This puts the steam in Steampunk

When the United States entered WW1 it had great manufacturing capability but no tank designs to build. Holt Manufacturing, now known as Caterpillar Inc, had been making huge wheeled agricultural tractors for years. So they started with one of their wheel steam tractors and added guns and armor. In the Army’s first test, it got stuck. Further testing was also disappointing and the concept was dropped. The Aberdeen Proving grounds collection card and labeled photos state that the drive wheels were in the rear and that it was armed with 2 6-pounder guns and two machine guns.

This is another interesting kit from Vargas Scale Models . It is 1:35 scale and 3D printed in resin. The detail is good and the parts count is exceptionally low. It comes with both the 6-pounders described in the Aberdeen documents, and a 75mm howitzer that some claim as the armament - take your pick. I built mine with the 6-pounders.

This thing is a beast. The wheels are about 8 (2.4m) feet tall.

The front steering wheel did not work well on the simulated no-mans-land test track. But it was fun to get that rusty, paint worn off look.

The LifeColor Dust and Rust paints applied in layers worked really well for the wheels.

I am anxiously awaiting the next unusual WW1 / Interwar subject from Vargas Scale Models.




That’s really hot! It’s very H.G. Wells “Landships”.


Beautifully done Rick. Your rust effects is excellent.

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Love the subject matter, the build and finish are excellent !


Thanks guys. These kits are a lot of fun. The LifeColor Rust set is really excellent. They are more like liquid pigments than paint. It is the first time I’ve actually had things look like rusted metal vs. rust colored paint.


That thing is too cool! I’ll look into Vargas Scale Models.

Your rusting looks amazing.

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Fascinating, really great build Rick.

Can obviously see why the prototype got stuck though.

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Thanks Fred. Vargas specializes in unique and interesting subjects. He only sells on eBay. Here is the link to his store front.

That LifeColor rust & dust set is amazing. It is fast and easy and yields great results.


You have a real knack for capturing the look of these forgotten oddities! This is another very finely finished piece- the weathering is awesome- the rivets are picked out just right and the color is nicely streaked down the vertical sides. Great rust work too- a very authentic finish.

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Hi Rick, I concur about LifeColors and their Rest Wizard. I’ve used and reviewed several of their sets in the more I use them, the more I like them.

Thanks Karl!