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T-26E3 Pershing "Eagle 7" Cologne Tank Duel, Dragon 1/35


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Cologne, March 6, 1945.  A Panther has just knocked out an American Sherman tank near the train station and is idling on the crossroads in front of the Cologne Cathedral plaza looking for other victims.  On a parallel street, hidden from the Panther, Eagle 7 (30119836), a T-26E3 Pershing, by then the most advanced tank in American inventory, rumbles forward to the crossroads that will open to the right to an uninterrupted view towards where the Panther stands.  Upon sighting each other, the Panther commander gets confused by the new silhoutte of the Pershing and hesitates, but not the American gunner, who hits the panther with 3 90mm AP rounds in rapid succession, knocking it out, and thus ending what is known as the "Tank Duel of Cologne".


   The T26E3 Pershing from Dragon is the kit best fit to replicate Eagle 7, although a little bit old, still good.  Seems to include all the details for one of the Early Zebra Mission Pershings, with some minor things that need to be modified, like the rear fenders tensors which should not be there.  And I am sure that I will find out more details as I progress.



I don´t like the two halves cannon, got a metal one from ABER


And decals from Braille Strike for Eagle 7



Following instructions, I started assembling the rear part of the hull and lower hull.  Had some issues matching one of the rear lateral parts, some gaps had to be filled with putty.  There is a rectangular part that goes under the hull, does not match well, either, wonder why it is separated. 



I removed the supports for the towing cable (which is not included in the kit 😠), they resembled small bricks, will issue scratch with metal sheet later.


I guess that the issues I had with the fitting of the rear part of the hull, ended up causing a noticeable gap between the engine covers and the upper part of the hull, which I had to fill with a thin plastic stripe.





I preferred to glue the upper part of the hull before installing the suspension (instructions recommend otherwise), gluing the suspension in place was easy, although don´t expect the suspension arms to snap in place and in position, fit is more on the lose side.  Looks good at the end!



The drive sprockets are oversimplified in the kit.  They correctly represent the simple tooth configuration of the initial Pershings,


but miss the structural holes and reinforcements seen on the insides of the outer half of the sprockets (right sprocket on the picture).  I drilled open the 6 holes per sprocket and filed them to shape (left sprocket)



And then added the reinforcements using Evergreen plastic strip cut to shape.



And this is the final result, much more interesting than the featureless original part.





And this is for now, I really miss some PE on this one, especially the fenders will be a big challenge to make them look realistic for the scale.



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  • 1 month later...

There was a moment I realized that this Pershing needed some PE, specially looking at the lamps brush guards, too thick in plastic! and the only PE available is for the Tamiya kit.  I decided upon using it and issuing any adaptations as needed and let me tell you there were not many.  I will use most of the parts, except those for the interior details of the driver and machinegunner hatches, and those provided for equipment not used by Eagle 7, like that telephone box at the rear of the tank.





Eagle 7 presents some minor damage in the reference pictures, noticeable is a small caliber hole on the left fender.  I thinned the inner surface with a dremel and simply punched open the hole with a needle. 





And for the right fender, I used a combination of heat and pressure to bend it according to the reference pictures.



Replaced the plastic mudguards brackets with PE, some minor adaptations were made to the PE parts to fit properly but nothing really difficult.



Storage boxes fit perfectly.



Added the PE locking handles, they are located precisely over the holes for the original plastic handles, covering them completely, easy!



And the PE Periscopes assemblies.  It is a pity that I will not use the PE parts provided for detailing the interior of the driver/machinegunner hatches, but Eagle 7 will have those hatches closed according to references of the Cologne tank duel.



and the rear tow cable supports, pintle hook support when stored and lights.  The light on the left is bent downwards according to references.



started painting the wheels using MiG "Olive Drab Base" and Tire black.  Kit provides 1 additional set of wheels and return rollers.



Finally I tackled the link by link tracks, only annoyance is that each track has couple of ejector pin marks on the flat inner side that needs to be sanded, quite easy but boring to do that to 200+ links.


The Pershing suspension kept the tracks quite tense, no noticeable sagging anywhere, so it was easy to assemble the segments, links snap in place, not functional though, and it will be easy to glue and paint the different segments before putting then in place.




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This is looking great .... you've taken a not-so-good kit and beaten it into a really good one! 

Lots of details and a great backstory to the build too! 


Keith 😁 

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Instead of continuing with the tracks and suspension, I preferred to finish the turret.  All the plastic bits came first, and then the metal cannon and the PE parts.  The metal cannon from ABER is a beauty.  It is designed for the Tamiya kit but the gun mantle need only minor boring of a larger hole for the cannon to fit in, no issues.



Muzzle brake parts are either screwed or glued in place, needed only minor sanding for everything to fit perfectly, a big improvement over the plastic kit parts.



And as I said, adapting it to the gun  mantle is no issue at all.



Adding little by little PE bits to the turret.  It always surprises me how American tanks had the turret crew positioned exactly opposite to German Panther and Tiger crews, like a mirror.



And started working on the internal details of the loader and commander hatches, using the PE parts.



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Not to make this PE process boring, this is the final result regarding adding PE to the Pershing.  Most of the PE will not need that much of adaptation.  I appreciate the details of the hatch interiors, these are completely devoid in Dragon´s kit, and as I want to show the commander and loader´s hatches open, the detail comes in handy.



The rack on the right side of the turret was the most challenging part of all PE add-ons.  It will be under lots of canvas stuff when I finish the tank.



Some plastic parts added on the left side of the turret, including the track rack.  Notice the two brackets on the left side of the turret, one behind the cannon pivot and the other one ahead and below the pistol port, those were found in very early Pershings and were intended to support engine lifting equipment. They are provided in the kit, just need to bore a small hole through them.



The racks for the machinegun barrel and the stored machinegun were glued to the back part of the turret, will stay empty as the 0.50" will be located on the turret, under a canvas cover according to references (and the reason why I did not add detail to it).  I wonder how was the 0.50" supposed to be used, neither commander nor loader can fire forward with it, just rearwards or to the sides.  And it is located quite ahead from the rear to manage it comfortably from behind the turret.



Interior PE details for the commander and loader´s hatches are quite useful, as the Dragon kit doesn´s provide detail at all.



I issued the internal padding and periscope support with plastic sheet, hatch will be shown open when I finish my Pershing.



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Hello. I more of a lurker, than a participant, on this site. Your comment about how the 0.50 cal was used. If it is used like the Germans. They used theirs for aircraft defence when behind lines. I presume that with it being under canvas when in battle, and the position of it, it is used the same way. 

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3 hours ago, Meter rat said:

Hello. I more of a lurker, than a participant, on this site. Your comment about how the 0.50 cal was used. If it is used like the Germans. They used theirs for aircraft defence when behind lines. I presume that with it being under canvas when in battle, and the position of it, it is used the same way. 

You are right, that must have been the intended use.  Not wise exposing half of your body trying to use it in urban combat.  They used the coaxial or the hull mounted MGs for that.



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Very nice work so far.  The PE really lifts the basic kit aswell as adding that finer detail.


I thought the .50 cal was positioned to be operated by a crew member or infantryman standing on the deck behind the turret ....  could be wrong! 


Keith 😁 

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