Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale
Canadian Ram Mk II Kangaroo "Early" APC Friendship Models
Kit #WVC72019
Article by Stephen Brezinski; last updated 8 April 2015
This review covers the Friendship Model's Kangaroo armored personnel carrier (APC) based on the Canadian Ram Mark II tank. I find it interesting that the US designation for the Ram tank is the M4A5. Kangaroos were based on several vehicles. This version was the Ram tank with the turret removed. My research tells me that there was no purpose built seating for the infantry it would carry. See your references for details and history of the Ram and Kangaroo.

This conversion kit consists about 19 pale gray, cast resin parts, and six cast white metal parts. Casting quality appears good though I do see a few round air bubble balls on the interior (though these could be painted to look like footballs [Soccer balls]?) This conversion hull does not include the VVSS suspension bogies, sprocket and idler wheels or track. Based on historical photos this vehicle typically used the VVSS bogies and track like that used on the M3 and M4 Medium tanks. (I have seen post-war Rams on display that are fitted with the Canadian dry-pin (CDP) track and sprockets.)

In the above photo we have the lower hull at far left with the driver's area on the right side (opposite that of the Sherman and Grant tanks), drive shaft, transmission and other interior features. In the Kangaroo the ammunition racks for the 6-Pounder or 2-Pounder guns have been removed.

In the center is the upper hull featuring the armored fuel caps similar to those on the M3 and M4 Mediums, some molded-on tools, and bolt holes for the removed turret race. Behind the turret ring is a rectangular air intake similar to the M3 Medium, but no armored cover like that on the M4. On the forward left side of the hull is the ring for the machine gun cupola, like that fitted atop the M3 Lee Medium tank. The driver's visor is molded closed and appears similar to that used on the M3 Medium.

At far right, starting at top is the driver's steering levers, a separate and additional drivers visor in case you wish to open up the driver's visor, and two interior fire extinguishers made in white metal. Below these parts and cast in white metal are two 30-cal. machine guns that mount on the turret ring and the machine gun body for the cupola.

Next down are two extra cupola turret hatches, one in resin and one in white metal, and another cupola hatch portrayed folded open. (Be aware, and I am not sure, but these extra hatches may not always be included in this kit.) Below the hatches art two bulb-shaped, cast-resin exterior fire extinguishers that mount on the hull behind the turret; these are common on British Shermans and Fireflies and Canadian M4A1 Grizzly tanks.

Next down are the two engine exhaust stacks like those used by the M3 and very early M4 and M4A1 Medium tanks. Between the exhausts is an extra, optional light. An interesting thing I have read about these large exhaust stacks is that they caused the rear engine decks to get so hot that the leather straps holding down tools could catch fire. For this reason the exhaust system was changed on the M4A1 and M4.

On the next resin pore plug down are additional and optional lights and the headlight guards that have to be carefully cut free. The pore plug below this features a round gunner's seat for under the mg cupola that needs a pin or wire to be installed on, and an air filter that goes in the U shaped recess on the hulls left side with the angle to the bulkhead.

The lower and last pore plug holds the mg cupola and a cupola hatch. I appear to have lost the machine gun barrel for the cupola mg but this can be replicated from some plastic rod.

This conversion set was purchased by the reviewer.


Ram Tank Registry of Canada's Tank

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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale