Kit Preview : 1/76 Fujimi ex Nitto M36 Jackson

About the manufacturer
Fujimi is the only remaining active major 1/76 plastic injection molded kit manufacturer. They took on the Nitto range about a decade ago and have been re releasing their catalog gradually. Their latest kits include link and length hard plastic tracks. Be sure to check if the kit you are buying has the old rubbery tracks or the new ones. Just a hint: the cheaper ones have the vinyl tracks.
Henk of Holland has a very useful list of all the serial numbers of Fujimi and Nitto kits.

About the vehicle
This is the last and most powerful of the wartime US tank destroyers, fast , lghtly armored vehicles with a heavy hitting antitank gun. The concept was proven inoperative in combat and was scratched after the war. The official way to counter a tank would hence be another tank.
Here is the Wikipedia on the vehicle.

The kit seems dimensionally correct. Like most Nitto kits it is overengineered, with a full interior and engine. I wish they left out the engine and focused on getting the VVSS suspensions and roadwheels right. The wheels are too small and the suspensions compensate by being too high. This fault is repeated on the Nitto M4A1, M7B1, M12, and M30 which all share the same chassis. I plan to use Airfix M4 suspensions.
The most glaring mistake has to be the hull MG, which the M36 never possessed! I guess the model designer was so busy researching the interior that he missed some of these unimportant external details. The very visible bolts are undersize while the hull stowage racks are too thick. Unlike most models the headlight guards are provided but they are better left off, being thicker than the vehicle's armor. I will use strips of lead to replace them (made from the metal wrappers on wine bottles). The turret handholds also need replacing, this time with plastic rod or wire.
Reviewed on 9/10/2009.