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Takom M60A1 with ERA

FineScale Modeler reviews the straightforward build of the 1/35 scale armor kit
RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR
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The latest release from Takom in its M60 line is an M60A1 with explosive reactive armor (ERA). The kit features one-piece tracks, photo-etch (PE) parts, clear plastic vision blocks, optional covers for the tank commander’s machine gun, and markings for four Desert Storm vehicles.

I started by connecting the lower hull and suspension. After adding the swing arms, I checked for alignment with a straight edge. The road wheels have an unusual breakdown; the inner wheels are one piece but the outers are split into a tire and rim. This adds detail to the tire’s inner face. The drive sprockets are made of three pieces with lightening holes. I painted the lower hull with Tamiya buff before adding the wheels. 

The ends of the well-detailed vinyl tracks are joined with a metal pin. I painted the tracks and applied a wash of dust before adding them. 

The detailed fenders went together easily. I was impressed with the detail on the stowage boxes and air cleaners, including separate handles. Leave the boxes off until the fenders are attached to the hull so you can better see the attachment points. 

You have the option of installing a periscope in the driver’s hatch and the hatch can be slid open. I painted the back of each of the clear vision blocks gloss black and applied liquid mask to the fronts. 

The hull halves went together with no issues and the seam was largely invisible.

I painted the upper hull, then applied decals and sealed them with clear flat. The headlights were attached along with the guards.

The asymmetrical turret creates problems when installing the bustle rack. The instructions aren’t clear so it’s easy to put the latter’s cross members on backward — pay close attention. I suggest building the rack and then marking the correct side for each cross member with a felt tip marker before gluing.

Takom includes a mold for giving the PE bustle rack its curve, but I found it easier to bend it around a pen instead. 

Hatches can be posed opened or closed.

I found the instructions confusing about how and where to attach the many ERA plates.

Paints used were Tamiya buff, rubber, dark iron, and Testors flat clear with washes of AK-Interactive dust and brown. The markings chosen were Beirut Payback.
 
I spent 36 hours building Takom’s M60 and the one-piece tracks were a big help in shortening building time. For those looking for a Desert Storm M60, this is a good one to add.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the March 2019 issue.

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