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Takom 1/35 scale M29 Weasel plastic model kit review

If you love military vehicles, photo-etched metal, and lots of details, don’t miss this kit
Kit:2167 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$35
Versatile subject; good detail; inclusion of driver figure
Complex assembly of small, fragile parts makes proper alignment difficult
Injection-molded plastic (gray and clear); 324 parts (46 photo-etched metal); decals
The M29 Weasel was a small-tracked carrier designed to operate in difficult terrain, like snow, sand, and muddy conditions where jeeps and trucks would get bogged down. It was used in many places during World War II, including the European Theater and the Pacific islands. It saw many uses, including as a supply carrier, troop transport, and ambulance.

Takom seemingly wanted to pack as much detail as it could into its 1/35 scale M29 Weasel plastic model kit. It owes a particularly high part count for a model of this size mostly to the complex suspension, which proved to be the most complicated part of the build.

First, I painted the base color of suspension parts, wheels, and tracks while on the sprue. This made sense because of the number of small parts.

Next, I built the suspension components in Step 1 but left off the lower suspension arms (parts A20) to fit these with the rest of the components after attaching the wheels. From here, I skipped around in the instructions to build subassemblies without all the details to make painting easier and avoid breaking parts already in place.

In Step 6, I held off attaching the engine cover (Part C5) to the side wall (Part C6). Also, I waited until Step 8 to install the wall between the driver's compartment and crew area (Part C22) so I could align all these parts with the floor.

In Step 8, clamp the parts with a locking tweezer to keep them aligned while the glue dries. The shifter assembly (Part E27) required trimming, bending, and opening up the locator slot to fit correctly.

Be aware the seats are not all the same, so pay attention to the part numbers. I removed all the seat parts from the sprues and then had to guess what parts were for which seat.

The radio rack did not fit level with the floor, and I had to carve out the holes in the wall between the driver and crew compartment to get it to fit correctly. The separator wall did not install perfectly vertically, so this could have been the cause, but it was easily fixed. Based on reference photos, it seems like the kit’s radio unit is missing some components.

I had to clamp the body panels to make them fit. I started with the sides, added the front and back, and then the top pieces for the front and rear deck. I masked the windshield and put it in place to help with alignment. A little Mr. Surfacer 500 filled small seams adequately, but I ended up with a larger seam where the back panel meets the lower hull. I filled this with a length of styrene strip.

Want to know tedious? Build the suspension and road wheels and attach them to the hull of this kit. Expect to spend lots of time fiddling with parts to get proper alignment. I built the bogies and test-fitted as best I could, then glued all the parts at once using the longest track runs to help alignment. After multiple broken suspension arms and a bit of colorful language, it went together reasonably well, but still slightly out of alignment and not sitting perfectly flat.

The kit includes many photo-etched metal (PE) parts, and I put on as many as I could before painting but left off parts like wiper blades that would be easily knocked off. I did not use the PE handle details (parts TP17). These are very tiny, and I did not think the added detail was worth the effort of trying to attach them. The jig (Part C11) is a nice inclusion for shaping the muffler screen. Though there are lots of tiny PE pieces already included, tie-downs would have been a nice addition.

Takom includes a driver figure with a rather stoic expression. I did not include the driver in my build because I am contemplating lots of diorama ideas for my M29 and don’t yet know how I want to display it.

The decals went down with no issues over a coat of Tamiya Clear (No. X-22). The decals for instruments and data plates are a helpful addition.

The Takom 1/35 scale M29 Weasel plastic model kit has impressive detail but takes a bit of experience with PE and small, complex assembly to get it together. I would recommend this kit for experienced builders. A fantastic subject with many possibilities, it should be a hit with WWII ground-vehicle fans.
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