M45 Pershing
105mm Howitzer Medium Close Support Tank
"HELEN"


Tamiya #35254 M26 Pershing Medium Tank

Copyright
2002, Jim Lewis/GunTruck Studios
All Rights Reserved Worldwide

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My miniature M45 Pershing Close Support Tank is made up of components from Tamiya's new M26 Pershing release, combined with MB Models' M45 Pershing 105mm Howitzer resin Turret and parts from DML's #6801 M26A1 Pershing model kit. To all of this I added a scratchbuilt Howitzer Travel Lock, Commander's .50cal Machine Gun Mount, and a new Muffler / Exhaust assembly that the M45 Pershing was equipped with. From the outset I decided not to model the "workable" Tamiya suspension feature, which alleviated any additional alignment concerns.

There were very few M45 Pershings involved in the Korean War, and I opted to model "Helen", a close support tank assigned to the 6th Tank Battalion supporting the breakout from Inchon in September, 1950. A color plate of "Helen" appears in the centerfold of Squadron Signals' Pershing/Patton In Action book.

Both Pershing miniatures from Tamiya and DML are fine kits in their own rights - with the newer Tamiya kit sharper and possessing greater detail that the earlier DML releases as one would expect. The MB Models M45 Pershing Turret was designed for mating to the DML model kit, and using their Turret parts for completion. Fitting this to the Tamiya kit only called for .005" styrene strip glued around the base of the MB Models Turret to get a snug fit on the Tamiya Pershing turret ring. To wrap things all up, only a small bit of detailing and scratchbuilding would be called for to complete the conversion.

Other than the small changes I mention below, I didn't make anymore changes to details as presented on either Tamiya or DML kit. They compliment each other nicely. I didn't replace the Periscope Guards used from either kit - and since I didn't - this dictated that I keep the "scale" of the other detail parts the same too. It creates a balanced look and feel to the model.

In the photos here, the OD Green parts are Tamiya's M26 Pershing components, the cream colored resin turret is from MB Models, and the light grey parts come from the DML's #6801 M26A1 Pershing kit. I used Gunze Sangyo Mr. Surfacer 500 (which happens to be light grey too) as a filler on the Turret Mantlet Cover to fill casting pinholes, and as a light surface texture around seams. Squadron Green Putty was used in this application too - for a rougher cast texture.

Smaller details to round-out the detailing on my miniature came from Aber's #35A59 photoetched brass Tie-Down Cleats. These were not present on the Tamiya model kit. I used Radio Shack .015" solder for wiring the headlights. Lengths of .020" styrene strip make up the Commander's .50cal MG Mount, detailed with MR Models #SP-7 round-head bolts.

Tamiya's M26 Pershing model kit is also missing the fender brace turnbuckles added to the series later after initial deployment to help keep the thin sheet metal fenders from drooping down and fouling the tracks. I used the flimsy parts from DML's M26A1 Pershing kit - at least two of them at the rear of my miniature. The other two disintegrated in my hands during cleanup. As a substitute, I turned to a spare Testors/Italeri #792 M47 Patton model kit and liberated the two front turnbuckle fender braces.

A small length of styrene strip makes the missing top brace on Tamiya's Foul Weather Storage Bracket mounted on the right side of the Turret. Another smaller length of strip braces DML's forward Winch Brace Bracket. I also drilled out the ends of these two brackets out. Tamiya's kit provided the .50cal MG Stowage Clamp and Bracket at the rear of the Turret, and an additional .50cal MG Travel Lock to go with the extra weapon added to my model. I would also add another Tamiya .50cal Machine Gun to the single weapon provided in their M26 Pershing kit. The extra weapon would come from their #35231 CCKW Accessory Parts Set. Tamiya Antenna Mounts were the last items added the Turret Roof - all other fixtures on the Turret came from the DML M26A1 Pershing model kit.


All content Copyright 1998 - 2017 Jim Lewis, guntruck.com, guntruck.us, guntruck.org, guntruck.net and GunTruck Studios.
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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