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Found 60 results

  1. My entry for this GB will be AFV Club's M10 Tank destroyer. Unlikely to start for a couple of weeks, need to finish my entry in the F-104 STGB first.
  2. AFV-Club ( http://en.hobbyfan.com.tw/index-1.asp ) has just announced 1/48th F-CK-1A & B Ching-Kuo kits. If they do a similar job as they did with the Northrop F-5E/F Tiger, it will be a great kit (http://www.hyperscale.com/2010/reviews/kits/afvclubar48102reviewcs_1.htm). Source: http://scalemodels.ru/news/6236-anons-ot-AFV-Club--1-48-F-CK-1-Ching-Kuo.html V.P.
  3. Afternoon all Sitting here looking at the rain. My set of projects all on hold due to many supply and painting issue's (also l can't face the Sturer Emil at the moment....., it's gonna be a long one) So, I decided to have a time filler in between while waiting. Picked this up when I lived in the States in 2003. Never got round to moving further than a few parts on the chassis. I bought it to see what AFV Club was like. It's not Tamiya, but nice so far. Not a crisp detail on the small parts, and a little error ridden in the instruction sheet. But nothing that can't be over come. Doing research on the web, and not too many images for reference. I'll keep looking, as it's nice to have something to work towards. I have the AFV Club PE set for it, and at the time the Friulmodel tracks for a Hanomag 250 which this one is based on. A cheap version at wars end. Not sure if I will use these Friuls. I might make use of the tracks that came with it and see if I can get track sag without. Have to see. Anyway, have a good afternoon all. Regards Simon.
  4. A new 1/144th Chance Vought F4U Corsair kit is announced by AFV Club - ref AR14406 Source: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1512888545423326.1073741955.236926266352900&type=3 Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=233&v=8BQ8UD2e5qA V.P.
  5. AFV Club is to release a 1/144th Sikorky SH-3A Sea King kit - ref. AR14405 Source: https://www.facebook.com/AFVCLUB.TW/photos/a.1512888545423326.1073741955.236926266352900/1512888992089948/?type=3&theater V.P.
  6. As follow up to its Northrop (R)F-5E/F Tiger family, AFV Club is to release a Iranian 1/48th HESA F-5E Saeqeh-80 kit - ref. AR48111 Source: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1512888545423326.1073741955.236926266352900&type=3 V.P.
  7. Homebee

    AFV Club new items 2018

    For the aircraft part, nothing more than what was previously announced: two-seats F-CK-1D Ching Kuo (link) & Hesa Saeqeh-80 (link). Source: https://www.facebook.com/AFVCLUB.TW/photos/a.237327066312820.56570.236926266352900/1628070587238454/?type=3&theater V.P.
  8. Churchill 3" Gun Tank with Snake Launcher (DH96006) 1:35 Ding-Hao Hobby The Churchill tank was named after Winnie, who once he realised it wasn't a particularly good tank, wasn’t very pleased with his namesake. It was a cruiser class tank intended to replace the Matilda, and was designed with the last war in mind, as were many of the British early war designs, so was under-armed and under-armoured. Many changes and variants later it was still having problems, and its terrible performance during the ill-fated and poorly prepared Dieppe landings sealed its reputation as a poor design. The post D-Day variants were at least capable of penetrating enemy armour, but as with the Sherman, it struggled with the more heavily armoured Tiger and Panther tanks unless it was at close range. A variant of the chassis was used to create a gun carriage, with a 3" howitzer ball-mounted horizontally in a casemate and protected by thicker armour. Because of the Sherman Fireflies with their superior gun however, they didn't see action, and some were converted to carry the experimental Snake mine-clearing system, which was a development of the Bangalore Torpedo, and fired a line of rockets across the battlefield, detonating the charges within to clear a path for tanks and troops to advance. Sixteen Snake tubes were carried on each sponson over the tracks and extending their full length. The 3" gun was removed and replaced with a blanking plate to reduce the all-up weight and prevent draughts. It wasn't deployed on the battlefield, although its successor Conger did see some deployment, encountering problems with premature detonation, possibly due to the vulnerability of the explosives in such an exposed position. The Kit Ding-Hao are the specialist arm of well-known model company AFV Club, and this is a retooling of their Churchill kit that was released early this decade, with additional sprues added to create the casemate and rocket tubes. It arrives in a brown cardboard box with black overprinting that gives a little background to the company name, and what its aims are, describing the kit as "Collector Grade". The kit specific details are found on a wrap-around cover that shows printed pictures of a complete model, plus the bonus resin figure that is in the box. The box has a captive lid that hinges back, revealing quite a lot of plastic in the box. The Churchill base kit parts are all double-bagged along with the resin figure, and the variant specific parts are separate in their own bags, so there's going to be a lot of crinkly bags to dispose of once you unwrap the kit. There are seventeen sprues in olive green styrene, a clear sprue, two