Virtual Museum of the Vietnam War

M48A3 Patton

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Seminar 8000 U.S. M48A3 PATTON 1:35

My model of M48A3 was built out of a kit by Korean company Seminar, which is a direct copy of the famous Tamiya model. This kit was suplemented by a track kit by AFV-Club (AF3505), photoetched parts by Eduard (35071) and other small details from various sources. Overall the kit doesn't cause trouble when built, it's parts fit together well. Tha accuracy, at the begining of 1980's was assessed as great, nowadays it should be judged as average.

AFV Club AF3505 M48 & M60 Track (Workable) (Chevron Type)

The first thing I did was to close the motorization holes in the lower hull. The long-gone motorization also caused problems with the driving sprockets, which I corrected (they were set to wide for the rest of the suspension). The driver was installed on a vertically-movable rig, so he wouldn't collide with the rotating turret. The rest of the hull construction was fairly straightforward, the most complicated stage being attaching the photoetched parts. The AFV-Club tracks take a lot of work to assemble, but are a great replacement for the kit's ugly vinyl tracks.

I begun constructing the turret with modifications to the main gun mount. The kit's main gun was designed as movable, unfortunately this effected in the gun's shield being to far forward. In my model I fixed the gun in place, and moved it's shield closer to the turret and also made the mantlet out of putty. The rest of the turret was again pretty straightforward to build, at this stage the photoetched parts were also added. The model was then painted base color, the tank commander's figure was also painted, after it's modification to better "protect the tank commander against Vietnamese snipers". Then I begun gathering and painting all the stuff hanging on the tank. Many came from Academy's "AFV Tank Supplies Set", some also from the "M151-A2 MUTT & TRAILER" kit, most notably the C-ration cartons. I fabricated some details, like spare cable for the searchlight or the tarp covers. After being painted individually, the items were glued on the tank, which was then painted "dusty" with an airbrush. I built this model years ago, when I didn't have a digital camera, so I don't have many photos from the construction stage. Known bugs of this model are: shades of base color and dust color are suspect, bad shape of sheet metal at rear fenders, bad type of drive sprockets (should be flat and not stepped), no detail on front of commander's cuppola, left side. If I built this model again, I'd additionally depict at least one seriously damaged spot on the fenders (a tank with whole fenders was a rarity in Vietnam).


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