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Andreas' Armour Pages


The M48 Patton entered US service in 1953 without being thoroughly tested and tried. This resulted in a number of faults on the first production vehicles leaving them sitting in factory storage yards for repair and rectification. The CMD kit depicts such a very early vehicle. Obvious differences to later versions are the rear turret railing and the early CWS with exposed .50cal. The CMD kit comes with parts for a later version, too. These include the track tensioning idler and a drivers hatch for mid production M48’s.

I started the assembly as per TAMIYA instructions. Several holes and slots in the hull will have to be filled with putty, the same goes for the back of the suspension arms. I cut the bumpers of the suspension arms (Parts # A2, A4 and A7) and cemented these directly to the hull.From Step four onwards the CMD parts will be used. I started with fitting the upper hull to the lower hull. Next was the assembly of all accessory parts to it. The CMD PE parts fit nicely and are a real pleasure to build. I left the tools and the spare tracks until after the paint job. My kit was lacking the muffler part #R34, however this can be scratch build rather easily.
The assembly and fitting of the rear lower hull is the most difficult part. The resin parts are very fragile and tend to fall off the kit as soon as they come under strain from the towing cable. Eventually I had to use metal clamps to fix the cable to the rear hull plate. The cable itself is not part of the kit and I used wiring from AA that I had left over from another project.
While all those parts needed time to dry I assembled the CWS. The CMD parts are of astonishing quality. Few injection moulds can do better. The PE parts PE9 need a little sanding down however.
The turret construction was next. The railing on the turret rear, where later version would be fitted with the basket, is the most difficult part. You will have to handle delicate PE parts (PE 11 and PE 18) and make sure that they are able to hold the strain of the railings you will have to make from either plastic tubing or, as I did, use copper wire.
The 90mm barrel is a turned aluminium part and fits very well to the resin muzzle brake and turret. I did replace the turret part R9 by a metal piece I did from the PE parts remainder. At the same time I made a latch for the loaders’ hatch from the same PE left-overs.
After I glued the side railings (check the fit closely) to the turret I attached the CWS to the turret. The .50cal came from the TAMIYA kit with a little rework. The spare Jerry Cans R19 and R20 were attached to the turret by small sections of wire drilled into the turret.
With the major parts of the assembly done I decided to fit the excellent AFV-Club tracks to my kit. If you follow the instructions these go together very nicely and add a lot to any Patton.
Before fitting the tracks I did the paint job. I used TAMIYA colour. The roadwheels and return rollers are sprayed while on the sprue and assembled and details painted only afterwards.
Finally the sparse markings were applied and washes and shadings concluded the assembly of this really excellent kit.

Osprey - New Vanguard – The M47 and M48 Patton Tanks ISBN 1-85532-825-9

Copyright © 2000 by Andreas Hüger. All rights reserved. Reproduction without written consent is not permitted.