In the beginning of 1943, Allied forces were preparing for severe resistance in the planned re-taking of Europe, with the Germans defending from strong fortified positions. As a result, a new class of vehicle was required and entered into development and production, they were called assault tanks. The concept prioritised maximum armour protection over mobility. 25 were ordered for production without prototypes being required but finally the order was reduced to 6 after the war had ended. This design was commissioned in 1943 and 18 variants were prepared by Nuffield Mechanisations and Aero Limited, progressively larger and heavier in concept they were aiming to be ready for the battlefield in September 1945.
Given the structure of the Tortoise it is technically a Self-propelled gun not a tank and had a crew of 7 - a commander, driver, and gunner, with two loaders for the 32-pounder gun and two machine gunners.
The Meng Model British A39 Tortoise Heavy Assault Tank is 293mm long and 111mm wide. The fixed casemate superstructure and weld seams of the fighting compartment make the kit nicely realistic. The 94mm long barrel gun can freely turn and the mantlet is accurate. The travel lock can lock the gun and the machine gun in the front ball mount can freely rotate. Hatches can be open or closed. The four bogies on either side each with two wheels and transverse torsion bar suspension system are faithfully reproduced.
If you are looking for an excellent guide to building and painting this kit please click here.
Academy 1:35 - Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind (Replaces ACA01333) - Plastic Figure Model Kit #13236
The Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind" (Whirlwind in English) was a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun designed by the Germans on the basis of the Panzer IV tank. Its development was launched in 1944 when Nazi troops suffered great losses from Allied Air Forces.
The Flakpanzer IV featured an open-top turret fitted with four 2 cm Flak 38 anti-aircraft guns. It was nicknamed "Keksdose" ("Biscuit Tin") because of the turret shape which reminded of a nine-sided polygon.
On the battlefield 2 cm shells turned out insufficient against aircraft, however in general the gun performed well against infantry troops as well as trucks and armoured cars. Later the Flakpanzer IV was replaced with the Flakpanzer IV Ostwind (East Wind), a version more powerful against air targets.
Academy 1:35 - M3 Stuart "Honey" British version (Replaces ACA01399) - Plastic Model Kit #13270
The M3 Stuart was an American light tank that had been delivered to British forces by the US Government during WWII, before the Americans officially entered the war. Subsequently it was deployed by the Allies until the capitulation of Germany.
"Stuart" was a nickname given in reference to James Stuart, an American Confederate States Army general of the Civil War. When a British tankman saw the tank for the first time, he remarked "She's a honey". That name stuck and in British service the M3 was often referred to as "Honey".
Compared to the previous Light Tank M2, the Stuart had an improved suspension, better gun recoil mechanism and thicker armour, unusual for a light tank. The vehicle was armed with a 37mm M5 gun (which was later replaced with a longer M6 version) and a several Browning machine guns. The tank production lasted from 1941 to 1943.
In 1941 the British army had 700 Stuart tanks in service, 170 of which were deployed in Operation Crusader in North Africa. Though Stuarts surpassed most of the Axis tanks in many respects, the operation was unsuccessful due to the poor tactics of British troops.
In the following years the British usually avoided using Stuarts in tank-to tank fights, deploying them mostly in reconnaissance operations. In some cases the turret was removed for the sake of lighter weight and better mobility (such versions were known as "Stuart Recce"), some other units were transformed to either armoured personnel carriers ("Stuart Kangaroo") or command vehicles ("Stuart Command"). The M3 served with the British army till the end of the war, though in smaller numbers than those used by the Americans.
Academy 1:35 - M36/M36B2 US Army "Battle of the Bulge" - Plastic Figure Model Kit #13501
The American tank destroyer M36 was designed in 1943 when the US Army needed a powerful vehicle to combat German Panther and Tiger tanks. This new tank was nicknamed "Jackson" in reference to the Confederate General of the Civil War, Stonewall Jackson. The M36's turret mounted the 90 mm gun M3 allowing the tank to nail down any known German tanks at 1000 to 2500m range depending on the armour thickness. However, due to its open-top turret the tank was vulnerable to shell fragments and snipers. Field modifications, particularly additional roof iron plating, were hastily performed by the crews. Later on folding panels were developed for protection against shell fragments, these were adopted by the M36B2.
- Can be built as M36 or M36B2
- 90mm main gun
- .50 caliber machine gun
- Over 600 plastic parts
- Photo-etched parts included
- Detailed driver's station
- Detailed hull interior with crew and ammo stowage
- Detailed turret interior including stowage and gun breech
The following markings are provided:
- M36, US Army 82nd Airborne Div, Belgium, 1944
- M36, US Army 703rd TD, Belgium, 1944
- M36, US Army 2nd Cavalry, Germany 1945
- M36B2, ROK Army, 53rd Tank Company, 1953
- M36B2, France Régiment Blindé Colonial d'Extrême-Orient, Tonkin, 1951
- M36B2, France Régiment Blindé Colonial d'Extrême-Orient, Tonkin, 1953
Download the manual here
Academy 1:35 - M4A3 76mm US Army "Battle of the Bulge" - Plastic Figure Model Kit #13500
The Medium Tank M4 Sherman was commonly used by the United States and other Western Allies during WWII. The tank was produced in large numbers, with thousands distributed through the Lend-Lease program to the British Commonwealth and Soviet Union. The British called the M4 'Sherman' after the American Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.
During the Second World War, about 19,247 Sherman tanks were issued to the US Army and about 1,114 to the US Marine Corps. Moreover, the U.S. supplied 17,184 tanks to Great Britain, some of which went to the Canadians and the Free Poles. The Soviet Union received 4,102 vehicles and an estimated 812 were transferred to China. These tanks were distributed to the respective countries' allied nations.
The M4A3 was a sub-type of the Sherman tank. It featured a welded hull and was powered by a Ford GAA engine. Its armament consisted of a 76mm cannon and a 12.7mm machine gun. This variant was mainly deployed by the US Army with only a few units sent to France and Nicaragua. A number of these tanks took part at the Battle of Bulge in December 1944.
Check out a step by step video of building this kit here
Download the manual here
- Engine deck, VVSS suspention (late version) and accessories newly tooled
- Main canon and 12.7mm machine gun accurately reproduced
- T48 duckbill tracks included
- Photo-etched parts and 6 marking options included