Achilles Tank Destroyer
Manufacturer: HäT Industries (Armourfast) (Kit #99008)
It was a simple modification to convert the HäT M10 kit into the British 17pdr-armed Achilles. This kit is basically the same as the earlier M10, but with a new cannon, new turret with revised rear wall and late version counter-weights, and a couple of jerry cans. The wheels are very detailed, although not molded all the way to the back. There is a lip at the front face of the wheels that will be visible on the completed model. The tracks are fairly well detailed on the outer surfaces, and have the outer row of track guide teeth molded onto the inner surface, which is a definite improvement over the earlier Sherman kit.
The detail on the upper hull is really quite well done with recessed panel lines around the engine access hatches, bolt detail, engine grates, and fuel filler caps all very well done. The crew hatches are molded closed. The armor bosses on the front hull look pretty good, but on the hull sides, they are more like locator marks for more 3-dimensional bosses to be added. This is probably as best as could be done, considering the sloped surface of the hull. Note that most Achilles were based on late version M10s and lacked the armor bosses on the turret and hull sides (but not the hull front), so most likely you will want to remove these bumps. The engine access door on the rear of the lower hull is molded in greater relief than on the M4 kit, although no exhaust parts are included.
The inclusion of the new turret and counter-weights will allow for kitbashing with the earlier M10 kit to make a late model M10.
The turret looks really nice, and captures well the unique faceted shape for this vehicle. As you can see in the scan, the bottom of the turret, as well as the hull turret ring, are molded closed, which is not accurate for this vehicle, but it does hide the lack of interior this way. For those industrious modelers who want to add a full interior, you'll have to open up the bottom of the turret, and the top of the hull. No gun breach is included, but the gun barrel is once again molded perfectly round and straight. There are two machineguns included: a .50cal and .30cal.
According to my references, the dimensions of the kit are perfect. The instructions are printed on the back of the box, and no decals are included. Each box sold in stores includes two complete kits.
All in all, I am quite impressed with this new kit. It improves upon the molding quality of the earlier Sherman kit, and although it is designed specifically with wargamers in mind, with a little extra work, it will build into a really nice example of this oft-overlooked armored vehicle.
Thank you very much to HäT for providing the review sample.
|Back to HäT Kit List||Back to Home Page|