09 Feb

Unboxing LVT-4 ‘Buffalo’ Amtrac from Warlord Miniatures

The Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) is an amphibious warfare vehicle and amphibious landing craft, introduced by the United States Navy.

The Marine Corps and Army used several LVT models during World War II. Originally intended solely as cargo carriers for ship to shore operations, they evolved into assault troop and fire support vehicles. The types were known as amphtrack, amtrak, amtrac etc., being portmanteaus of amphibious tractor, and alligator or gator.

The fourth LVT was designed in 1943, on the basis of the LVT-2. It was the first to feature a stern ramp for the unloading of personnel and cargo. It was also the most produced of any LVTs during the war.

More than 8300 were produced from December 1943 until the end of the war, by the Food Machinery Corp at Lakeland, Florida, Riverside & San Jose, California, Graham-Paige Motor Corp. in Detroit, Michigan and St Louis Car Co. at St Louis, Missouri. The LVT-4s were first used at Peleliu, along with LVT-2s. This operation showed the fruit of the designer’s efforts, leading to a well improved machine, useful, well-protected and reliable. On the long run, the engine’s location facilitated its maintenance. But this relocation had a backdrop, as the cooling system was apparently inadequate, causing the engine to overheat. The 1st Marine Division three LVT-4s with the new Navy Mk 1 flamethrowers tested before the operation, with a fourth LVT providing supply. This unit was given to the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion. The Navy Mk 1 flamethrower was modeled after the Canadian Ronson, and its range was 75 yards (68 m) with gasoline/oil mixture and up to 150 yards (137 m) with napalm bursting from 55 seconds up to 80 seconds.

LVT-4s participated in the Saipan campaign (June 1944), Guam and Tinian (July 1944). LVT-4s were also used by British and Canadian troops during the operations in the Netherlands (like the Battle of the Scheldt in October 1944) and by Allied forces when crossing the Rhine in March 1945 (Operation Plunder). Others were provided, through Lend-Lease, to the Red Army, that used these vehicles when assaulting the well-defended Oder and Danube west banks.

After the war, French vehicles took part in the Suez crisis intervention and Indochina war, and USMC vehicles were used at Inchon in Korea.

LVT-4 ‘Buffalo’ Amtrac “The Unboxing”

First of all, many thanks to Distopia Games from Hernani, Basque Country, Spain. They donated this kit to me do the review and then do a raffle the next 1st of March between all the people who will place comments and feedbacks on those post and Likes on facebook post too! both of them.
The packaging is the standard in the Warlord stuff: a card board box and a bubble bag inside. Good enough to protect the metal and resin parts of the model. The only concern is the strength provided by the thickness of the cardboard, since I suspect it can be damaged easily. If you like to collect these card board boxes then be carefully …

Category 1: Kit quality. 

  • Company: Warlord Games
  • Scale: 28mm
  • Material: Resin and metal
  • More: Assembly instructions printed rear on the card board box.

 Accuracy of detail is good but not splendid. Details present are crisp and correctly made. Amount of detail is good in this scale. All pieces of the model fit perfectly.

The casting is good without any signs of bad casting, too much bubbles,…etc.

As usual in this kind of models, we´ll have to use a X-Acto knife to clean the mould lines and flash, though they are not so much. It won’t take much time to clean it up.

The model comprises four resin parts, the hull, two tracks and the rear ramp.

There are metal components for the mudguards, benches and machine guns.

Rear side of the Kit.

You must wash the resin in warm soapy water to remove any remaining mould lubricant.

The kit construction is quite straight forward and it’s very well designed, so expect little effort in this area.

The problem arose when adding the tracks to the main hull. Unlike when building Flames of War resin models which include notches for the tracks, the LVT-4 Buffalo tracks had no way of indicating where they were placed on the hull.

Whole parts of the kit.

Doing a dry run we thought we had it right, but when we came to place the rear mudguards we realised, we had them on too far back! So we had to remove the tracks, then attach the rear mudguards before replacing the tracks.

 

Flash and mould lines.

Absence of reference notches to mount the tracks.

Category 2: Wargaming suitability. 

The kit is solid due the resin cast chassis and metallic parts. Once built it is a very resistant miniature that will endure the many matches to come.

Category 3: Conv. capabilities &upgrades.

You can customize the vehicle by adding some tarpaulin, and other stowage to match the real appareance of the real ones, then once painted you can make a hard weathering job as the USMC vehicles had:, rust streaks, oil stains, chipping…

Category 4: The kit in the market & value. 

No decals are provided. They are sold separately. I’ll penalize the model in this area because of the already high price of the kit, between 30-35 €, enough to include a sheet of decals.

Category 5: My summary. 

This is a great kit only obscured by some minor details, like the absence of decals.
This is a must have model if your goal it to make a USMC list.
It is one of the very best kits I’ve see from Warlord in a long time.
Finally two words GUNG HO!!!!….;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28 thoughts on “Unboxing LVT-4 ‘Buffalo’ Amtrac from Warlord Miniatures

    • Tienes toda la razon, probablemente el vehiculo global por excelencia del Pacifico a Centro-Europa,rindiendo a gran nivel. Pocos vehiculos podran tener semejante honor, buena suerte con el sorteo, colega!!!

       
  1. Good review, I have been wondering about this kit because the LVT-4 can be used in the Australians in the Pacific list. I will save up to buy one. Thank you

     
  2. Good review, it’s a shame about Warlord’s caterpillars on resin vehicles … you often do not know very well where you have to put them. And sometimes they come a little warped, you have to do a bit of DIY to make it look good.

     
    • Yes, Ruben the tracks are the weak part of the kit…you´ll have to use gently the X-Acto knife to clean those line mould. I think whith hot water will be posible to avoid those warp!!!.

       
    • Hola, tienes razón pero a malas como dijo Humphrey Bogart en Casablanca, siempre nos quedará “Google Translator”, buena suerte en el sorteo colega!!!

       
  3. Se usaron bastante en Europa, sobre todo por parte de los ingleses. En los cruces de los rios de acceso a Alemania vinieron muy bien, ya que los malditos natzis destruyeron todo puente que pillaron, jeje …
    A ver si me hago con uno y asi aumento las filas de los marines que tengo de Warlord. Tengo que ponerme a jugar a BA si o si …

     
    • Saludos,…Sinceramente lo que he visto me ha parecido interesante. Quizas en un futuro hagan algun kit en plástico inyectado, quien sabe. Buena suerte con el sorteo.

       
  4. Muy interesante el post, no le veo el sentido a que no marquen la colocación de las orugas, eso ya te obliga a andar mirando referencias en internet.
    Por cierto, ¿luego no pesa mucho un vehículo de ese tamaño de resina y metal?

     
    • Si es cierto, como ocurre en 15 mm hay una diferecia en peso entre los modelos de plastico inyectado y los de resina y metal. Como en otras cosas, hay opiniones variadas, a nivel de jugabilidad a mi personalmente me gusta mas que pesen las minis, manias de uno. Buena suerte con el sorteo!!!.

       

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