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Takom CM-11 Brave Tiger

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale plastic model armor kit
RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR
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The army of Taiwan (formally the Republic of China) uses a unique hybrid tank. Known as the Brave Tiger, the CM-11 mates an M60A3 hull with an M48A3 turret mounting an M68 105mm gun, the type used on early Abrams. As a development of the Patton, the tank is designated M48H, with the H standing for hybrid.

Takom’s new CM-11 features one-piece vinyl tracks that join with a metal pin, photo-etch (PE) details, clear plastic vision blocks, and decals for four vehicles. 

After adding the road-wheel swing arms to the lower hull, I checked alignment with a straightedge. The breakdown of the road wheels is unusual. The inner wheels are single parts, but the outer ones have separate tires that include the lip of the wheel and provide more detail on the visible part. The three-part drive sprockets feature lightening holes. I painted the lower hull with Tamiya NATO green before attaching the wheels.

The well-detailed one-piece vinyl tracks join with a metal pin. I painted them with Tamiya flat earth, then applied black pastels to the rubber pads. A flat coat sealed the paint and pastels before I added the tracks to the suspension.

The lower hull sides extend all the way up; the upper hull is just the glacis, driver’s hatch area, turret race, and engine deck. The seam lands along natural joins or is hidden by the fenders.

The fenders and their brackets are appropriately thin. The many storage boxes and air cleaners on the fenders went together easily, and the separate handles are a nice touch.

The driver’s hatch is movable and the periscope in the hatch is posable. Clear plastic supplies all of the vision blocks; I painted the back sides gloss black and protected the front glass with liquid mask.

I assembled the hull, then camouflaged it with Tamiya NATO green, NATO black, and flat earth. I applied decals and sealed them with clear flat before attaching the headlights and their guards.

I removed unneeded locators from the turret — a sign other versions of the M48 may be forthcoming — and added the many details. The bustle stowage basket builds easily, but its attachment points on the turret are a bit shallow.

The 105mm gun is a single-piece barrel with a separate muzzle. Unfortunately, gaps marred the mantlet cover; I played with the fit until it was in a place easier to fill. The commander cupola with its .50-caliber machine gun is movable.

After painting, the turret decals went on OK. But I had to use extra decal solvent to settle the markings over the storage boxes.

I spent 31 hours building my CM-11; the one-piece tracks saved a lot of time. For fans of the M48/60 family or Asian armor, this kit is a must-have.



Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2018 issue.

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