Kit Preview : 1/76 Matchbox M7 Priest

About the manufacturer
Matchbox released several ranges 1/76 armor kits in the seventies and eighties. They were characterized by their interesting choice of subject and use of two color plastic. Much of the range is being re-released by Revell (in single color plastic) and this kit is currently on the market (2007).

About the vehicle
The M7 “Priest” mounted a 105mm howitzer on a M3 Lee chassis. Later versions used M4 chassis. It saw action with the 8th Army in the desert, in Italy, France and the Pacific. From late 1944 it was superseded by 105mm armed M4 Shermans which mounted the same weapon in a fully rotating turret.
The M7 was extensively provided for Lend-Lease to other Allied armies.
Priests in British service wore full-length sand skirts identical to those fitted on Grants.

About the kit
Classic Matchbox with two sprues including a mini diorama base.

The model represents the US version of the Priest, with front fenders and no skirts. The gun barrel has a strong taper which does not match period pictures. It is best replaced with a length of plastic rod or tube.

Overall a very nice kit and a source of early suspensions for Sherman conversions.

reviewed on 6/10/08.