rubbery tracks, four small frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a length of cord, twenty two short springs used in the suspension, a small decal sheet and of course the instruction booklet. The bonus figure is made from cream resin and is supplied in four parts, which fit together very snugly. Construction begins predictably with the suspension and road wheels, utilising all those real springs to give the suspension functionality. It is a little complicated, so take care and follow the instructions, testing the fit as you go. There are a lot of parts, and the working suspension adds another layer of complexity, as well as increasing the part count. The drive sprockets and idler wheels are added at the ends of the sponsons along with access doors and additional parts, after which the two assemblies are joined by attaching the hull floor and lower section of the rear bulkhead. The bulkhead is then decked out with towing hitches, light clusters and radiator parts, with the aft section of the engine deck added on top in two parts after they are detailed with hatches and grab rails. The glacis consists of a thick front plate, and a sloped plate onto which the headlamps are glued, then fire extinguishers, exhausts and their armoured shrouds are attached, then the fenders are installed on the tops of the sponsons after adding the flexible plastic/rubbery tracks, which show a surprisingly good level of detail for their type and moulding era. You can of course replace them with the usual white-metal tracks to get the correct faceted look and weathering opportunities, but that's your choice! Engine intake boxes are fabricated from styrene and PE, then applied to the slots on the sponson sides, with styrene mudguards front and rear that have PE accessories added for scale fidelity. It seems a little out-of-sequence at this stage, but the rear panel that forms the back of the Snake boxes as attached by two faux-bolts to the towing eyes, gluing only the bolts at this stage. Tiny PE firing harnesses are added to the rear of each of the firing pins, with a photo showing how they should be arranged once complete. A quartet of British style jerry cans are attached to the rear fenders, and attention then turns to the casemate. The crew compartment is made up from flat armour just like the real thing, and has a PE blanking plate for the gun mount on the thick mantlet, which glues in from behind. Hatches, commander's cupola and vents are also added before it is dropped into the long hole in the hull, and this is where you find out whether you've managed to build the assembly square or not. It might be best to test this before the glue is dry however, when it will be a lot easier to check. Large F-shaped brackets are fitted to the sponsons, which support the snake tubes, each of which is built from four sides and a separate front, which has the hollow muzzle and a representation of the rockets moulded-in. They slide in through the brackets and butt up against the rear plate attached earlier, with a number of locating pegs ensuring a good fit. Towing cables are made up from some of the supplied cord glued onto the plastic eyes, and an aerial is stretched out from sprue, and that's the kit done. The figure that is supplied is in cream resin as mentioned earlier, and has separate arms and head, with a single part providing the torso and legs. The detail is excellent and the casting is crisp with sensibly placed pouring blocks, which shows up the detail of the tanker's winter coveralls with integrated hood to great effect. The chap is relaxing with a hot cuppa while leaning against his tank, with a very natural pose, which is accentuated by the incredible fit of the parts. When you offer the arms up to the torso, there is along pin that fits into a corresponding hole, and once you have the correct position, the join between the two parts almost disappears. The head is similarly well done, although to me his neck could do with extending by a fraction, as when it is hard down into the socket he looks a bit lacking in the neck department. A small blob of Milliput in the socket would make that an easy correction, and any excess can be smoothed off with a damp blade before it cures. Markings There is only one option in the box, and for some reason you are incited to paint it Dark Earth, when almost every Churchill I've seen, including the box top photo is an olive drab(ish) colour. It's probably best to go with what you know for the main colour, but the instructions for the figure seem to be more appropriate. The decals on my review sample had merged with the protective paper, but most of it peeled away with a little effort. The rest was removed with a moist cotton bud, by rubbing gently side-to-side over the paper adhering to the decals. A few scraps remain, but these should float away when the decal is dumped in water. Conclusion An unusual variant of a fairly unsuccessful line of tanks that on initial release commanded quite a premium price that possibly scared away many potential purchaser. There should by now however be some more attractive offers available, so if you're a fan of the "funnies" or weird dead-end developments, maybe now is the time to pick one up. