Dragon 1/35 M46 Patton
|PRICE:||$ raffle win|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The M46 Patton was an American medium tank designed to replace the M26 Pershing and M4 Sherman. It was one of the U.S Army's principal medium tanks of the early Cold War, with models in service from 1949 until the mid-1950s. 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 Patton. The main combat use of the M46 was in Korea where it fought along side and eventually replaced the M26 and M4 tanks.
The M46 was the first tank to be named after General George S. Patton Jr., commander of the U.S. Third Army during World War II and one of the earliest American advocates for the use of tanks in battle.
Dragon Models Limited (DML), came into being in 1987 and soon started producing kit. Most of them were armor of various types, but they also did some aircraft and figure kits. Soon they shortened the name to Dragon and have become a staple in the model world. This particular kit of the M46 Patton was released in 1995 and subsequently reissued virtually unchanged this year. This is the initial release that I won at a raffle.
The kit has Dragon's usual high level of detail and does come with individual plastic tracks. Each track link requires the separate guide pin to be installed in the middle, making track production a major part of this 573 part kit. As usual with these kits, construction begins by attaching suspension and other parts to the lower hull. This is followed by the aforementioned tracks. Painting road wheels and return rollers will be another somewhat time consuming task.
Then construction moves to the upper hull. Here there are separate hatches for the driver and gunner before moving on to the rest of the upper hull bits. This includes pioneer tools and the exhaust system. Then the focus is the turret. The main gun barrel is split in half. One may want to seek out an aluminum replacement. There is a nice .50 cal machine gun and the various turret hatches are separate in case you want to install a figure or two. An option for the turret is a searchlight and one of the two markings options uses this feature.
Instructions use Gunze color references. There are two markings options. One is the tiger motif shown on the box art. A fair amount of additional painting is needed for this scheme. The other is a USMC version. Both are tanks that participated in the Korean War. The small decal sheet is nicely done, though its viability, being 26 years old, is questionable.
If you have the talent to build one of these kits, the results are sure to please. The Patton series of tanks are still in service with some nation's militaries, and this was the first offering.
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