Hidden Door Productions 1/35 scale conversion kit; The T52 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage Turret Kit
The T52 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage Turret Kit
Hidden Door Productions 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description
||Hidden Door Productions 1/35 scale conversion kit; The T52 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage Turret Kit
|Media and Contents:
||16 in 3D printed resin, 2 brass, 1 turned aluminum.
||Probably first and only kit of this particular conversion offered.
||Kit is for intermediate and advanced modelers with a parts box.
||Highly Recommended for all Sherman fans who want a truly different Sherman variant.
B a c k g r o u n d
As WWII began and tactical aviation became a real threat to armored formations, nearly all nations began to work on self-propelled antiaircraft guns to deal with the problem. The Germans probably had the most varied systems with combinations of 2 cm, 3 cm and 3.7 cm guns on semitracked and tracked chassis; the Soviets were slow in coming up with similar systems as were the British, but the Americans worked at it steadily throughout the war.
The most common US systems were the T28/M15 series halftracks with a combined 37mm/twin .50 caliber mount and the M13/14/16/17 ones with two or four .50 caliber machine guns. But these were all short ranged weapons and the longer reach and bigger punch of the Bofors 40mm gun was sought. While some M15s were converted to take a 40mm gun as “M15 Specials” it was not until the end of the war that the final solution – the M19 Twin 40mm Gun Carriage - was developed and placed in production.
Nevertheless a solution was sought on the M4 Medium Tank chassis. The Canadians worked on a quadruple 20mm gun mount on a Sherman chassis called the Skink, but the Americans worked on a single 40mm mount. Their first attempt. the T36, had a single 40mm gun in a fully armored turret but was apparently too bulky and slow for rapid target tracking.
The next attempt was the T52. Proposed by Firestone, it was a compact mounting with a 40mm gun and two crewmen inside a giant ball turret with a pair of .50 caliber machine guns on the sides of the truncated ball. This provided the ability for the turret to rapidly elevate and rotate to track and engage targets, but it had way too many drawbacks.
First off, the two crewmen, the sighting and training gear, the 40mm gun, and the ammunition for the two .50 machine guns were all stuffed in the very cramped space of the ball. The gunner (right side) had a difficult time of it to be sure, but the poor loader (left side) had to load the 40mm gun with its 4 round clips; this was very difficult (recall that a four round clip is expended in two seconds with the 120 rpm Bofors) as it was hard to reach the feed guides and even so the vehicle could only carry 64 rounds of 40 mm - 32 seconds of ammunition. The project lasted from March 1943 to October 1944 when it was finally cancelled.
F i r s t L o o k
Hidden Door is a new company and this is their first offering. It is a 3D resin printed kit so it is expensive as are all current kits of that type but within the limits of others, so not really out of reach. But this means it requires the forming lines (about every 0.010" or 0.25mm) to be sanded off the ball itself.
The kit is for experienced models and requires some additional materials to be provided starting with the base kit and two .50 caliber machine guns of the builder’s choice. This isn’t a bad idea as many resin machine guns are warped or suffer other problems and today styrene kits are high quality and easily obtained.
The kit provides the ball and its turret race, mounting brackets, a 40mm gun and feed items, a turret floor, .50 caliber ammo box shelves, two seats and a lower hatch.
The 40mm gun is a printed 3D resin part but a 40mm barrel from what appears to be Aber with brass flash hider and collar is provided in the kit. Detailed photo directions explain how to assemble the kit which is a bit of an exercise in patience and “remote assembly” - the parts have to be inserted into the ball the same way they were in real life. This is a challenge but as noted the tip of a sharp #11 blade should work well to position the parts inside the turret.
For reference the vehicle is described and has photos on Page 389 of the Hunnicutt “Sherman” book. Reference photos show the actual vehicle used one of the M4A2 test mules at APG (the most famous one was the spurious “Sherman Firefly” with the British turret on another M4A2 mule) with no markings but the early M3 type bogies with integral return roller mounts.
C o n c l u s i o n
Overall this is a truly unique offering for the “Shermaholic” and a really different vehicle to have in your collection.
Thanks to Hidden Door Productions for the review sample.
Text by Cookie Sewell
Images by Steve Chadbone
Page Created 21 May, 2017
Page Last Updated
21 May, 2017