the upper hull to the model. This pin is to secure the turret to the vehicle, and allow it to rotate. However, I cannot see anything that would prevent the pin from falling inside the hull and from that point on would not be accessible.
An auxiliary generator has been provided in the model kit, but it has been pointed out that this is a post Korean War edition. Bronco models has provided four finishing options for this release, in the form of:
M19A1, 15th Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, US Army, Hung Nam Korea 1951.
M19A1, 46th Anti aircraft Artillary Battalion US Army, Hanau, Germany 1954.
M19A1 15th Anti Aircraft Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, US Army Hung Nam Korea 1952
M19A1 Dragon Slayer Merdc Winter veriant camouflage
This is a very good model of the M19A1, but it is not an easy to make model. The slide moulding that has been used has provided some great detail that reduces the amount of clean up required and made life easier for the modeller. The number of very small detailed parts of the model do make this a difficult kit, but a difficult kit that will look very good when completed.