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US M22 'Locust'
England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: April 08, 2013
KitMaker: 40 posts
ModelGeek: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 - 06:44 AM UTC
Dave Oliver takes a look at a very recent Bronco Model release of the US M22 ''Locust'' Airbourne Tank (T9E1).

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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
KitMaker: 4,403 posts
ModelGeek: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 - 12:19 PM UTC
Hi, All! Dave- THANKS FOR A GREAT REVIEW!!! The British M22 Locust and the US T9E7 are very welcome additions to one of my display cabinets!!! I think the M22/T9E7 are great subject-matter and very nice little kits! I have one of each. US T9E7s saw service in the US only, mainly in testing at the Army's Proving Ground. A few found their way into training assignments. The US Army and USMC weren't interested in this little tank, as it was more of a light combat car rather than a tank, and not really suited for actual combat scenarios.

We already had Combat Cars in service, taking shape in the M8 and M20 Armored Cars. The US Armored Cars' and Half-Tracks' combat experience in World War II and Korea showed that these vehicles proved to be more of a liability than an asset, as even rifle-caliber munitions could and did penetrate their thin armor. Consequently, only the V-100 in Vietnam and the contemporary M1117 Guardians serve as armored police and security vehicles...

As to BRONCO being brave enough to market such a rare and relatively insignificant US/Allied tank, I find myself experiencing some mixed feelings: A- BRAVO!!! For taking a chance and FINALLY doing an OBSCURE US/ALLIED subject, and B- Why produce such an OBSCURE US/ALLIED subject, when they could have done any number of more common US/ALLIED vehicles..? I'm not being picky; the M22/T9E7 Light Airborne Tanks just SEEM to be kind of odd subject matter. Nevertheless, I AM EXTREMELY HAPPY that BRONCO took the death-defying leap and gave us the M22/T9E7!!!

I know that there will be people out there that are going to quibble over the "link-and-length" tracks. There's an almost endless forum in progress on this hobby site, arguing the relative merits of DRAGON's "Magic Tracks" and "DS Tracks. I chose not to stick my nose into THAT bee-hive!!! I for one, applaud BRONCO's decision to mold such microscopic tracks in the "link-and-length" manner. My eyes are very happy with that, and my arthritic fingers are overjoyed!!!

I agree that these tiny kits could have been just a little bit better with the addition of a couple of crewmen and an engine compartment with a power plant. But, I'm not going to complain about it- How many HUNDREDS of kits such as the gigantic Tigers, IS-2s, E-100s, etc (in proportion to the tiny T9E7) don't include an engine, or crew compartment detail? Give it a little time; I'm sure that the Aftermarket Boys will be filling those gaps in very short order.

The same goes for figures of tankers. OK, so let's see a show of "hands"- How many of us are going to go out and buy aftermarket items such as tankers, interior update kits, PE upgrades plus stowage sets anyway..? Not to mention some kit-bashing and/or scratch-building? I do it all the time. In some of my other posts, I've already stated that I haven't built anything "straight-out-of-the-box" since I was 8 years old- I'm going on 61 years old, so that's A LOT of models!!! Please understand: I AM NOT criticizing this review. I'm only sharing my opinions, that's all...

Personally, I'd like to see some "state-of-the-art" M3-series Stuarts, M3 Lee/Grants, T2/M2-series Light Tanks, T7E-series Light Tanks-morphing-into-Medium M7 Tanks- which were cancelled when the geniuses in charge realized that the M7 would have turned out to be just a mediocre alternative to the M4-series Mediums already in production.

Some pre-war T4 combat Cars might be nice, along with a couple of different versions of the woefully inadequate Marmon-Herrington CTLS-4ATC-series. (Light Tank T16) Very small numbers of these "tankettes" saw service in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Others were exported to China, and the Dutch East Indies.

To wrap up, I'm very happy to see the M22/T9E7 kits, and I hope that we'll be seeing more rare/obscure US/ALLIED AFVs and Softskins!!!