US Tank destroyer M10
Mid Production

1:48 Scale - Kit No.32519
First Look by Terry Ashley


Following the M4 Sherman (kit #32505) Tamiya have now released this kit of the M10 Tank Destroyer which represents a mid production type with the triangular (or wedged) shaped counter weights on the back of the turret.

The kit consists of 244 parts in olive drab plastic plus some poly caps, hull screws and the decal and instruction sheets with the standard of moulding being again excellent with clean mouldings and only a few pin marks to contend with.

Lower Hull:
The die-cast lower hull tub and suspension sprues are straight from the M4 kit with the inclusion of a set of solid spoke road wheels and open spoke idler wheels. The solid spoke road wheels unfortunately are still plagued with open backs which it seems is a Tamiya trait.

The die-cast tub still lacks any sort of detail with no bolt heads on the bogie mounting plates or idler wheel mounts but we have been over that before.

A new single piece cast transmission cover is provided with the rounded profile common to mid M10s as well as the centrally mounted crew step also seen on M10s.
The plastic rear plate has separate exhaust mufflers/pipes and exhaust deflector as well as towing pintle and idler wheel mountings with the fit of both to the metal tub being quite good. There is a couple of gaps at the side after fitting the cast transmission cover as the contours of the metal tub was designed for the bolted cover and the final drive housing doesn’t cover these completely, so a bit of filling will be needed here.

The suspension bogies with straight arm and raised roller support are fairly simple with just three parts plus the road wheels per bogie but build into quite nice assemblies in this smaller scale but with fairly prominent moulding seams that need to be removed. There are of course additional details you can add such as the three bolts on the bottom of each bogie unit, the small retaining bolts for the track skids and grease plugs on the wheels if you really want to go that far.
You should note that the top section with the volute springs, track skid and return roller are mounded as one piece and you just reverse the direction for the left and right bogies and also the first bogie has a locating pin on the return roller for location of the track lengths and also has only one locating pin on the hull so you can’t really put it in the wrong place but take care when assembling these.

The two drive sprockets have poly caps trapped between the two halves and easily fit the front axles and you have the choice of  the open backed solid spoke idler or open spoked wheel which are glued to the idler axles and you could add the missing bolt heads on the bogie and idler mounting plates if you wish.

On the inside of the lower hull is a basic fighting compartment floor and engine compartment bulkhead which can be seen through the open turret with the floor having tread plate pattern and two crew seats attached at the front on unrealistic mounts. Between the seats is the huge metal screw tunnel so adding any meaningful interior will require the complete removal of this intrusion and adding the rest of the driver’s compartment details, a job that will require some form of power tool but so long as you keep the hull crew hatches closed this area is harder to see? The rear bulkhead has basic oil cooler details to which you can add additional detail if you wish.

The Tracks:
The T48 rubber chevron track are the same link and length plastic as in the M4 kit with good details for this scale. There is a long length for the upper and lower track runs with shorter sections for between the drive sprocket/idler wheels and the lower run with separate links for around the drive sprocket and idlers wheels.
Fitting the track was straightforward with the upper run attaching to the pin on the front return roller to ensure they line up correctly but you may want to leave this till after painting but note the links should be glued to the return rollers, idler wheels and a couple of road wheels to ensure they stay in place. The small pin marks on the inside of the tracks are hardly noticeable once the tracks are in place.

Upper Hull:
The large upper hull is a single piece with separate crew hatches and rear plate as well as the lower inward slanted armour panels as separate parts which see the front bolt head detail nicely defined and the angles aren’t compromised to incorporate the angles as with the 1:35 M10 kits. The side and rear hull angles look okay when compared to available plans but the hull has a seventh fuel filler cap located centrally behind the engine deck doors and I have only seen this in one photo of a late model M10. All photos I have of the mid production M10s do not have this seventh filler cap but it is a simple matter of cutting it off for the more common configuration.

As with the M4 the sponsons are totally open and are even more noticeable on this kit, but the two large sponson mounted ammo racks which attach to the inside of the upper hull help to blank off the opening but you can still easily see straight through the hull overhang and blanking off the sponsons with plastic card is almost essential here.
The large add on armour lugs are included on the glacis but thankfully are separate parts for the side armour and so you can add these as required and does give a hint we may see an Achilles sometime down the track.

The crew hatches as mentioned are separate and the angled hinges are also separate parts that are fitted from inside the hull and allow good definition to the angled hinges while the hatches have nice contours with closed periscope and solid grab handle that would be better replaced with thin wire. On the inside of the hatches are three rather large pin marks and basic periscope housings and a bit of work would be needed here if you wanted to show the hatches open.

Other details on the hull are the front and rear lights with bush guards but these are way over scale and should be thinned down considerably or replaced with etched items. The front lifting eyes, rear barrel support, aerial base and the side mounted grouser racks are also separate parts. Thankfully all the pioneer tools are provided as separate items with moulded on tool brackets and this really is a big improvement over the moulded on tools with the M4 and make this more like a kit and not a die cast toy.

The Turret:
This is split into two halves with separate front gun mounting and the turret angles appear okay when compared to plans and include the side mounted lugs and tie downs with the turret mouldings but the two front and one rear lifting eyes are separate parts. On the inside is a good selection of detail with the three crew seats around the turret ring and the main sight on the right side as well as a fire extinguisher, small storage boxes and traverse hand wheel on the left side and the two three round ammo racks on the rear walls for a fairly busy look. The large main gun has the breech with separate breech block and small hand wheels and top support for a nicely represented gun to finish off the interior which provides the basis for adding as much extra detail as you wish.
The gun mounting is trapped with poly caps between the two turret sides and the curved front turret panel and upper armour panel that included moulded on cover supports. The mantlet is then added along with the barrel which is split horizontally in the traditional manner with a hollowed out muzzle that looks okay and is quite easy to drill out more if you wish. The mantlet profile again looks good and there are two separate lifting eyes as well as one piece wedge counter weights for the rear turret. A very basic .50 cal machine gun is provided but could well do with some extra detailing from one of the available etched sets.

Also included in the US equipment sprue from the Jerry Can Set (#32510) also moulded in olive drab plastic that provides a good selection of jerry cans, fuel drums, satchels and bedrolls to use around the vehicle or in a diorama scene and is a nice extra.

The small decal sheet has a nice selection of stars, vehicle numbers and data stencilling with markings for three M10s included in the instructions.

Overall a nice rendition of the mid production M10 as well as providing a basis for additional detailing such as the interior and should be a welcomed addition to the Allied cause in 1:48 scale.

Highly recommended

Decal sheet

The Sprues
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Detail images
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M10 and M36 Tank
Destroyers 1942-53

New Vanguard No 57
Osprey Publishing
US Tank Detroyers
Walk Around

Squadron Signal Publications #5703
ISBN 0-89747-456-2
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.115
ISBN 83-7219-080-1
Wydawnictwo Militaria
US Tank Detroyers in action
Squadron Signal Publications No.2036
ISBN 0-89747-385-X
Allied & Axis 12
Ampersand Publishing
Soft cover, 96 pages

Allied & Axis
US Tank Destroyers
of WWII photo CD

Enygma Graphics
Enygma Graphics
SHERMAN A History of the
American Medium Tank

R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books ISBN 0-89141-080-5
Modeler's Guide to the Sherman
MMIR Special. Ampersand Publishing Company, Inc

Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten.

Page created October 8, 2005

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