Browning M2 .50cal Machine Gun Set A with tripod
Tasca 1:35 Scale Kit No. 35-L8
Review by Terry Ashley

The Kit:
Note; all images of the assembled guns have the cooling jacket holes enlarged as per the text.

Tasca releases have been few and far between over the years but have always been worth the wait as the previous Luchs and Sherman Suspension sets clearly demonstrated and this new release about to hit the shops in Japan is no exception.

This is the first of two sets for the Browning M2 .50cal Machine Gun with this set including two .50cal MGs and two ground tripod mounts.

The set has 38 parts in dark olive drab plastic and a small instruction sheet with the mouldings being exceptionally fine and delicate and you really do have to take care when removing them from the sprues and during the minor cleanup of the small moulding seams and with the assembly.

There are a few minor pin marks but none in obvious places and so can easily be ignored.

The actual M2 .50cal is 65 inches long (1651mm) which equals 47.17mm in 1:35 scale and the assembled gun measures out exactly to that length give or take a fraction of a millimetre.

The M2 .50cal is made up of 8 parts with a choice of three barrels, one full barrel to use if showing the weapon stripped and two designed to fit into the hollowed out cooling jacket which is included with the main gun body that also includes a separate feed chute cover, cocking handle and rear hand grips but strangely the thumb trigger is missing.


The hollowed out cooling jacket is a standout feature of the gun which also has the cooling holes opened up with the gun attached to the sprue by sliding the hollow jacket over a small pin on the sprue leaving only one very small sprue attachment scar on top of the housing to content with and is quite an ingenious design.


There are a couple of prominent mould seams down the sides of the cooling jacket that will have to be carefully filed or sanded away but only from over the holes as the actual jacket has small ridges on the jacket that finishes where the holes begin and with a bit of care this was easy enough to deal with using a fine file. While there you may want to drill out the jacket holes to make these slightly larger for a better look as they are fractionally undersized but having the holes already open makes this another very easy job.

Note, the image is magnified somewhat showing the
seam line a bit larger than in reality.
Sleeve before and after cleanup and enlarging the cooling holes

Other minor updates could be to drill out the forward sight as this is moulded solid and you should be able to see right through the thin slit at the rear of the gun body but this is just an indentation and will take a bit of work to fully open up but with care will improve the look.

There is detail included inside the open feed chute as well as inside the separate cover and the fit of this to the gun was superb leaving the open ammo feed while the petite cocking handle is simply superb and again fits neatly into place on the side of the gun housing.


The barrels have the bore slightly hollowed out for a nice look with just a very small mould seam to be sanded with one barrel including a very thinly moulded change handle with either of these fitting neatly onto the front of the open cooling jacket.


The tripod is made up of seven parts with the rear A section of the tripod and separate front leg with the three “feet” also separate parts. The rear gun support arm and the cradle attachment are also separate with the small cradle clipping onto the gun allowing a small degree of elevation and the pin on the cradle simply slips into the top of the tripod and the small bracket under the gun housing fits neatly onto the support arm.


Also included are two three part ammo boxes and two small sections of .50cal ammo belt with nicely detailed rounds that can easily be bent to any required shape while being fed into the gun. The ammo belt also fits neatly into the feed chute on the gun if you wish to show it in action with this area sometimes being a problem with the ammo rounds moulded oversized but is not the case here.


Assembly is very straightforward with very small pins on the cradles and the support which allows not only movement but you can clip the gun into and out of the cradle for different situations.

A small instruction sheet has only Japanese text but the illustrations are clear enough to work out where things go and lets face it most allied modellers will be pretty familiar with the .50cal MG by now. Also included is a full sized side plan view of the tripod to help get the angle of the front leg positioned correctly.

A quick Comparison:

The image below shows the new Tasca .50cal compared to other plastic guns from recent full vehicle kits from AFV Club (M36), Dragon (M4A1(76)) and Tamiya (any kit really) and the recent Academy US Machine Gun Set.

The Tasca gun is as mentioned spot on for length and other dimensions with just a few small areas requiring attention for a fully detailed gun, while the Academy gun is very nice it does seem a little chunky compared to the new Tasca gun with the AFV Club gun being the best from those included in mainstream kits.

Comparison with other plastic .50cal MGs

This is without doubt the best plastic rendition of the M2 .50cal MG released to date with very finely moulded parts and petite detail with the hollowed out cooling jacket and separate barrels making for a very good visual impression. The minor tweaks mentioned above such as widening the cooling jacket holes and opening the upper sight and rear body slit really is nit picking but will improve the already well depicted weapon.

Due to the finesse of the mouldings cleaning the minor seams and handling the parts will require care but the end result is a superb model of the .50 cal and the neat little tripod will find its way into many a diorama.

Highly recommended.

The Sprues:
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The sets will be available in the Japanese market shortly with wider distribution to follow.
Thanks to Tasca Modellismo Co.,Ltd. for the review set.

Page created July 27, 2006