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  9. Evening all, was back at work today but did finally manage to get this beauty finished over my days off this week. AFV Club F-5N straight out of the box. I do have a PJ Productions pilot to drop into the pit shortly and I did have to replace the AFV Club decals with a set of Two Bobs decals, fortunately for an aircraft in the same colour scheme! A bit disappointing the the kit decals didn't play ball but the quality of the Two Bobs sheet kinda made up for it. Main finish done with Tamiya acrylics airbrushed, details done in Vallejo acrylics. Klear used before and after decalling and weathering done using with Promodeller Dark dirt wash, Tamiya smoke, pastels and silver pencil. Photo's taken outside with my trusty phone so hope the pics are up to scratch, nose pitot probe lasted less than 30 secs!! Will replace it with a section of needle I think. Hope you like! I'm in love with her Eng
  10. Good evening, Had the opportunity to flash up the airbrush today now that the kids are back to school and this weeks shifts are done! I've had this AFV Club F-5N pretty much since the kit was released but it stalled after I put the first of the colours on it. Today I've managed 2 rounds of fiddly masking and painting, oh how did I ever put up with Xtracrylix in my airbrush, Tamiya forever now! I have just managed a first coat of Klear as well before retiring for the evening. After another coat of Klear I'll be looking to decals this bad boy aggressor, but wondered if there's any issues or things to watch with AFV Club decals as I haven't used them before. I'd normally use Microset/sol or Klear, how do AFV decals react to Microset/sol? Quick pic for those interested (I have progressed the KH Su-17 as well but that's for later!) Eng
  11. After what seems like an age of no plastic modelling , I decided to go for something I wouldn't normally choose just by way of a change . I settled on something Modern-ish and something U.S. Finally after reading a lot of great things about AFV Club's M60 Patton series I couldn't wait to try one for myself . Opting for the M60A2 because I really like the look of this vehicle , even though by U.S. Military standards they were relatively short lived and a little unpopular ,they were for a short time at least ,a part of the vanguard that would help protect Europe from the "Red Tide" who would invade and overwhelm western forces should WW3 erupt . The kit itself is a really nice kit with some really neat things going on inside the box like textures a nice drivers station interior and a rear section that's all ready to accept an aftermarket engine . This will be a relatively slow build as I plan to adapt a voyager etch set made fro the M60A1 for parts of this build and also some of the textures area little over the top in places and in others either too dissimilar or non existent . I will also be doing some additional detailing along the way and finally converting the crew figures ...eventually . So here's the kit box and overflowing contents ...this is a very full box ! The Lower hull is a very nice slide moulded item , the Cast texture though is a little overboard and looks akin to pebble dashing , There's also a few large mould seam lines to deal with . My copy seems to be suffering in a little mould misalignment though , this impacts on some key areas such as the large flat areas where the plates mount to build the suspension arms onto . Lots of nice features though such as the casting/foundry marks including the "G shield" of manufacturers General Steel . To my eye these also look a little bit too sharp but they'll doubtless be fine for most . These interesting Circular marks are to be removed , they're what I hope are marks to mount Blazer armour to in a future release ? A M60 RISE and an IDF Magach 6 would be nice eh ? So I began this project by trying to calm down the heavy pebble texture with 800 grade Wet or dry paper , This actually gave a much more convincing "Cast" look and I'm quite pleased with the result . Maybe I wont need to Mr surfacer it after all ? , Next I began work on the Turret mouldings . I didn't take a photo of their "Before" state but they are almost devoid of texture completely . I think AFV Club listened to critique regarding the texture and dialled it back .. almost completely . Anyhow I started to add cast texture using a 1mm round dental burr and a very fine 0.5mm round diamond burr in my motor tool , the speed setting was slow at first and then turned up for subsequent passes . This will give me the multi layered effect of a cast surface . Finally I brushed out some solvent cement over the entire turret to help soften things out a little . Incidentally upon test fitting the turret halves I found a strange anomaly , it appears it may be mould misalignment ? but I will have to do some blending in . Need to find out the shape of the real turret . The opposite side seems to mate a lot cleaner . Lastly It was time to add some smooth marks and some linear marks to the upper turret edges to simulate areas where the raw casting was ground and finished at the foundry and also to simulate more of the layering effect of laminations to the steel . These were made with the tip of my scalpel blade and point respectively . this was then partially softened and melted with solvent cement . Throughout I have been using photos of Jacques Littlefield's M60A2 for surface effects . More soon , thanks for looking ! Jim .
