HobbyBoss 1/35 T26E4 Pershing Pilot #2
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The T25 and T26 lines of tanks came into being in the midst of a heated internal debate within the U.S. Army in the mid-1943 to early 1944 period over the need for tanks with greater firepower and armor. A 90mm gun mounted in a massive new turret was installed in both series. The T26 series were given additional frontal hull armor, with the glacis plate increased to 4 in (100 mm). This increased the weight of the T26 series to over 40 tons and decreased their mobility and durability as the engine and powertrain were not improved to compensate for the weight gain (Sounds like the Panther, eh?).
The T26E3 was the production version of the T26E1 with a number of minor modifications made as the result of field testing. Following its introduction into combat, it was renamed the M26 in March 1945.
Post World War II, some 800 M26 tanks were upgraded with improved engines and transmissions and 90mm gun and were redesignated as the M46 Patton.
The T26E4 was the "Super Pershing". The first pilot was a converted T26E1 and the only one to see combat. Its T15E1 gun used one-piece ammunition. All other T26E4s had the T15E2 with two-piece ammunition. 25 were built.
For HobbyBoss' third Pershing (and they have since done a fourth), they have concentrated on the experimental 'Super Pershing', of which few were built. The overall molding of the kit is top notch. No sink areas, no flash and no ejector pin marks that will be seen after construction. Hobby Boss also takes the additional step of having no more than two sprues per bag and covers the delicate parts with protective foam sheet. Means no broken or damaged parts in shipment.
This is the #2 pilot tank and so wasn't sent into combat. I have to suspect it is typical of pilot tanks 3-25 as well as they were all similarly armed and armored. This kit has three different sprues to cover the new gun with the stabilizing recoil pistons on top of the forward turret (at least that is what I think they are) plus new idler and drive hubs and a few other small parts. Like the last kit, this one has a ton of parts and that the kit offers a full engine and transmission; in fact a complete engine compartment. If you wish to display your kit with the engine covers open, there will be a lot of detail to show off. Photo etch is kept to a minimum with just two pieces and those used as what looks to be anti-grenade screens. It appears that all the hatches could be posed open, but with no detail in the turret or the crew compartment, I can't see why you'd want to unless you wished to fill the opening with crew members.
As with many other kits of armor that use torsion bar suspensions, this one has all the bars and looks like it could be positioned in other than a flat position. The kit uses 'rubber band' type tracks. Each side is two pieces and the interlock is very good. I'm not sure if this is deformable styrene or vinyl as there is no indication either way.
Instruction sheets are superbly done and with all the parts and construction steps, two full fold-out sheets are needed. Colors are all Gunze and generic references. The painting guide is full color and shows three overall olive drab tanks. Other paint references aside from Gunze are shown here. and I find it odd that they have you mix colors to get the overall external paint shade. None of the two options are identified aside from having different serial numbers. The decal sheet is well printed but don't go looking for a star as shown on the box art as it isn't there. My experience with Hobby Boss decals is positive so these should prove to be just as good.
With the release of this preproduction tank, I get the feeling that HobbyBoss will be providing several more variants; some perhaps even more obscure. Still, it is a fine kit that builders have reported to go together well. A fine addition to your tank collection.
July 2010 Thanks to Squadron Products for the review kit. Get yours today at your favorite retailer. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors. Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to Squadron Products for the review kit. Get yours today at your favorite retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page