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M20 "Scout Car"



S u m m a r y

Stock No. & Description: Kit No. 366; M20 "Scout Car"
Contents and Media: 159 parts in olive drab styrene
Price: USD$21
Scale: 1/35
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Similar to the Italeri M8, some good touches
Disadvantages: "Not Tamiya" kit
Recommendation: Highly Recommended to all wheeled armor fans, US WWII fans, and anyone who loves US armor in Third World countries


Italeri's 1/35 scale M20 Scout Car is available online from Squadron.com

Reviewed by Cookie Sewell


F i r s t   L o o k


I originally wanted to compare this kit to the excellent Tamiya M8 to see if they had the same degree of differences found in their M8 with the Tamiya one. It took me over a year to find one, so I wasn't able to do it right away. Upon getting this kit, the differences are more marked than they were with the Tamiya one and the two M8 kits. (First off, Italeri miss the fact that the correct name is M20 Armored Utility Car, not scout car.)

Again, like the M8, this is a nice effort with a minimum of ejection pin marks and sinkholes noted in my sample. It is nearly identical to the Tamiya kit in almost all major dimensions, and they both match up well with the info I have on the original. But like before, even though the wheels state they are "9.00 x 20," whereas he wheels on the Tamiya kit measure 7.5mm wide by 29mm in diameter; the Italeri ones are smaller at 7.0 mm x 27.5 mm. But a check of most photographic records finally solved this problem. Postwar, most MAP vehicles as well as the US ones switched from the larger 9 x 20s to 7.50 x 20s as they finally doped out its cross country performance wasn't as critical as the designers thought, and most armored cars in the postwar period can be seen to have the smaller tires.
(Suggestion: doing WWII, use the Tamiya kit; postwar, use Italeri's.)

This time the tool locating pin holes are now correct, as Tamiya set theirs up to cover both vehicles but Italeri only gave the ones for the M20 rather than the M8. But as with nearly all Italeri kits, the tools are very petite and have a look and "feel" of being too fragile to do their job. I wish someone would come out with good basic US pioneer tool replacement sets.

The one place the Italeri kit comes across as superior in my opinion is the suspension, which while "old fashioned" and in multiple parts, captures the tie rods and other bits much better than Tamiya's. The muffler and exhaust also appear to be more part of the vehicle than just stuck on.

The interior, however, is a bit of a disappointment. Italeri provides three M1 carbines, one 5 gallon jerry can, and two packs plus a rolled canvas as extras. They now provide an SCR-508 radio, but while acceptable if buried where it cannot be seen is not very well done overall. No SCR-506 high-powered set is included, nor are mine racks an option. However, unlike the M8, the crew hatches are molded with optional hatches so the modeler does have an option on doing up the interior.

The decal sheet only provides for two vehicles a sparsely marked unidentified US one from Germany and a French one from 1944. I can't validate the markings but the blue on the "Napoleonic Eagle" style tricolor side markings appears to be way too light.

Overall, a reasonable effort. If you have picked one up, and plan on one in Viet Nam or elsewhere, it's a good place to start.

Cookie Sewell

Review Copyright 2001 by Cookie Sewell
Images Copyright 2001 by Academy Website
Page Created 22 November, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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