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M26 Pershing



S u m m a r y

Stock No. Tamiya 1/35 Scale Military Miniatures Series No. 35254; M26 Pershing US Medium Tank (T26E3)
Contents and Media: 322 parts (270 in olive styrene, 2 glueable vinyl tracks, 36 black vinyl, 10 metal screws and nuts, 4 steel springs)
Price: USD$32-$48
Scale: 1/35
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Tamiya quality for a new American tank kit; floating suspension a novel idea
Disadvantages: Choice of T81 tracks limits its flexibility; will go head to head with extant high-quality DML kit; needs track change for most of the other Pershings outside of "Zebra Mission" and early USMC versions
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for all US Armor and Korean War fans


Reviewed by Cookie Sewell

Tamiya's 1/35 scale M26 Pershing is available online from Squadron.com


F i r s t   L o o k


I am always happy to see Tamiya turn its legendary quality to something other than German WWII tanks, and was pleased to see them do a Pershing. While it appears this was an offshoot of their 1/16 scale program, it still has resulted in a very nice kit with some novelties.

When I was young, Renwal came out with a series of several then-new US Army vehicles that sported "working" suspensions. But these had a spring on every axle, and required a lot of effort for a 10-year-old to get them to flex their muscles, and also would not stay in any useful position. (If dropped, they would bounce like a low rider, though...)

Tamiya has now provided a much smoother and updated version of that idea with this model. The method they used was as follows. The front and rear road wheel arm on each side are sprung, which holds them down on the ground and keeps the tracks in tension. The center four are simply held in place with caps similar to the keepers used inside the road wheels, so they flop and flex. As the model is either placed over an object or "pushed over" one in kiddie style, the central road wheels follow the shape of the object and flex the suspension. The tracks remain a bit loose to permit this, but overall the idea seems to work. The bottom of the hull also comes with two 3mm nuts fixed inside it so that the model may be screwed down to a base in a diorama to show that flexing, which means that the modeler doesn't have to "drill and fill" to get the same results. Note that the suspension takes the first eight steps of construction to complete.

Some parts show more thought than in the past. While the model comes with an injected tow cable (part H13) they provide the ends loose (parts A28) so swapping it for wire is much easier. Most of the rest of the componentry is provided as separate to permit easy conversion to other or later models of the tank.

Some odd things do show up, however. Pershings had very large and obvious casting marks, part numbers and serials, and all are missing from the turret and mantelet. Tamiya should take a lesson from Academy and provide the numbers and marks on the edges of the sprue runners so that they can be removed with a razor blade and cemented in place.

Also, Tamiya chose to provide the T81 24-inch single-pin cast track. I will say that they did do their research in that the three vehicles they provide decals for did use the T81 track two in the ETO from 1945 and one from the USMC in Korea but it limits the model to very few units and users. The later T80E1 tracks would possibly have been a better choice, as they would also have made it easy for Tamiya to make the M26A1 and M46/M46A1 versions of the tank. (They are also the most hated of the DML track sets, as they require separate links with separate guide teeth and few modelers want to mess with that much detail. DML's T81 tracks on their T26E3 kit, however, are one of their easiest sets to assemble and use.)

Overall this is a very well done kit, but one which puzzles me. I keep hoping as do many others the Big T would do up a T-54/T-55 or Centurion which they could then change and ride to Doomsday as a good seller. This is a nice kit, but considering DML has had its excellent kits out there for several years now (and re-released them to coincide with the release of this kit) it may not sell as well as hoped.

Cookie Sewell

Review Copyright 2002 by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 07 August, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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