Thursday, July 13

Preview: 1/72nd scale M60A1 w/ERA & M60A3 (1+1 kit) from Takom

It is great to see model companies making more than new really old armour in 1/72nd scale, now Takom are making a dual kit (1+1) boxing of both the M60A1 w/ERA & M60A3 kits in 1/72nd scale. We look at the tanks & the kit's features in our preview...

Preview: 1/72nd scale M60A1 w/ERA & M60A3 (1+1 kit) from Takom

M60A1 w/ERA & M60A3 (1+1 kit)
From Takom
Kit No #5022
1/72nd scale
Plastic kit
Photo Etch included
4 marking choices in the box
Link & Length tracks included
Hatches can be posed opened or closed
The Subject: M60A1 with ERA
After undergoing modernization efforts in the ‘70s to prolong its service life, the upgraded M60A1 with ERA was developed. The M60A1s were fitted with add-on explosive reactive armour (ERA) packages that added to the M60A1's progression of the larger turret with armour improvements and running gear along with a stabilization system for the main gun, these served the USMC until the arrival of the Abrams sometime after the US Army.
This tank served as the main battle tank of the Marine Corps for the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, U.S. forces. During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, these vehicles and their crews supported the drive into Kuwait City where they were involved in a two-day tank battle at the Kuwait airport with the loss of only one vehicle and no crew to a land mine. On February 24 at 4 AM local time, the USMC forces were used on the eastern flank of the ground operation with the goal of liberating Kuwait City. Marine tanks fitted with bulldozer kits pushed through the minefields and right into Iraqi positions. The initial fighting was short and brutal and resulted in the surrender of thousands of Iraqi soldiers hours after the beginning of hostilities. In one instance, a Marine M60A1 shot an enemy T-72M at a very close distance right through with the APFSDS penetrator punching through the entire hull and exiting in the back. In another stunning case of success, the 2nd Marine Division captured the entire Iraqi 9th Tank Battalion with its 35 tanks intact with another three thousand prisoners taken.
In the desert where there are no trees to hide behind and often far to flat ground the M9 bulldozer blade was used to great effect in getting the Marie's tanks hull-down. They were also used to clear debris, to dig through channels and assist other vehicles that were stuck or blocked. A great asset to use on the debris-ridden highways of Iraq. The M60A1 saw service with the United States Marine Corps, and the Saudi Arabian Army.

The M60A3 
The M60A3 production designation was given stabilization and a thermal sleeve for its M68 105mm main gun, a ballistics computer for accurized engagement, a thermal sight at the gunner's position, improved coaxial machine gun functionality, an air filtration system, revised searchlight function, an improved powerplant and improved Raytheon laser rangefinder. This M60 form became the most advanced American MBT in service during the early 1980s. Additionally, the M60A3 featured external smoke dischargers along the turret sides as well as an internal smoke generation system supplied through the engine's operation (many Soviet tanks utilized this feature as well). 

An M60A3 of the 3rd Armored Division, 3-32nd Armored Regiment, moves along a street in Langgöns, Germany during Exercise REFORGER ‘85. 24 January, 1985
The improvements certainly brought the M60 family line closer to the capabilities of the newest Soviet battlefield threat of the time - the T-72 Main Battle Tank - and, in some ways, still compared favourably to the more modern M1 Abrams beginning to take hold in the US inventory. The M60A3 soldiered on for the US military until 1997. Those M60A3 production forms labelled as "M60A3 TTS" marked them as "Tank Thermal Sight" - noting their use of the AN/VSG-2 thermal system.

An M60A3 conducting a ford at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

This kit from Takom.
A kit with two models inside, this 1/72nd scale "1+1" kit gives us both the up-armoured M60A1 w/ERA & the M60A3 kits in the one place. It is great to see some more classic cold war iron in this smaller scale. The kit gives us both types, with photo-etch and link and length tracks provided to simplify the build. There are four marking choices in the box - two for each kit.
That is all we have on these for now - keep tuned for more info on the kit soon...

You can see more about Takom's kits on their website or on their Facebook page.