Tamiya 1/48 M10 Tank Destroyer

KIT #: 32519
PRICE: $26.00
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Dale Rannals
NOTES: Add-ons: Legend M10 Stowage set ($17)


  US combined-arms doctrine on the eve of World War II held that tanks should be designed to fulfill the infantry support and exploitation roles. The anti-tank warfare mission was assigned to a new branch, the tank destroyer force. Tank destroyer units were meant to counter German blitzkrieg tactics. Tank destroyer units were to be held as a reserve at the Corps or Army level, and were to move quickly to the site of any enemy tank breakthrough, maneuvering aggressively to destroy enemy tanks. This led to a requirement for very fast, well-armed vehicles. Though equipped with turrets (unlike most tank destroyers of the day), the typical American design was more heavily gunned, but more lightly armored, and thus more maneuverable, than a contemporary tank. The idea was to use speed and agility as a defense, rather than thick armor, to bring a powerful self-propelled gun into action against enemy tanks.

The M10 tank destroyer, formally 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage, M10 was a United States tank destroyer of World War II based on the chassis of the M4 Sherman tank. It was numerically the most important U.S. tank destroyer of World War II and combined a reasonably potent anti-tank weapon with a turreted platform (unlike the previous M3 GMC, whose gun was capable of only limited traverse). Despite the introduction of more-powerful types as replacements, it remained in service until the end of the war. Some of those replacements were in fact modified and/or rebuilt from the M10 itself.

It was christened the Wolverine by the British, although unlike other vehicle names such as the M4 Sherman, the name was not adopted by American soldiers, who called it TD (a nickname for any tank destroyer in general) beyond its formal designation.


Tamiya’s 1/48 M10 Tank Destroyer is delivered in olive drab flash-free plastic.  Since the vehicle chassis was derived from the M4 Sherman’s, it only makes sense that it shares several sprues with their Sherman kit.  Namely, the cast chassis and the road-wheel and track sprues.  There are extra sections to this sprue though; these give you the option of installing solid road wheels or the open, spoked type.  The hull and turret of course are unique to this kit, and since this is an open turret design, some interior detail is included as well.  An added bonus is a sprue from their Jerry Can Set, this has several types of bags, some fuel cans, and 55-gal drums.  A nice addition since M10’s were adorned with all types of supplies hanging off the sides (apparently there was not much room inside for stowage).  A rather large omission, in my opinion, is the lack of any crew.  Again, with an open top, one would think that this would have been a no-brainer.  Strange.

Instructions are typical Tamiya, which means very well done.  The front page includes a history section in several languages.  Color call-outs are in Tamiya colors of course.  The assembly section is straightforward and clear, with the final pages depicting colors and decal guides.   Decals are for three vehicles, all olive drab, but with varying-enough markings to make them somewhat different from each other. 

The Legend stowage set includes a front piece adorned with sandbags, logs, spare wheels and track.....typical added protection for this hard-hitting but thin skinned vehicle.  A single rear piece includes a tarp-covered assortment of jerry cans, rolls, crates, etc.  And then there is a plethora of assorted bags and bed rolls to put wherever.  I pretty much covered this M10 with these, and I still have a bunch left over for other projects.  Well worth the money.


For me, these kits get broken down into three major sub-assemblies.  You have the lower hull and suspension, the upper hull, and the turret.  These sections can all be worked on concurrently, so you can work on one section while putting off working on another (say, painting road wheels).  It is mostly straightforward and most of the bits can be assembled without worrying about paint ….. it’s all gonna be Olive Drab when it’s done. 

I deviated from the instructions and began by assembling the upper hull and turret.  The few bits that weren't gonna be OD, like the shells inside the turret, were left off for now.


I then took the cast chassis, upper hull, turret, and most of the sprues to the paint booth and blasted everything with Olive Drab (Testor Model Master with a few drops of brown mixed in to change the hue slightly).  While at the booth I also sprayed the track sections a very dark grey (VDG - almost black). When all this was dry I painted the rubber sections of the wheels the same VDG.  This VDG isn’t anything special.  I think using straight black is always too intense for the scale, so I mix some white into the flat black to lighten it up a bit.  More realistic in my opinion.  Anyway, the wheel and suspension trucks were assembled and super-glued to the cast metal. 

The tracks were given some oil washes of blacks, reds, and browns.  Once that dried, I dry-brushed the sections with Testors Steel.  These were then attached to the wheels.  The upper hull and turret were attached and we now have a pretty complete Tank Destroyer. 

The model was given a gloss coat of Future and then the few decals were added.  Then I attacked the kit with a Burnt Sienna oil was to dirty things up and pop out the details.


At this point the kit was pretty much set aside and I concentrated my efforts on painting the Legend Stowage kit parts.  The resin used on these parts is beautiful and I found no flaws in any of them.  The front and rear pieces took some time to paint.  There is mucho detail in these and as I wanted a variety of shades to enhance this detail I used everything from panzer grey to tan and browns and several shades of green and Olive Drabs.  The bags and rolls were painted different shades also.  These were all given a dark oil wash to pop out the details some more.  These were all added to various places on the tank.  The front and rear pieces needed some hollowing out in places to lay correctly.  This was easily done with a Dremel and plenty of water.  I added an extra crate to the rear supplies and “fastened” it down with a painted piece of thread.

One thing I noticed while perusing pictures of M10's was the variety of fabricated brackets welded on the hull to hold stuff.  I decided to add one.  I took some small wire and soldered two pieces together in the form of a small “T”.  I assembled one of the jerry cans, painted it, and added a “W” to it (for water).  I then placed the wire T over the can and loosely bent the wire ends down around the can.  Presto, a nifty little bracket.  This was placed on the rear side of the tank and pushed against it a bit so I could see were it attached.  These points were drilled out, the bracket glued in place and painted, and the Water can dropped inside.  A neat little addition methinks.


I've always liked the look of these Tank Destroyers.  And Tamiya's kit builds up into a fine representation of the real thing.  One thing for sure:  Even though it's all Olive Drab, when you start looking at the different shades and weathering possibilities, whitewashes and field applied camo stripes and swathes, and the variety of stuff hanging all over them, each one built can be truly unique. 

Have fun with it.



Squadron/Signal #2036: U.S. Tank Destroyers in Action

Dale Rannals

July 2011

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