One of the latest additions to the Patton line of models is ACADEMYâ€™s M48A5. It can be build in two versions : R.O.K. an U.S.. The
kitâ€™s box if cramped with parts of both versions an A LOT of accessories. I could hardly decide which version to build first.
Finally I have decided to build the more common sight, the U.S. M48A5.
hull can be assembled straight from the box, simply follow the instructions upto step 4. The first and only major problem arises in step 5. If you decide, like me, to build the U.S. version and not to attach the
side skirts, the instructions tell you to simply cut of the ridges used as guide for these.
It isnâ€™t that simple!
After these â€śridgesâ€ť are cut off you are left with a rather strange looking fender. The
reason is quite simple : the tank has cornered â€śrailsâ€ť affixed to the fenders. These will have to be rebuild by yourself. I used L-shaped metal railings and superglue to attach them to the fenders. Be careful:
the fenders are bend at both ends and the railings have to be cut out in a V-shape at the elbows of these corners to fit. Take your time as this easily ends up with the railings being to short or too long. Both
looks equally bad.
After this little excursion the hull can be build straight from the box, too. The headlightâ€™s guards will have to be thinned a bit but this is only a minor flaw and could be expected. The
instructions indicate rather clearly where to do what to complete the version you seek to assemble, simply follow these instructions.
Same goes for the turret. I did not attach the smoke grenade launchers but
only the base plate and added sprue to simulate the attachments.I did not attach part E7 as I could not locate it on any photo available to me. The searchlight received a cover as I did not want to to add the glass
panel necessary otherwise. When assembling the Urdan cuppolaâ€™s mount for the M60 you have to turn around parts nos. C47. They must point away from the commander, not as indicated in the instructions!
will arise when you are trying to attach the tow cables E1, they break quite easily and you will have to be VERY careful to avoid this. I used hot water and bend the parts only very very carefully.
I changed is the tracks. The kit has the old V-shaped ones included. O.K. for the R.O.K. versions and seen sometimes on old U.S. M48A5, too. More common is however new track with octagonal track pads. I used these
from another project (ACADEMY M60 A1) and exchanged these. If you donâ€™t have this on hand and donâ€™t want to use AEF-Clubâ€™s tracks you still can use those in the kit. The M48A5 of the U.S. Army are old warriors
reworked and the appear in about every possible version you can think of, some even with the old M1 cuppola!
I have coloured the kit in a scheme close to the MERDC scheme used in the 70â€™s and 80â€™s by the
U.S.Army. Finally, after several washes with thinned black the tank received an earth brown wash to blend into the terrain of the diorama. The soldiers are all of TAMIYAâ€™s tankers and U.S.Infantry kits.
Steven J.Zaloga Jim Laurier - New Vanguard Patton Tanks