I am always
happy to see Tamiya turn its legendary quality to something other
than German WWII tanks, and was pleased to see them do a Pershing.
While it appears this was an offshoot of their 1/16 scale program,
it still has resulted in a very nice kit with some novelties.
When I was young,
Renwal came out with a series of several then-new US Army vehicles
that sported "working" suspensions. But these had a spring
on every axle, and required a lot of effort for a 10-year-old to
get them to flex their muscles, and also would not stay in any useful
position. (If dropped, they would bounce like a low rider, though...)
Tamiya has now
provided a much smoother and updated version of that idea with this
model. The method they used was as follows. The front and rear road
wheel arm on each side are sprung, which holds them down on the
ground and keeps the tracks in tension. The center four are simply
held in place with caps similar to the keepers used inside the road
wheels, so they flop and flex. As the model is either placed over
an object or "pushed over" one in kiddie style, the central
road wheels follow the shape of the object and flex the suspension.
The tracks remain a bit loose to permit this, but overall the idea
seems to work. The bottom of the hull also comes with two 3mm nuts
fixed inside it so that the model may be screwed down to a base
in a diorama to show that flexing, which means that the modeler
doesn't have to "drill and fill" to get the same results.
Note that the suspension takes the first eight steps of construction
Some parts show
more thought than in the past. While the model comes with an injected
tow cable (part H13) they provide the ends loose (parts A28) so
swapping it for wire is much easier. Most of the rest of the componentry
is provided as separate to permit easy conversion to other or later
models of the tank.
Some odd things
do show up, however. Pershings had very large and obvious casting
marks, part numbers and serials, and all are missing from the turret
and mantelet. Tamiya should take a lesson from Academy and provide
the numbers and marks on the edges of the sprue runners so that
they can be removed with a razor blade and cemented in place.
chose to provide the T81 24-inch single-pin cast track. I will say
that they did do their research in that the three vehicles they
provide decals for did use the T81 track two in the ETO from 1945
and one from the U.S.M.C. in Korea but it limits the model to very
few units and users. The later T80E1 tracks would possibly have
been a better choice, as they would also have made it easy for Tamiya
to make the M26A1 and M46/M46A1 versions of the tank. (They are
also the most hated of the DML track sets, as they require separate
links with separate guide teeth and few modelers want to mess with
that much detail. DML's T81 tracks on their T26E3 kit, however,
are one of their easiest sets to assemble and use.)
is a very well done kit, but one which puzzles me. I keep hoping
as do many others the Big T would do up a T-54/T-55 or Centurion
which they could then change and ride to Doomsday as a good seller.
This is a nice kit, but considering DML has had its excellent kits
out there for several years now (and re-released them to coincide
with the release of this kit) it may not sell as well as hoped.
- Cookie Sewell