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Legend Productions – 1/35 M74 TRV Conversion Set

Kit Number:
LF1297
Scale:
1:35
Published:
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Manufacturer:
Legend Productions
Retail Price:
$132
Reviewed By:
James Wechsler

M74 TRV Conversion Set (for 1/35 Shermans w/HVSS)


History

The M74 TRV (Tank Recovery Vehicle) was developed in the early 50s as a replacement for the M32 ARV of WW2 era.  This was necessitated by the increasing weight of newer tanks like the M46 and M47.  It entered service too late for the Korean War but served throughout the 50s and 60s until eventually being replaced by the M88.

The M74s were made mostly from surplus M4A3 Shermans though some were also made from M32s.

The Kit

Legend Productions has developed a very comprehensive and complex conversion set made from resin, photoetch, wire, and nylon cord.  Here’s a look at what comes in the box.

The kit comes with the major parts wrapped in bubble wrap and the large boom protected by sheets of cardboard.  Unfortunately, my sample still had damage to the transmission cover but the other parts were in good shape.

I was very impressed that there does not appear to be any warping of the large parts and I found only a couple of very minor air bubbles.  The photoetch is very well done and equivalent to any aftermarket set.  Included in this kit are decals!  Legend has started doing this in recent releases and this is a big step since the modeler no longer has to research and find the right markings.  This kit has a very nice set of markings for an M74 called ‘Gotcha’ and the decals themselves look quite nice with no issue in terms of registration or clarity.

The instructions are the typical Legend’s arrangement of a series of photos with part call outs.  The photos are clear and in color but the modeler must still formulate their own plan for the assembly sequence.

This conversion set is listed as being for any HVSS (wide track) Sherman kit but it’s clear that it is designed to be a direct fit for the Tasca M4A3E8 kit (#35020) which is also now available as the Tamiya M4A3E8 (#25175).  Using one of these kits will allow the lower hull to fit more directly to the resin upper hull and the transmission cover.  For other kits, some surgery will be necessary.  In addition, a number of smaller items are provided in photoetch in the Legends set that are also available in plastic in the Tasca kit.  The most notable is the engine exhaust deflector which is provided as a very complex photoetch assembly in the conversion set.  But it’s also available in plastic in the Tasca kit so a modeler can reduce the complexity of this conversion by using the plastic parts and make this a little easier build.

Conclusion

This is a beautiful conversion set with incredible detail and shockingly clean castings.  But it is complex so this is probably best for an advanced modeler with resin experience.

Highly Recommended (pending a full build)  for the advanced modeler.

My sincere thanks to Legend Productions for the review sample

Reviewed by Jim Wechsler, SoCal AMPS