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Dragon M60 tank

Dragon’s kit of an early M60 shares parts with Dragon’s M48 and M60A2. The molding has fine details and scale-correct casting texture on the hull and turret. Most of the kit is molded in Dragon’s usual light gray plastic, with the exception being the Dragon Styrene tracks and tan, soft vinyl for the mantlet’s canvas cover.

Starting with the running gear, everything went together great. The only exception, was that I had to shave off the inside locator tabs of the drive gears for them to fit properly.

After the running gear came the upper hull. The details are crisply molded and look great. You will want to dry-fit the equipment before putting glue on anything; I had to remove a few locator pins for some of the stowage to fit properly. For example, I had to remove the two outer pins on both of the air boxes. I also had to slightly rework the mounts for the generator’s muffler to fit in its location.

The turret went together perfectly. The only worry was a large seam on the front of the vinyl mantlet cover. I couldn’t get it smooth with a hobby knife. What worked was a trick I use to smooth joints on figures: I used the brush applicator of my Tamiya Extra Thin Liquid Cement to “paint” the seam line until it melted into its surroundings, disappearing completely. When you first apply it you may see brush strokes, but they will disappear into smooth uniformity as the cement dries.

I wish there was a canvas cover for the commander’s cupola, as it appears in most reference photos and even the box art, but one is not included.

Painting went smoothly and quickly. The kit provides only one set of markings, but the decals were excellent — very thin and opaque, they lay flat and smooth with little effort. 

Even though there were a few things that didn’t quite fit right, the finished tank looks great. Fine details, such as grab handles, antenna, and rear basket, bring a lot of life to the piece.

The tank scales out correctly to published sources.

I spent a little more than 55 hours on this kit, and because of the confusing instructions I would recommend it more to intermediate modelers. However, it was easy to overcome a few hurdles and build a great-looking tank that will be a worthy addition to any Cold War collection.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the December 2016 issue.


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