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1/35 Takom T29E3 "What If"

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This is Takom's new kit, the T29E3. An American heavy tank that saw it's design begin in 1944 but a prototype wasn't completed until 1947. An evolution of the M26 Pershing, by the time the prototypes were built it was decided that the need had passed for such a heavy vehicle. As such, only a handful of vehicles were ever built.


The T29E3 is also a popular machine in the online game "World of Tanks". Since I acquired a T29 of my own it quickly became a favorite and I've hardly played any other tank since. And when I discovered that Takom had a kit of this beast I knew I had to build my tank from the game.


Here's a shot of my vehicle wearing the "summer" camouflage in World of Tanks. I plan on building my machine to closely replicate this image. The two stars on the barrel represent "marks of excellence" which are obtained by dealing statistically high amounts of damage in a game.

32871582012_368aae2097_c.jpgIMG_8103 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


I don't plan on this being a step by step blog of building the T29. More a record of simply where I am at with the build. So this is how far I've gotten after about a week of on and off building. There are some differences between the Takom model (which looks quite accurate) compared to the model in the game. My vehicle will likely blend details from the two together.

32181891924_e1bcba293d_b.jpg20170220-MJS_9747 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


The road wheels and drive wheels have been built and cleaned up. I used a sharp x-acto knife and a coarse file to add some character to the rubber tires.

32985544796_074e4ca89f_b.jpg20170220-MJS_9758 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


In the game the tank is famous for having an extremely heavily armoured turret front and gun mantlet. In a hull down position with enemies ahead, she is a fearsome enemy! I wanted to help demonstrate that by modelling the affects of several armour piercing rounds that had hit but failed to penetrate the turret front.

32985557296_a8040abb3d_b.jpg20170220-MJS_9756 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


I noticed on real tanks you could sometimes make out what appear to be rifling marks caused when a shell managed to ricochet. I replicated this using the tip of a hobby knife and various sharp dremel bits.

32871533512_a4b1d2550f_b.jpg20170220-MJS_9754 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


To help determine how large the shell impacts should be I'm using some Tiger II shells as reference. I think I'm going to enlarge a couple of my shell impacts as they are starting to look a little under scale. Of course, in World of Tanks you meet a huge variety of vehicles in combat so I don't need to be super precise. I don't have to worry too much about historical accuracy!

33027095465_74ef8d67bc_b.jpg20170220-MJS_9761 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


The kit comes molded with a nice cast texture on certain parts. But it's a little too smooth for my taste so Mr Surfacer 1000 was stippled on with a brush. Tamiya epoxy putty  was used to help build up the shape of the shell impacts.The shell impacts still need plenty of work.

32871513272_bb9a67acb5_b.jpg20170220-MJS_9757 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Vehicles in WoT don't carry much stowage. But for the purposes of the game you can equip your tank with different types of "consumables". These can range from medical kits to treat injured crew. Repair kits to fix a damaged gun. And for American tanks you can even equip a "case of cola" to improve the performance of your entire crew for one battle.

32871579152_07d6df4aaa_m.jpgIMG_8236 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


I thought it would be funny to have some Wot consumables as stowage on my tank. I don't use the case of cola myself but I just couldn't resist adding it. I'm terrible at scratch building and have almost zero experience. But I think I've managed to make something that will resemble close enough to the item in the game.

32985530806_16cc0a4376_b.jpg20170220-MJS_9764 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


So that's where I am at so far. It's very early days and there is a ton of work still to do. I will post again once I've made some more progress.


Cheers and thanks for looking!





Edited by M_Sinclair

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Great start Matt. I've been waiting to see a build of one of these. It'll look great in that WoT camo scheme.


Really nice work on that cola box too. Looks excellent.



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Fantastic looking start , I love your texturing already . Personally I think your shell impacts look very nice as is .

 I really like the Cola idea too .

A great looking beast and a superb build so far , I just know its going to turn out AMAZING !


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Thanks everyone!


Just a small update today.


Got a few goodies in the mail. I love having at least one figure with my armour models. And I chose this lovely fellow from Alpine to represent my tank commander. In the game my commander is (presently) Tech Sgt Eric Parks. I think this is the head I will use.


32254454114_58cb14729c_b.jpg20170224-MJS_9770 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Alpine always supplies a second head which is a great treat. It's cool how there's even a bit of his hair sticking ot from under the helmet.

32717610600_5e29abb25f_b.jpg20170224-MJS_9773 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


In World of Tanks when you get certain achievements you are awarded medals. For instance I'm proud of having earned one "Radley-Walters" in my Sherman Firefly when I got eight kills in one game. The in game medals are modeled after German medals from WWII. And it just so happens I have some photo etched medals left over from an old Dragon figure set. I plan on adding one to my cmdr as another nod to the game. Oh the rivet counters are gonna LOVE me LoL!