  12. 1/35 AFV Club M35a1 Vietnam Gun Truck with Bravo 6 and Verlinden figures along with an awful lot of paint brush bristles. Thanks for looking Si
  13. Dear Colleagues Wanting a break from 1/72 scale aircraft for a while I fetched my 1/35 AFV club Valentine out of the attic. I added Bronco early tracks. I was inspired by a picture of troops clambering over Valentines probably in 1941. Believed to be the new establishment of Guards Armoured being shown the tanks of 17th/21st Lancers. The figure was from Passion models I think Hope you like it? Andrew
  14. After more than 10 years of entering AFV's in the competition at Telford, I finally picked up a trophy. This one got the best model of an Allied AFV of WWll from IPMS Czech Republic. It's the Academy Honey M3 with AFV Club's suspension and tracks and MB Modellbau's horseshoe turret. There are also a lot of scratch built items such as the sand shields and the large stowage box over the engine deck. AFV Club's suspension and tracks are superior to Academy's items and fitted to the Academy hull with no problems. I changed the turret for the MB Modellbau one as Academy's hexagonal version is incorrect for this tank. The figures came from various sources and have had their arms and legs repositioned and the heads placed with Hornet items. The stowage is a mixture of Resicast, Value Gear and Accurate Armour. The .303 mg is from RB Models and the decals are curtesy of Bison Decals. A very enjoyable build. Regards, John.
  15. #25/2016 After the Humber IV, my dad has finished the next in-between armour model, this time the Baby Tiger from AFV Club. The kit is as good as a Tamiya one, the vinyl tracks went on trouble-free. The only, typical for AFV Club, problem were the crappy decals but my dad managed to get them onto the model. Painted with Gunze and Tamiya acrylics. The model shows a tank of the "schwere SS Panzerabteilung 102", still in pristine condition before rolling into Normandy action.
  16. phildagreek

    M109 Doher

    My first work in progress, mainly because I never remember to take photos! So as an experiment, most of these will be taken on my Iphone and posted via Flickr with a view to kicking Photobucket into touch. This is the AFV Club M109A2 kit (as you can hopefully see) with the Black Dog conversion kit. So the obligatory box shots. Untitled by phil da greek, on Flickr Untitled by phil da greek, on Flickr So the photos worked! And not to shabby IMHO. Anyone with any experience of building the kit (or the real thing) then pitch in with any tips or photos etc. The aim is to display the gun in a firing position with it's crew doing various things. Already it's out of control. This will be long and it probably won't be pretty, but pull up a chair shipmates, I'm going in!
  17. Wonderland Models

    New AFV Club Model Kits for August 2016

    AFV Club have some new Kits and Accessories for us this month, all available to order now. For full details, please see our newsletter.
  18. Wonderland Models

    New AFV Club Model Kits for June 2016

    There is a great selection of new and re-released model kits from AFV Club due for release in June. For full details, please see our newsletter.
