Thursday, August 10

Build Guide: Paul continues on with his 35th scale M47 Patton from Takom

Paul built up his 35th scale M47 Patton from Takom into quite a nice spec - so before he gets to painting weathering and ageing he thought he would share his build experience with you as the best type of review. See how he went in his build guide...

In-Boxed M47 Patton
From: Takom
Product No# 2070
1/35th scale
New tooled kit which includes: Plastic sprues, Waterslide Decals, Clear parts
Available from
 Takom distributors worldwide

Today - Pt. II - Build guide 35th scale M47 Patton from Takom 
As usual, construction starts with the lower hull and the suspension which takes up the first few steps. While the general fit of the various details and suspension arms is excellent, the kit is slightly let down by the instructions which are well set out, but are slightly drawn slightly lazily. Case in point is in step one with three loops part A18 to be placed on the side of the hull. While the instructions point out the centre loop and the need to install three of them, the diagram only points out the middle loop, while the loops at the front and rear are shown attached but not pointed out by the instructions.
Moving on from the lower hull, the wheels and tracks come next. There is an inner and outside wheel for each arm, and while the outer wheels have separate wheels and tyres to help make painting easier, the inner wheels are only supplied in one piece, but since they’re not really going to be as visible, I’m willing to forgive Takom for this although the separate tyres really do make painting easy without the need to mask. Tracks are supplied in length and links and a jig is supplied to help with construction. Some inside faces of the track links did have some small ejector pin marks but they were easily cleaned up. There are some locating pins on the edge of the jigs that go between the guide horns to help align the tracks, but I found the fit to be not quite right so I cut off the pins off the lower surfaces and only used the ones on the upper run. Unfortunately, I found the track runs on both sides to be a link short and no spares are provided which is particularly problematic for a tank that doesn’t have side skirts. I ended having to stretch out the connection points of some of the individual links which would weaken the joints but they held strong enough.
The upper hull comes next, and this is where you’ll encounter the first alternatives offered for the M47 or M47G variant, although the instructions could indicate this better. Step 8-1 illustrates various details on the front of the hull including two loops, parts D40 and D41, however, there is also a small inset only listed as 8-2 which show two alternative loops D51 and D52 being used, which tells you nothing about why the alternative is provided. The explanation comes later during turret construction when the -1 denotes it as M47 and the -2 as the M47G. The headlight guards and ring around the bow machine do seem a bit chunky and some may choose to replace them, but I’m happy to build a kit without etch.
Step 12 has you attaching the upper hull to the lower hull, but also involves attaching some triangular shaped rings on the rear deck. The lazy instructions strike here telling you to place 9 of them, but only points out one leaving you to find the other eleven illustrated on the rear deck. The rings are very petite and delicate, and although I cut the first set off the sprues easily enough, for some reason they all snapped while cutting them off the second sprue so I had to replace them with staples. The fit of the two halves is excellent with only a thin line of filler needed for the point at the front of the hull.
The fenders come next and pose no problems although I left off the tools to assist in painting. The fit of the long fenders is easy with large tabs inserted into the appropriate openings in the side of the hull although the headlight guard on the left slightly interfered with the fit of the fender, but I will put this down to operator error.

Next up comes the turret which comes in upper and lower halves and the fit is quite good with only a small amount of putty needed to get rid of the seam. A mount but no breech is provided for the main armament but this is not necessary if you choose to use the canvas mantlet cover which comes in three pieces and features some nice fold detail. Once again the fit is excellent with only small amounts of filler needed at the joints. No mention of which version uses the cover or not, but all the schemes provided in the box show vehicles with the mantlet cover. Two barrel options are provided with the one without the canvas cover coming in one piece, whereas the barrel with the cover is provided in halves which I’m guessing is because of the base is moulded on with the cover and results in the seam associated with barrel halves. I got around this by removing the covered section of the main gun and cutting off the corresponding length of the single piece barrel and grafted on the correct length. The kit gives you the option of four muzzle brakes, but unfortunately, all the in box schemes only show the most boring tube shaped one of the four options.
Steps 28 and 29 come with the -1 and -2 notes and finally mentions the difference between the M47 and M47G version, with the difference being the type of handrails on the sides of the turret and smoke grenade launchers for the M47G variant.
Finally, the instructions have you put the turret on the hull and that completes the build phase of your model.
While it feels like I have written a lot of negatives about this kit, I must say that this was actually a very enjoyable kit to build and that Takom has got the fit and engineering of this kit almost spot on with the exception of the tracks which I thought were a link short. The letdown of this kit is in the instructions with some lazy illustrations and a vague mention of the M47 and M47G option provided in the box, however, this is easily remedied with a closer study of the instructions so nothing catastrophic. The lack of PE in this kit was also very refreshing, but the small and delicate parts, as well as the track issue, wouldn’t make this a suitable kit for beginners. Bring on the paint!

Paul Lee

Thanks to Takom for this kit to build and review.