TAMIYA M26 Pershing
The kit represents an early M26, fitted with the original single pin connector tracks T81. Actually it is a T26E3.
As with all modern TAMIYA
kits it is a pleasure to assemble. You start with the lower hull assembly and step on the speciality of this kit: it has a working suspension, the first and last suspension arms are held by a clamp device that has
to be screwed in place. This way the track is always tensioned. A nice gimmick.
The price to pay is a little less detail but in places you do not see if you do not search for it, so this is not a problem at all.
The first amendment I made was the addition of casting marks on the final drive housing of the sprockets. I sheared a couple of numbers off a sprue and
glued them in place. The whole running gear goes together very nicely and well. No more additions or amendments were made.
The next step is the upper hull assembly and naturally there are a few things one can
add: I thought it might be a good idea to have handles added to the stowage boxes on the fenders. I cut off the moulded parts and replaced them with the same from a scavenged DRAGON kit. This is usually the most
expensive way, but I had that kit readily available as I got it for cheap and partly assembled form ebay â€¦ If you are less lucky you can buy a couple of those as resin parts from Tiger Models.
amendments were a set of closures added to the hull hatches. These are used to hold the hatches in open position. TAMIYA has not moulded them. After I had the stowage boxes added I used plastic strip to build the
racks for the additional ammunition boxes on the fenders.
As I was under the impression that the infantry telephone box of the DRAGON kit is a little better than the TAMIYA part I used that instead of TAMIYAâ€™s
parts. At this stage I also added the rear fendersâ€™ turnbuckles made from plastic strip as the DRAGON parts are too fragile to handle and will break upon removal inevitably.
The final step is the
construction of the turret. I decided not to attach any canvas cover to the mantlet, as I wanted to show the attachments. These were made of plastic rods and cable glued to the mantlet and turret. Another major
addition was the casting marks I added to the mantlet in the same way as I did that on the final drive housings. This is a rather prominent omission by TAMIYA and I can only suggest you do the same. It is far easier
that one might think. The hatches were detailed with the addition of handles made from wire. The commandersâ€™ hatch also received an additional handle ring on the inside. The welded-on holds (parts Nos. H4 and H25)
needed to be drilled through. I did replace the antenna base F2 for the DRAGON part, as this is common for Korean War Pershings. The sight F1 was drilled open, too. The tools B1 were detailed. The spare tracks also
received a little detail as they were fixed by bolts to the turret.
Finally I replaced the cal .50 with a better-detailed version I had left over from another kit.
I placed the kit on a small dio to show
off the suspension and added a soldier from DRAGONâ€™s Korean War marines.
A couple of accessory parts were added from the TAMIYA Sherman 105mm kit and spread loosely onto the kit.
After I had the base paint
and decals applied I sprayed a layer of matt clear and added numerous washes in black, dark and light brown.
As I already said the kit was a real pleasure to build and is flawed only by the handles, TAMIYA still
does not mould those separately.
SQUADRON/ SIGNAL PUBLICATIONS: Pershing/ Patton in action ISBN 0-89747-442-2
SCHIFFER MILITARY HISTORY: The M26 Pershing and variants ISBN 0-780764-315442
OSPREY, NEW VANGUARD: M26/ M46 Pershing tank ISBN 1-84176-202-4