  19. Last night I finally finished the last of my first handful of aggressor F-5Es. It is the lovely AFV Club F-5E kit with Wolfpack ejection seat (the kit only comes with the old type of seat). Paints are mainly Xtracolor, and the decals are from the great Afterburner Decals sheet for aggressor F-5s. I have eight more AFV Club F-5E/F/Ns on the bench at the moment, so this won't be the last F-5 from me you will see here. Jens
  20. Hello chaps The model presented was a part of the F-5 group build. More on the build can be found on this link: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234991709-afv-148-f-5f-tunisian-af/ for more info and pics of the finished model, please check: http://militaryaviation148.blogspot.si/2016/01/f-5f-tiger-armee-de-lair-tunisienne.html Thanks for looking in
  21. Well I've given up trying to resist joining in on this GB and thought I would throw my hat in the ring with an AFV Club 1/48 F-5F that I will build as an aircraft operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. Iran is probably the most important operator of this classic aircraft and has used every model from the F-5A through to the F-5F and is now producing it's own upgraded versions, in fact Iran (then the Imperial Iranian Air Force) was the first country to operate the aircraft when their F-5A's were delivered in February 1965. The kit I will be using is the by now familiar AFV Club F-5F which seems to have some very good details both inside and outside the airframe. I will be building pretty much out of the box but will add a few homemade details to the seats and cockpit area. Anyway here are the ubiquitous box and contents pictures.... The kit does come with markings for an Iranian machine (and a very tempting Jordanian one!) but I will be using a set from Hi-Decal which has markings for 3 F-5E's and one F-5F all in Iranian markings. The markings are for an F which is still in use today and has a large Tigers head one on side of the tail and an Eagle on the other, I am unsure whether to use these tail markings or to build an aircraft as it would have looked during the Iran-Iraq War, here are some pictures of the decals and the option on the sheet that I will use in one way or another.... Hopefully I will be able to get some work done tomorrow and be able to post an update either then or early next week. Thanks for looking. Craig.
  22. This was my project for the Vietnam II GB over in the Group Build section. Kit: 1/35 AFV Club Extras: AFV Club track links - kindly supplied by snapper_city Pegasus Camouflage netting Academy Allied and German Tank Supplies Set II AFV Club 20Pdr. Gun Ammo Paints: Humbrol and Revell Acrylics - Humbrol Spray can for the base colour - all other paints applied by hairy sticks. This was my first proper 1/35 AFV build - I practiced first on the old Tamiya Panzer Kampfwagen II Ausf.F/G kit in the Achtung Panzer GB earlier in the year.The WIP for this build can be found here. There are quite a few photos. In Country; Some close-ups: So thats my last completion for 2015. Roll on 2016s builds! I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to this and all my other builds during the year - as Ive said before; none of them would be what they are without the advice, suggestions and support of fellow Britmodellers. Thank you. Happy New Year! Kind regards, Stix
  23. The Australian Army got involved in Vietnam from 1965 onwards but it wasn't until 1968 that they decided to make use of Centurion tanks. Once these tanks were deployed they were operated by the 1st Armoured Regiment of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps. Despite some concerns before being deployed the Centurions proved to be really good at operating in the jungles and paddy fields of Vietnam. Also, much to the surprise of some U.S. Units, the Australians found it was possible to repair even some fairly major combat damage, on the Centurion, while it was still in the field. The kit I have decided to build for this GB is AFV Club's Mk.5/1 Centurion of the RAAC. It is a rather nice kit that includes some etch, rubber tyres and a metal gun barrel. This will be my first, proper full sized 1/35 tank build, the only previous 1/35 kit I've built being Tamiya's Panzer Kampfwagen II Ausf. F/G. I won't be starting this build properly just yet as I'm trying to finish two Mk.I Spitfires for the BoB GB. Knowing me though I will probably end up starting some bits and pieces before properly getting started. The box art: The contents: ..........wow that looks like a lot of parts! I also picked up a Mantlet Cover as Centurions in Vietnam had them fitted: Over the next couple of days I'll post some closer up photos of the sprues. Kind regards, Stix
  24. Dear Friends Here is the AFV Club late M5A1 in a 'Belgian 44' scene and on its own. The crew named this one 'fish n chips' so I had to do it! Hope you like it? Andrew
