The American M16 halftrack, featuring an M45 Multiple Machine Gun Mount, is a relatively famous vehicle. The M45 mount boasted quadruple .50-cal machineguns in an effective antiaircraft vehicle. The next evolution of this weapon system was to mount it on a large twin-axle trailer (known as M51 .50 Multiple Machine Gun Carriage), though this proved a little unwieldy. Mounted on an M20 trailer and with the armored shield removed, the modified system was called M55. Developed by Kimberly-Clark Corporation, it entered U.S. Army service in 1943, and around 10,000 were manufactured up till 1953. It was commonly pulled by a 21/2-ton truck, but lighter vehicles could also do the job. Able to fire at a rate of 450-575 rounds per minute, the M55 was lethal against both low-flying aircraft and ground targets.
Interestingly, after D-Day, the M55 trailer mount was available in greater numbers than the M16 halftrack. The weapon was also used during the Korean War and even as late as the Vietnam War. This should make Dragon’s new 1/35 scale Smart Kit very attractive to modelers. This fascinating new kit utilizes parts such as the pedestal from Dragon’s recent M16 halftrack kit, although the trailer is a completely new tooling. Photo-etched metal is also offered to enhance details, while the highly accurate .50-cal machineguns have hollow muzzle ends. For greater diorama versatility, the M55 Quad Gun Trailer can be assembled in either transport or combat modes. Even though this is a small item in 1/35 scale, it is reproduced in a very sophisticated manner. Dragon’s Smart Kit M55 trailer-mounted weapon is a very desirable subject, being the only one available on the market!