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Tamiya 1/48 scale M26 Pershing (T26E3)

Kit: 32537
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Tamiya, available from Tamiya America, 800-826-4922,
Price: $24.99
Comments: Injection-molded, 168 parts (1 diecast), decals
Pros: Nice detail, easy to assemble
Cons: Poorly detailed M2 machine gun, hull gap
Tamiya has released a T26E3 (M26) in its 1/48 scale line of armor kits. The kit features link-and-length tracks, optionalposition hatches, and an M2 .50-caliber machine gun. Decals for two WWII Army vehicles and one Korean War Marine vehicle are included.
Starting with the lower hull, I attached the sides and back panel with super glue. I painted this assembly and the running gear olive drab, and when they were dry, I installed the tracks.
Dry-fitting the major pieces of the body revealed a fit problem. The front of the upper hull has a gap between it and the lower hull; I filled it with white glue.
I was disappointed to discover that headlights don't have clear lenses. Aftermarket lenses would go a long way toward improving things here.
When building the gun assembly, you have to be careful not to install part number C14 upside-down. I sanded the turret seam and blended it in with dabs of Tamiya standard cement.
The M2 machine gun's detail was a disappointment - the two grips are molded together as one. The quick fix is to make new handles from stretched sprue.
I airbrushed the model with Gunze Sangyo olive drab (H78). I painted the rubber on the road wheels with Floquil weathered black.
Appling the star decal over the engine deck's irregular surfaces would be a challenge. Instead of fighting with the decal, I used Verlinden's U.S. stars painting template (No. 1206) and painted the star using Tamiya flat white (XF-2). Testor Metalizer gun blue colored the tracks and machine guns. To weather the vehicle, I added a black oil-paint wash over the engine-deck vents and Tamiya weathering pastels over the model. The markings represent a vehicle from the 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division. The decals went on without any problems over the semigloss finish.
The finished model scales close to the measurements in The Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles by David Doyle. This was also my main reference. I spent 15 enjoyable hours completing this model. I'm getting the bug for this scale, so my wish list includes an M8, M24, 21/2-ton 6x6, and the Jeep.
- Tom Foti


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