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Andreas' Armour Pages

ACADEMY M48A5

One of the latest additions to the Patton line of models is ACADEMY’s M48A5. It can be build in two versions : R.O.K. an U.S.. The kit’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.
The 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 isn’t that simple!
After these “ridges” are cut off you are left with a rather strange looking fender. The reason is quite simple : the tank has cornered “rails” 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 headlight’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 cuppola’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!
A problem 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.
Another thing 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 don’t have this on hand and don’t want to use AEF-Club’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 70’s and 80’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 TAMIYA’s tankers and U.S.Infantry kits.

Sources :
THE INTERNET
Steven J.Zaloga Jim Laurier - New Vanguard Patton Tanks
ISBN 1-85532-825-9

 

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