Home > Discussion Groups > Modern

Message posting guidelines:

Full real names must be used at all times.

A valid e-mail address must be provided. (This is not optional)
Images must be posted at low resolution (72 dpi) and no larger than 760 pixels wide, and copyright/trade mark owners must be credited whenever reasonably possible
Please read our Community guidelines before posting.
By contributing to this discussion group, you indicate your agreement to the Terms and Conditions of Use.
Posts that violate the guidelines or Terms and conditions of Use of the Missing-lynx.com discussion groups will be erased, and repeated violation of this policy may result in termination of the violator's account.

  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  

DML IDF M3 Halftrack w/TCM-20 AA guns: first impression

August 25 2017 at 8:35 PM
roy chow  (Login roy_chow)
Missing-Lynx members
from IP address

I've not seen any prior write ups so I decided to jot down these notes (along with a few questions) on the recent DML release (kit 3586) of the Israeli AA halftrack. It was under the guise of its Six-Day war "50th anniversary" series of releases. Fine and good but according to Gannon, this combination first saw action during the War of Attrition -- post 6-day War.

My conclusion is one of disappointment. The subject matter is certainly attractive and I'm very satisfied with DML's US Halftrack series. But this kit is a let down accuracy wise -- I would presume that fit isn't an issue as there weren't any in the earlier Halftrack kits.

Here are my pros/cons -- based upon what I can discern from the Gannon's "Israeli Half-tracks Pt 2" and photos I've accumulated from various online sources.

1) the TCM-20 guns and ammo cans look good. This pair of long guns dramatically contrasts with the previous M45 quad .50cal gun turret.

2) The DML IDF halftracks include nice PE -- of note are the typical twin jerry can holders and a pioneer tool rack. However, they omit the PE radiator louvers that were included in all prior HT kits. They inform you that the only option is part H3, a closed louver radiator cover.

3) depending on how they take paint, DML includes a bunch of water cans and back packs and bed rolls are included -- made of their DS material. This will make fleshing out the final kit easier.

1) The M45 gun turret is naturally taken from the earlier DML M16 kit. However, by the late 60s, the original Briggs-Stratton power pack had been replaced by a more modern motor. DML only includes the WW2-era Briggs & Stratton unit. To be fully accurate, I'll need to scratch a replacement. Also the prominent hand holds which were added for the loaders are missing. This is a big omission, in my opinion too.

2) Side panels: the kit includes side fold down panels (similar to the M16). In photos, it's clear this part is not meant to fold down. Also the lower portion of the side panel is the same as the M16 part and includes fixtures that weren't correct for an IDF halftrack. DML tells you to add three grenade boxes (N6 & N1) -- which aren't in photos of the real thing. My solution will be to frankly, build the side panels from scratch.

3) Kit includes the full width dashboard (B1). I believe that by the late 60s, this should have been the consolidated rectangular dash above the steering column. Can anyone confirm?

4) Windshield .30cal has no cradle. This will need scratchbuilding.

5) Add a seat back to bulkhead Q37 for the center seat

6) Rear bulkhead ammo cans are missing their support braces

7) rear bulkhead missing rear door. DML tools up a new part -- but I'm wondering what was their source of info -- known pictures clearly show this door.

8) tail lights. On the real thing, tail lights were relocated to the upper edge of the rear bulkhead. Their original locations were covered by standard vehicle reflectors. DML ignores this fact.

9) head lights -- are the more modern type -- but from photos, I've only seen these on IDF halftracks that rec'd the diesel upgrades and never with the original louvered radiator armor. The older style headlights aren't included in this kit. If you have a deep spares box of DML HTs, then you'll be fine. However, why put this burden on the modeler who desires accuracy. The other option is to go whole hog and add all the components needed for the diesel upgrade (nose armor, passenger compartment air filter, twin mufflers beneath modified front fenders)

10) gun turret base N4: in reality this was two 16" high cylinders stacked atop one another. DML makes it one long cylinder.

11) the rear ammo bins should be wedge shaped. DML only gives you square shaped boxes.

12) the forward ammo bin is not a shelf but instead, a wide box with a lid. There should be support legs beneath this too.

Now my questions for my readers: have you ever seen instances of 3, 7, 8 or 9 as DML portrays it?

If you can deal with (in my mind) are some pretty big accuracy issues, I think you'll end up with a well fitting kit. However for me, this will represent a fairly big investment in modeling time.
Roy Chow
Join AMPS!

This message has been edited by roy_chow from IP address on Aug 26, 2017 8:00 AM

 Respond to this message   
Gary Owsley
(Login tanker635)
Missing-Lynx members

Re: DML IDF M3 Halftrack w/TCM-20 AA guns: first impression

August 26 2017, 7:18 PM 

My opinion of the guns is the forward section of the gun, mount behind the spring and everything forward, are over sized. As far as 3 goes, the dashboards were cut down when reengined. That's where the air cleaner was mounted, so if you do an early model it's fine sort of. On the most halftracks with a .30cal mounted in the visor, there was a cutout where the glove box is for 3 or 4 ammo cans. 7, yes it should have the rear door. 8, yes the tail lights should be mounted at the top. 9, yes that style of head lights were only used on the upgraded halftracks.

 Respond to this message   
Michael Baker
(Login Saransk)
Missing-Lynx members

Maybe not as bad

August 26 2017, 11:57 PM 

Unfortunately, it appears Dragon may have used an example of this conversion that wasn't the most common type.
If you go on the IDF Armor Blogspot their is a TCM-20mm photo that appear to have separate panels on the upper portion of the side panels. In a few other pictures, the upper portion of the sides look to be separate as well. This also seems to coincide with the extra "polygon" panel addition - 2 on each side.
The Azimut TCM-20 conversion also had these features as well.
It may be that some of the conversions were done on M-16's. It does appear that at some point the panels were welded to the main side panels.
There are pictures of vehicles with smooth upper portions, and then some with the extra "stuff" in the upper portion.

It may also be as simple as "everyone" has used the same example that was not a "real" example of this halftrack.
Look at the one at the Israeli Air Force Museum which comes up in every search. Has the upper panels, "square" ammo boxes on the turret

As for some of the concerns:
3: As the other writer said, the dash was changed when the diesel engine from the M113 was installed - the dash was pretty much the same as the M113. So if you are modeling a TCM20 from the 1970's it is a proper dash.
4 - Don't cut the .30 machine gun as instructed. Wrap the post molded to the gun so it looked covered and bend it slightly. That should resemble the actual mount which looks like a typical hull mount. It looks like it was bolted right to the dash. One of the typical dual .30 box holders was mounted on the floor between the front seats.
8 - Apparently sometime between 1967 and 1973 the Israelis started mounting M113 tailight assemblies on their halftracks, it looks like the basic personnel ones got them first (for station keeping) and then it went through the fleet.
9 - You're right, can't use the included headlights without the "solid" grill The proper headlight frames are in the kit - D10, but not the actual headlights.
11 - Which ammo bins? the ones mounted on the turret are square and the ones in my kit (Q1) for the rear have the sloped top.

What is hard is deciding if the TCM-20 you are modeling has had the diesel installed. Some of the ones that appear to have the solid grill front, but not the under fender muffler housings. At some point they may have decided not to put the engine in but the vehicle still got the newer headlights.
One thing that is apparent is that even in 1967, the IDF was painting the front wheels and the track assemblies black, regardless of what other updates had been done to the vehicle.

Modeling the IDF is always so much fun

 Respond to this message   
  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  

Terms and Conditions of Use
Report abuse