  25. M60A1 Patton Main Battle Tank 1:35 AFV Club The M60 was one of a line of tanks to take the name Patton, partially because they were all related developments of the same basic principle. The M48 Patton was the basis for the M60, after the need was discovered for a larger gun that could penetrate the frontal armour of the Soviet tanks reaching the front line. The M48 was scaled up to accommodate the 105mm license built Royal Ordnance L7 gun, a re-designed turret and a fully cast hull, mounting aluminium road wheels to reduce weight in non-essential areas. It was the last US tank to use steel as its protection from penetration, and that served the crews well through its long service life. The M60A1 was the most produced version, and was an initial update with better suspension and improved armour, with a larger turret that allowed the crew a little more room. It also had a rudimentary stabilisation system fitted to the gun, although it wasn't capable of the fine control of modern systems, but did allow the gun to stay pointing in the same general direction when aimed. It was wide service during its long career that started in the 60s, both with the US and allied nations. It was sold to the Iranians before the revolution, so some of the remaining operational Pattons were pressed into service during the Iran/Iraq was in the 80s. It was finally retired after service in the First Gulf War, where the Marines used it exclusively for their part in the campaign before reluctantly dropping them in favour of the then new M1 Abrams MBT. While out of service with the US, it is still a potent tank, and is still in service with minor operators throughout the world. The Kit I always look forward to AFV Club kits, as they appeal to this modeller, and give the impression that they are passionate about what they produce. When this box landed on my cluttered desk I was keen to see inside, particularly as I had seen one in the flesh only the week before. Arriving in AFV Club's usual white themed box with a painting of an M60 on the way somewhere, the box is stuffed full of sprues, with nine in total moulded in an olive green styrene, plus the lower hull tub. There is also an M2 Machine Gun on a section of sprue, a substantial clear sprue, two rubber-band style tracks, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small bag of flexible styrene parts in olive and black, a spring, a bag of rubbery o-rings, a turned aluminium barrel, length of synthetic cord, decal sheet and of course the instructions. First inspection reveals lots of lovely casting detail on the hull and turrets, which is accompanied by raised welding-beads, casting serial numbers where appropriate, and very fine raised location point lines for parts that butt-fit to the main parts. The level of detail on the parts is excellent, with grilles, tiny welding beads between sections of parts and ultra-fine mouldings that push the limit of injection moulding technology. Once you've had a look at the sprues and perused the visual history of the different variants on the page before the instructions, it's time to start cutting parts off the sprues. The lower hull is moulded as a single part with casting texture moulded in, but as it has been done using sliding moulds, there are some small seams between the suspension mounting points, so scrape these off and make good with some stippled Mr Surfacer or your chosen texturing method. Then you can add the suspension mounts, bump-stops and the driver's lower escape hatch, followed by the torsion bars and swing-arms, plus the final-drive housings at the rear of the hull. Towing shackles, hitch and rear light-clusters are added to the rear bulkhead, and then it's time to do the running gear. There are fourteen pairs of road wheels, which are built up from two individual wheels glued together around a small O-ring as a change from poly-caps. The drive sprockets are made up from three parts, the central part of which is a complex moulding that stands well away from the rest of the parts of the hull to allow the sliding parts of the mould opportunity for movement. One of mine had come off within minutes of leaving the bag, and I found it on the workshop floor with a little crush damage, which was quickly repaired. They are the most easily knocked-off parts, and without them you'll be screwed, so keep an eye on them! The wheel sets press onto the axles for easy removal during the build, and are wrapped with the rubber-band tracks once the main parts of the upper hull has been finished, using the usual overlapping sections of track to make the joint. There are two links performing this function, and the outer halves are held on only by the centre link, which makes for a weak joint that could be damaged, leaving you with a need for replacement tracks, which Friul make marked ATL-142, with an alternative tread-pattern (lozenge shaped blocks) ATL-143. The driver's compartment is depicted in reasonably good detail in this kit, showing off his cramped space, which added to his limited ability to leave via the top hatch or through the main component, left him with the lower hatch as his primary means of escape. Not a prospect I'd relish under any circumstances. His station is complete with his controls, instruments, seat and various levers, plus vision blocks and more detail that are applied to the underside of the top deck, all of which has plenty of painting call-outs so you're not left floundering. The top deck includes the upper glacis and extends as far as the back of the turret ring, where you add the fuel filler-cap on the starboard corner, as well as the driver's vision blocks, which are made of clear styrene. The driver's top hatch is attached to the hull via a long hinge rod that flips it up toward the turret, requiring the gun to be at the rear for proper exit. The front deck is installed before the engine deck, which has a tapering arrangement of panels, surrounded by a large number of grilles to cool down the powerful Diesel powerplant. These are well-moulded, and have been split into five sections per side to preserve detail, plus another two large panels at the rear bulkhead. Separate grab-handles are added to each one when they're installed, adding to the realism over the usual