The design for the M48 tank started in the early 1950ís as a replacement for the M47. It was the third tank to be named after General Patton and the last tank to mount the 90mm gun. The tank served with the US Army and the US Marine Corp during the Vietnam War. The M48A3 was received in 1963 which included the new diesel engine.
This new kit from Dragon Models
represents the M48A3 as it served in Vietnam
Inside the box:
- 7 plastic sprues
- 2 clear plastic sprues
- DS Track
- DS Mantlet Cover
- Small Length of Wire
- Decal Sheet
- Instruction Sheet
This is the second boxing of the M48A3 from Dragon Models
, while very similar to the first, this boxing includes the characteristic search light mounted on the mantlet. Looking in the box, the kit comes molded in light grey plastic, with some great looking moldings. The molded detail looks to be very well done, including some fine parts. There does not seem to be any ejector marks or sink marks that will be visible after assembly.
The hull and turret have molded cast texture that does look well done. I did find that the texture on the turret is a little more pronounced, with the hull texture a little weak. The molding of the rear ribs also looks to be very well done. The rest of the molded on detail is well pronounced, and looks great.
The kit does include some great looking fine detail, including the storage basket for the rear of the turret. These look to be fragile pieces, and care will be needed to cut these off the sprue. The commander cupola is molded in clear plastic, so masking will be required prior to painting. While the kit does include markings for Marine units, the kit does not include the mounting of the .50 cal on the top of the cupola.
A little planning will need to be done with the mantlet mounted search light for painting. The kit does not include a cover for the light, but the clear plastic lens does look very good, and this will show the inner workings of the light off well.
The mantlet cover is molded in DS and does look to be very well done. The barrel is molded in two parts, the mid to rear section and the front with muzzle brake. The slide molding used by Dragon Models
does a very nice job on the muzzle brake, and to me it looks great. Also the kit includes the Dragon
DS track, and looks to be very well done, detailed on both sides. Being that the track on M48ís usually did not sag, thus the DS track should work well on this build.
While the kit contains a piece wire for the tow cable, there is no photo-etched detail included.
As for decals, both US Army and USMC markings are included:
- A Company, 1st Marine Tank Battalion, Hue City 1968
- C Company, 1st Marine Tank Battalion, Da Nang 1970
- C Company, 1st Battalion, 69th Armor, Bong Son 1968
- C Company, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor, Operation Cedar Falls 1967
- C Company, 1st Marine Tank Battalion, Da Nang 1968
The decals are very well printed, colorful, and should make the tank look great when applied.
The instruction are the typical Dragon Models
format with 16 steps for construction. The flow is standard for a tank, and while they look well organized, I still recommend checking parts and dry fitting based on Dragon history.
This is a great looking Vietnam era tank from Dragon Models
, and should build into a great model. The molded details look great and the addition of the cast texture is a nice touch. While the DS track is a hit or miss some modellers, it does look to be well done. The only issue I saw was the lack of any photo-etched details, which could have added a little extra fine detail. I highly recommend this kit from Dragon Models