3inch Mortar Universal Carrier
Resicast 1:35 Set No.35.129
Review by Terry Ashley

Resicast have released five update/conversion sets specifically for the Tamiya Universal Carrier (kits #35089, #35175 and #35249) with the one we will look at here being for the 3inch Mortar Carrier.

The set consists of 100 parts cleanly cast in light grey/green resin with three lengths of thin plastic rod plus two small etched frets and a small twelve paged instruction booklet.

Etched parts

The quality of the resin casting is excellent with just the usual casting blocks to be removed and some minor resin film from parts and there were no air holes or other blemished evident on the parts. All the parts are clearly numbered on their respective casting blocks which make identification easy, something that can be an issue with very small resin parts.

Each set has some basic update parts for the Tamiya kits as well as specific parts for the conversion set and these include larger parts for the driver’s compartment rear bulkhead, front hull plate, glacis plate, rear hull plates plus new drive sprockets and a full set of resin tracks.

The details on these new parts are excellent with the front hull plate being noticeably thinner than the corresponding Tamiya kit part (C4) and include finer internal details as do the other parts to add overall detail improvements to the Tamiya kit.

On the inside are new driver’s controls with the levers in resin and foot pedals in etched metal plus nicely detailed fire extinguishers and other small fittings with resin and etched parts.

The new drive sprockets are nicely detailed but you will need to take care when removing the casting block as some excess resin is between the drive teeth which are quite small.

These parts simply replace the Tamiya kit parts and no alterations are needed apart from possibly some minor trimming and test fitting will determine this.

The additional parts for the 3inch Mortar Carrier include ammo racks with etched parts in the rear compartment as well as detailed mortar and folded tripod on the rear deck with etched straps and these parts are quite finely cast so care will be needed when handling.

Also provided are new pioneer tools with etched tie down straps and a selection of storage boxes and oil cans to replace and supplement the Tamiya kit items as well as a couple of rack mounted Lee Enfield .303 rifles and numerous etched parts such as engine compartment screens, front fenders and numerous tie downs/straps to add details to the basic kit and to the mortar carrier parts.

The tracks have quite nice detailed but also have a fair bit of thin resin film that has to be cleaned up and this can become quite tedious and the track lengths have the dunked in warm water to bend around the drive sprockets and idler wheels with care will be needed not to stretch the links while bending.

The twelve page booklet lists all the parts by number for easy identification and has text notes on the construction supplemented by small black and white photos of the model during construction. You will need to study these photos in conjunction with the text notes carefully to fully understand the assembly.
Also included are reproductions of the Tamiya instruction steps indicating any alterations needed to fit the new hull and mortar parts.
As a bonus there are internal layout drawings and the layout of the rear hull showing the mortar and tool stowage from the technical manual plus two overall manual drawings that indicate the general layout of the 3inch Mortar Carrier that will help greatly in fitting the parts.

The other conversion/update sets from Resicast for the Tamiya Universal Carrier are;
32.128 Universal Carrier update set
32.130 Vickers machine gun carrier
35.136 WASP Mk.II C
35.174 WASP Mk.I C

Another excellent update set from Resicast with crisply cast and detailed parts for the basic Carrier and the 3inch Mortar conversion.
This update offers an interesting conversion for the Tamiya Universal Carrier as well as generic update/detail parts for the kit that is sure to be welcomed by Allied modellers.

Highly recommended

Resin parts
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Universal Carrier 1936-48
The 'Bren Gun Carrier' Story

New Vanguard No.110
Osprey Publishing
ISBN 1 84176 813 8

Good overall coverage of the Universal Carrier.


Universal Carrier Mk.I/II
Military Vehicle Workshop Series MV-12
Allied Command Publications

Includes many images from the technical and workshop manuals to privide excellent external and interior details.

Book Ground Power Magazine
No.90 11/2001

GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd

Ground Power Magazine
No.91 12/2001

GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd

ModelsbyMicksterThanks to ModelsbyMickster for the review set.
See the Resicast website for full details, Resicast is available in the US from ModelsbyMickster

Page created 6 June 2005

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