The T28 super heavy tank was developed by the U.S. Army near the end of World War II. Built to destroy stout fortifications, the 95-ton vehicle carried a 105mm gun and a second suspension that could be removed and towed behind the tank. Only two prototypes were built before the project was canceled in 1947.
Although the instructions have only 12 steps, the kit has 1,690 parts (although many of them go unused). A metal gun barrel, photoetched metal, and wire cable are also included. Lights and vision blocks are provided in clear plastic.
Filler was needed to fill gaps between the upper, lower, and rear hull. The fit of Part D12 to the hull is a little tight, but don’t force it — the model will crack around the opening. (Mine did; I glued the cracks together and sanded them smooth.)
If you do not like doing road wheels, this model is not for you: There are 64 of them, plus four sets of drive sprockets and idlers. The tires are molded as separate parts, making painting easier. If you decide to build the model with the second set of tracks in place, how much of the suspension you actually assemble is optional — very little is seen once the side tracks are mounted. I chose to model everything in place to help give the tracks their proper tension, but I did not spend a lot of time painting since little would be seen.
The tracks are DS vinyl with two lengths per suspension unit. Each guide tooth is glued to the track separately; they’re easily broken.
In Step 5, Part C27 should be B27. It’s easier to attach the side track units if you glue the clamps that are supposed to attach to the hull in Step 8 to their matching clamps on the side track units instead. This allows adjustment during final assembly.
Pictures in R. P. Hunnicutt’s book Firepower (Presidio, ISBN 978-0-89141-304-2) show details not in the kit. The muffler is missing prominent bolts, front tow hooks are absent, and there are various cable and equipment brackets omitted (although the latter are easily replaced with strip styrene). A trailer hitch not shown in the directions can be found on Sprue A.
Two large stowage boxes on the right side are supplied as photoetched metal. I had to solder these together; the metal is thin and easily distorted. Brackets for the track-tensioning tool are shown as photoetched-metal parts, but I replaced them with styrene strip. However, the tool is not included.
Directions show the gun barrel being slid through the front of the mantlet, but it needs to slide through the opening from the rear of D12 and then have the one-piece muzzle brake added next.
I followed the directions, then had to remove the muzzle brake to get the gun barrel to fit.
Both of the two prototype vehicles were olive drab. After a coat of Tamiya gray primer, I applied Tamiya khaki drab, then faded Tamiya olive drab onto the upper surfaces. I added Tamiya yellow green for highlights. My reference showed the T95.1 marking but not the USA or serial number; I skipped those decals.
All in all, Dragon’s kit represents what is shown in archival photos. I spent 39 hours on it, mostly for the complex suspension. If you can add the missing details, this model can really be a gem in your collection.
A version of this review appeared in the September 2013 FineScale Modeler.