jueves, 21 de abril de 2016

Monogram Greyhound M8 and M20 armored scout cars 1/32

These are vintage kits, from 1972, all plastic from venerable Monogram US company, no longer in business, and these are the only models of M8 and M20 in this scale, no other manufacturer produced these in 1/32, what a pity that neither Forces of Valor or 21st Century Toys did release one of these.

I bought both of them from ebay sellers, at very reasonable prices, about $20-$25 each, and more remarkable, both were brand new, sealed boxes! Back in 2015 it was relatively easy to find them, today seems to be a different story, stock seems to be depleted now, which makes them more valuable, besides being the only ones in 1/32.

Regarding scale, they are in fact bigger than 1/35 models from Tamiya or Italeri, but even so they seem to be a little small for 1/32, at least in the internal cabin space and the M20 turret ring does not have enough space, there is no way to fit a gunner behind the .50 cal machine gun. It seems that Monogram had problem getting the scale right.

The only alternatives bigger than 1/35 come in 1/30 from deluxe manufacturers like Collector's Showcase, W.Britain or King and Country, both are for display only (no articulation, no playing) and very expensive, well above $120, besides being hard to find too.

It was a nice model building experience, as usual with Monogram's kits, the instructions are beautiful, with hand made illustrations, very nice, but assembling the sides of the top body was difficult, they fit in a tricky angular way.

Both models M8 and M20 share the same chasis and body as did in real life, only the turret varies between them.

The wheels are plastic too, no rubber tires like in other Monogram’s models. There is a somewhat detailed suspension, easy to assemble, very decent for its time. It has the classic Monogram wheel plugin mechanism, and rolls very well, like a diecast, but a drop of oil may be required to make it move smoothly and silent. I bought the M8 twice, because on the first kit something strange happened after I added the oil drop to the union of the wheel with the axis, I rolled the car a bit and then suddenly several of the wheels broke from the axis, with almost a clean cut, maybe the plastic was too old and “expired” for all this movement? Whatever the case, that is the origin of my spare tires on the back of both models.

As you can see, both models are customized and weathered, I also added some very nice 1/35 chains I got from ebay, ready to use, with rust and all.

The sculpted front hooks of the M8 were removed and in its place I did put a couple of articulated hooks from a Revell/Monogram Sherman 1/32 kit. These kits include enough accessories/stowage, but you can always add some more, especially some chains or towing cables.

I found only one way to put a gunner behind the .50 cal machine gun, using the Vickers gunner from Airfix infantry support team, in fact several of the figures of this versatile kit can be used with these vehicles, and they look reasonable in scale with them.

There is a lack of diecast or plastic pre-assembled 1/32 WW2 allied light assault armored vehicles, British or American, except for jeeps and some amphibious unit (from Forces of Valor). Britains Deetail produced a diecast Bren Carrier 1/32 back in the days, but it is expensive and does not stand to today’s detail standards, looks too much like a small boy toy, including its figures. If you settle for 1/35 then you have great options from Italeri and Tamiya, not only for greyhounds (M8 and M20) but also for some british scout cars, although I cannot tell about its articulation, rolling wheels in particular, they are probable only for static purposes, but are superior in detail and some accessories (lie tow cables) to Monogram’s greyhounds
Regarding articulation, these models move very well as I already told, in the M8 the turret rotates and the gun moves up and down. In the M20 I choose to leave the MG loose, so I can put it where I want for a particular video or picture.

I wish Forces of Valor could release one of the greyhounds as 1/32 diecast, with articulated hatches, gunner and all the stuff… wouldn’t that be great?

These units played their part very well in both episodes of Plastic Commandos, I still have to film them on live motion, maybe for episode 3. Thank you for reading this article.

2 comentarios:

  1. Hello ! What a beautiful job ! I also like this Monogram M8 1:32 scale ! I found just one .... and added it to my collection of handmade toy soldiers . see www.kitokocongobelge.skyrock.com
    Enjoy the visit.... and please, drop some comments!

    All the best

    1. Thank you very much Thierry, beautiful work you do with your hand made soldiers