This Legends conversion set is designed to backdate the Tamiya M48A3 Patton to an earlier, gasoline engined M48A1 with the flat rear deck. The kit utilises the lower hull and running gear from the Tamiya kit.
The conversion kit is all resin with a medium sized brass PE set. The kit comes with the large parts wrapped in bubblewrap and the remainder in 2 sealed plastic bags in a stout cardboard box. The kit is cast in a soft cream coloured resin with over 80 parts.
Surface detail is excellent with no visible air bubbles, the only flash being over the various openings such as the turret ring. The hull and turret have large casting blocks to be removed but this is not too difficult to do with a little care. The turret is a hollow casting with separate base. The texturing on cast areas of the vehicle is finely done.
After checking against available data and photographs, the kit appears to be accurate. Test fitting against the donor kit did not reveal any obvious fit problems. The resin gun barrel shows no sign of warping and is held securely on the sprue by 5 attachment points.
Two items are for the lower hull, a new rear plate to replace the louvered kit item and the track tensioner wheels. Everything else is for the turret and upper hull. The PE fret contains parts for the fender braces, headlight guards and other small parts. No markings are included in the kit.
The instruction sheet is an A4 clear colour photograph showing all the parts numbered. A series of photographs show the placement of these, but no text is provided. Although construction is clear and straight forward some experience with resin kits is recommended.
There are 2 areas that might cause some problems. The canvas covered gun mantlet has no positive location point. Care will be needed in fitting this to make sure it is properly positioned. Separate bolt heads are provided for fitting along the PE braces on the top of the track guards. These come moulded on a sheet of resin and need slicing off and fitting individually. There are 8 sheets each with 24 bolt heads so a lot of careful cutting and fitting will be required. I have not counted how many of these are needed for the kit but would expect that quite a few spares are included.
Another excellent conversion set from Legends. This was the version of the tank seen in the Film GI Blues so no doubt we will see several of these at future shows with Elvis in the turret! Recommended.
My thanks to Ian Hanratty of Friendship Models
for the review sample.