moulded-in affairs. With the top deck ostensibly completed, the fenders are added, which are split in similar proportion to the deck, with curved flanges added to the rear. A bunch of stowage boxes are built up with separate handles, and are then dotted around the fenders along with some perforated stiffening brackets for good measure. The rear-mounted travel-lock can be built to move on its hinges, and the locking jaws can also be left loose for that occasional change of pose that we never get around to. Whilst at the rear, you have the choice of adding a small grille to the back of the tank, or replacing it with a cast panel and long intake extension tube that has some lovely welding beads moulded in. A pair of flexible styrene bracing "wires" can be added if you want, but these are optional. Adding the front mud-guards and light-clusters sees the hull complete. The turret starts with the gun, which has a turned metal barrel, which is inserted to a recoil mechanism that also carried the 7.62mm coax machine gun and its mount. The spring is loaded into the canister which is then closed over by a bolted lid, and the metal barrel is inserted through this to be glued onto the breech assembly. The inner mantlet/mount is made from two parts, and slides down the barrel and onto the coax MG, and is then installed within the turret body, with a short piston going between the lower breech and the turret ring to control elevation. The lower turret with moulded-in ring is then glued in place, and the either the rubberised mantlet cover and concertina sleeve or its uncovered alternative are placed over the barrel. The two-part bore evacuation system clamps around the barrel at a convenient ledge, an alternative muzzle tip is added (or not), and the turret body is then detailed with lifting eyes, clear vision blocks, stowage hooks, aerial bases and so forth. The towing cables are built up from styrene eyes and cord "cables", which are slung around the lower rear of the turret below the combined PE/styrene turret bustle stowage rack that wraps around the rear. The top of the commander's cupola is moulded in clear to for the multiple vision ports around its perimeter, and has a .50cal M85 machine gun in a mount that provides elevation, while the independent movement of the cupola provides the traverse. This allowed the commander to fire without exposing himself to incoming rounds, but the cupolas were known for their propensity to become detached when the tank was hit by a non-penetrating round, which could have serious ramifications for both the commander's health and the tank, which would be an open target into which grenades could be hurled. A large vision block is fitted to the roof of the cupola, and sighting equipment hangs down underneath it inside, with the full breech and mounting of the MG fully depicted. Careful masking of the interior and exterior will result in a rather good looking cupola. The mantlet of the commander's gun can be left uncovered or by the addition of the provided flexible styrene part it can be depicted covered. Early Cold War tanks all seemed to carry big searchlights on their guns, and the M60 was no exception, and it's a complex one. The body of the device is built from halves that fit around the back plate, plus two horizontal bars on which the mounting bracket fits. A reflector that is as large as the body fixes to the front with a black "thing" in the front, all of which is enclosed behind a clear lens. A couple of grab-rails and latches are dotted around the surface, and it is added to a bracket on the mantlet, with a long articulated rod leading back to an attachment point on the turret top. A couple of jerrycans with PE straps are added to the rear sides of the turret, and a couple of aerials are stretched from sprue, or better yet, from carbon fibre rod that you can obtain from eBay. The turret is a drop-fit to the hull, so remember to either glue it or don't turn it over to look at the underside. Markings A note of warning to begin with. As soon as you get your kit, remove the paper from the decals, as mine had already become quite fond of the decals, and tore a few times on removal, leaving fibres adhered to the decals. There are five options available from the box, and they are disparate enough to please most folks, which is always good. From the box you can build one of the following: Austrian Army – all over olive drab. IDF, Sinai Oct.1973 – All over sand yellow. US Army 3rd Battalion, 3rd Armoured Division, 1977 – Green/orange/black/off white camo. US Army 69th Armoured Regiment – Sand yellow/black/green camo. US Marine Corps – Green/khaki/black/off white camo with a white mantlet. The decals are of merchantable quality, but with fibres of the paper still clinging to the surface, they look a little older than they should. Registration is good, colour density appears so too, and sharpness is good enough. The carrier film is thin and glossy, but extends quite a way around the decals in place such as the serials and badges, which would be better cut away. Conclusion It's a rather nice kit of an important US Main Battle Tank that deserves the detail that has been lavished on it. The rubber tracks are about as good as they can get, but alternatives are available if you feel the need. The inclusion of PE and a turned barrel adds value to the package if you don't like moulded in grilles or sanding the seams of a styrene barrel (who does?), so what're you waiting for? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
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