During the cold war it was neccessary for the US forces to develop a heavy tank to compete with the Russian tanks JS - 3 and T - 10. This heavy tank was the M103 which has been in service entirely with the USMC. It was obviously that the existing TRVs would not be able to recover a demaged M103 proberly. So in 1951 "Chrysler" started to build 2 prototyps of the new heavy ARV, the T-51, which should enter services in 1953. From 1953 till 1957 "Chrysler" built about 200 M51s. Some tecnical problems have been responsible for not entering service in time. Between 1956 and 1958 about 50 modifications have been made to the vehicles. The USMC got the first M51 TRV´s in 1958.
The M51 TRV was used from 1965 in Vietnam by the USMC till it was replaced from the brand new M88. The USMC lost two of the M51 during the Vietnam conflict. The vehicle proofed its abilities very well especialy for recovering tanks and other vecicles in rough terrain.
Some tecnical datas.
weight: 60 to
engine: gasoline air cooled 12 cylinder with 1000 horsepower
speed: 56 km/h
crane: 30 to
main winch: 45 to
The kit comes in a large cardboard box, about the size of typical plastic kit box. The resin parts are packed in zip-bags and are well protected by styrofoam chips.
The kit consists in:
260 resin parts
1 set of AFV Club´s T97 E2 single link tracks
1 sheet of decals for USMC
1 sheet of PE parts
2 different sizes of flexible cooper rope
some plastic rod and wire
the assembly instruction
One part of the instruction sheets contains a list of all included parts. Each part is shown on drawing and is also named.
Page one of the instructions contains some general assembly guidelines and the assembly instruction itself gives instructiuons in the form of exploded diagrams. Painting references are given in the instructions using generic color names.
The resin parts are attached to casting blocks. Attachment points are quite small and they are very easy to remove even for anyone with minimum experience in working with resin kits. There are on some parts deliberately some additional resin pins and plates added to help in casting process and these need to be removed, too.
All parts have crisp and very well defined details on them.