M48A2GA2 (or M48A2, or M48A2C, or M48A5)
|Kit #03170||Preview by Stephen 'Tank
Whisperer' Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Rob Haelterman
History For The Modeler
When I saw this kit in the catalog I thought: “That is nice box art, I have not built an M48 yet and this’ll be a nice alternative to my old ESCI M48 kit, Revell makes great stuff and their M60 kit is certainly better than the old ESCI M60!” Well, now I know this is a re-box of the old ESCI kit which I already own several of, just with new markings and new instructions. If I’d only asked or did an online search I could have known that before I ordered?! Oye.
look At The Box Art. What’s Supposed To Be Inside.
Around the turret are a handrail and four smoke projectors. Above the handrail is a bulge that is part of the main gun’s stereoscopic range finder. Above the gun mantlet is a spotlight (searchlight).
The upper hull is level with the mudguards to help attain a low profile. There are headlight guard frames around each light. The three periscopes for the central driver are visible. There is no hull machine gun nor a co-driver position, a first for an American produced tank since the M4 medium.
There are six paired rubber-tired roadwheels attached to a torsion bar suspension. The sprocket wheel in the rear and idler in the bow. We see three rubber-tired and paired return rollers; later M48’s have five return rollers; the kit gives us a choice of three or five return rollers per side. The sprocket wheel is reminiscent of the M4 Sherman sprocket wheel; the track is similar to the live chevron pattern T84 rubber-block track used by the M4A3E8 Sherman tank.
The Patton tank is painted in all olive green color and with German Bundeswehr markings.
There are about 161 olive colored, injection molded, styrene plastic parts, including 44 link & length track parts. Depending on what M48 variant you model you will have a dozen or more parts left over. (The ESCI kit will have fewer parts.)
The cast hull front and turret could use some cast texture, but do not overdo it. The cast boat-shaped lower hull is interesting and perhaps unique. The rounded bottom and rounded nose I have heard referred to as a “boat shaped hull”. The lower hull is similar to that of the M60 Patton but not the same.
The track is good for the time the kits was released in 2012, but it does not compare well with the new Revell M60 tracks. My assessment is that the tracks have too large a gap between the links, they are too thin, and they lack guide teeth. These tracks and the wheels are significant weak links to this former ESCI M48 kit and the ESCI M60 kits. When assembling keep in mind that this is "live" track so should have little to no sag.
looks about the right shape. It is a shame the turret loader's hatches
are molded shut.
At left is Sprue-C to make version D, which is a German Kampfpanzer M48A2GA2 tank. The Kampfpanzer M48A2GA2 is an upgraded M48 with a 105-mm L7 cannon with MG3 cupola machine gun from the Leopard 1. The 105-mm gun barrel (part C77) has a thermal sleeve around it, the mantlet is angular shaped and the commander’s cupola is a German production. The cupola hatch appears similar to what I have seen on the Leopard 1 tank.
center is Sprue-D containing the parts for Revell’s version-F
to create an American M48A5: an M48 up-gunned with a 105-mm M68 (a.k.a.
L7) gun, of which about 2000 were converted. This 105-mm gun (part
D72) has no thermal sleeve. The M1 cupola mounted machine gun on this
sprue (part 68) is not used but appears to be an American M60. The
M48A5 uses either the cupola (Urdan cupola?) included on this Sprue-D
for a Norwegian M48 A5, or uses the M1 50-calibre machine gun M1 turret/cupola
from Sprue A for an Israeli M48A5.
At the far right is Sprue A which includes the 90-mm main gun (part A51 & 52) and the small machine gun cupola that came with the production M48 tanks. The 90-mm gun barrel and other parts here are for the M48A2 and the M48A2C variants. The gun has a distinctive T-shape muzzle brake. The gun mantlet (part A53) has no simulated canvas cover molded on.
There is an option of three return rollers per side or five, depending on the version of M48 we chose to build.
This kit models the diesel engine Patton with the rear and engine deck like on the M60 Patton. It cannot therefore be used to model an M48, or M48A1 Patton variant, which had a petrol engine and engine decks and rear similar to the M46 and M47. Many of the early M48s were upgraded to the diesel engine and accompanying features.
Revell has significantly improved the instructions and the decal markings over the old ESCI release of this kit. I love the additional parts to build at least four different and historically important variants of the M48 Patton in 1/72.
We have a good M46 by Trumpeter, and M48 by ESCI (Revell) and good M60s by ESCI and Revell, but when will someone release a good M47 Patton in 1/72? Hey, there were 8000 produced, way more than the Tiger and Panther!
The top reference photo below shows the forward right side of the turret and driver area. There is a single, triangular shaped driver hatch with a rotatable periscope that is centrally located; no co-driver as was in the M47 and M4 tanks. There are also three periscopes pointed forward and off to the sides. In this photo all the periscopes are lowered into the vehicle and the covers down. There is a crew heater exhaust pipe coming from the driver's roof.
turret the mantlet is weather-sealed with a cloth cover and accordion-like
seal around the barrel of the 105-mm gun. There is what I believe
is the tubular gunsight opening visible protruding through the mantlet.
The gun barrel bore evacuator is visible at the right side of the
photo. There is no searchlight mounted.
At far right we can see a worn rubber track block with a faint chevron tread pattern. The rusted end connector is reminiscent of the M4 Sherman's track. This chevron pattern I have also seen on the M47 Patton and early M60s. (The standard M60 Patton tank used a hexagonal shaped rubber block.)
and return rollers look similar to those used on the M26, M46 and
M47. The M60 roadwheels had small triangular ribs, or spokes, around
the rims. The roadwheels are paired with a gap for the track horns,
a feature not present in the ESCI/Revell M48 roadwheels.
roof looking forward and the low profile Urdan cupola which was developed
in Israel and also adopted on US M48s. I see three closed periscopes
on the cupola. This cupola is what is included on Sprue-D of the Revell
M48 kit. At left is the oval, bean-shaped loader's hatch with the
hatch lock on the turret roof (lower left corner of photo). The 105-mm
gun barrel is visible at top center.
hatch grab handle we can simulate with fine wire on the kit turret.
The distinct engine exhaust grating is visible and is essentially the same as on the M60 Patton and the late, diesel-engine M47M. Here is a good view of the rubber block track with chevron pattern tread