|$19.95 MSRP ($14.95 at GreatModels )
|Scott Van Aken
The M46 was an improved M26 Pershing tank and one of the U.S Army's principal medium gun tanks of the early Cold War, with models in service from 1949 to the mid 1950s. On 30 July 1948, the M46 was named the Patton, in honor of General George S. Patton Jr. It was not widely used by U.S. Cold War allies, being exported only to Belgium, and only in small numbers to train crews on the upcoming M47. The M46 tank was designed to replace the M26 Pershing and M4 Sherman.
The only extensive combat use of the M46 was in the Korean War. On 8 August 1950 the first M46 Patton tanks belonging to the 6th Tank Battalion landed in South Korea. The tank proved superior to the much lighter North Korean T-34-85, which were encountered in relatively small numbers. By the end of 1950, 200 M46 Pattons had been fielded, forming about 15% of US tank strength in Korea; the balance of 1,326 tanks shipped to Korea during 1950 included 679 M4A3 Shermans, 309 M26 Pershings, and 138 M24 Chaffee light tanks. Subsequent shipments of M46 and M46A1 Pattons allowed all remaining M26 Pershings to be withdrawn during 1951, and most Sherman equipped units were also reequipped.
Known M46 series operators include: 1st Marine Tank Battalion and regimental Antitank Platoons of the 1st Marine Division by 1952, 72nd Tank Battalion of the 2nd Infantry Division by January 1952, 64th Tank Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division, 73rd Tank Battalion of the 7th Infantry Division by January 1951, 6th Tank Battalion of the 24th Infantry Division, 140th Tank Battalion (took over the tanks of the 6th Tank Battalion) and regimental tank companies of the 40th Infantry Division (CA ARNG) by October 1951, and the 245th Tank Battalion of the 45th Infantry Division (OK ARNG) by 1952. Several other regimental tank companies gained M46/M46A1s by the end of the war, including the 7th and 65th Infantry Regiments of the 3rd Infantry Division.
In the 1950s, small numbers of M46s were leased, at no cost, to some European countries for training purposes, including Belgium, France and Italy, in preparation for the introduction of the M47. US instruction teams used the vehicles to train European tank crews and maintenance personnel.
Those who have built Trumpeter 1/72 armor kits will not be surprised with this one. Generally good molding that is nearly as crisply done as on similar Dragon kits and has a generally smaller parts count as not every hatch and tool are molded separately. Much of the parts count to this kit is the large number of suspension parts (and that means road wheels and return rollers as well) and the number of bits in the link and run track system.
There are no optional parts in this one, though one could model the commander's hatch open if one had a figure to install there. The turret is an upper and lower section that will leave a bit of a seam to take care of.
Instructions are well done with no color information supplied during construction. The painting and markings guide offers several different paint brands, with the main one being Gunze. Markings for one unidentified tank in Olive Drab as shown on the box art.
Based on my previous experience with 1/72 Trumpeter kits, this one should turn out quite well. It has all you need to make a very convincing replica that will take up very little shelf space.
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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