32972894781_67ae3365e1_b.jpg20170224-MJS_9774 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Being a Tech Sgt, my figure will need some chevrons. Three up, two down. And Alliance decals come to my rescue! This decal sheet is amazing. And thorough!

32254462764_9639e8f147_b.jpg20170224-MJS_9765 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


The quality of the decals is as good as they can be right now.

33058144676_d2a5b43487_b.jpg20170224-MJS_9767 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Back the tank itself. One distinctive feature on the turret is the very rough texture just above the turret ring. I had tried to replicate the torch marks (I think that's what they are?) using a knife. Then a coarse file. Didn't look quite right. I threw a coarse sanding drum onto the Dremel and gently move it across where I saw the rough texture in reference photos. I think it came out pretty well.

33058130826_e258852384_b.jpg20170224-MJS_9775 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


I had managed to slightly damage the two co axial .50cal machine guns. So I replaced them both with extremely fine brass tube.

32717588270_0888f9267e_b.jpg20170224-MJS_9777 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


I also hated how the mantlet welds came out in the above picture. So I scraped them off and tried again. Not great but matches better with the opposite side. Yay, symmetry!

32254423544_40165ecaf5_b.jpg20170224-MJS_9783 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


In the above picture is also re sculpted the ricochet on the mantlet top. Looks a little better to me now.


I've sculpted the front two shell impacts four times now. The tricky part is that while some material does get pushed out by the AP shell, in scale that ridge of steel that's created is still quite subtle. And getting it right took time. Still needs some tweaking, but it's close.

32254418454_bdf5af3342_b.jpg20170224-MJS_9785 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


It may not look any different to you guys in photos, but in person it is ever so fractionally better. And no longer driving me nuts.



There was also a seam around the turret front. I shaved off the mantlet dust cover mounting points. Seam was filled, sanded. Turret was given more Mr Surfacer to restore the cast texture. I do plan on making new dust cover tie down points later.

32717568630_a7a36f7bac_b.jpg20170224-MJS_9786 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


So yeah. Just little changes so far. Airbrush needs a thorough cleaning after sitting idle for over half a year. More to come!








Edited by M_Sinclair

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Nice to see you having so much fun where gaming and building meet. I wouldn't worry too much about the gentlemen who are intimate with rivets B)

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Thanks again guys!


It's been a hectic and fun weekend but I managed to find a few hours at the bench today.


I decided to focus on the turret. Adding the hatch and other details. I finished off the turret "ears". Looking like a proper T29E3 now!

32327811603_259da5d4de_b.jpg20170226-MJS_9797 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


The inside of the Commanders cupola was painted Tamiya clear green so the vision blocks have a little colour. No idea if it's accurate but that's how they look in the game.

32986812922_09d76a89ea_b.jpg20170226-MJS_9793 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


I have the hatch positioned where it is for two reasons. One, there is no detail provided for the interior of the hatch so I did not want it fully open. I may look at reference for an M26 and add a few details to help finish it off. And two, the figure I selected is only a half figure and with the hatch fully open that too becomes apparent quite quickly. I may try to add some length to his legs using epoxy. Or maybe I'll have him wrapped up in a blanket for warmth and use that to help fill him out. Still tossing around different options.

32760603420_03173ffca7_b.jpg20170226-MJS_9798 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


And finally, I have a new helper at the work bench. Picked up this Totoro at a local anime convention the other day and he's perfect for holding my tweezers and x-acto.

32327797473_7b295887b0_b.jpg20170226-MJS_9801 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


That's all for now. Be back soon with more.




Edited by M_Sinclair

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Thanks guys. Heh, yeah the beast is looking rather, soft?


So no update as originally planned. Instead a lesson and friendly reminder. TAKE YOUR TIME! You'd think I'd bloody well know by now. 


Painted the case of cola in a base of Tamiya flat red. Let that sit over night. Next was a couple quick coats of Gunze clear red to get the correct shade and prep the surface for decals. All was well and I was excited to be getting close to finishing off my first real (albeit tiny) scratch project. Next step was to apply the decals for the word "Cola". Only instead of letting the paint dry over night I only waited an hour or so because gloss acrylics dry pretty quick right? ... Right? Well, not that fast. 


Sooo yeah. Decals were applied but they stuck immediately to the still tacky surface and all attempts at positioning and then removing failed. Decals ruined. Paint has been stripped. Not a big deal but the new problem I gave myself is trying to source a new "Cola" decal. 


At least I have till middle of April to get this thing done. 


I should have a proper update soon.






Edited by M_Sinclair

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Hello again. Work has been slow but steady and hasn't really warranted an update till today. (And now that I've got some colour on the model it's easier to tweak the white balance).

33169117661_4e015d46e3_b.jpg20170306-MJS_9804 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Road wheels were painted a dark grey for the rubber. Then a couple shades of olive drab were sprayed on using a circle stencil as a template.

