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Mike

M47/G Patton Medium Tank 1:35

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M47/G Patton

1:35 Takom via Pocketbond

 

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Despite his insistence that the US Forces didn't require a heavier tank toward the close of WWII, which resulted in the delay of the capable Pershing tank, so that it barely made any difference the final few months of the war, the US Army seem fond of naming tanks after this flamboyant General.  Of the four, the M47 was the second, and was a development of the earlier M46, which was always to be an interim solution whilst they waited for the ill-fated T42 medium tank.  The M47 was also supposed to be a stop-gap, but it took the M46 chassis and mated it with the turret from the T42, with a 90mm gun as the main armament.  It also had the distinction of being the last US tank to have a bow mounted machine gun in the glacis, with following designs having a coax machine gun alongside the barrel for flexibility in combat.  Over 9,000 examples were made, and its front-line lifespan was relatively short, being superseded by the M48 Patton almost as soon as production ceased, and being declared obsolete only 5 years later.

 

By the end of the 50s, the US army had sold their stock to overseas customers, and even the US Marines, who aren't so quick to throw their kit away had replaced them by that time too.  All in all, not a well-loved tank in US Service, but it served other Allied nations such as Italy and Spain in large numbers, so it wasn't a total loss.

 

 

The Kit

The juggernaut of new releases from Takom continues apace, and the Patton range of tanks seems to be one of the current subjects in hand.  The kit arrives in a standard top-opening box, and inside are seven sprues and three separate parts in mid-grey styrene, a small clear sprue, two khaki coloured track jigs, a small decal sheet and of course the instruction booklet with painting guide on the insides of the glossy cover.  Beginning construction with the M46 Patton styled underside involved adding the various suspension parts, using the track jigs to line up all the swing-arms, and creating 14 pairs of road wheels, plus two drive sprockets.  The jigs can then be used to create the track runs, which are link-and-length, by installing the idler and drive sprockets temporarily in the jig and lining up the parts of the track with small bars that ensure correct position when dry.  The whole assembly can then be lifted off once the glue is dry to install the road wheels and tracks in your preferred order of construction and painting.

 

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The upper hull is made up primarily from a single slab with moulded-in engine deck louvers and the sleek cast glacis plate, which has subtle casting texture to its surface.  The bow-mounted gun, lifting eyes and towing shackles are added along with the D-shaped front hatches and their periscope, finished off with the light clusters and their protective framing.  Shackles, vents, towing eyes and tow-ropes are added to the rea, and then the two fenders are built up away from the hull, with stowage, pioneer tools, exhaust boxes with shrouds added to both before being attached into long slots with matching tabs in the now complete hull.

 

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The turret also has the casting texture moulded-in, which will need a little fettling around the top-bottom join, paying careful attention to your references so that you don't make it too neat and tidy.  In fact, it could do with a little sharpening at the bottom edge, with an almost vertical torch-cut pattern where the area has been "tidied" up, and I use that term very loosely.  The casting details are nicely embossed on the bustle, and should escape any damage if you are careful when cleaning up/texturing the joint.  A functional pivot for the gun is fitted inside the lower half before closure, and if left unglued will enable the gun to be posed after completion, although there is no damping in the shape of poly-caps, so it might need gluing later to prevent droop.  A big trapezoid stowage box is added to the rear with spare fuel cans strapped to the sides, and the commander's cupola with clear vision blocks and periscope is dropped into the hole in the turret top, next to the simple loader's hatch, with an M2 derivative machine gun on a simple pintle-mount next to his hatch.  Two barrels for the main gun are supplied, depending on whether you will be fitting the canvas mantlet cover or not.  Without it, the barrel is a single moulding, with a choice of muzzle types, while with the styrene cover the barrel is split vertically but uses the same muzzle brakes.  If you are fitting the cover however, you will need to remove the little catches that are attached to the front of the turret, as these are moulded to the cover.  Grab handles and tie-down points are fitted to the sides of the turret, plus smoke dischargers, and then it's just a case of twisting the turret into its bayonet fitting, and you're finished.

 

 

Markings

There are six marking options from the box, and the profiles have been done in conjunction with Mig Jiménez's company AMMO, so the colour codes are theirs, although you also get the colour names, so conversion to your favourite brand will be relatively easy should you need to.  Given the more widespread use of the vehicle by foreign powers, there is only one US option, with the rest being from various countries as follows:

 

  • M47 Early production Detroit Tank Arsenal, USA 1951 – all over green.
  • M47 G, Western Germany, 1960s – all over green with post-war German cross.
  • M47 Pakistan Army Battle of Assal Uttar Sep 10th 1965 Indo-Pakistan war – Green with wavy brown camo.
  • M47 South Koeran Army, 1980s – Green/sand/white/black camo.
  • M47 Jordanian army 6 days war, 1967 – sand with wavy green camo.
  • M47 Croatian Army Bosnia Herzegovina – green with red-brown and sand yellow camo.

 

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The decal sheet is printed anonymously, but is of high quality so could be by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

 

Conclusion

Not everyone likes link-and-length tracks, but otherwise this should appeal to many modellers, with plenty of relatively unusual schemes to choose from.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of

logo.gifUK Distributors for logo.gif

 

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Many thanks, Mike, I was waiting for this one.

I  hope you'll be able to review the second box, too.

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It all depends on whether a sample arrives, so we're at the whim of our suppliers :)

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I just hope they're reading this.

Also, do not forget the two AML.

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