Note; all images of the assembled guns have the cooling jacket holes enlarged as per the text.
This second set includes two M2 .50cal MGs the same as in set A with additional parts for the vehicle mounted version with mounting posts and cradles for the WWII and post war versions to give more scope to the set.
All comments below on the .50cal themselves are the same as with set 35-L8 with additional comments on the cradle parts here with the set containing 64 parts in dark olive drab plastic and a small instruction sheet with the mouldings again 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 are fractionally undersized but having the holes already open makes this another very easy job.
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 gun cradles are in two parts each which you can glue together before attaching to the gun and then simply clip onto the gun body allowing you to add and remove the gun from the cradle like the real thing.
The WWII ammo box cradle has the additional small spring loaded clips to hold the box and ammo belts in position which are extremely finely moulded and look excellent for plastic parts plus the small box mounting plate allowing the U shaped lower cradle to fit neatly in place.
There should be three small ‘L’ pins and fine chain fitted to the cradle to hold it to the lower U cradle and the gun itself and these can be added from thin wire and etched chain if you wish.
The ammo box has the lower cradle moulded on with a separate lip but this has no inside detail and altering this to show the ammo belt running from the box to the gun will require a little work.
It is possibly to fully assemble the cradle and ammo box separate from the gun if you wish to make painting and handling a little easier with the two fitted together just before adding the assembly to the model.
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.
The turret roof mounting posts includes a separate lower plate which is attached to a small raised bracket on the turret roof and the instructions give a guide to adding this small bracket is it is not already on the target kit.
The post war cradle is similar in construction to the WWII version only with the different details on the cradle and ammo box fittings allowing you to use the set with virtually any era vehicle.
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.
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 with the vehicle mountings added that can be fitted to virtually any Allied vehicle of WWII and beyond with the inclusion of the later style cradle and ammo box arrangement.
The sets will be available in the Japanese market shortly with wider distribution
Thanks to Tasca Modellismo Co.,Ltd. for the review set.