32914377000_46ee5bd1df_b.jpg20170306-MJS_9808 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


32914374140_184438cf43_b.jpg20170306-MJS_9813 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


I've also been adding welds to various details on the turret. Sprue was used for smaller welds. Tamiya epoxy putty was used for the more heavy duty welds. I've also added some detailing to the stowage rack on the turret side. References showed a lip along the top edge that was missed in the kit. I also added two tie down points and several welded joints.


32914358010_261649c230_b.jpg20170306-MJS_9817 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


33297254525_b416c5bb82_b.jpg20170306-MJS_9815 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


The case of Cola was stripped of paint after I mucked up the decals.Tamiya flat red is once again sprayed on as a base coat. Tomorrow I'll apply a layer of Gunze clear red to get the colour just right and prepare it for decals... which I no longer have. And am having one helluva time trying to find a suitable replacement.

32914344450_fa9982b133_b.jpg20170306-MJS_9820 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


I think the next step is to tackle the tracks. Once those are on I can add the fenders, mask off the running gear then start the really fun bit. Painting that zig zag camo!



Edited by M_Sinclair

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Looking good so far. Those welds sure add some character to the turret.


That camo scheme is going to be lots and lots of fun.  Good luck.


Take care,



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Thanks again guys.


More progress!

33410499825_aa11cea3f4_b.jpg20170312-MJS_9822 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Tracks assembled, painted. Not glued on just yet though. I've also added more dimension to the wheels. A highlight shade of OD was added to the rims and bolts. And the rubber on the road wheels got a base highlight and shadow layer.

33282446181_0639e63da5_b.jpg20170312-MJS_9824 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Overall I'd say the kit supplied tracks are well detailed. They certainly do the job. And they better because you're out of luck for any after market replacements. Yes, you can get Pershing track, but they lack the extended track end connectors/duckbills. There's only one real issue with the Takom track. And it gave me a bit of a headache yesterday. The link and length track sections and links fit well enough together. But, there is nothing to help you get the right amount of space between each link. You could have the links pressed right against each other or have them a couple millimeters apart. And over the course of an entire run of track that makes a significant difference. Despite my best efforts I had a large gap on each run of track. Each side received one extra link, both were were sanded a fair bit to make them fit the voids. I wish there was something to help the links snap together or help the modeller ensure a correct and consistent fit. But so far that's the biggest gripe. This is why I assembled the bottom run of track first as the fenders up top can hide any "crimes" if absolutely necessary.


Can you spot the extra link in this run of track? This side wasn't so bad.

33410493705_e63dd562de_b.jpg20170312-MJS_9830 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


The extra link is more obvious on this side. Just have a look at where the duckbills are practically touching each other.

33255010462_f105c83d67_b.jpg20170312-MJS_9831 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


And here you can see how I decided to separate the track into three sections for ease of assembly after painting. So far about six layers of paint have gone onto the tracks.

32567882244_ba381e554e_b.jpg20170312-MJS_9833 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


I'm really having fun with this one so far. Hey it's starting to look like something!

33410483455_0eef7c272d_b.jpg20170312-MJS_9832 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Next up, fenders. The computer model in World of Tanks has some nice fender damage so I'll try to replicate some of that. There's even a missing bolt above the rubber side skirts.

32568349744_765389d945_b.jpgIMG_8762 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


33410475165_6a7c84da1c_b.jpg20170312-MJS_9835 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Thanks for watching!




Edited by M_Sinclair

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Hello Matt,


very nice job with the tracks ... the extra links are not obvious, even if visible when you're really looking for them !


At the end, they don't detract at all from the overall appearance that is promising... I'm waiting to see the next steps.



Edited by Etienne

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I'd say that the extra links are not a problem. Once the track guards go on, who will know? Pity they couldn't have gone in the lower section.



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Thanks all! Back again with a little more progress.


Tracks are now glued on and the fenders are attached.

32606336214_998e762ee0_b.jpg20170314-MJS_9839 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


The drive sprockets received a little paint chipping using some dark grey paint.

32606328964_4123229019_b.jpg20170314-MJS_9843 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


In the game you can see a fair bit of detail when you get up close.

32568354074_0af8b898a4_b.jpgIMG_8761 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


33028212230_cae8952455_b.jpgIMG_8753 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Trying to replicate some of the damage and wear. The plastic fenders were thinned quite a bit so I could add some dings and dents. I've also played a little with the rubber side skirts. They are perfectly flat in the kit so I wanted to add some interest to that area.

33449341045_d43620f96a_b.jpg20170314-MJS_9848 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


The large dent on the front fender is a distinctive detail of the tank in game.

32635212203_c3713e977b_b.jpg20170314-MJS_9838 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Almost time to throw some primer on the hull and turret.

33408923326_90ca761b27_b.jpg20170314-MJS_9837 by _m_sinclair, on Flickr


Thanks for watching.



Edited by M_Sinclair

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